One Off the Slack: Where Are All The Material Design Composables?

Klass Kabini asked:

When is compose going to support [a double-ended] slider?

In Material Design terms, a “slider” is not a type of tiny sandwich or somebody from a 1990’s sci-fi TV show. Instead, a Material Design slider offers the functionality seen in SeekBar from the classic Android View system. The Material Dessign specs include several flavors of this, including depicting (but not documenting) a double-ended slider for specifying a range.

Klass pointed to a feature request from back in February to add such a composable.

However, as others in the thread pointed out, there are a lot of things in the Material Design spec. As Google’s Jim Sproch put it:

…we can’t do everything ourselves, and we certainly can’t do everything all at once. So we’re trying to prioritize the most common widgets and balance time spent writing widgets with time spent creating some of the next generation technologies that will open the doors to whole new classes of opportunities.

And, as Google’s Clara Bayarri pointed out:

Material has a few examples of double ended sliders, but no real specs for it and we’d need to figure out the details for it before implementing.

So, the Google plan seems to be focused on building out popular concepts from the Material Design roster, limiting the scope to those where there are good Material Design specifications for look and behavior. Unfortunately, Material Design runs the gamut from concepts with a lot of detail to concepts that are… just concepts.

The hope is that the community will “step up” and implement a lot of composables. This should become more popular as Compose’s API stabilizes. And, part of what the community can do is tackle some of these under-specified Material Design ideas, while Google eventually works both on improving the specifications and providing an official implementation.

Read the original thread in the kotlinlang Slack workspace. Not a member? Join that Slack workspace here!