Bangle.js Layout library

You might have tried making an app (eg by following the Bangle.js First App tutorial), but as your app gets more complicated it can be more of a pain laying things out on the screen - especially if you want to write an app that works on both Bangle.js 1 and Bangle.js 2 which both have different screen sizes and numbers of buttons.

Rather than requiring lots of fiddling and separate positions for each device, you can use the Layout library to automatically place everything on the screen in the right place.

Simple Layout

By default, Layout centers everything on the screen. Try pasting in this code - a basic 'Hello world':

var Layout = require("Layout");
var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"txt", font:"6x8", label:"Hello World"
});
g.clear();
layout.render();

If you upload, you'll see Hello World in the middle of the screen:

Let's say we want to make a simple clock - so the time, followed by a line for the date. We need vertical alignment, so we'll start with a block of type v, containing an array of children in c:

var Layout = require("Layout");
var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"v", c: [
    {type:"txt", font:"20%", label:"12:00", id:"time" },
    {type:"txt", font:"6x8", label:"The Date", id:"date" }
  ]
});
g.clear();
layout.render();

The font can be specified with a percentage, in which case it's made into a Vector font with that percentage of screen height.

We also specified an id, which makes the item available directly from layout, eg layout.time. To update the time, we can then change layout.time.label and redraw.

Updating the screen

To redraw we have two main options. The first recommended option is just to use 'lazy' redraw. Just specify {lazy:true} in the second argument of the Layout constructor, and you can then call layout.render() when you want to redraw.

Layout will then be smart enough to redraw only the parts of the clock that have changed.

var Layout = require("Layout");
var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"v", c: [
    {type:"txt", font:"20%", label:"12:00", id:"time" },
    {type:"txt", font:"6x8", label:"The Date", id:"date" }
  ]
}, {lazy:true});

// timeout used to update every minute
var drawTimeout;

// update the screen
function draw() {
  var d = new Date();
  // update time and date
  layout.time.label = require("locale").time(d,1);
  layout.date.label = require("locale").date(d);
  layout.render();
  // schedule a draw for the next minute
  if (drawTimeout) clearTimeout(drawTimeout);
  drawTimeout = setTimeout(function() {
    drawTimeout = undefined;
    draw();
  }, 60000 - (Date.now() % 60000));
}

// update time and draw
g.clear();
draw();

Your second option is to manually clear and update just the areas you're interested in. For example here we use layout.clear(layout.time), update the text, and then call layout.render(layout.time) to draw again.

This can be faster, but is also more fiddly and error-prone.

var Layout = require("Layout");
var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"v", c: [
    {type:"txt", font:"20%", label:"12:00", id:"time" },
    {type:"txt", font:"6x8", label:"The Date", id:"date" }
  ]
});
g.clear();
layout.render();

function draw() {
  var d = new Date();
  // update time
  var timeStr = require("locale").time(d,1);
  layout.clear(layout.time); // remove old time
  layout.time.label = timeStr;
  layout.render(layout.time); // redraw
  // check date and update if needed
  var dateStr = require("locale").date(d);
  if (layout.date.label != dateStr) {
    layout.clear(layout.date); // remove old date
    layout.date.label = dateStr;
    layout.render(layout.date); // redraw
  }

  queueDraw();
}

// timeout used to update every minute
var drawTimeout;

// schedule a draw for the next minute
function queueDraw() {
  if (drawTimeout) clearTimeout(drawTimeout);
  drawTimeout = setTimeout(function() {
    drawTimeout = undefined;
    draw();
  }, 60000 - (Date.now() % 60000));
}

draw();

Buttons / User Input

On Bangle.js you have one or more physical button depending on the version. Layout provides smart handling of this for you, and will either use the physical button or onscreen buttons depending on how many buttons have been requested.

For example this code will display 3 buttons:

var Layout = require("Layout");
var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"v", c: [
    {type:"txt", font:"6x8:2", label:"A Test", id:"label" }
  ]
}, {btns:[
  {label:"One", cb: l=>print("One"),  cbl: l=>print("One long press")},
  {label:"Two", cb: l=>print("Two")},
  {label:"Three", cb: l=>print("Three")}
], lazy:true});

function setLabel(x) {
  layout.label.label = x;
  layout.render();
}
g.clear();
layout.render();

On Bangle.js 1 this'll just put 3 labels by the side of the physical buttons and will make them call the callback functions when they are pressed:

Bangle.js 1

On Bangle.js 2, if there's one button it'll use the 'hard' button with a label (like above), or if there's more than one button it'll put buttons on the touchscreen down the side of the screen.

Bangle.js 2

You can also do touchscreen buttons on Bangle.js 2 as well just by adding a btn:

var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"v", c: [
    {type:"txt", font:"6x8:2", label:"A Test", id:"label"},
    {type:"btn", font:"6x8:2", label:"One", cb: l=>setLabel("One") },
    {type:"btn", font:"6x8:2", label:"Two", cb: l=>setLabel("Two") }
  ]
}, {btns:[
  {label:"Three", cb: l=>setLabel("Three")}
], lazy:true});

function setLabel(x) {
  layout.label.label = x;
  layout.render();
}
g.clear();
layout.render();

Finally, while the cb field is called for a normal button press, you can also specify a cbl callback to be called when the button has been pressed for a long time.

Images

Images can be supplied either as a function that returns the image (so the image data can remain in flash memory rather than RAM) or as the image string itself.

As function:

var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"h", c: [
    {type:"img", pad:4, src:function() { return require("heatshrink").decompress(atob("ikUwYFCgVJkgMDhMkyVJAwQFCAQNAgESAoQCBwEBBwlIgAFDpNkyAjDkm/5MEBwdf+gUEl/6AoVZkmX/oLClv6pf+DQn1/4+E3//0gFBkACBv/SBYI7D5JiDLJx9CBAR4CAoWQQ4Z9DgAA==")); }
 },
    {type:"txt", font:"6x8:2", label:"All ok"}
  ]
});

g.clear();
layout.render();

As image string:

var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"h", c: [
    {type:"img", pad:4, src:require("heatshrink").decompress(atob("ikUwYFCgVJkgMDhMkyVJAwQFCAQNAgESAoQCBwEBBwlIgAFDpNkyAjDkm/5MEBwdf+gUEl/6AoVZkmX/oLClv6pf+DQn1/4+E3//0gFBkACBv/SBYI7D5JiDLJx9CBAR4CAoWQQ4Z9DgAA==")) },
    {type:"txt", font:"6x8:2", label:"All ok"}
  ]
});

g.clear();
layout.render();

Custom elements

Sometimes something might be too complex or fiddly to lay out with Layout, and in these cases you can use the custom type, which will call a function for rendering of that specific field.

// Some data to graph
var data = new Array(16);
data.fill(0);

// Our custom renderer that draws a graph inside the layout
function renderGraph(l) {
  require("graph").drawBar(g, data, {
    miny: 0,
    axes : true,
    x:l.x, y:l.y, width:l.w, height:l.h
  });
}

// The layout, referencing the custom renderer
var layout = new Layout( {
  type:"v", c: [
    {type:"custom", render:renderGraph, id:"graph", bgCol:g.theme.bg, fillx:1, filly:1 },
    {type:"h", c: [
      {type:"btn", label:"Clear", cb: l=>{ data.fill(0); layout.render(layout.graph); }},
      {type:"btn", label:"Random", cb: l=>{ data=data.map(x=>Math.random()); layout.render(layout.graph); }},
    ]}
  ]
});

g.clear();
layout.render();

Layout / positioning

By default all items are laid out in the center of the screen (and automatically stepped down if widgets have been loaded first with Bangle.loadWidgets()).

However often you'll want to arrange things differently, and there are several fields you can supply to help.

  • width/height can be manually specified (in pixels) for a specific field
  • pad:3 will add 3 pixels of padding around the edge of an element
  • fillx:1 will make an element fill all available space in a horizontal layout, or if there are multiple elements with fillx:number then space will be spread accordingly.
  • filly:1 has the same effect but on vertical layouts
  • A halign field to set horizontal alignment. -1=left, 1=right, 0=center
  • A valign field to set vertical alignment. -1=top, 1=bottom, 0=center
  • col will specify a color for the text, eg #f00 for red
  • bgCol is for background color (and if specified, any call to render will automatically clear the background)

More information

There are other layout options too. Check out the documentation at the top of https://github.com/espruino/BangleApps/blob/master/modules/Layout.js for some examples.

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