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Simple Stack

Why do I want this?

To make navigation to another screen as simple as backstack.goTo(SomeScreen()), and going back as simple as backstack.goBack().

No more FragmentTransactions in random places. Predictable and customizable navigation in a single location.

What is Simple Stack?

Simple Stack is a backstack library (or technically, a navigation framework) that allows you to represent your navigation state in a list of immutable, parcelable data classes ("keys").

This allows preserving your navigation history across configuration changes and process death - this is handled automatically.

Each screen can be associated with a scope, or a shared scope - to easily share data between screens.

This simplifies navigation and state management within an Activity using fragments, views, or whatever else.

Using Simple Stack

In order to use Simple Stack, you need to add jitpack to your project root build.gradle.kts (or build.gradle):

// build.gradle.kts
allprojects {
    repositories {
        // ...
        maven { setUrl("") }
    // ...


// build.gradle
allprojects {
    repositories {
        // ...
        maven { url "" }
    // ...

and then, add the dependency to your module's build.gradle.kts (or build.gradle):

// build.gradle.kts


// build.gradle
implementation 'com.github.Zhuinden:simple-stack:2.5.0'
implementation 'com.github.Zhuinden:simple-stack-extensions:2.1.0'

How do I use it?

You can check out the tutorials for simple examples.


With Fragments, the Activity code typically looks like this:

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity(), SimpleStateChanger.NavigationHandler {
    private lateinit var fragmentStateChanger: DefaultFragmentStateChanger

    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {

        fragmentStateChanger = DefaultFragmentStateChanger(supportFragmentManager,

            .install(this, findViewById(, History.of(FirstScreen()))

    override fun onBackPressed() {
        if (!Navigator.onBackPressed(this)) {

    override fun onNavigationEvent(stateChange: StateChange) {

Where FirstScreen looks like this:

@Parcelize // typically data class
class FirstScreen: DefaultFragmentKey() {
    override fun instantiateFragment(): Fragment = FirstFragment()

And FirstFragment looks like this:

class FirstFragment: KeyedFragment(R.layout.first_fragment) {
    override fun onViewCreated(view: View, savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        super.onViewCreated(view, savedInstanceState)

        val key: FirstScreen = getKey() // params

After which going to the second screen is as simple as backstack.goTo(SecondScreen()).


To simplify sharing data/state between screens, a screen key can implement ScopeKey.

The scope is described with a String tag, and services bound to that scope can be configured via ScopedServices.

Services bound to a ServiceBinder get lifecycle callbacks: ScopedServices.Registered, ScopedServices.Activated, or Bundleable.

This lets you easily share a class between screens, while still letting you handle Android's lifecycles seamlessly.

Using the simple-stack-extensions, this can be simplified using the DefaultServiceProvider.

It looks like this:

    /* ... */

And then:

@Parcelize // typically data class
class FirstScreen: DefaultFragmentKey(), DefaultServiceProvider.HasServices {
    override fun instantiateFragment(): Fragment = FirstFragment()

    override fun getScopeTag() =

    override fun bindServices(serviceBinder: ServiceBinder) {
        with(serviceBinder) {

class FirstScopedModel : Bundleable, ScopedServices.Registered { // interfaces are optional

class FirstFragment : KeyedFragment(R.layout.first_fragment) {
    private val firstModel by lazy { lookup<FirstScopedModel>() }


class SecondFragment : KeyedFragment(R.layout.second_fragment) {
    private val firstModel by lazy { lookup<FirstScopedModel>() } // <- available if FirstScreen is in the backstack


And FirstScopedModel is shared between two screens.

Any additional shared scopes on top of screen scopes can be defined using ScopeKey.Child.

What are additional benefits?

Making your navigation state explicit means you're in control of your application.

Instead of hacking around with the right fragment transaction tags, or calling NEW_TASK | CLEAR_TASK and making the screen flicker - you can just say backstack.setHistory(History.of(SomeScreen(), OtherScreen()) and that is now your active navigation history.

Using Backstack to navigate allows you to move navigation responsibilities out of your view layer. No need to run FragmentTransactions directly in a click listener each time you want to move to a different screen. No need to mess around with LiveData<Event<T>> or SingleLiveData to get your "view" to decide what state your app should be in either.

class FirstScopedModel(private val backstack: Backstack) {
    fun doSomething() {
        // ...

Another additional benefit is that your navigation history can be unit tested.

assertThat(backstack.getHistory()).containsExactly(SomeScreen(), OtherScreen())

And most importantly, navigation (swapping screens) happens in one place, and you are in direct control of what happens in such a scenario. By writing a StateChanger, you can set up "how to display my current navigation state" in any way you want. No more ((MainActivity)getActivity()).setTitleText("blah"); inside Fragment's onStart().

Write once, works in all cases.

override fun onNavigationEvent(stateChange: StateChange) { // using SimpleStateChanger
    val newScreen = stateChange.topNewKey<MyScreen>() // use your new navigation state


    ... // set up fragments, set up views, whatever you want

Whether you navigate forward or backward, or you rotate the screen, or you come back after low memory condition - it's irrelevant. The StateChanger will always handle the scenario in a predictable way.

More information

For more information, check the wiki page.


Copyright 2017-2020 Gabor Varadi

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.


[ACTIVE] Simple Stack, a backstack library / navigation framework for simpler navigation and state management (for fragments, views, or whatevers).





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