Now rendering is at a stable stage (at least stable enough), I’ve started working on the next chapter of CiderKit: User Interfaces. And that’s a big one! User input is can be handled out of the box by SpriteKit. However, as far as I know, there is no proper UI toolkit available for SpriteKit. Providing basic UI components like containers, buttons, or even sliders, should be relatively easy. But styling them efficiently can be somewhat challenging. Fortunately, the web solved most of this issue many years ago with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
CSS have evolved a lot since their introduction in 1996, going through several monolithic iterations up to version 2.1, then being split in many different independent modules for CSS 3 and 4. From a specification point of view, this is bit of a mess. I only need a subset of it though: no flexbox, no positioning.
Because embarking in writing my own CSS parser, I did some research. Unfortunately, to the best of my abilities, I didn’t find something that really suited my needs. SwiftSoup is a full HTML parser, way too complex for my use case. And others are either not maintained or not Swift packages (and I don’t want to invest anymore in Cocoapods or Carthage). Furthermore, I will probably limit styling to the actual look of the controls and don’t need many of the positioning features of CSS.
And then CiderCSSKit was born. For now, it’s mainly a pure lightweight CSS parser.
Here’s the list of existing or missing features:
background-image: 10pxfor example)
~) are not implemented
#ffffor example) are not supported (colors must use six hexadecimal digits)
I plan to implement ways to extend the capabilities of the parser, notably with a specific model for custom validation and functions. That will allow the use of CiderCSSKit in other contexts than CiderKit’s UI management. I hope that in the future, the package will be agnostic enough to be use by anyone out there. But for now, I have to test it in real situations and improve.
Header image by Negative Space under Creative Commons CC0 1.0