Byte 3 – Kotlin delegations & analytics

Some time ago, a tweet caught my attention in which someone said they created an Android app with no “Base” activity/fragment class. Looking at my apps, I thought that was impossible to do because of the duplicate code you would have. It would have been a nightmare even only for the analytics functions that I use throughout the app.

But that got me started thinking, so I spent some time doing some research on how I could achieve this and if it would be worth doing. While doing some digging I discovered that Kotlin has delegations and we can move part of the logic of a class to an interface.


Code time

My BaseActivity starts off like this:

Now let’s create an interface and add the initialize and the logEvent function to it:

Now we create a delegate for the interface and move the actual logic from the activity

Now we will implement the interface in our activity and use the by keyword to actually delegate the logic of the interface.

Why use delegation?

We shouldn’t use delegates just because it’s the new shiny and cool thing, we should use it cause it solves a problem, for me the problems were:

  1. It lets me favor composition over inheritance.
  2. I can separate my logic way better: analytics, UI behavior, feature toggles, or any other common logic.
  3. We can override a subset of an object’s behaviors

Final take

What I don’t like with this approach is that we still have to call setUpAnalytics in every activity, but luckily android is migrating more and more to a single activity architecture so that won’t really be a problem.

Another solution to the above problem would be having a singleton abstraction wrapper over the analytics library, but the downside of it being a singleton is that it can’t be properly tested.

Given all of this, I will still use a BaseActivity, but will definitely move most of the logic to an interface delegate.

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