I have published a post or two about the powers of brevity. But we programmers sometimes take it too far.
Can someone tell me what these integers represent?
case upc(Int, Int, Int, Int)
No? Me either.
This is how associated values are pretty much always done in Swift. But thanks to this post by Marco Eidinger via iOS Dev Weekly, I discovered something new and clarifying: it turns out that you can actually label your enum’s associated values too. People just don’t do it for some reason. 🤷🏻♂️
Can you tell me what the integers represent now?
case upc(numberSystem: Int, manufacturer: Int, product: Int, check: Int)
Isn’t that a little easier to understand?
I run into the assumption sometimes where people mistake brevity for efficiency. Brevity shouldn’t mean sacrificing valuable context for slightly fewer words. Thanks to the Marco Eidinger post for pointing this out explicitly. 👍
RIBs lets Uber’s 200+ mobile developers knock out features quickly without stomping all over each other.
Back in 2016, the Uber team had just expanded from three mobile developers several hundred developers. And the app’s design did not scale well to that large of a team. From both a UX/design perspective and a technical perspective, it became difficult to add features. Citing “quite a few examples of, you know, pretty bad UI”, the design team bravely demanded a rewrite.
The design team came in and said, you know, ‘We probity have to redesign the whole application.’… Everybody was super concerned.
Classic engineering understatement
The Uber engineering team resisted the rewrite (which can be nightmare for a large app) for a year, but eventually came around to its necessity. So they defined a few goals for the new design (99.99% reliability, scaling to ~1000 developers, …) and experimented with that they knew – MVC, MVVM, MVP, and VIPER.
But nothing worked. 🤦🏻♂️
The problem is that all these architectures are based around the view, and if you base everything around the view, everybody has to integrate at one point, and that becomes a mess at the scale that we have.
The state tree solution
So they came up with a fresh idea, which was to model the whole app as a state tree. Much to their surprise, it worked really well. 🤷🏻♂️
We haven’t found an application that you couldn’t model with this very nicely.
A special architecture subteam spent six months reworking some “super ugly looking” core use cases and then turned the rest of the team loose on the new architecture.
A RIB is a combination of Router/Interactor/Builder (plus Presenter/View, but I guess “RIBPV” doesn’t sound very good). Each RIB represents a state of the app, which can have sub-states as children.
For example, the root of the tree has two children: logged-out and logged-in. Every RIB under logged-in can safely assume that the user is logged in, and it has an authenticated user token 🔑 to prove it.
RIBs can present themselves hierarchically on top of each other on the screen. Some RIBs just do background support don’t show themselves at all.
Pretty cool, eh?
Okay, I’ll stop here since this is a conceptual overview (aka a teaser) and not a tutorial. ✋ For more details, see the original Uber presentation below or try it yourself.
AirBnB’s iPhone app has a gigantic code base (1.5 million lines of first-party code), a giant mobile team (75 iOS engineers), and a long history (first commit: 2010).
Over time, their app got so big and complex that the project began to take minutes to open (not build) in Xcode. Developers had to use the USB port on the right side of their MacBooks to avoid thermal throttling. 🤦🏻♂️
Given all this sheer complexity, the team there made some clever adjustments to develop, test, and ship their app pretty efficiently. Check it out.