bridge

Project Url: livefront/bridge
Introduction: An Android library for avoiding TransactionTooLargeException during state saving and restoration
More: Author   ReportBugs   
Tags:

Release

A library for avoiding TransactionTooLargeException during state saving and restoration.

Contents

Motivation

In spite of warnings from the Android development team stating that the state restoration framework should only be used for small amounts of view-related data, many developers have found it very useful to save large amounts of network-related data to avoid unnecessary network requests across configuration changes and when restoring from a background state. There was always a limitation to this, but that limit resulted in a silent failure to save state. In Android Nougat, that was upgraded to a crash via a TransactionTooLargeException.

At Google I/O 2017, the Android development team gave a series of recommendations about app architecture that made clear that---rather than relying on the state restoration framework---the preferred method to save network data involves:

  • saving and restoring data from memory across configuration changes
  • saving and restoring data from disk when restoring from a background state

While new tools are available to achieve these goals, many developers will not be able to quickly update their apps to take advantage of them and will still face the dreaded TransactionTooLargeException. Bridge was created as a way to keep your existing app architecture in place while avoiding crashes related to state saving and restoration by following those two main principles.

Setup

Bridge is intended as a simple wrapper for annotation-based state saving libraries like Icepick, Android-State, and Icekick. For example, if you are already using Icepick, simply replace all calls to Icepick.restoreInstanceState() and Icepick.saveInstanceState() with their Bridge equivalents:

@Override
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    Bridge.restoreInstanceState(this, savedInstanceState);
}

@Override
protected void onSaveInstanceState(Bundle outState) {
    super.onSaveInstanceState(outState);
    Bridge.saveInstanceState(this, outState);
}

The only additional change to make is to initialize Bridge in your Application.onCreate() and specify Icepick as your "saved state handler":

Bridge.initialize(getApplicationContext(), new SavedStateHandler() {
    @Override
    public void saveInstanceState(@NonNull Object target, @NonNull Bundle state) {
        Icepick.saveInstanceState(target, state);
    }

    @Override
    public void restoreInstanceState(@NonNull Object target, @Nullable Bundle state) {
        Icepick.restoreInstanceState(target, state);
    }
});

That's it! You don't have to change any of your other code. If you are using any other Icepick-like library, simply swap out the library referred to in the SavedStateHandler.

Note that if you use the Android-State library as your SavedStateHandler, do not use the global settings by calling StateSaver.setEnabledForAllActivitiesAndSupportFragments(this, true); failure to omit this will defeat the purpose of using Bridge and you will still see TransactionTooLargeException in your application.

Clearing Data

Bridge will clear all data written to disk each time the app is loaded and it detects that there is no saved state the system is trying to restore. It is recommended, however, to also manually clear data for objects that will no longer be needed, such as an Activity the user has finished. For this purpose, the Bridge.clear() method may be used:

    @Override
    public void onDestroy() {
        super.onDestroy();
        Bridge.clear(this);
    }

This method is typically safe to call without any additional logic, as it will only clear data when the current Activity is not undergoing a configuration change. Note that in some unique cases (such as when using a FragmentStatePagerAdapter) the OS will "destroy" a Fragment but retain its saved state Bundle in case it needs to reconstruct that Fragment from scratch later. In these cases calls to Bridge.clear() should be omitted.

In the event that you might like to migrate away from the use of Bridge but ensure that all associated data is cleared, Bridge.clearAll may be called at any time.

Install

Bridge can be installed via gradle:

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

dependencies {
    compile 'com.github.livefront:bridge:v1.1.3'
}

How Does It Work

Bridge uses the SavedStateHandler to load your object's state into the given Bundle, but rather than send that Bundle to the main process of the OS (where it is subject to the TransactionTooLargeException) it saves it to memory and disk in a way that can restored to the same objects later.

There is one main caveat here : in order to ensure that as little of your app's code needs to change as possible, Bridge will read its data from disk on the main thread. This is currently done in a way that may add a small amount of time to your app's startup process. Fortunately, Bridge leverages the compact nature of Bundle to store data as efficiently as possible, and even extremely large amounts of data well in excess of the 1MB limit leading to TransactionTooLargeException should only add something on the order of 100ms to the startup time.

Testing

Typically state saving and restoration may be tested by simply testing device rotation. It is recommended that you also use tools that actually test full state restoration however, such as Process Killer or the "Don't Keep Activities" developer option.

License

Copyright 2017 Livefront

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.
Support Me
Apps
About Me
Google+: Trinea trinea
GitHub: Trinea