View Layer

The View layer lets developers set a Screenlet’s look and feel. Each Screenlet’s liferay:layoutId attribute specifies its View. A View consists of a Screenlet class, view class, and layout XML file. The layout XML file specifies the UI components, while the Screenlet class and view class control the View’s behavior. By inheriting one or more of these View layer components from another View, the different View types allow varying levels of control over a Screenlet’s UI design and behavior.

There are several different View types:

Themed: presents the same structure as the current View, but alters the theme colors and tints of the View’s resources. All existing Views can be themed with different styles. The View’s colors reflect the current value of the Android color palette. If you want to use one View Set with another View Set’s colors, you can use those colors in your app’s theme (e.g. colorPrimary_default, colorPrimary_material, colorPrimary_westeros).

Child: presents the same behavior and UI components as its parent, but can change the UI components’ appearance and position. A Child View specifies visual changes in its own layout XML file; it inherits the parent’s view class and Screenlet class. It can’t add or remove any UI components. The parent must be a Full View. Creating a Child View is ideal when you only need to make visual changes to an existing View. For example, you might create a Child View for Login Screenlet’s Default View to set new positions and sizes for the standard text boxes.

Extended: inherits the parent View’s behavior and appearance, but lets you change and add to both. You can do so by creating a custom view class and a new layout XML file. An Extended View inherits all the parent View’s other classes, including its Screenlet, listeners, and Interactors; if you need to customize any of them, you must create a Full View to do so. An Extended View’s parent must be a Full View. Creating an Extended View is ideal for adding, removing, or changing an existing View’s UI components. For example, you can extend the Login Screenlet’s Default View to present different UI components for the user name and password fields.

Full: provides a complete standalone View. It doesn’t inherit another View’s UI components or behavior. When creating a Full View, you must therefore create its Screenlet class, view class, and layout XML file. You should create a Full View when you don’t need to inherit another View or when you need to alter the core behavior of a Screenlet by customizing its listeners or calling custom Interactors. For example, you could implement a Full View with a new Interactor for calling a different Liferay Portal instance. Default Views are Full Views.

Figure 1: This diagram illustrates the View layer of Liferay Screens for Android.

Figure 1: This diagram illustrates the View layer of Liferay Screens for Android.

Liferay Screens Views are organized into View sets that contain Views for several Screenlets. Liferay’s available View sets are listed here:

  • Default: a mandatory View Set supplied by Liferay. It’s used by a Screenlet if no layout ID is specified or if no View is found with the layout ID. The Default View Set uses a neutral, flat white and blue design with standard UI components. In the Login Screenlet, for example, the Default View uses standard text boxes for the user name and password, but the text boxes are styled with the Default View’s flat white and blue design. You can customize this View Set’s properties, such as its components’ colors, positions, and sizes. See the Default View Set’s styles.xml file for specific values. Since the Default View Set contains Full Views, you can use them to create your own custom Child and Extended Views.

  • Material: the View Set containing Views that conform to Android’s Material design guidelines.

  • Westeros: the View Set containing Views for the Bank of Westeros sample app.

For information on creating or customizing Views, see the tutorial Creating Android Views.

Great! Now you know how Liferay Screens for Android is composed. However, there’s something you should know before moving on: how Screenlets interact with the Android life cycle.

High-Level Architecture

Core Layer

Screenlet Layer

Screenlet Lifecycle

« Screenlet LayerScreenlet Lifecycle »
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