Friday, 27 September 2019

Basics of Flutter

Overview:  Flutter is a UI toolkit built by Google used to create native mobile applications (and web sites (Hummingbird)) using a single code base.  Historically, I have tried to keep a single code base in the front end using Angular, KO or ReactJS for my websites and used PhoneGap to build pseudo native apps on Android and iOS.  This allows me to have a single code base and also deploy to Droid and iOS with minor tweaks on PhoneGap.  
Tips:
  • There is a Flutter add-in for Visual Studio Code.
  • Flutter uses "Dart" as it's programming language.
  • Dart is a strongly types object orientated language that compiles into JavaScript for websites, and "natively" for iOS and Droid.
  • Also can compile code for native Windows, Mac, Chromebook.
  • Everything is a Widget (layout widget, elements e.g. image, text, or a gesture widget (listens for actions like a tap)),
  • Add widget together to make a custom widget,
  • Widgets are either stateless e.g. picture or stateful e.g. textbox
  • import the material.dart to provide basic building blocks
The more I see of Flutter, the more I like it.  It is quick to build mobile apps and looks fantastic.

Cons:
  • Pretty new & hard to find skills
  • Slightly bloated on a native app - not noticeable to end users
Basic Environment setup:
  1. Surface Windows 10 Pro
  2. Visual Studio Code
  3. Flutter SDK
  4. Android emulator (I didn't setup iOS)
  5. Android device to load the package to try it out on a phone

Emulator Running using Flutter

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