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  1. 515f2ae Publish 0.6.2+7 (#59) by Jacob MacDonald · 7 years ago master
  2. eacce6c Fix strong mode errors (closes #56) (#58) by Ryan Gonzalez · 7 years ago
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Initialize Build Status

This package provides a common interface for initialization annotations on top level methods, classes, and libraries. The interface looks like this:

abstract class Initializer<T> {
  dynamic initialize(T target);

The initialize method will be called once for each annotation. The type T is determined by what was annotated. For libraries it will be a LibraryIdentifier representing that library, for a class it will be the Type representing that class, and for a top level method it will be the Function object representing that method.

If a future is returned from the initialize method, it will wait until the future completes before running the next initializer.



There is one initializer which comes with this package, @initMethod. Annotate any top level function with this and it will be invoked automatically. For example, the program below will print hello:

import 'package:initialize/initialize.dart';

printHello() => print('hello');

main() => run();

Running the initializers

In order to run all the initializers, you need to import package:initialize/initialize.dart and invoke the run method. This should typically be the first thing to happen in your main. That method returns a Future, so you should put the remainder of your program inside the chained then call.

import 'package:initialize/initialize.dart';

main() {
  run().then((_) {
    print('hello world!');


During development a mirror based system is used to find and run the initializers, but for deployment there is a transformer which can replace that with a static list of initializers to be ran.

This will create a new entry point which bootstraps your existing app, this will have the same file name except .dart with be replaced with .initialize.dart. If you supply an html file to entry_points then it will bootstrap the dart script tag on that page and replace the src attribute to with the new bootstrap file.

Below is an example pubspec with the transformer:

name: my_app
  initialize: any
- initialize:
    entry_points: web/index.html

Creating your own initializer

Lets look at a slightly simplified version of the @initMethod class:

class InitMethod implements Initializer<Function> {
  const InitMethod();

  initialize(Function method) => method();

You would now be able to add @InitMethod() in front of any function and it will be automatically invoked when the user calls run().

For classes which are stateless, you can usually just have a single const instance, and that is how the actual InitMethod implementation works. Simply add something like the following:

const initMethod = const InitMethod();

Now when people use the annotation, it just looks like @initMethod without any parenthesis, and its a bit more efficient since there is a single instance. You can also make your class private to force users into using the static instance.

Creating custom transformer plugins

It is possible to create a custom plugin for the initialize transformer which allows you to have full control over what happens to your annotations at compile time. Implement InitializerPlugin class and pass that in to the InitializeTransformer to make it take effect.

You will need to be familiar with the analyzer package in order to write these plugins, but they can be extremely powerful. See the DefaultInitializerPlugin in lib/build/initializer_plugin.dart as a reference. Chances are you may want to extend that class in order to get a lot of the default functionality.