Snapkit is, “… a DSL to make Auto Layout easy on both iOS and OS X.”
In other words, it’s a library to abstract auto layout and simplify the workflow for programmatic constraints.
So why use SnapKit? Well, some of the benefits include:
- Less Code
- Easier to read / learn
- Widely Used
SnapKit is arguably easier to use than auto layout. There’s less steps to account for and it reads better.
As a beginner, setting up views with code is tedious because you need to have a good foundation on what the UIKit object library has, how to setup the project to not use Storyboards and finally learn ways to actually layout a view with programmatic auto layout. This was the case for me when I was first learning. I would constantly reference a Storyboard to view the object library and would always forget a step. These two were usually the culprits:
- translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
- .isActive = true
If you need help setting up a programmatic project, I have another article with more resources: XCode Progammatic Project Setup ! 😉
This point isn’t as important because if SnapKit makes YOUR workflow better then use it or don’t, but it is worth noting that SnapKit is open source and actively contributed to. It’s safe to say it will be maintained for the near future. Even companies like Github use SnapKit in their iOS app.
III. Set up
If you have added a third party library before, SnapKit’s installation guide on their Github repo is straightforward.
If this is your first time, I recommend using Swift Package Manager if possible to add SnapKit. It’s quick and can be done within Xcode.
After adding SnapKit, import it at the top of every file you’re constraining and you’re good to go.
Here is an example of how I used SnapKit to layout this container view from an upcoming project. The full project can be found on my Github.
If you are starting to learn programmatic constraints and finding it difficult to understand, SnapKit can help minimize the learning curve and requires much less code compared to the standard way of adding programmatic constraints.
Regardless, I still highly recommend learning the standard programmatic constraints once you are comfortable with SnapKit because there is value in understanding how auto layout constraints work.
SnapKit was created by: Robert Payne and open source contributers.