SSToolKit: A Boatload of Useful Components
Every now and again you run across a toolkit that’s a real bonanza in useful components; SSTooKit is one of those.
Written by Sam Soffes and published on GitHub, SSToolKit offers 3 main collections of components and tools that will be useful to almost all iOS developers, these are:
View Classes, including:
SSCollectionView which is a hybrid of UITableView and MacOSX’s NSCollectionView. Very useful for simple grid view collections under iOS ,and similar in basic functionality to Alan Quartermain’s (a/k/aJim Dovey’s) AQGridView that we recently covered
SSGradientView – a simple class to apply gradients (and insets/borders) to views
SSHUDView – providers a very simple transparent overlay on the screen that can have an progress spinner and a title; like a stripped down version of MBProgressHUD
SSLabel – UILabel subclass that lets you vertically align the label text
SSLineView – Allows you to create divider lines in your UIs; can also be configured to have insets (so they look embossed). This is something that is curiously missing from the palette under iOS but has been around forever in the MacOSX world.
SSLoadingView – this is a simple little class useful when you need to show activity either in a window or in a subview (perhaps a UITableView cell) to show the user something is loading in the background: it simpy shows the activity spinner and the settable title to tell the user what’s happening.
SSPieProgressView – this is a ver Mac-ish progress indicator that looks like a pie whose segments/slices are being filled in. This is very useful for showing the progress of the loading of images and other assets where the regular activity spinner is just too generic/non-specific.
SSTextField – this is a small modification to the standard UITextField that adds edge insets
SSWebView = This is a UIView class that acts as a facades for and manages a UIWebView instance and allows you to add things like shadows, bouncing, and even a console log to the stock iOS UIWebVew
SSCollectionViewController – this provides a wrapper around the SSCollectionView and allow you to to create and manage these collections easily
SSPickerViewController – this wrapper class allows you to treat a UITableView much like you would a UIPickerView; useful in places where you have a simple text-based list and you don’t want the complication of a UIPickerView and all its required delegates.
Macros & Categories:
Lastly, SSToolKit also has some useful drawing macros and a lot of really useful categories on everything from NSDictionary ( for adding web-encoded strings to dicts, for example) and NSArray (get the first or random entries, and even shuffling an array) to NSDate where some really useful additions include getting differential time returned in words (something that Ruby does really well and is strangely missing from any of Apples time utilities…).
All of this is offered under a simple free-to-use-for-any-purpose license, requiring only that the original license notice be included in copies of the software.
The only suggestion we could make on this is that Mr Soffes offer users the ability to use a more widely recognized license such as Apache, BSD, or MIT as well, just to ensure that no lawyers have to get involved if people decide to use SSToolKit in a high profile commercial project.