Tweaks

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facebook / Tweaks

An easy way to fine-tune, and adjust parameters for iOS apps in development.

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Tweaks

Tweaks is an easy way to fine-tune an iOS app. Build Status

Tweaks

Why

The best way to improve an app is to use it every day. Even when ideas can be tested out in advance — for example, with Origami — it can still take some time with the app to see how it works in practice.

Occasionally, it's perfect the first try. Sometimes, the idea doesn't work at all. But often, it just needs a few minor adjustments. That last case is where Tweaks fits in. Tweaks makes those small adjustments easy: with no code changes and no computer, you can try out different options and decide which works best.

Some of the most useful parameters to adjust are animation timings, velocity thresholds, colors, and physics constants. At Facebook, we also use tweaks to temporarily disable new features during development. That way, the designers and engineers involved can enable it on just their devices, without getting in the way of others testing the app.

Tweaks was invaluable for building Paper. We hope it can be useful for your app too.

Usage

Each configurable value is called a tweak. There's a few ways to set them up, found in

FBTweakInline.h
.

Value

The simplest way to create a tweak is to replace a constant with

FBTweakValue
:
CGFloat animationDuration = FBTweakValue(@"Category", @"Group", @"Duration", 0.5);

The first three parameters are where the tweak is listed and what it's called, and the last one is the default value. You can pass in many types of values for the default: booleans, numbers, or strings.

if (FBTweakValue(@"Category", @"Feature", @"Enabled", YES)) {
  label.text = FBTweakValue(@"Category", @"Group", @"Text", @"Tweaks example.");
}

In release builds, the

FBTweakValue
macro expands to just the default value, so there's no performance impact. In debug builds, though, it fetches the latest value of the tweak.

You can also pass a fifth parameter, which will constrain the possible values for a tweak. The fifth parameter can be an array, dictionary, or an

FBTweakNumericRange
. If it's a dictionary, the values should be strings to show in the list of choices. Arrays will show the values'
description
as choices. (Note that you have to surround array and dictionary literals with an extra set of parentheses.)
self.initialMode = FBTweakValue(@"Header", @"Initial", @"Mode", @(FBSimpleMode), (@{ @(FBSimpleMode) : @"Simple", @(FBAdvancedMode) : @"Advanced" }));

For numeric tweaks (

NSInteger
,
CGFloat
, and others), you can instead pass two parameters, which constrain the value to a
FBTweakNumericRange
:
self.red = FBTweakValue(@"Header", @"Colors", @"Red", 0.5, 0.0, 1.0);

Bind

To make tweaks update live, you can use

FBTweakBind
:
FBTweakBind(self.headerView, alpha, @"Main Screen", @"Header", @"Alpha", 0.85);

The first parameter is the object to bind to, and the second is the property. Whenever the tweak is changed,

self.headerView
's
alpha
property is updated to match. A few more examples:
FBTweakBind(audioPlayer, volume, @"Player", @"Audio", @"Volume", 0.9);
FBTweakBind(webView.scrollView, scrollEnabled, @"Browser", @"Scrolling", @"Enabled", YES);

As with

FBTweakValue
, in release builds
FBTweakBind
expands to just setting the property to the default value.

Action

Actions let you run a (global) block when a tweak is selected. To make one, use

FBTweakAction
:
FBTweakAction(@"Player", @"Audio", @"Volume", ^{
  NSLog(@"Action selected.");
});

The first three parameters are the standard tweak listing information, and the last is a block to call. You can use

FBTweakAction
in any scope, but the block must be global: it can't depend on any local or instance variables (it wouldn't know which object to adjust).

Actions are useful for things like launching debug UIs, checking for updates, or (if you make one that intentionally crashes) testing crash reporting.

Tweaks UI

To configure your tweaks, you need a way to show the configuration UI. There's two options for that:

  • Traditionally, tweaks is activated by shaking your phone. To use that, just replace your root
    UIWindow
    with a
    FBTweakShakeWindow
    . If you're using Storyboards, you can override
    -window
    on your app delegate:
- (UIWindow *)window
{
  if (!_window) {
    _window = [[FBTweakShakeWindow alloc] initWithFrame:[[UIScreen mainScreen] bounds]];
  }

return _window; }

  • You can present a
    FBTweakViewController
    from anywhere in your app. Be sure to restrict the activation UI to debug builds!
 - (void)showTweaks {
    FBTweakViewController *tweakVC = [[FBTweakViewController alloc] initWithStore:[FBTweakStore sharedInstance]];
    tweakVC.tweaksDelegate = self;
    // Assuming this is in the app delegate
    [self.window.rootViewController presentViewController:tweakVC animated:YES completion:nil];
}

  • (void)tweakViewControllerPressedDone:(FBTweakViewController *)tweakViewController { [tweakViewController dismissViewControllerAnimated:YES completion:NULL]; }

Tweaks UI Dismiss Notification

Alternatively, when the Tweaks UI is dismissed, you can register your notification center to listen to

FBTweakShakeViewControllerDidDismissNotification
, which can be used after importing
FBTweakViewController.h

Advanced

You can also access the objects that make up the macros mentioned above. That can be useful for more complex scenarios, like adjusting members of a C structure.

For example, to manually create a tweak:

FBTweak *tweak = [[FBTweak alloc] initWithIdentifier:@"com.tweaks.example.advanced"];
tweak.name = @"Advanced Settings";
tweak.defaultValue = @NO;

FBTweakStore *store = [FBTweakStore sharedInstance]; FBTweakCategory *category = [[FBTweakCategory alloc] initWithName:@"Settings"]; [store addTweakCategory:category]; FBTweakCollection *collection = [[FBTweakCollection alloc] initWithName:@"Enable"]; [category addTweakCollection:collection]; [collection addTweak:tweak];

[tweak addObserver:self];

Then, you can watch for when the tweak changes:

- (void)tweakDidChange:(FBTweak *)tweak
{
  self.advancedSettingsEnabled = ![tweak.currentValue boolValue];
}

Also you have de ability to implement the optional method

tweakWillChange:
in order to handle the previous value of your tweak:
- (void)tweakWillChange:(FBTweak *)tweak
{
  NSLog(@"%@", tweak.currentValue); // Here current value is the previous value of the tweak
}

To override when tweaks are enabled, you can define the

FB_TWEAK_ENABLED
macro. It's suggested to avoid including them when submitting to the App Store.

Using from a Swift Project

Khan Academy's project SwiftTweaks is designed for Swift, and might be a better choice for Swift projects.

Tweaks can be used from Swift projects. In this case the handy shortcut macros defined in

FBTweakInline.h
are not available, meaning tweaks need to be created programmatically, similar to this example:
let tweak = FBTweak(identifier: "com.tweaks.example.advanced")
tweak.name = "Advanced settings"
tweak.defaultValue = false

let collection = FBTweakCollection(name: "Enable"); collection.addTweak(tweak)

let category = FBTweakCategory(name: "Settings") category.addTweakCollection(collection);

let store = FBTweakStore.sharedInstance() store.addTweakCategory(category)

tweak.addObserver(self)

After setting up a tweak you can watch for when it changes:

func tweakDidChange(tweak: FBTweak!)
{
    self.advancedSettingsEnabled = tweak.currentValue as Bool;
}

How it works

In debug builds, the tweak macros use

__attribute__((section))
to statically store data about each tweak in the
__FBTweak
section of the mach-o. Tweaks loads that data at startup and loads the latest values from
NSUserDefaults
.

In release builds, the macros just expand to the default value. Nothing extra is included in the binary.

Installation

There are two options:

  1. Tweaks is available as
    Tweaks
    in CocoaPods. (If you have issues with custom Xcode configurations, this comment might help.)
  2. Manually add the files from
    FBTweak/
    into your Xcode project. Slightly simpler, but updates are also manual.

Tweaks requires iOS 6 or later.

There's also a demo project available. To use it, make sure to open

FBTweakExample.xcworkspace
(rather than the
.xcodeproj
) so the dependencies build correctly.

Contributing

See the CONTRIBUTING file for how to help out.

License

Tweaks is BSD-licensed. We also provide an additional patent grant.

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