Subclassing Follow-up: the Solution
In a previous post I outlined some options I had for a timeline view controller that has three different configurations.
In the end I settled not on subclassing but on using a delegate. It still felt weird, though, as if this couldn’t possibly be the best solution.
That weird feeling was the right feeling.
Markos Charatzas, with the delightfully odd @qnoid handle on Twitter (which makes me think of pizza), diagnosed the problem correctly:
the problem is a creational one i.e. https://gist.github.com/qnoid/57c50a629a984209c6b5 … if you are comfortable with Java, related: http://qnoid.com/2010/10/11/Don%27t-underestimate-the-factories---Don…
He’s right — the problem is a creational one.
We Cocoa developers are a pastoral lot — Shire-dwellers — and factories are part of the hellscape of modern industrial languages. Not Cocoa, not Objective-C.
Except that that’s not entirely true. See the docs on Class Factory Methods.
While we’d never create a factory object, we’d add factory methods to a class. Do it all the time.
Here’s what I’d forgotten: class factory methods can be more than a single convenience wrapper for init. Which means I can do this:
+ (VSListViewController *)listViewControllerForAllNotes;
+ (VSListViewController *)listViewControllerForTag:(VSTag *)tag;
+ (VSListViewController *)listViewControllerForArchivedNotes;
This has nice advantages:
- Simple API.
- No need to create another object as delegate or configuration object.
- Self-contained — I need only look in VSListViewController.m to find relevant code.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
Now I just wish I knew why I didn’t think of this right at first. Well, next time I’ll remember it.