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Old Sep 10, 2012, 10:11 PM   #1
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cellForRowAtIndexPath method question

Hi Forum,

can someone please explain to me that if i have this code

- (UITableViewCell *)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView cellForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath
    static NSString *CellIdentifier = @"Top Places Cell";
    UITableViewCell *cell = [tableView dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:CellIdentifier];
    if (cell == nil)
        cell = [[UITableViewCell alloc] initWithStyle:UITableViewCellStyleDefault reuseIdentifier:CellIdentifier];
so let me see if i even know what the heck i am talking about. so the "dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier" method is purely for performance.
basically we are saying if the cell exists and its off screen just re-use it when I need to draw another one. So if we dont have any off screen.. lets say my table only has 5 rows which all 5 fit on the screen. At that point there is nothing to "dequeue" so i need to create new cells. Hence the IF statement Makes sense. But i ran the exact same code with the if statement commented out, AND IT STILL RUNS!..... i am so confused Please shed some light on this.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 11:25 PM   #2
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I'll take a stab at this:
The program will work the same with or without cell reuse. Cell reuse is a way to conserve memory. If you have a small number of rows and don't scroll a lot, it won't really matter much.

If you have a large number or rows and don't reuse cells, you are using memory that the program might need.

The program will function the same.

As a "rule of thumb" it's best to have the cell reuse because you might end up loading more rows than you once though.

Let me know if this helps or not.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 12:06 AM   #3
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Creating a cell using alloc/init is not necessary anymore with storyboards, as you'll have a prototype cell with that reuse identifier. This means that a call to dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier always returns a cell (provided that the identifier is correct), and the if statement is never executed anyway.

darealjakesh is correct. A table view will only put a few cells in memory, just enough to be able to show a full screen of cells. Once scrolled off-screen, a cell stays in memory, but will go to the reuse stack. It can now be reused and shown at the bottom of the visible portion of the table.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 12:23 AM   #4
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-dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier has been upgraded over the last few versions to use a a bunch of optimizations. As scott said if your using a storyboard you can set the Reuse ID there. If your using a NIB or a custom UITableView Class you can register them against a reuse ID and avoid a bunch of spaghetti code in your cellForRowAtIndexpath method.
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