Flare Kit: Learning Interface Builder’s Plugin Model

July 09 2008

Well I’ve been spending the past few days furiously trying to learn something new. Took me a long time to decide on ‘what’, but I’ve settled on the following idea:

Why did I pick this? It allows me to learn something new, yet not have to stray out of my own code. Less headache! Play in my sandbox! Yay!

Fortunately, IB3 in Leopard makes this really easy, once you have a good grasp of Cocoa coding. I went back to my flagship demo app, the Flare browser, and chose the UI elements I wanted to rip out and make reusable:

A bit of mucking around later, and a bit of learning about NSCoder (for archiving class values to a nib), I had a working version! I went ahead and refactored everything to make it clearer too. I dub thee Flare Kit!

So now, with my palette, I can create the following UI without writing a single line of code! This will make a lot of things easier in the future, and I can continue to work on my palette and make its classes rock solid and usable anywhere. Who knows, maybe someday there’ll be a public or source release 🤡 Thanks go to Len Case as usual, for helping me out and talking me through ideas.

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