Notify Observer when item is added to List of LiveData

I need to get Observer event when item is added to List of LiveData. But as far as I understand event receives only when I replace the old list with new one. For example when I do the next:

list.value = mutableListOf(IssuePost(UserEntity(name, email, photoUrl), issueEntity))

Observer gets event. But when I just add item to value, Observer is silent. Could you please give an advice how I can implement what I need?

Answers


Internally, LiveData keeps track of each change as a version number (simple counter stored as an int). Calling setValue() increments this version and updates any observers with the new data (only if the observer's version number is less than the LiveData's version).

It appears the only way to start this process is by calling setValue() or postValue(). The side-effect is if the LiveData's underlying data structure has changed (such as adding an element to a Collection), nothing will happen to communicate this to the observers.

Thus, you will have to call setValue() after adding an item to your list. I have provided two ways you could approach this below.

Option 1

Keep the list outside of the LiveData and update with the reference any time the list contents change.

private val mIssuePosts = ArrayList<IssuePost>()
private val mIssuePostLiveData = MutableLiveData<List<IssuePost>>()

fun addIssuePost(issuePost: IssuePost) {
   mIssuePosts.add(issuePost)
   mIssuePostLiveData.value = mIssuePosts
}

Option 2

Keep track of the list via the LiveData and update the LiveData with its own value whenever the list contents change.

private val mIssuePostLiveData = MutableLiveData<List<IssuePost>>()

init {
   mIssuePostLiveData.value = ArrayList()
}

fun addIssuePost(issuePost: IssuePost) {
    mIssuePostLiveData.value?.add(issuePost)
    mIssuePostLiveData.value = mIssuePostLiveData.value
}

Either of these solutions should help you from having to create a new list every time you modify the current list just to notify the observers.

UPDATE:

I've been using similar techniques for a while now as Gnzlt has mentioned in his answer to use a Kotlin extension function to assign the LiveData to itself to simplify the code. This is essentially Option 2 automated :) I would recommend doing that.


I use a Kotlin Extension Function to make it easier:

fun <T> MutableLiveData<T>.notifyObserver() {
    this.value = this.value
}

Then use it in any MutableLiveData like this:

fun addIssuePost(issuePost: IssuePost) {
    mIssuePostLiveData.value?.add(issuePost)
    mIssuePostLiveData.notifyObserver()
}

How about this?

public class ListLiveData<T> extends LiveData<List<T>> {
    public void addAll(List<T> items) {
        if (getValue() != null && items != null) {
            getValue().addAll(items);
            setValue(getValue());
        }
    }

    public void clear() {
        if (getValue() != null) {
            getValue().clear();
            setValue(getValue());
        }
    }

    @Override public void setValue(List<T> value) {
        super.setValue(value);
    }

    @Nullable @Override public List<T> getValue() {
        return super.getValue();
    }
}

// add changed listener
    mMessageList.observe(mActivity, new Observer() {
        @Override public void onChanged(@Nullable Object o) {
            notifyDataSetChanged();
        }
    });

Late to the party but here is a more concise version of Gnzlt's answer with null-check and for both mutable and immutable lists:

// for mutable list
operator fun <T> MutableLiveData<MutableList<T>>.plusAssign(item: T) {
    val value = this.value ?: mutableListOf()
    value.add(item)
    this.value = value
}

// for immutable list
operator fun <T> MutableLiveData<List<T>>.plusAssign(item: T) {
    val value = this.value ?: emptyList()
    this.value = value + listOf(item)
}

And in your code:

list -= IssuePost(UserEntity(name, email, photoUrl), issueEntity))

Inspired by @user3682351 here is my solution. It seems that we cannot update properties of a LiveData value individually so the value must be updated on each operation. This is essentially a small wrapper on live data with convenience methods for modifying properties of a HashMap

import androidx.lifecycle.LiveData

/**
 * Hash Map Live Data
 *
 * Some convenience methods around live data for HashMaps. Putting a value on this will also update the entire live data
 * as well
 */
class HashMapLiveData<K, V> : LiveData<HashMap<K, V>>() {

    /**
     * Put a new value into this HashMap and update the value of this live data
     * @param k the key
     * @param v the value
     */
    fun put(k: K, v: V) {
        val oldData = value
        value = if (oldData == null) {
            hashMapOf(k to v)
        } else {
            oldData.put(k, v)
            oldData
        }
    }

    /**
     * Add the contents to the HashMap if there is one existing, otherwise set the value to this HashMap and update the
     * value of this live data
     * @param newData the HashMap of values to add
     */
    fun putAll(newData: HashMap<K, V>) {
        val oldData = value
        value = if (oldData != null) {
            oldData.putAll(newData)
            oldData
        } else {
            newData
        }
    }

    /**
     * Remove a key value pair from this HashMap and update the value of this live data
     * @param key the key to remove
     */
    fun remove(key: K) {
        val oldData = value
        if (oldData != null) {
            oldData.remove(key)
            value = oldData
        }
    }

    /**
     * Clear all data from the backing HashMap and update the value of this live data
     */
    fun clear() {
        val oldData = value
        if (oldData != null) {
            oldData.clear()
            value = oldData
        }
    }

    var value: HashMap<K, V>?
        set(value) = super.setValue(value)
        get() = super.getValue()

}


I ran into the same problem and decided that adding "value = value" or a call to another method everywhere was too much of a pain and very error-prone.

So, I created my own classes that wrap the collections. Observe will now observe the contents of the collection instead of the collection itself.

The code is available on GitHub at: ObservableCollections

This is a FIRST version so please excuse any problems. It is not yet available for gradle include so you will have to download it and add it as a library module to you application.

At present it includes the following collections:

ArrayDeque
ArrayList
LinkedList
Queue
Stack
Vector

More will be added as time allows. Feel free to request specific ones.

And PLEASE report any problems.


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