Why is 0dp considered a performance enhancement?

An answer at the end of this question has been filled out, combining remarks and solutions.

Question

I searched around but haven't found anything that really explains why Android Lint as well as some Eclipse hints suggest replacing some layout_height and layout_width values with 0dp.

For example, I have a ListView that was suggested to be changed

Before

<ListView
    android:id="@android:id/list"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:layout_weight="1">
</ListView>

After

<ListView
    android:id="@android:id/list"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="0dp"
    android:layout_weight="1">
</ListView>

Similarly, it suggested changes to a ListView item. These all look the same before and after the changes, but I'm interested in understanding why these are performance boosters.

Anyone have an explanation of why? If it helps, here is general layout with the ListView.

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="fill_parent">

    <ImageView
        android:id="@+id/logo_splash"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content">
    </ImageView>

    <LinearLayout
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="fill_parent"
        android:orientation="vertical"
        android:background="@color/background"
        android:layout_below="@id/logo_splash">

        <ListView
            android:id="@android:id/list"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="0dp"
            android:layout_weight="1">
        </ListView>

        <TextView
            android:id="@android:id/empty"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:text="@string/no_upcoming" />

    </LinearLayout>        
</RelativeLayout>
Answer

I'm putting in an answer here because it's really a combination of answers and referenced links below. If I'm wrong on something, do let me know.

From What is the trick with 0dip layout_height or layouth_width?

There are 3 general layout attributes that work with width and height

  1. android:layout_height
  2. android:layout_width
  3. android:layout_weight

When a LinearLayout is vertical, then the layout_weight will effect the height of the child Views (ListView). Setting the layout_height to 0dp will cause this attribute to be ignored.

Example

<LinearLayout
    android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="fill_parent"
    android:orientation="vertical">
    <ListView
        android:id="@android:id/list"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="0dp"
        android:layout_weight="1">
    </ListView>
</LinearLayout>

When a LinearLayout is horizontal, then the layout_weight will effect the width of the child Views (ListView). Setting the layout_width to 0dp will cause this attribute to be ignored.

Example

<LinearLayout
    android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="fill_parent"
    android:orientation="horizontal">
    <ListView
        android:id="@android:id/list"
        android:layout_width="0dp"
        android:layout_height="match_parent"
        android:layout_weight="1">
    </ListView>
</LinearLayout>

The reason to want to ignore the attribute is that if you didn't ignore it, it would be used to calculate the layout which uses more CPU time.

Additionally this prevents any confusion over what the layout should look like when using a combination of the three attributes. This is highlighted by @android developer in an answer below.

Also, Android Lint and Eclipse both say to use 0dip. From that answer below, you can use 0dip, 0dp, 0px, etc since a zero size is the same in any of the units.

Avoid wrap_content on ListView

From Layout_width of a ListView

If you've ever wondered why getView(...) is called so many times like I have, it turns out to be related to wrap_content.

Using wrap_content like I was using above will cause all child Views to be measured which will cause further CPU time. This measurement will cause your getView(...) to be called. I've now tested this and the number of times getView(...) is called is reduced dramatically.

When I was using wrap_content on two ListViews, getView(...) was called 3 times for each row on one ListView and 4 times for each row on the other.

Changing this to the recommended 0dp, getView(...) was called only once for each row. This is quite an improvement, but has more to do with avoiding wrap_content on a ListView than it does the 0dp.

However the suggestion of 0dp does substantially improve performance because of this.

Answers


First of all you have this,

<ListView
    android:id="@android:id/list"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:layout_weight="1">
</ListView>

Never take the ListView's height as wrap_content, that will lead into troubles. Here is the reason for that and this answer.

Further more,

I searched around but haven't found anything that really explains why Android Lint as well as some Eclipse hints suggests replacing some layout_height and layout_width values with 0dp.

Its because you are using layout_weight = "1" that means your ListView with take the height as much as is available to it. So, in that case there is no need of using layout_height = "wrap_content" just change it to android:layout_height="0dp" and ListView's height will be managed by layout_weight = "1".


Need Your Help

How to find out if bluetooth is connected?

android bluetooth find connect out

Can someone teach me how can I find out if bluetooth is connected to other device (mobile, headset, etc.)

Dragging and Dropping onto a scaled element

javascript jquery jquery-ui jquery-ui-draggable jquery-ui-droppable

I have a div element that I want to be able to drag onto a scaled element. However when I do this, the div element doesn't go to the right coordinates of the element but it does when I drag it arou...

About UNIX Resources Network

Original, collect and organize Developers related documents, information and materials, contains jQuery, Html, CSS, MySQL, .NET, ASP.NET, SQL, objective-c, iPhone, Ruby on Rails, C, SQL Server, Ruby, Arrays, Regex, ASP.NET MVC, WPF, XML, Ajax, DataBase, and so on.