Airbnb Showkase: a Browser for Your JetPack Compose Library

Airbnb Showkase: a Browser for Your JetPack Compose Library

Airbnb Showkase aims to help developers organize, discover, and visualize their Jetpack Compose UI elements by synthesizing a browser activity based on specific code annotations.

Airbnb Showkase aims to help developers organize, discover, and visualize their Jetpack Compose UI elements by synthesizing a browser activity based on specific code annotations.

By reducing the amount of manual work needed in maintaining your design system/UI components and making it more discoverable, Showkase helps in driving adoption of the reusable components in your Android codebase.

While Airbnb is not using Jetpack Compose yet for their official app, they have already started preparing the tooling to adopt this new technology when it becomes production-ready. As Airbnb senior software engineer Vinay Gaba explains, Showkase is similar to and inspired by another tool that Airbnb is currently using for classic Android UIs. According to Gaba, tools like Showkase are useful when your library of reusable UI components grows too much to prevent it from becoming unmanageable.

Discoverability of these components is a challenge and there is no easy way to search. As a result, your codebase often ends up with duplicate components that offer similar functionality.

This problems exists not only with components but also with colors, typographic styles, and other reusable properties in Android apps.

Using Showkase, Jetpack Compose elements can be searched based on their names or the group they belong to. For each component, Showkase is able to display a preview of how it looks like in different configurations, e.g. in normal and dark mode, with scaled fonts, etc. Additionally, the browser provides direct accees to the documentation associated to each component.

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