flutter

A Dart function to get the current date/time in a “seconds since the epoch” format

As a brief note, if you need a Dart function to get the current date/time in a “seconds since the epoch” format, I can confirm that this function works:

/// the current time, in “seconds since the epoch”
static int currentTimeInSeconds() {
    var ms = (new DateTime.now()).millisecondsSinceEpoch;
    return (ms / 1000).round();
}

Flutter, sqflite, and escaping quotes with SQL INSERT and UPDATE statements

When you want to do a SQL INSERT or UPDATE using the Flutter sqflite package, I’ve found that it’s best to use their insert and update methods (as shown below) so you don’t have to worry about escaping single- and double-quotes. This is similar to the reason why Java developers switched from Statement to PreparedStatement way back in the late 1900s.

As an example, given this SQLite database table:

Dart futures are NOT run in a separate thread (they are run in the event loop)

I’ve been working with Flutter and Dart for several weeks now, and I was surprised to read several times that Dart is single-threaded, knowing that it has a concept of a Future (or futures) and async methods. Last night I read this excellent article about Dart’s event loop, which sums up Dart futures very nicely in that statement:

“the code of these Futures will be run as soon as the Event Loop has some time. This will give the user the feeling that things are being processed in parallel (while we now know it is not the case).”

Earlier in the article the author also states:

“An async method is NOT executed in parallel but following the regular sequence of events, handled by the Event Loop, too.”

So, in summary, Dart has a single-threaded event loop, and futures and async methods aren’t handled by a separate thread; they’re handled by the single-threaded event loop whenever it has nothing else to do.

I just wanted to note this here for myself today, but for many more details, please see that article, which also discusses Dart isolates, which are like a more primitive form of Akka actors.

When you have Flutter app performance problems, try Profile Mode

Today I learned that for several reasons, Flutter Debug mode may be significantly slower than Production mode. As just one reason, Debug mode is compiled using JIT while Production mode uses AOT. You can read more about the reasons on the Flutter UI Performance page.

A very important note on that page is that if you’re using a real hardware device (as opposed to an emulator), you can run your code in Profile mode like this:

Solution: When AndroidManifest.xml changes aren’t seen in your Flutter dev/test app

As a brief note, if you’re developing an Android app with Flutter and then find that the changes you made to your AndroidManifest.xml file aren’t being seen in your app, you’ll probably need to uninstall your dev/test app and completely reinstall it with flutter run. I just ran into this problem while working with flutter_local_notifications — which requires changes to AndroidManifest.xml to work properly — and uninstalling and reinstalling the app fixed the problem.

Flutter error: Unhandled Exception: MissingPluginException(No implementation found for method canLaunch on channel plugins...

If you get a Flutter error like this one:

Unhandled Exception: MissingPluginException(No implementation found 
for method canLaunch on channel plugins.flutter.io/url_launcher)

fear not, I get it about once a week. For me it happens every time I add a new plugin to my Flutter project, and then forget to stop my application and restart it. Either that, or you might be working from the command line and forgot to run flutter pub get.

Usually what happens in my workflow is:

The Dart ternary operator syntax (examples) alvin September 21, 2019 - 2:48pm

As a quick note, the Dart ternary operator syntax is the same as the Java ternary operator syntax. The general syntax is:

result = testCondition ? trueValue : falseValue

A few examples helps to demonstrate Dart’s ternary syntax: