Automatic UITableView Paging

Episode #8 | 19 minutes | published on March 22, 2012
Free Video
UITableView can support skimming through many rows of data, however fetching large amounts of remote data can slow down your app, use up too much memory, and bog down your web server. This is all wasteful if users aren't ever going to scroll down that far. In this episode you'll learn how to perform automatic UITableView paging using an easy technique.

Initialization

- (void)viewDidLoad {
    [super viewDidLoad];

    self.beers = [NSMutableArray array];
    _currentPage = 0;
}

Issue HTTP Request for the current page

- (void)fetchBeers {
    NSString *urlString = [NSString 
      stringWithFormat:@"http://localhost:3000/beers.json?page=%d", 
      _currentPage];
    NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:urlString];
    NSURLRequest *request = [NSURLRequest requestWithURL:url];
    AFJSONRequestOperation *operation = 
      [[AFJSONRequestOperation alloc] initWithRequest:request];
    [operation setCompletionBlockWithSuccess:
      ^(AFHTTPRequestOperation *operation, id responseObject) {
        NSLog(@"responseObject %@", responseObject);

        _totalPages = [[responseObject 
          objectForKey:@"total_pages"] intValue];

        for (id beerDictionary in [responseObject 
                                    objectForKey:@"beers"]) {
            Beer *beer = [[Beer alloc] 
              initWithDictionary:beerDictionary];
            if (![self.beers containsObject:beer]) {
                [self.beers addObject:beer];
            }

            [beer release];
        }

        [self.tableView reloadData];

    } failure:
      ^(AFHTTPRequestOperation *operation, NSError *error) {
        NSLog(@"Error: %@", [error localizedDescription]);
        [[[[UIAlertView alloc] 
          initWithTitle:@"Error fetching beers!"
                message:@"Please try again later"
               delegate:nil
          cancelButtonTitle:@"OK"
          otherButtonTitles:nil] autorelease] show];
    }];

    [operation start];
    [operation release];
}

Offset number of rows

- (NSInteger)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView 
 numberOfRowsInSection:(NSInteger)section {
    if (_currentPage == 0) {
        return 1;
    }

    if (_currentPage < _totalPages) {
        return self.beers.count + 1;
    }
    return self.beers.count;
}

Render the cells

- (UITableViewCell *)beerCellForIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    static NSString *cellIdentifier = @"cell";
    UITableViewCell *cell = [self.tableView 
dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:cellIdentifier];
    if (!cell) {
        cell = [[[UITableViewCell alloc] 
            initWithStyle:UITableViewCellStyleSubtitle
          reuseIdentifier:cellIdentifier] autorelease];
    }

    Beer *beer = [self.beers objectAtIndex:indexPath.row];
    cell.textLabel.text = beer.name;
    cell.detailTextLabel.text = beer.brewery;

    return cell;
}

- (UITableViewCell *)loadingCell {
    UITableViewCell *cell = [[[UITableViewCell alloc] 
                 initWithStyle:UITableViewCellStyleDefault
               reuseIdentifier:nil] autorelease];

    UIActivityIndicatorView *activityIndicator = 
      [[UIActivityIndicatorView alloc] 
      initWithActivityIndicatorStyle:UIActivityIndicatorViewStyleGray];
    activityIndicator.center = cell.center;
    [cell addSubview:activityIndicator];
    [activityIndicator release];

    [activityIndicator startAnimating];

    cell.tag = kLoadingCellTag;

    return cell;
}

- (UITableViewCell *)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView
         cellForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    if (indexPath.row < self.beers.count) {
        return [self beerCellForIndexPath:indexPath];
    } else {
        return [self loadingCell];
    }
}

Fetching the next page

- (void)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView 
  willDisplayCell:(UITableViewCell *)cell 
forRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    if (cell.tag == kLoadingCellTag) {
        _currentPage++;
        [self fetchBeers];
    }
}
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