Introduction to Flutter Architecture
An SDK application which uses single codebase to build high performance, high fidelity applications for android, web, iPhone operating system, desktop etc. is called Flutter. The architecture of flutter is comprised of four components namely Flutter engine, foundation library, widgets, design specific widgets where flutter engine is a runtime that can be portable for high quality mobile applications which is based on C++ programming language and the necessary packages for writing a flutter application is present in the foundation library. The user interface component in flutter is widget and design specific widgets are the two sets of widgets based on specific design languages namely material design and Cupertino style.
Architecture of Flutter
The architecture of flutter is comprised of four components.
1. Flutter Engine
It is a runtime that is portable for high quality mobile applications. It is based on C++ programming language. The applications of flutter are developed using flutter core libraries which includes graphics and animation, network input output and file, plugin architecture, accessibility support and a dart runtime. Low level graphics can be rendered using open source Google’s graphics library called Skia.
2. Foundation Library
The building blocks for development of a flutter application makes use of packages and they are contained in the foundation library. Dart is the language used to write these libraries.
The important concept of flutter framework is widget. The interface and view of the application is controlled and affected by a user interface component and that is widget. A description of immutable representation of a part of a user interface is provided by the widget which includes shapes, text, graphics, animations etc. is included in this user interface. The components of react and widgets are alike. Any application is a widget in flutter architecture consisting of many sub widgets. User interfaces that are complex can be created using this feature.
4. Design Specific Widgets
Two types of widgets are present in it that follows the rules of certain design languages. The design specific widgets are material design for android applications, Cupertino style for iPhone operating system applications.
Gestures are widgets in it used for interaction as in how to respond to and how to listen to and this done by using Gesture Detector. The interactions of tapping, dragging and scaling of the child widget is included in the gesture detector which is an invisible widget. Other features for interaction can be included in the widget by using gesture detector.
6. State Management
The state of the flutter widget is maintained by a special widget namely Stateful widget. Whenever there is an internal change, stateful widget is re-rendered automatically. The distance between the old widget user interface and new widget interface is calculated to optimize the re-rendering and the necessary things are only rendered those are changes.
The core concept of flutter architecture are layers which are divided into several categories based on complexity and the arrangement is made in a top down manner. The application’s user interface is the topmost layer and this layer is particular to android platforms and iPhone operating system platforms. All the flutter widgets are present in the second topmost layer. Everything is rendered to the applications through the next layer which is called rendering layer.
All these layers are followed by Gestures which are widgets in flutter architecture used for interaction as in how to respond to and how to listen to and this done by using Gesture Detector, foundation library which are the building blocks for development of a flutter application makes use of packages and they are contained in the foundation library, engine and codes that are specific to the platform.
The below figure illustrates the development of flutter application:
Why do we use Flutter Architecture?
- The process of developing the applications and creating animations happen at a very high speed.
- The highlight of flutter architecture is user interface applications.
- It is the native applications for both iPhone operating system and Android.
- The reloading in flutter architecture is hot, if the save button is pressed for each time.
- The performance of the applications based on flutter architecture is high.
- Multiple languages can be supported on a single platform using dart.
- The applications based on flutter architecture have high productivity.
- Both the layout and backend are written in a single language.
- The flutter architecture consists of widgets that are customizable.
Why is Flutter Architecture Unique?
- ARM Binary code can be compiled using flutter architecture.
- The flutter architecture does not rely on OEM widgets.
- There is no necessity for bridges in flutter architecture.
- There is no mark up language in flutter architecture, there is just dart.
List of Animations Supported by Flutter Architecture
- It supports Tween.
- It supports Hero.
- It supports Silver.
- It supports Transform.
- It supports Fade in Widget.
- It supports Animation builder.
- It supports Animated opacity.
- It supports animations based on physics.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Given below are the advantages and disadvantages of Flutter Architecture:
Below are the advantages:
- User interface coding can be done rapidly by using the widgets that are ready made and can be customized.
- The learning curve is mild and the community of the users using flutter architecture is growing every day.
- The java programmers are targeted by using simple, yet effective language called dart.
- The compilation types supported by flutter architecture are AOT and JIT.
- XML files are not necessary.
- Instantaneous updates can be provided by using hot reload function.
- It provides portability, internationalization and accessibility.
- It provides high performance.
Below are the disadvantages:
- The third-party libraries are not supported by flutter architecture.
- The size of the files is large.
- There are issues with iPhone operating system.
- Dart programming language cannot be easily understood by the beginners in programming, so it becomes a difficult task to find people to perform this job.
This is a guide to Flutter Architecture. Here we discuss why do we use flutter architecture, why it is unique along with list of animations supported, advantages and disadvantages. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –