Migrate `of` to non-nullable return values, and add `maybeOf`

Summary

This migration guide describes conversion of code that uses various static of functions to retrieve information from a context that used to return nullable values, but now return non-nullable values.

Context

Flutter has a common pattern of allowing lookup of some types of widgets (typically InheritedWidgets, but also others) using static member functions that are typically called of.

When non-nullability was made the default, it was then desirable to have the most commonly used APIs return a non-nullable value. This is because saying Scrollable.of(context) and then still requiring an ! operator or ? and a fallback value after that call felt awkward, and was not idiomatic for non-nullable Dart code.

A lot of this migration was performed when we eliminated nullOk parameters in a previous migration, but some of methods were missed in that migration, and some were subsequently added with nullable return types, counter to our common pattern.

In this migration, the affected of accessors were split into two calls: one that returned a non-nullable value and threw an exception when the sought-after value was not present (still called of), and one that returned a nullable value that didn’t throw an exception, and returned null if the value was not present (a new method called maybeOf).

Description of change

The change modified these static of APIs to return non-nullable values. If a value is not found, they will also now assert in debug mode, and throw an exception in release mode.

This change also introduced new static maybeOf APIs alongside the above functions, which return a nullable version of the same value, and simply return null if the value is not found, without throwing any exceptions.

Migration guide

To modify your code to use the new form of the APIs, first convert all instances of the original static of functions (where its nullability is important) to use the maybeOf form instead.

Code before migration:

ScrollController? controller = Scrollable.of(context);

Code after migration:

ScrollController? controller = Scrollable.maybeOf(context);

Then, for instances where the code calls the of API followed by an exclamation point, just remove the exclamation point: it can no longer return a nullable value.

Code before migration:

ScrollController controller = Scrollable.of(context)!;

Code after migration:

ScrollController controller = Scrollable.of(context);

The following can also be helpful:

Timeline

Landed in version: TBD
In stable release: TBD

References

API documentation:

Relevant PRs: