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README.markdown

KJSimpleBinding

KJSimpleBinding is a library that makes it easy to use key-value coding (KVC) and key-value observing (KVO) for simple data-binding scenarios in iOS applications.

The library is inspired by Mac OS X's Cocoa bindings mechanisms, but only implements a small subset of that functionality. The data bindings provided by KJSimpleBinding are one-way only: that is, the library handles updating user-interface elements automatically when a model object's property changes, but changes to the UI element will not result in an automatic change to the model object.

Contents

The following targets are provided in an Xcode workspace:

  • KJSimpleBinding - a static library that provides the KJBindingManager class. You can copy this library into your own projects, or just copy the .h and .m file.
  • KJSimpleBindingTests - unit tests for the KJSimpleBinding library. To run the tests, select the KJSimpleBinding scheme in Xcode and then choose the Product > Test menu item.
  • KJSimpleBindingDemo - a simple iOS application that demonstrates use of KJBindingManager.

Basic Usage of KJBindingManager

Typically you will make a binding manager an instance variable or property of a UIViewController subclass. Create a KJBindingManager instance like this:

_bindingManager = [[KJBindingManager alloc] init];

Set up bindings by calling the -bindObserver:keyPath:toSubject:keyPath: method.

[_bindingManager bindObserver:myLabel       keyPath:@"text"
                    toSubject:myModelObject keyPath:@"stringProperty"];

In this example, the value of myLabel.text will be updated whenever myModelObject.stringProperty is set to a new value.

The observer must be KVC-compliant for the specified key path, and the subject must be KVO-compliant for the specified key path.

The observer and subject properties must have compatible types; an attempt to bind a numeric property to a string property or vice versa will cause a runtime exception. (See the section on Value Transformations, below, to see how to work around this.)

Note that -bindObserver:keyPath:toSubject:keyPath: does not retain the observer or subject, so it is up to the caller to guarantee that those object references stay valid.

The binding manager must be enabled before it will start performing the observation/update behavior. It is recommended that it be enabled in the view controller's viewWillAppear: method, and then disabled in the viewWillDisappear: method, so that the overhead of observation applies only while the bound objects are onscreen:

- (void)viewWillAppear:(BOOL)animated {
    [super viewWillAppear:animated];
    [_bindingManager enable];
}

- (void)viewWillDisappear:(BOOL)animated {
    [_bindingManager disable];
    [super viewWillDisappear:animated];
}

Call the -removeAllBindings method to remove the bindings. It is good style to call this before releasing the binding manager, but it will automatically be done if the binding manager is deallocated while it has active bindings.

See the KJSimpleBindingDemo sample code for a complete example.

Value Transformations

You can transform the value received from the source into another representation before setting the observer's value. For example, you may need to convert a numeric value to a string, or may need to convert a boolean value to "On" or "Off".

You do this by specifying a value-transformation block to -bindObserver:keyPath:toSubject:keyPath:withValueTransform:.

For example, if the subject exposes a numeric property, then that value will be an instance of NSNumber. If you try to assign that value to a UILabel's text property, an exception will occur. So, we'll specify a value-transformation block that invokes -stringValue to convert the NSNumber to an NSString:

[_bindingManager bindObserver:myLabel   keyPath:@"text"
                    toSubject:mySubject keyPath:@"numericProperty"
           withValueTransform:^(id value) { return [value stringValue]; }];

ARC Support

The master branch does not support ARC. If you use the KJBindingManager class in an ARC project, you will need to add the -fno-objc-arc compiler option for KJBindingManager.m.

An experimental branch, arc, has the code from the master branch converted to ARC. It has not been extensively tested.

Future Directions

There are no plans for further development of this library. The author now recommends ReactiveCocoa for doing this kind of stuff.

License

Copyright © 2012 Kristopher Johnson

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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