Data Binding / Handler

Data Binding – Part 4

At Google I/O 2015 a number of new Android libraries and tools were announced. One of them was the all new Data Binding library and in this series we’ll take a look at the library and explore some of the powerful features it provides.

The next thing that we’ll turn our attention to is actually changing other aspects of the Views within out layout. To facilitate this we’ll introduce something new in our data model. The Twitter API includes the concept of quoted tweets – where one user quotes someone else’s tweet and these are included in the twitter4j.Status object as an child twitter4j.Status object which represents the tweet being quoted. So we’ll add this to our .data.Status class:

We’ve also added a hasQuotedStatus() method so we can check whether a given status has a quoted status.

We also need to add this to the marshaller:

The important thing is that the quoted tweet is optional – some tweets will contain a quoted tweet, but most will not. Therefore we need a way to show and hide the View components which will be used to display the quoted status. We can do this by changing the visibility of those views depending on whether the .data.Status object being bound to contains a quoted status:

This is pretty simple – we evaluate the hasQuotedStatus() method which we just defined, and use a ternary expression to set the visibility accordingly. The Data Binding library does not implicitly know about the constants defined in the View class, so we need to import it to provide that visibility. This is roughly equivalent to a Java import.

I would point out that I’m not a huge fan of using ternary expressions in this way because they will be much trickier to debug. Personally I would be included to use a custom setter to actually implement the conditional logic (upon which you can set a breakpoint). However, in the interests of showing more details of the expression language I have used ternary expression in the example code.

The next thing we can do is add some event handling – the text we added to the placeholder box for the quoted status says “Tap to load tweet” so we’re obviously going to beed some click handling logic. Once again we can do this through Data Binding .Let’s first define a click handler:

This will be initialised with the .data.Status representing the tweet containing the quoted status – we’ll need this later on. For now we’ll just display a simple Snackbar message.

We need to hook up this click handler in our layout:

We first have to introduce a new variable which is an instance of the ClickHandler we just created, and then we can set this to be invoked when the quoted status container layout is tapped.

As we’ve introduced a new variable, we need to initialise this in the StatusViewHolder:

If we run this we can see that only some tweets display the quoted tweet container, and if we tap on one we get the Snackbar message appear – so our both conditional display logic and our click handling are working:

The important thing that this click handling gives us is that we have a reference to the Data being bound to when we’re processing the click event and this is an important aspect of the MVVM pattern because it gives us to alter the ModelView at this point. We’ll cover why that is useful in the next article.

The source code for this article is available here.

© 2015, Mark Allison. All rights reserved.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Data Binding – Part 4 by Styling Android is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

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