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Programming iOS 4 by Matt Neuburg

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Chapter 14. Views

A view (an object whose class is a subclass of UIView) knows how to draw itself into a rectangular area of the interface. Your app has a visible interface thanks to views. Creating and configuring a view can be extremely simple: “Set it and forget it.” You’ve already seen that you can drag an interface widget, such as a UIButton, into your window in the nib; when the app runs, the button appears, and works properly. But you can also manipulate views in powerful ways, in real time. Your code can do some or all of the view’s drawing of itself; it can make the view appear and disappear, move, resize itself, and display many other physical changes, possibly with animation.

A view is also a responder (UIView is a subclass of UIResponder). This means that a view is subject to user interactions, such as taps and swipes. Thus, views are the basis not only of the interface that the user sees, but also of the interface that the user touches. Organizing your views so that the correct view reacts to a given touch allows you to allocate your code neatly and efficiently.

The view hierarchy is the chief mode of view organization. A view can have subviews; a subview has exactly one immediate superview. Thus there is a tree of views. This hierarchy allows views to come and go together. If a view is removed from the interface, its subviews are removed; if a view is hidden (made invisible), its subviews are hidden; if a view is moved, its subviews move with it; and other changes ...

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