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This article was published on April 12, 2011

An iOS Developer’s Dream: Sensible TableView

An iOS Developer’s Dream: Sensible TableView
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Ralf Rottmann is a serial entrepreneur from Germany. He successfully sold his last business to Alcatel-Lucent. Follow him as @24z on Twitter Ralf Rottmann is a serial entrepreneur from Germany. He successfully sold his last business to Alcatel-Lucent. Follow him as @24z on Twitter and on Google+

Two weeks ago, Sensible Cocoa released version 2.0 of what we consider to be the best third party Table View framework ever. We wanted to give it an exhaustive try before recommending it to you.

Table Views are widely used in iOS development. They are the class behind lists, grouped tables and many data entry forms in all sorts of apps. Unfortunately, building complex Table View hierarchies often turns out to be a tedious, error-prone task.

Tarek Sakr, the lead developer behind the Sensible TableView (STV) framework, set out on a mission to dramatically simplify the way we develop UITableView driven applications. What he has created is easily the most feature complete, comprehensive and well supported secret weapon I’ve seen in this space.

As an example, with STV the grouped table to the right – which is fully editable – takes only five lines of code. Compared to building it “the Apple way”, this might very well save you a couple of hours. If you happen to have more than just a single table in your iOS app, STV can save you weeks.

I hear you say: “But not doing it the Apple way isn’t good!”

Well, you are right. And here is the good thing: The key concept behind STV is to abstract away the many subtleties of Apple’s own table view classes while at the same time being fully compliant with each.

Basically, Sensible TableView handles all of the delegate and data source methods for you. All you have to take care of is a single model and the underlying data objects – with full support for Core Data.

It also comes with UI Object Binding, a concept remarkably absent in the iOS world.

What this means is that with STV you define a data object and the framework automagically derives the entire grouped table view. The only thing left for you to do is to fine-tune individual controls.

And there’s even more:

  • Full support for data validation including custom rules described in code.
  • Custom table cells, created with Apple’s Interface Builder, can be integrated easily.
  • Sensible TableView does not replace any of Apple’s infrastructure. It is perfectly fine to mix UITableView methods with those of STV.
  • You get the full source code. No static libraries.
  • A great expert community over at Sensible Cocoa is always there to help. Yes, we tested it ourselves!

If you are a pro iOS developer, you should definitely check it out.

The full package is available for US$99. If you use the discount code SCSTV-TNW, you get it for ten dollars less.

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