slivers property

List<Widget> slivers

The slivers to place inside the viewport.

What is a sliver?

sliver (noun): a small, thin piece of something.

A sliver is a widget backed by a RenderSliver subclass, i.e. one that implements the constraint/geometry protocol that uses SliverConstraints and SliverGeometry.

This is as distinct from those widgets that are backed by RenderBox subclasses, which use BoxConstraints and Size respectively, and are known as box widgets. (Widgets like Container, Row, and SizedBox are box widgets.)

While boxes are much more straightforward (implementing a simple two-dimensional Cartesian layout system), slivers are much more powerful, and are optimized for one-axis scrolling environments.

Slivers are hosted in viewports, also known as scroll views, most notably CustomScrollView.

Examples of slivers

The Flutter framework has many built-in sliver widgets, and custom widgets can be created in the same manner. By convention, sliver widgets always start with the prefix Sliver and are always used in properties called sliver or slivers (as opposed to child and children which are used for box widgets).

Examples of widgets unique to the sliver world include:

Examples of sliver variants of common box widgets include:

Benefits of slivers over boxes

The sliver protocol (SliverConstraints and SliverGeometry) enables scroll effects, such as floating app bars, widgets that expand and shrink during scroll, section headers that are pinned only while the section's children are visible, etc.

Mixing slivers and boxes

In general, slivers always wrap box widgets to actually render anything (for example, there is no sliver equivalent of Text or Container); the sliver part of the equation is mostly about how these boxes should be laid out in a viewport (i.e. when scrolling).

Typically, the simplest way to combine boxes into a sliver environment is to use a SliverList (maybe using a [ListView, which is a convenient combination of a CustomScrollView and a SliverList). In rare cases, e.g. if a single Divider widget is needed between two SliverGrids, a SliverToBoxAdapter can be used to wrap the box widgets.

Performance considerations

Because the purpose of scroll views is to, well, scroll, it is common for scroll views to contain more contents than are rendered on the screen at any particular time.

To improve the performance of scroll views, the content can be rendered in lazy widgets, notably SliverList and SliverGrid (and their variants, such as SliverFixedExtentList and SliverAnimatedGrid). These widgets ensure that only the portion of their child lists that are actually visible get built, laid out, and painted.

The ListView and GridView widgets provide a convenient way to combine a CustomScrollView and a SliverList or SliverGrid (respectively).


final List<Widget> slivers;