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Introduction:

In Android app development, creating an intuitive and visually appealing user interface is crucial. Activities, representing individual screens, rely on XML layout files to define the structure of their user interfaces. However, when an app employs multiple modules, these multiple modules can have layouts sharing same name, it’s essential to understand how Android determines which layout to access. In this blog post, we will explore the underlying process that dictates layout selection and shed light on how Android makes these decisions.

Resource Resolution Process:

When an Android app uses two modules, let’s say Module 1 and Module 2, and both modules have a layout file with the same name, Android follows a specific process to determine which layout to pick when the app tries to access it.

The layout selection process in this case is based on the order of the modules in the app’s Gradle build configuration. Each module has a defined order, which determines its priority. By default, the app module (the main module) has the highest priority, followed by other modules in the order they are listed in the Gradle configuration.

To Define priority of module we can use evaluationDependsOn(':module')

// app/build.gradle
dependencies {
// ... other dependencies
implementation project(':module1')
implementation project(':module2')
}
// Define module priorities
evaluationDependsOn(':module1')
evaluationDependsOn(':module2')
view raw build.gradle hosted with ❤ by GitHub

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So, if both Module 1 and Module 2 have a layout file with the same name, and the app tries to access that layout, Android will prioritize the layout from the module with the higher priority. In this case, the layout from Module 1 (assuming it has a higher priority) will be selected and used in the app.

It’s important to note that you can change the module priority by modifying the Gradle build configuration. By rearranging the order of the modules, you can change the layout selection behavior. If you want the layout from Module 2 to be chosen instead, you would need to assign a higher priority to Module 2 by listing it before Module 1 in the Gradle configuration.

To change the layout selection order, one can rearrange the modules’ order in the Gradle configuration. By listing a module before another, you effectively assign it a higher priority. Consequently, the layout from the module with the highest priority will be chosen when accessing conflicting layouts.

Best Practices:

To ensure the correct layout is accessed in an Android app with multiple modules, it is advisable to follow these best practices:

  1. Use Qualified Resource Names: When referencing layout resources, utilize the qualified resource name or resource ID to ensure the intended layout is accessed. This approach helps prevent ambiguity and ensures that the correct layout is inflated.
  2. Maintain Consistent Module Configuration: Maintain a clear and consistent module configuration in the Gradle build file to manage layout conflicts effectively. Consider the order of modules carefully, assigning the desired priority to avoid any unintended layout selection.
Conclusion:

In Android app development, understanding how layouts are selected when multiple modules with conflicting layout names are involved is essential. Android’s resource resolution process considers device characteristics, localization, and module priority to determine the appropriate layout. By grasping this process and utilizing best practices, developers can ensure that the correct layout is accessed, providing users with a seamless and visually appealing user interface experience.

This article was previously published on proandroiddev.com

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