jetc.dev Newsletter Issue #13
This week, we take a look at units of measure, FABs, and arrows. But, we start off by trying to get a bit of focus.
One Off the Stack, One Off the Slack
You’ve got questions. That’s understandable!
Particularly for keyboard-friendly devices like Chromebooks, focus management is an important part of usability. In Compose, focus is still a work in progress, like most things, but here we see a bit of how to detect focus changes and how to proactively set the focus.
Posts, videos, and other new information related to Jetpack Compose!
100% pure code!
…And One More Thing
The question comes up on Slack a lot: “so, when is Compose going to be production-ready?”
Google is famous for not providing roadmap details, so the fact that there is no official statement on this subject should not be surprising. Moreover, I suspect that even Google does not know when Compose will reach, say, beta status. Not only is Compose a very large project that is breaking new ground, but COVID-19 has scrambled lots of development schedules — just see the one-month delay in Android R. That makes it even less likely that Google would elect to state a planned release timeline.
In theory, if Compose is doing what you want it to do today, there is nothing stopping you from using it for production work. In theory, I have hair. As you can tell by my balding pate, theory does not always hold up well.
In the long term, Jetpack Compose is likely to become a major foundational piece
of Android app development. Today, it is not. It is an experiment and a demonstration
of capabilities, nothing more. More importantly, today it does not solve any user problems
compared to the existing
View-based UI system. Users do not benefit from using
Compose today. The maintenance cost of rewriting Compose code a dozen times over
outweighs any near-term development speed advantage, and given the limited documentation
I doubt that Compose development is faster anyway right now. Tomorrow’s advantages
are for tomorrow’s code.
If you are developing tools, libraries, or similar things for Jetpack Compose developers, then clearly you are going to be playing with these dev releases with an eye towards getting stuff to market before Compose ships a stable version. That’s reasonable. But IMHO using it for production work on ordinary end-user apps is a frightening prospect.
If all goes well, you will have a decade-plus to relish in the joys of writing UIs in Compose. Don’t rush it for production use today.
- 2022-09-13: Compose updates! Tracking down and fixing recompositions! Maestro! Redwood! Molecule! And Twitter's rules for composables!
- 2022-09-06: Snapshots! A Glance support library! Measuring and drawing! Swipe-to-dismiss! Speed dials! And... a redwood sighting?!?
- 2022-08-30: Android 13 per-app language support! Performance optimizations! Expandable lists! MVI! Zooming! Steppers! And... another Compose beta? Already?!?