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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Flutter Packages and their Types
2.1.
Types of Packages
3.
Understanding Packages with Examples
3.1.
Using a Dart Package
3.2.
Develop a Flutter Plugin or Package
3.3.
How to Publish a Package
4.
Frequently Asked Questions 
4.1.
What is the benefit of using packages in flutter?
4.2.
Mention some of the important features of flutter.
4.3.
Mention some of the limitations of flutter.
4.4.
Name some of the applications that use flutter.
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Flutter Packages

Author Naman Kukreja
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Introduction

In the modern world, the demand for developers is on the rise. Still, there are many developers available, but only some are successful and have high-paying jobs, so what is that? Suppose if two developers still have the same knowledge, one has a better life than the other one?

The answer is that only knowing the language or framework and writing code is insufficient for a developer. He has to write the optimized code that is easy to understand and has a short length and must use all the available technologies that make them user and beginner developer-friendly.

The same holds while using flutter, as you can reduce code size by using packages or plugins. We will learn about plugins in flutter while moving further in the blog. So let’s move on with our topic without wasting any further time.

Flutter Packages and their Types

A package is a collection of several groups that contains similar types of interfaces, classes, and sub-packages. Generally, you can relate the package to your computer's local storage. On your computer, you keep all your movies in one folder, software in one folder, and documents in another; similarly, packages keep the things with similar properties and features together.

In flutter, we use a dart to share and organize a set of functionality through a package. Flutter has a benefit in terms of packages as it supports shared packages, which other developers share in the Dart and Flutter Ecosystem. The packages are used to create an app. With the help of these packages, we can create an app from scratch.

The general structure of the package is explained below:

  • lib/src/*: It has private dart files.
  • lib/my_demo_package.dart: It is the main dart file and can be imported into the application as shown below:
import 'package:my_demo_package/my_demo_package.dart'
  • You can import any other dart file in your code as shown below:
export src/my_code.dart
  • lib/*: This file contains all the public code in the package. We can use and access the file as shown below:
import 'package:mydemo_package/sub_folder/custom_file.dart'  
  • Pubspec.yaml: This file has the same specifications as that of the application. We will be using this file a lot during our work with flutter. This file contains project dependencies and general project settings like description, name, and project assets.

Types of Packages

Based on the functionality, we can divide packages into mainly three types, and we will discuss all three of them here:

  1. Dart Package: It can be understood as a general package that can be used in both mobile and web environments, and it is written in dart language. It slightly depends on the flutter framework as it contains some flutter-specific functionalities such as the fluro package.
  2. Flutter Package: It can be understood as generic dart code that can be only used in the mobile environment and depends on the flutter framework.
  3. Flutter Plugin: It can be understood as generic code that depends on the underlying platform code and the flutter framework. Example Camera is a plugin device but also depends on the flutter framework.
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Understanding Packages with Examples

In this blog section, we will learn to develop packages from scratch in both dart and flutter.

Using a Dart Package

Dart packages are generally published and hosted on a live server. Flutter provides various simple and easy tools to manage dart and its packages in the application. We need to follow certain steps to implement and use the dart package as shown below:

  • Include the package version and name in pubspec.yaml:
     
dependencies: english_words: ^3.1.5

 

  • You can find the latest version by checking the online server. You can install the package by the command shown below:
flutter packages get

 

  • Dart packages can be updated or installed in Android Studio using the menu option.
  • You can import the necessary files as shown below:
import 'package:english_words/english_words.dart';

 

  • You can use any method available in the package, as in the example below. We have used nouns to print the top 22 words:
nouns.take(22).forEach(print);

Develop a Flutter Plugin or Package

Here, we will see the step-by-step explanation to create a flutter package in android studio.

  • The first click on the file, then select the new option, and from that new option, select new flutter project from the dialog box as shown below:

 

  • After selecting the new flutter project option, click next on the following screen:

 

 

  • Now fill in the required details of your project in the following dialog box like the name of the project, project description, project location, etc.

 

 

  • Now, your task is created. Open the flutter_custom_package.dart . After that, replace the existing code with the code given below:

 

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';  
  
class CustomPackageAlertBox {  
  static Future showCustomAlertBox({  
    @required Widget willDisplayWidget,
   @required BuildContext context,    
  }) {  
    assert(context != null, "If context is null!!");  
    assert(willDisplayWidget != null, "If willDisplayWidget is null!!");  
    return showDialog(  
        context: context,  
        builder: (context) {  
          return AlertDialog(  
            shape: RoundedRectangleBorder(  
              borderRadius: BorderRadius.all(Radius.circular(20)),  
            ),  
            content: Column(  
              mainAxisSize: MainAxisSize.min,  
              children: <Widget>[  
                willDisplayWidget,  
                MaterialButton(  
                  color: Colors.white70,  
                  child: Text('Close Alert'),  
                  onPressed: () {  
                    Navigator.of(context).pop();  
                  },  
                )  
              ],  
            ),  
            elevation: 12,  
          );  
        });  
  }  
}  

 

  • Now to check the following code, create a new project and open pubspec.yaml file, and in the dependency section, add the following code:

 

dependencies:   
   flutter:   
      sdk: flutter   
   flutter_custom_package:   
      path: ../  

 

  • When you add this custom package, the android studio will ask to update the dart file. To import the package in the dart file, use the following line:

 

import 'package: flutter_custom_package/flutter_custom_package.dart';  

How to Publish a Package

You can easily publish the package after successfully implementing it on the pub.dev so that other developers can use it. Before publishing, make sure everything is correct in pubspec.yaml file. Oe runs the command to analyze the package:

 

$ flutter pub publish --dry-run.

 

At last, run the command to publish the package:

 

$ flutter pub publish  

Let us now look at some FAQs based on the above discussion: 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the benefit of using packages in flutter?

We can use shared packages shared in the dart flutter ecosystem by other developers.

Mention some of the important features of flutter.

Some of the important features of the flutter are a hot related, one-stop solution, scalability, integration, and a vast widget library.

Mention some of the limitations of flutter.

Flutter requires a dart for work, Third-party libraries are limited, and its release size is large are some of the limitations of flutter.

Name some of the applications that use flutter.

Some flutter applications are Alibaba, Tencent, Google Ads, etc.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed packages in a flutter with their types and the procedure to create packages in dart and flutter, followed by how to publish them with proper explanation.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge of packages in a flutter.

IF you want to learn about splash screens, visit this blog here. You will get a complete idea about splash screens in a flutter with their characteristics and examples.

And if you have any questions about flutter, you must visit this blog here. You will most probably have answers to all of your questions.

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