There's a pretty good chance you use UICollectionView pretty widely in your apps, right? And pretty much exactly the same chance you’d like some extra performance and enhanced reusability, no doubt? Ch-ch-check out.
Today, we are excited to announce that we’re open sourcing one of Instagram’s core frameworks: IGListKit. This framework powers how we take data from the server and turn it into fast and flexible lists.
To do this, we combined a familiar data-driven UICollectionView architecture with a state-of-the-art diffing algorithm. With this setup, we created a tool that lets engineers with varying levels of experience work quickly and safely on Instagram. Outside of Instagram, IGListKit can help anyone who is building lists to skip tedious and error-prone setup, and utilize one of the fastest diffing algorithms available for iOS…
IGListKit reduces the chance of having “massive view controllers” by dividing responsibilities into multiple layers: the view controller, list adapter, section controller, and the cell.
This design has a positive side effect of building your lists with independent components, meaning you end up with reusable section controllers and cells. The result is a one-way data flow, where each component has no knowledge of its parent…
In Instagram, our data can change a lot. For example, new data arrives from the server each time you like a photo or you receive a direct message in real-time.
UICollectionView can handle all types of updates (deletes, reloads, moves, and inserts), but performing those updates without crashing can be a little tricky.
We built a lightning-fast diffing algorithm based on a paper published back in 1978 by Paul Heckel. This algorithm finds all of the possible updates that UICollectionView needs in linear time (that’s O(n))…
That’s a pretty serious level of win … especially if you’ve got some experience with that “little tricky” task of managing updates elegantly, in the same way that liquid nitrogen is a “little chilly”. So if you’ve got a big collection of data to manage, we wholeheartedly recommend you check that out!
And while you’re looking at libraries to make your UI nicer, check out this most excellent list:
And of course there’s always: