Simple classes to make Apple's Core Data usable for normal human beings
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README.md

README.md

CoreDataStack

Simple classes to make Apple's Core Data usable for normal human beings...

...WITHOUT CHANGING the way CoreData works (i.e. this is not a "framework" - it's just a very thin wrapper to do the code that Xcode "New Project" template could have done in the first place.

Core Data is very easy to use - but Apple's source examples make it harder than it should be.

We fix: Xcode's bad examples / bad practices

  1. Xcode's default template for "a CoreData enabled app" puts 300 lines of INCORRECT, UNNECESSARY code into your Project.
  2. Xcode puts it all into AppDelegate - the worst possible place for this code.
  3. Apple's sample code forces you to have ONLY ONE CORE DATA MODEL open at a time. This is wrong, and throws away one of CoreData's awesome features: most CoreData projects would be many times easier to write and debug if they used multiple models. They would also run faster. But if you start with Apple's template, you cannot do this. CoreData was not designed to be used that way!

So, this simple library turns CoreData from:

 "300 lines of dense code in your AppDelegate class"

...into:

 "3 lines of simple, easy code you can re-use throughout your project"

License is:

Do whatever you want with this code. Attribution is appreciated - @t_machine_org on twitter - but not required.

Installation A: by drag/drop into your project

  1. Open the "source" folder
  2. Drag/drop all the files into your project

Installation B: by creating a static library

Not supported yet. Use "Installation A" instead (see above) If you really want it, add an item to the Issue Tracker on Github, and I'll make a library version.

Usage

To use CoreData, you ALWAYS need to have created a CoreData Model first. You also ALWAYS need to have defined a save location for the database.

Apple makes this difficult, but we make it easy again. All you need to know is the NAME of your CoreData Model (the graphical doc that lets you edit and add entities) - whatever name it appears in on the left hand side of Xcode. e.g. if it says "CoreDataModel.xcdatamodeld" then the "NAME" is "CoreDataModel"

Given the name, you do:

 CoreDataStack* stack = [CoreDataStack coreDataStackWithModelName:@"My_Model_Name"]];

Usage - Modern, improved versions of Apple methods

Most of the "common" actions you need to do with CoreData have strange method names, or exist on a different class from the one you were expecting.

Many of them take NSString arguments where a Class would be easier and more appropriate (NB: XCode autocomplete does NOT support Apple's strings - it only supports classes!)

So ... this also includes a bunch of methods that fix those two problems. Using them is entirely optional - they merely reduce the boilerplate code in your project, and make it typesafe.

e.g.:

  • insertInstanceOfClass: (creates a new NSManagedObject of the specified class)
  • fetchEntities:matchingPredicate: (gets all entities of the specified class that match a predicate)
  • countEntities:matchingPredicate: (counts the number of possible results)
  • storeContainsAtLeastOneEntityOfClass: (is this the first run of your app? Did the user wipe the CoreData store? Check this when starting your app...)
  • ...etc

Usage - Fallback to Apple basics

Then, everytime CoreData needs a "ManagedObjectContext" instance, you just pass it:

 stack.managedObjectContext

e.g.:

 NSEntityDescription* entityDesc = [NSEntityDescription entityForName:@"MyFirstEntity" inManagedObjectContext:stack.managedObjectContext];

...or, better, because the line above is BAD PRACTICE (even though Apple uses it in their source examples), use:

 NSEntityDescription* entityDesc = [stack entityForClass:[MyFirstEntity class]];

NB: if you use Apple's version, which takes an NSString, then refactoring in Xcode will NOT work! and any small typo will NOT be detected by the compiler - your app will instead crash at runtime. So ... don't pass in an NSString, pass in the class you want instantiated.

Easy!