I have code which styles standard Android widgets programmatically (not from XML). The code is working, but I have this bunch of if instanceof else if instanceof block which is ugly.

I have read discussions on Stack Overflow, and my conclusion is instanceofis better on my case, but I'm not so sure, maybe I'm missing something?

public static void styleAllControls2(Context c, List<View> controls, CxpResources cxpr) {
    if (cxpr == null) {
    File xfiles = c.getExternalFilesDir(null);
    if (xfiles == null) {
        Log.e(TAG, "couldnt get external files dir!");
    Resources res = c.getResources();
    String filepath = xfiles.getAbsolutePath() + File.separator;
    for (View view : controls) {
        ViewModifier vModfr = null;
        if (view instanceof RatingBar) {
            // viewModifier = new RatingBarModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof SeekBar) {
            vModfr = new SeekBarModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof ProgressBar) {
            vModfr = new ProgressBarModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof CheckBox) {
            vModfr = new CheckBoxModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof RadioButton) {
            vModfr = new RadioButtonModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof Switch) {
            vModfr = new SwitchModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof ToggleButton) {
            vModfr = new ToggleButtonModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof Button) {
            vModfr = new ButtonModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof Spinner) {
            vModfr = new SpinnerModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        } else if (view instanceof EditText) {
            vModfr = new EditTextModifier(res, cxpr, filepath);
        if (vModfr != null) {

ViewModifier class:

public abstract class ViewModifier<T extends View> {
    private static final String TAG = "ViewModifier";
    protected final CxpResources cxpResources;
    protected final String basedir;
    protected final Resources resources;
    protected final TypedValue typedValue;

    public ViewModifier(Resources resources, CxpResources cxpResources, final String basedir) {
        this.resources = resources;
        this.cxpResources = cxpResources;
        this.basedir = basedir;
        typedValue = new TypedValue();
        typedValue.density = resources.getDisplayMetrics().densityDpi;

    public abstract void modify(T v);

    // some helper codes....

All xxxModifier class inherit from ViewModifier class.

My questions:

  1. Is a bunch of instanceofs really the best way? As far as I know, I can't use visitor pattern because I can't modify Android widgets.
  2. Am I using generics right? Particularly in ViewModifier class signature.
  3. Which is better, my current implementation, or to make modify an interface and then have xxxModifier classes implement that? ViewModifier has a bunch of helper methods though.
  4. Review of my code in general, according to Android and Java best practices and conventions.
  5. Intellij Idea / Android Studio tricks to help self-review perhaps?
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 2) Yes, this is fine 3) I would make it an interface, later on you can program against this interface 4) if I have time later on I will do a code review, there is improvement possible 5) go settings > inspections (lot of options) \$\endgroup\$ – user1281750 Dec 24 '14 at 11:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1) for the best anwser post this question to stackoverflow \$\endgroup\$ – user1281750 Dec 24 '14 at 12:20

I already answered some questions in a comment here is the code review.

Some tips and suggestions:

  • Use full names for params and local variables to improve readability
  • Don't use numbers in the names of methods
  • Try to use Iterable interface above the List if possible
  • Follow naming conventions for Android
  • Use annotations to improve code quality and usage
  • Use final modifier if possible


public static void styleControls(@NonNull final Context context, @NonNull final Iterable<View> controls, @NonNull final Object object) {
    if (object == null) {
    final File file = context.getExternalFilesDir(null);
    if (file == null) {
        Log.e(TAG, "couldnt get external files dir!");
    final Resources resources = context.getResources();
    final String filepath = file.getAbsolutePath() + File.separator;
    for (final View view : controls) {
        final Modify modify = null;
        //... instance of checks
        if (modify != null) {

public abstract class ViewModifier implements Modify {

    private static final String TAG = "ViewModifier";

    protected final Object     mObject;
    protected final String     mBasedir;
    protected final Resources  mResources;
    protected final TypedValue mTypedValue;

    public ViewModifier(@NonNull final Resources resources, @NonNull final Object object, @NonNull final String basedir) {
        mResources = resources;
        mObject = object;
        mBasedir = basedir;
        mTypedValue = new TypedValue();
        mTypedValue.density = resources.getDisplayMetrics().densityDpi;

    // some helper codes....

public interface Modify<T extends View> {
    void modify(final T t);
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will not accepting this answer until I fully grasp it, but +1 for answering and for the annotations tip. \$\endgroup\$ – eriuzo Dec 24 '14 at 12:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't hesitate to ask questions, I will check later on to see if I can find some more improvements \$\endgroup\$ – user1281750 Dec 24 '14 at 12:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ BTW: replace that Object method with CxpResources but rename that class to be a fully qualified name \$\endgroup\$ – user1281750 Dec 24 '14 at 12:40

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