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README.md

observe

Support for marking objects as observable, and getting notifications when those objects are mutated.

Warning: This library is experimental, and APIs are subject to change.

This library is used to observe changes to Observable types. It also has helpers to make implementing and using Observable objects easy.

You can provide an observable object in two ways. The simplest way is to use dirty checking to discover changes automatically:

import 'package:observe/observe.dart';
import 'package:observe/mirrors_used.dart'; // for smaller code

class Monster extends Unit with Observable {
  @observable int health = 100;

  void damage(int amount) {
    print('$this takes $amount damage!');
    health -= amount;
  }

  toString() => 'Monster with $health hit points';
}

main() {
  var obj = new Monster();
  obj.changes.listen((records) {
    print('Changes to $obj were: $records');
  });
  // No changes are delivered until we check for them
  obj.damage(10);
  obj.damage(20);
  print('dirty checking!');
  Observable.dirtyCheck();
  print('done!');
}

A more sophisticated approach is to implement the change notification manually. This avoids the potentially expensive Observable.dirtyCheck operation, but requires more work in the object:

import 'package:observe/observe.dart';
import 'package:observe/mirrors_used.dart'; // for smaller code

class Monster extends Unit with ChangeNotifier {
  int _health = 100;
  @reflectable get health => _health;
  @reflectable set health(val) {
    _health = notifyPropertyChange(#health, _health, val);
  }

  void damage(int amount) {
    print('$this takes $amount damage!');
    health -= amount;
  }

  toString() => 'Monster with $health hit points';
}

main() {
  var obj = new Monster();
  obj.changes.listen((records) {
    print('Changes to $obj were: $records');
  });
  // Schedules asynchronous delivery of these changes
  obj.damage(10);
  obj.damage(20);
  print('done!');
}

Note: by default this package uses mirrors to access getters and setters marked with @reflectable. Dart2js disables tree-shaking if there are any uses of mirrors, unless you declare how mirrors are used (via the MirrorsUsed annotation).

As of version 0.10.0, this package doesn't declare @MirrorsUsed. This is because we intend to use mirrors for development time, but assume that frameworks and apps that use this pacakge will either generate code that replaces the use of mirrors, or add the @MirrorsUsed declaration themselves. For convenience, you can import package:observe/mirrors_used.dart as shown on the first example above. That will add a @MirrorsUsed annotation that preserves properties and classes labeled with @reflectable and properties labeled with @observable.

If you are using the package:observe/mirrors_used.dart import, you can also make use of @reflectable on your own classes and dart2js will preserve all of its members for reflection.

Tools exist to convert the first form into the second form automatically, to get the best of both worlds.