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flexbox-layout

by google

Flexbox for Android

15.7K Stars 1.6K Forks Last release: 6 months ago (2.0.1) Apache License 2.0 363 Commits 24 Releases

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FlexboxLayout

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FlexboxLayout is a library project which brings the similar capabilities ofCSS Flexible Box Layout Module to Android.

Installation

Add the following dependency to your

build.gradle

file:

dependencies { implementation 'com.google.android:flexbox:2.0.1' }

**Note that the default values for

alignItems

and

alignContent

for

FlexboxLayout

have been changed from

stretch

to

flex\_start

starting from 2.0.0, it may break the existing apps. Please make sure to set

stretch

explicitly if you want to apply the behavior of

stretch

.**

Note that starting from 1.1.0, the library is expected to use with AndroidX. Please migrate to AndroidX if you use 1.1.0 or above.

Please use 1.0.0 if you haven't migrated to AndroidX.

Usage

There are two ways of using Flexbox in your layout.

FlexboxLayout

The first one is

FlexboxLayout

that extends the

ViewGroup

like

LinearLayout

and

RelativeLayout

. You can specify the attributes from a layout XML like: ```xml<com.google.android.flexbox.flexboxlayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto" android:layout_width="match_parent" android:layout_height="match_parent" app:flexwrap="wrap" app:alignitems="stretch" app:aligncontent="stretch">



```

Or from code like: ```java FlexboxLayout flexboxLayout = (FlexboxLayout) findViewById(R.id.flexbox_layout); flexboxLayout.setFlexDirection(FlexDirection.ROW);

View view = flexboxLayout.getChildAt(0); FlexboxLayout.LayoutParams lp = (FlexboxLayout.LayoutParams) view.getLayoutParams(); lp.setOrder(-1); lp.setFlexGrow(2); view.setLayoutParams(lp); ```

FlexboxLayoutManager (within RecyclerView)

The second one is

FlexboxLayoutManager

that can be used within

RecyclerView

.

RecyclerView recyclerView = (RecyclerView) context.findViewById(R.id.recyclerview); FlexboxLayoutManager layoutManager = new FlexboxLayoutManager(context); layoutManager.setFlexDirection(FlexDirection.COLUMN); layoutManager.setJustifyContent(JustifyContent.FLEX\_END); recyclerView.setLayoutManager(layoutManager);

or for the attributes for the children of the

FlexboxLayoutManager

you can do like:

mImageView.setImageDrawable(drawable); ViewGroup.LayoutParams lp = mImageView.getLayoutParams(); if (lp instanceof FlexboxLayoutManager.LayoutParams) { FlexboxLayoutManager.LayoutParams flexboxLp = (FlexboxLayoutManager.LayoutParams) lp; flexboxLp.setFlexGrow(1.0f); flexboxLp.setAlignSelf(AlignSelf.FLEX\_END); }

The advantage of using

FlexboxLayoutManager

is that it recycles the views that go off the screen for reuse for the views that are appearing as the user scrolls instead of inflating every individual view, which consumes much less memory especially when the number of items contained in the Flexbox container is large.

FlexboxLayoutManager in action

Supported attributes/features comparison

Due to some characteristics of

RecyclerView

, some Flexbox attributes are not available/not implemented to the

FlexboxLayoutManager

. Here is a quick overview of the attributes/features comparison between the two implementations.

|Attribute / Feature|FlexboxLayout| FlexboxLayoutManager (RecyclerView)| | ------- |:-----------:|:----------------------------------:| |flexDirection| Check| Check| |flexWrap| Check| Check (except

wrap\_reverse

)| |justifyContent| Check| Check| |alignItems| Check| Check| |alignContent| Check| - | |layout_order| Check| - | |layout_flexGrow| Check| Check| |layout_flexShrink| Check| Check| |layout_alignSelf| Check| Check| |layout_flexBasisPercent| Check| Check| |layout_(min/max)Width| Check| Check| |layout_(min/max)Height| Check| Check| |layout_wrapBefore| Check| Check| |Divider| Check| Check| |View recycling| - | Check| |Scrolling| *1 | Check|

*1 Partially possible by wrapping it with

ScrollView

. But it isn't likely to work with a large set of views inside the layout. Because it doesn't consider view recycling.

Supported attributes

Attributes for the FlexboxLayout:

  • flexDirection*

    • This attribute determines the direction of the main axis (and the cross axis, perpendicular to the main axis). The direction children items are placed inside the Flexbox layout. Possible values are:
    • row (default)
    • row_reverse
    • column
    • column_reverse

Flex Direction explanation

  • flexWrap*

    • This attribute controls whether the flex container is single-line or multi-line, and the direction of the cross axis. Possible values are:
    • nowrap (default)
    • wrap
    • wrap_reverse

Flex Wrap explanation

  • justifyContent*

    • This attribute controls the alignment along the main axis. Possible values are:
    • flex_start (default)
    • flex_end
    • center
    • space_between
    • space_around

Justify Content explanation

  • alignItems*

    • This attribute controls the alignment along the cross axis. Possible values are:
    • flex_start (default)
    • flex_end
    • center
    • baseline
    • stretch

Align Items explanation

  • alignContent*

    • This attribute controls the alignment of the flex lines in the flex container. Possible values are:
    • flex_start (default)
    • flex_end
    • center
    • space_between
    • space_around
    • stretch

Align Content explanation

  • showDividerHorizontal* (one or more of

none | beginning | middle | end

)

dividerDrawableHorizontal (reference to a drawable)

  • Puts horizontal dividers between flex lines (or flex items when flexDirection is set to
    column
    or
    column\_rebase

    ).

showDividerVertical (one or more of

none | beginning | middle | end

)

dividerDrawableVertical (reference to a drawable)

  • Puts vertical dividers between flex items (or flex lines when flexDirection is set to
    column
    or
    column\_rebase

    ).

showDivider (one or more of

none | beginning | middle | end

)

dividerDrawable (reference to a drawable)

  • Shorthand for setting both horizontal and vertical dividers. Note that if used with other attributes (such as
    justifyContent="space\_around"
    or
    alignContent="space\_between"
    ... etc) for putting spaces between flex lines or flex items, you may see unexpected spaces. Please avoid using these at the same time.

Example of putting both vertical and horizontal dividers.

res/drawable/divider.xml
xml <shape xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
    <size android:width="8dp" android:height="12dp"></size>
    <solid android:color="#44A444"></solid>
  </shape>
res/layout/content\_main.xml

```xml <com.google.android.flexbox.flexboxlayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto" android:layout_width="match_parent" android:layout_height="match_parent" app:aligncontent="flex_start" app:alignitems="flex_start" app:flexwrap="wrap" app:showdivider="beginning|middle" app:dividerdrawable="@drawable/divider">



  ![Dividers beginning and middle](/assets/divider-beginning-middle.png)

## Attributes for the children of a FlexboxLayout

* __layout_order__ (integer)
  * This attribute can change how the ordering of the children views are laid out.
  By default, children are displayed and laid out in the same order as they appear in the
  layout XML. If not specified, `1` is set as a default value.

    ![Order explanation](/assets/layout_order.gif)

* __layout_flexGrow__ (float)
  * This attribute determines how much this child will grow if positive free space is
  distributed relative to the rest of other flex items included in the same flex line.
  If a flex item has a positive `layout_flexGrow` value, the item will take up the remaining
  space in the flex line. If multiple flex items in the same flex line have positive `layout_flexGrow`
  values, the remaining free space is distributed depending on the proportion of their declared
  `layout_flexGrow` value. (Similar to the `layout_weight` attribute in the `LinearLayout`)
  If not specified, `0` is set as a default value.

    ![Flex Grow explanation](/assets/layout_flexGrow.gif)

* __layout_flexShrink__ (float)
  * This attribute determines how much this child will shrink if negative free space is
  distributed relative to the rest of other flex items included in the same flex line.
  If not specified, `1` is set as a default value.

    ![Flex Shrink explanation](/assets/layout_flexShrink.gif)

* __layout_alignSelf__
  * This attribute determines the alignment along the cross axis (perpendicular to the
  main axis). The alignment in the same direction can be determined by the
  `alignItems` in the parent, but if this is set to other than
  `auto`, the cross axis alignment is overridden for this child. Possible values are:
    * auto (default)
    * flex_start
    * flex_end
    * center
    * baseline
    * stretch

    ![Align Self explanation](/assets/layout_alignSelf.gif)

* __layout_flexBasisPercent__ (fraction)
  * The initial flex item length in a fraction format relative to its parent.
  The initial main size of this child view is trying to be expanded as the specified
  fraction against the parent main size.
  If this value is set, the length specified from `layout_width`
  (or `layout_height`) is overridden by the calculated value from this attribute.
  This attribute is only effective when the parent's length is definite (MeasureSpec mode is
  `MeasureSpec.EXACTLY`). The default value is `-1`, which means not set.

    ![Flex basis percent explanation](/assets/layout_flexBasisPercent.gif)

* __layout_minWidth__ / __layout_minHeight__ (dimension)
  * These attributes impose minimum size constraints for the children of FlexboxLayout.
  A child view won't shrink less than the value of these attributes (varies based on the
  `flexDirection` attribute as to which attribute imposes the size constraint along the
  main axis) regardless of the `layout_flexShrink` attribute.

    ![Min width explanation](/assets/layout_minWidth.gif)

* __layout_maxWidth__ / __layout_maxHeight__ (dimension)
  * These attributes impose maximum size constraints for the children of FlexboxLayout.
  A child view won't be expanded more than the value of these attributes (varies based on the
  `flexDirection` attribute as to which attribute imposes the size constraint along the
  main axis) regardless of the `layout_flexGrow` attribute.

    ![Max width explanation](/assets/layout_maxWidth.gif)

* __layout_wrapBefore__ (boolean)
  * This attribute forces a flex line wrapping, the default value is `false`.
  i.e. if this is set to `true` for a
  flex item, the item will become the first item of a flex line. (A wrapping happens
  regardless of the flex items being processed in the previous flex line)
  This attribute is ignored if the `flex_wrap` attribute is set to `nowrap`.
  The equivalent attribute isn't defined in the original CSS Flexible Box Module
  specification, but having this attribute is useful for Android developers. For example, to flatten
  the layouts when building a grid-like layout or for a situation where developers want
  to put a new flex line to make a semantic difference from the previous one, etc.

    ![Wrap before explanation](/assets/layout_wrapBefore.gif)

# Others

## Known differences from the original CSS specification
This library tries to achieve the same capabilities of the original
[Flexible Box specification](https://www.w3.org/TR/css-flexbox-1) as much as possible,
but due to some reasons such as the way specifying attributes can't be the same between
CSS and Android XML, there are some known differences from the original specification.

(1) There is no [flex-flow](https://www.w3.org/TR/css-flexbox-1/#flex-flow-property)
equivalent attribute
  * Because `flex-flow` is a shorthand for setting the `flex-direction` and `flex-wrap` properties,
  specifying two attributes from a single attribute is not practical in Android.

(2) There is no [flex](https://www.w3.org/TR/css-flexbox-1/#flex-property) equivalent attribute
  * Likewise `flex` is a shorthand for setting the `flex-grow`, `flex-shrink` and `flex-basis`,
  specifying those attributes from a single attribute is not practical.

(3) `layout_flexBasisPercent` is introduced instead of
  [flexBasis](https://www.w3.org/TR/css-flexbox-1/#flex-basis-property)
  * Both `layout_flexBasisPercent` in this library and `flex-basis` property in the CSS are used to
  determine the initial length of an individual flex item. The `flex-basis` property accepts width
  values such as `1em`, `10px`, and `content` as strings as well as percentage values such as
  `10%` and `30%`. `layout_flexBasisPercent` only accepts percentage values.
  However, specifying initial fixed width values can be done by specifying width (or height) values in
  layout_width (or layout_height, varies depending on the `flexDirection`). Also, the same
  effect can be done by specifying "wrap_content" in layout_width (or layout_height) if
  developers want to achieve the same effect as 'content'. Thus, `layout_flexBasisPercent` only
  accepts percentage values, which can't be done through layout_width (or layout_height) for
  simplicity.

(4) `layout_wrapBefore` is introduced.
  * The equivalent attribute doesn't exist in the CSS Flexible Box Module specification,
  but as explained above, Android developers will benefit by having this attribute for having
  more control over when a wrapping happens.

(5) Default values for `alignItems` and `alignContent` are set to `flex_start` instead of `stretch`.
  * Setting `stretch` for the `alignItems` is expensive because the children of `FlexboxLayout` are measured more than twice. The difference is more obvious when the layout hierarchy is deeply nested.

## Xamarin Binding
Xamarin binding is now available on [NuGet](https://www.nuget.org/packages/FlexboxLayoutXamarinBindingAndroid/) thanks to [@btripp](https://github.com/btripp)

## Demo apps
### Flexbox Playground demo app
The `demo-playground` module works as a playground demo app for trying various values for the supported attributes.
You can install it by

./gradlew demo-playground:installDebug ```

Cat gallery demo app

The

demo-cat-gallery
module showcases the usage of the FlexboxLayoutManager inside the RecyclerView that handles various sizes of views aligned nicely regardless of the device width like the Google Photo app without loading all the images on the memory. Thus compared to using the {@link FlexboxLayout}, it's much less likely to abuse the memory, which sometimes leads to the OutOfMemoryError.
./gradlew demo-cat-gallery:installDebug

How to make contributions

Please read and follow the steps in CONTRIBUTING.md

License

Please see LICENSE

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