A fast annotation processor to make your objects `Parcelable` without writing any of the boilerplate.
Java

README.md

Auto-Parcel

A fast annotation processor to make your objects Parcelable without writing any of the boilerplate.

The project is inspired in auto-value-parcel extension and some of the code and utils are borrowed from it.

Background

Parcelable classes are great to put your objects into a Bundle and/or send them across an Intent. But there is a non-negligible boilerplate one has to write to make a class parcelable and, let's be clear, nobody should ever need to write this code. It is uninteresting code and highly prone to error.

There are a number of libraries out there to make your life simpler when using parcelables. Some create wrappers around your object to parcel/unparcel, some others generate code. This is yet-another-parcelable-library that uses Android Studio annotation processors to generate your parcelable classes at compile time.

Installation

Repository

Add the following repo to your app/build.gradle

repositories {
    maven { url "https://jitpack.io" }
}

Dependencies

Add the following to gradle dependencies:

dependencies {

    //... other dependencies here

    provided 'com.github.aitorvs.auto-parcel:library:0.2.0'
    apt 'com.github.aitorvs.auto-parcel:compiler:0.2.0'
}

The annotation processor requires android-apt plugin.

Usage

The use of the library is very simple. Just create an abstract Parcelable-to-be class, annotate it with @AutoParcel and it will do the rest.

import com.aitorvs.autoparcel.AutoParcel;

@AutoParcel
public abstract class Person {
    @Nullable
    public String name;
    public int age;

    public static Person create(@NonNull String name, int age) {
        return new AutoParcel_Person(name, age);
    }
}

AutoParcel will generate a parcelable class that extends from the abstract class you created. The generated class name follows the convention AutoParcel_<YouClassName>.

You will need to add a convenience builder method (e.g. creator) that calls the generated class constructor and that is all there is to it.

You are ready now to e.g. send an instance of Person across an intent

intent.putExtra(EXTRA_PERSON, (Parcelable) person);

To avoid the need to cast Person to (Parcelable) just add implements Parcelable to your abstract class definition. AutoParcel will detect it and do the rest anyway.

@AutoParcel
public abstract class Person implements Parcelable {...}

It is important to note that AutoParcel errors out when private fields are found, because they are not accessible from the generated class. Use either protected or public instead.

Parcel Adapters

AutoParcel supports all types supported by Parcel with the exception of Map -- why? read here.

At times you will also need to parcel more complex types. For that, use ParcelAdapters. Let's see an example for a Date parcel adapter.

import android.os.Parcel;
import com.aitorvs.autoparcel.ParcelTypeAdapter;
import java.util.Date;

class DateTypeAdapter implements ParcelTypeAdapter<Date> {
    @Override
    public Date fromParcel(Parcel in) {
        return new Date(in.readLong());
    }

    @Override
    public void toParcel(Date value, Parcel dest) {
        dest.writeLong(value.getTime());
    }
}

Now you can use your adapter into your classes.

import com.aitorvs.autoparcel.AutoParcel;

@AutoParcel
public abstract class Person {
    @Nullable
    public String name;
    @ParcelAdapter(DateTypeAdapter.class)
    public Date birthday;
    public int age;

    public static Person create(@NonNull String name, @NonNull Date birthday, int age) {
        return new AutoParcel_Person(name, birthday, age);
    }
}

Parcel adapters are optional and the require the ParcelTypeAdapter runtime component. To use them just add to your gradle the following dependency.

compile 'com.github.aitorvs.auto-parcel:adapter:0.2.0'

Version-able Parcels

Use case: your app issues a notification and within the pending intent, it parcels some model object. Overtime, your model changes, adding some new fields, so you update the app. A user of your app has a notification yet to be read but, before that happens, the app gets updated. Now when your user opens the notification, the new version of the app will try to render from the Parcel a different version of the of the object model...not good!

Using @ParcelVersion field annotation in combination with the version optional parameter in @AutoParcel class annotation you can render data from Parcels with different versions.

Let's say we have an object model Person.

@AutoParcel
public abstract class Person implements Parcelable {
    @NonNull
    public String name;

    @ParcelAdapter(DateTypeAdapter.class)
    public Date birthday;

    public int age;

    public static Person create(@NonNull String name, @NonNull Date birthday, int age) {
        return new AutoParcel_Person(name, birthday, age);
    }
}

At some point in our development, we decided that Person deserves also a field lastName, so we update the model, add the field and release a new version of the app. But we want our app to also render correctly previous object models (without the lastName)

Easy, just update the model like this:

@AutoParcel(version = 1)
public abstract class Person implements Parcelable {
    @NonNull
    public String name;

    @ParcelVersion(from = 1)
    @Nullable
    public String lastName;

    @ParcelAdapter(DateTypeAdapter.class)
    public Date birthday;

    public int age;

    public static Person create(@NonNull String name, String lastName, @NonNull Date birthday, int age) {
        return new AutoParcel_Person(name, lastName, birthday, age);
    }
}

What we've done:

  • Increase the version of our Parcelable object to 1 -- default version is 0
  • Annotate the new field with @ParcelVersion(from = 1) that indicates the field was added in version 1

The library will take care of the rest.

Pitfalls

  • Bootstrap is somehow annoying because when typing your first AutoParcel_Foo it will turn red in the IDE until the first build is performed.
  • Order of the constructor AutoParcel_Foo parameters is important and according to their appearance in the source file.

License

Copyright 2016 Aitor Viana Sánchez.

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

   http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.