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Autosizing, Add All & iOS Redirects

New features for easier component manipulation
Autosizing, Add All & iOS Redirects

Autosizing, Add All & iOS Redirects

One of the common requests we received over the years is a way to let text "fit" into the allocated space so the font will match almost exactly the width available. In some designs this is very important but it’s also very tricky. Measuring the width of a String is a surprisingly expensive operation on some OS’s. Unfortunately, there is no other way other than trial & error to find the "best size".

Still despite the fact that something is "slow" we might still want to use it for some cases, this isn’t something you should use in a renderer, infinite scroll etc. and we recommend minimizing the usage of this feature as much as possible.

This feature is only applicable to Label and its subclasses (e.g. Button), with components such as TextArea (e.g. SpanButton) the choice between shrinking and line break would require some complex logic.

To activate this feature just use setAutoSizeMode(true) e.g.:

Form hi = new Form("AutoSize", BoxLayout.y());

Label a = new Label("Short Text");
a.setAutoSizeMode(true);
Label b = new Label("Much Longer Text than the previous line...");
b.setAutoSizeMode(true);
Label c = new Label("MUCH MUCH MUCH Much Longer Text than the previous line by a pretty big margin...");
c.setAutoSizeMode(true);

Label a1 = new Button("Short Text");
a1.setAutoSizeMode(true);
Label b1 = new Button("Much Longer Text than the previous line...");
b1.setAutoSizeMode(true);
Label c1 = new Button("MUCH MUCH MUCH Much Longer Text than the previous line by a pretty big margin...");
c1.setAutoSizeMode(true);
hi.addAll(a, b, c, a1, b1, c1);

hi.show();
Automatically sizes the fonts of the buttons/labels based on text and available space
Figure 1. Automatically sizes the fonts of the buttons/labels based on text and available space

Add All

You will notice in the code above we added a new method: addAll.

addAll is a shortcut that allows the code above to be written as:

hi.addAll(a, b, c, a1, b1, c1);

Instead of the more verbose syntax:

hi.add(a).
    add(b).
    add(c).
    add(a1).
    add(b1).
    add(c1);

It’s not a huge difference but at least when building demos/test cases it’s nice.

Redirects on iOS

One of the big decisions we made in Codename One was to not copy java.io wholesale. This has been a double edged sword…​

It has made us far more portable and also provided reliability that no other competing service can match in terms of networking. However, the differences within the network stack between OS’s are second only to the GUI differences. One such painful difference is the fact that iOS requires HTTPS now.

Another such painful difference is redirect behavior. Codename One handles redirect by returning the 30x HTTP response and redirecting seamlessly. However, you can override that behavior and grab the 30x redirect. This also means the behavior of redirect (which is one of those gray areas in HTTP implementations) is consistent.

But this isn’t the case on iOS where it handles redirect internally and we are faced with this after the fact.

In the past we evaluated this and determined that this wouldn’t be an easy fix, I’m not sure if this is something we missed or something that changed in recent iOS versions but it looks like the fix isn’t as hard as we feared as we got this pull request & merged it.

We might still revert this fix if we run into too many problems so with this Friday update check out your networking code and make sure everything is in order, if not we might need to provide a build hint to toggle this.

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Posted by Shai Almog

Shai is the co-founder of Codename One. He's been a professional programmer for over 25 years. During that time he has worked with dozens of companies including Sun Microsystems.
For more follow Shai on Twitter & github.