Creating the UI

In Liferay Screens for Android, Screenlet UIs are called Views. Every Screenlet must have at least one View. A View consists of the following components:

  • The View Model interface: Defines the methods the View needs to update the UI.

  • A layout XML file: Defines the UI components that the View presents to the end user.

  • A View class: Renders the UI, handles user interactions, and communicates with the Screenlet class. The View class implements the View Model interface.

  • The Screenlet class: Although technically part of a View, the Screenlet class depends on all the other Screenlet components. You therefore won’t create the Screenlet class until the end of this tutorial.

Creating the Screenlet’s View Model and Layout

The first items to create for a Screenlet’s View are its View Model interface and layout. The following steps explain how:

  1. To define the methods that every Screenlet’s View class must implement, Screens provides the BaseViewModel interface. Your View Model interface should extend BaseViewModel to define any additional methods needed by your Screenlet. This includes any getters and setters for the attributes you want to use.

    For example, Add Bookmark Screenlet needs attributes for each bookmark’s URL and title. Its View Model interface, AddBookmarkViewModel, therefore, defines getters and setters for these attributes:

    public interface AddBookmarkViewModel extends BaseViewModel {
        String getURL();
    
        void setURL(String value);
    
        String getTitle();
    
        void setTitle(String value);
    }
    
  2. Define your Screenlet’s UI by writing a standard Android layout XML file. The layout’s root element should be the fully qualified class name of your Screenlet’s View class. You’ll create that class in the next step, but determine its name now and name the layout’s root element after it. Finally, add any UI elements your View needs.

    For example, Add Bookmark Screenlet’s layout needs two text fields: one for entering a bookmark’s URL and one for entering its title. The layout also needs a button for saving the bookmark. The Screenlet defines this UI in its bookmark_default.xml layout file:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <com.your.package.AddBookmarkView 
        xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
        style="@style/default_screenlet">
    
        <EditText
            android:id="@+id/url"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_marginBottom="15dp"
            android:hint="URL Address"
            android:inputType="textUri"/>
    
        <EditText
            android:id="@+id/title"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_marginBottom="15dp"
            android:hint="Title"/>
    
        <Button
            android:id="@+id/add_button"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:text="Add Bookmark"/>
    
    </com.your.package.AddBookmarkView>
    

Figure 1: Add Bookmark Screenlets layout contains two text fields and a button.

Figure 1: Add Bookmark Screenlet's layout contains two text fields and a button.

Next, you’ll create your Screenlet’s View class.

Creating the Screenlet’s View Class

Your Screenlet needs a View class to support the layout you just created. This class must extend an Android layout class (e.g. LinearLayout, ListView), implement your View Model interface, and implement a separate listener interface to handle user actions. Follow these steps to create this View class:

  1. Create a View class that extends the Android layout class appropriate for your Screenlet’s UI. For example, Add Bookmark Screenlet renders its UI components in a single column, so its View class (AddBookmarkView) extends Android’s LinearLayout. Your View class’s constructors should call the parent layout class’s constructors. For example, AddBookmarkView’s constructors call those of LinearLayout:

    public AddBookmarkView(Context context) {
        super(context);
    }
    
    public AddBookmarkView(Context context, AttributeSet attributes) {
        super(context, attributes);
    }
    
    public AddBookmarkView(Context context, AttributeSet attributes, int defaultStyle) {
        super(context, attributes, defaultStyle);
    }
    
  2. Add instance variables for your View Model’s attributes and BaseScreenlet. For example, Add Bookmark Screenlet needs instance variables for a bookmark’s URL and title. Because all Screenlet classes extend the BaseScreenlet class, a BaseScreenlet variable in your View class ensures that your View always has a reference to the Screenlet. For example, here are AddBookmarkView’s instance variables:

    private EditText urlText;
    private EditText titleText;
    private BaseScreenlet screenlet;
    
  3. Implement your View Model interface. Implement your View Model’s getter and setter methods to get and set the inner value of each component, respectively. For example, here’s AddBookmarkView’s implementation of AddBookmarkViewModel:

    public String getURL() {
        return urlText.getText().toString();
    }
    
    public void setURL(String value) {
        urlText.setText(value);
    }
    
    public String getTitle() {
        return titleText.getText().toString();
    }
    
    public void setTitle(String value) {
        titleText.setText(value);
    }
    
  4. Implement a listener interface to handle user actions in the Screenlet. For example, Add Bookmark Screenlet must detect when the user presses the save button. The AddBookmarkView class enables this by implementing Android’s View.OnClickListener interface, which defines a single method: onClick. The Screenlet’s onClick implementation gets a reference to the Screenlet and calls its performUserAction() method (you’ll create performUserAction() in the Screenlet class shortly):

    public void onClick(View v) {
        AddBookmarkScreenlet screenlet = (AddBookmarkScreenlet) getParent();
    
        screenlet.performUserAction();
    }
    

    You can set the listener to the appropriate UI element by implementing an onFinishInflate() method. This method should also retrieve and assign any other UI elements from your layout. For example, the onFinishInflate() implementation in AddBookmarkView retrieves the URL and title attributes from the layout, and sets them to the urlText and titleText variables, respectively. This method then retrieves the button from the layout and sets this View class as the button’s click listener:

    protected void onFinishInflate() {
        super.onFinishInflate();
    
        urlText = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.url);
        titleText = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.title_bookmark);
    
        Button addButton = (Button) findViewById(R.id.add_button);
        addButton.setOnClickListener(this);
    }
    
  5. Implement the BaseViewModel interface’s methods: showStartOperation, showFinishOperation, showFailedOperation, getScreenlet, and setScreenlet. In the show*Operation methods, you can log what happens in your Screenlet when the server operation starts, finishes successfully, or fails, respectively. In the getScreenlet and setScreenlet methods, you must get and set the BaseScreenlet variable, respectively. This ensures that the View always has a Screenlet reference. For example, Add Bookmark Screenlet implements these methods as follows:

    @Override
    public void showStartOperation(String actionName) {
    
    }
    
    @Override
    public void showFinishOperation(String actionName) {
        LiferayLogger.i("Add bookmark successful");
    }
    
    @Override
    public void showFailedOperation(String actionName, Exception e) {
        LiferayLogger.e("Could not add bookmark", e);
    }
    
    @Override
    public BaseScreenlet getScreenlet() {
        return screenlet;
    }
    
    @Override
    public void setScreenlet(BaseScreenlet screenlet) {
        this.screenlet = screenlet;
    }
    

    Note that although you must implement the show[something]Operation methods, you can leave their implementations empty if you don’t need to take any specific action.

Click here to see the complete example AddBookmarkView class.

Great! Your View class is finished. Now you’re ready to create your Screenlet’s Interactor class.

Creating the Interactor

Defining the Attributes

Creating the Screenlet Class

Packaging Your Screenlets

« Creating Android ScreenletsCreating the Interactor »
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