0.5.0 (May 3, 2016)
Mar 12, 2016
Apr 28, 2017 (Retired)
Kane O'Riley (oriley-me)
Kane O'Riley (lennykano)
Derek Munneke (nextalias)
Source code



Crate is a simple gradle plugin to generate a list of classes for all files/folders included in your projects assets directory, for compile time safety. This is how the R classes used for referencing resources work. It also has the advantage of removing the need to use the notoriously slow AssetManager.list() methods.

No more string literals or typos, all your assets can be accessed with confidence!

Each Asset has the following methods: getPath(): Will return the full path as required by an AssetManager getName(): Returns just the file name of the asset isGzipped(): Returns whether the file is Gzip compressed (will be automatically handled by Crate) asUri(): Returns the file path formatted as a Uri string for consumption by external libraries

There are four subtypes of Asset, which contain extra information about the asset (calculated at compile time). They are:

  • FontAsset

Content Types: "application/x-font-otf", "application/x-font-ttf"

Methods: getFontName(): Returns the human readable name embedded in the font.

  • ImageAsset

Content Types: "image/jpeg", "image/png", "image/pjpeg", "image/gif", "image/bmp", "image/x-windows-bmp", "image/webp"

Methods: getWidth(): Returns the width of the image, as calculated at compile time. getHeight(): Returns the height of the image, as calculated at compile time.

  • SvgAsset

Content Types: "image/svg+xml", "image/svg+xml-compressed"

No extra methods. Requires adding the androidsvg library as a depenency in your module (refer to Gradle setup explanation below).

  • TODO: Read in some helpful SVG properties at compile time.

  • VideoAsset

Content Types: "video/3gpp", "video/mp4", "video/webm"

getWidth(): Returns the width of the video, as calculated at compile time by MediaInfo. getHeight(): Returns the height of the video, as calculated at compile time by MediaInfo.

  • NOTE: I have noticed MediaInfo can be a bit hit and miss, so if you have any issues (most likely all width and height values being invalid), feel free to let me know some details (operating system, IDE, Gradle/Java version etc) so I can look into it.


To construct the Crate, you will need to pass in a Context, but the Application context will automatically be retrieved so you don't have to worry about any Activity references being held on to.

Example construction:

// In constructor/application
mCrate = new Crate(this);

After construction, you can access all your assets easily:

// Usage for InputStream
try {
    Asset asset = mCrate.assets.other.RANDOM_FILE_EXT; // To open assets/other/random_file.ext
    InputStream is =;
    // Do what you will with the input stream
} catch (IOException e) {
    // Handle exception

// Usage for Typeface (FontAsset)
FontAsset fontAsset = mCrate.assets.fonts.ROBOTO_SLAB_TTF; // To get assets/fonts/Roboto-Slab.ttf
Typeface typeface = mCrate.getTypeface(fontAsset);

// Usage for Bitmap (ImageAsset)
ImageAsset imageAsset = mCrate.assets.images.LARGE_BACKGROUND_JPG; // To open assets/images/large_background.jpg
Bitmap bitmap = mCrate.getBitmap(imageAsset);

// Usage for PictureDrawable (SvgAsset)
SvgAsset svgAsset = mCrate.assets.svgs.LOVE_VECTORS_SVG; // To open assets/svgs/love_vectors.svg
PictureDrawable drawable = mCrate.getSvgDrawable(svgAsset);

If you don't want to use the helper methods in Crate to work with assets and would rather just take advantage of the compile time safety of the CrateDictionary, you can add the following static field to your Application class:

public static final CrateDictionary.AssetsClass assets = new CrateDictionary().assets;

This will allow you to retrieve assets statically and use them with an AssetManager, like so:

try {
    Asset asset = MyApplication.assets.other.RANDOM_FILE;
    InputStream is =;
    // Do what you will with the input stream
} catch (IOException e) {
    // Handle exception

Keep in mind that this will keep all Asset reference entries permanently in memory, so if possible use the Crate instance method and don't forget to null it when you're done ;-)

You can also retrieve a list of all Assets in a directory via:

for (Asset asset : mCrate.assets.other.LIST) {
    // Perform action

Or, for all Assets in your project:

for (Asset asset : mCrate.assets.FULL_LIST) {
    // Perform action

The LIST field for each folder will be of type List<? extends Asset>. If all files in a folder are of the same asset subtype (FontAsset, ImageAsset or SvgAsset), this concrete type will be used to remove the need for checking and casting. In all other cases, the root Asset type will be used.

Gradle Dependency

  • Add to your repositories list in the root projects build.gradle:
repositories {
    maven { url "" }
  • Add crate-plugin to your buildscript classpath:
buildscript {
    dependencies {
        classpath 'me.oriley.crate:crate-plugin:0.5.0'
  • Apply the plugin to your application or library project, and add the module runtime dependency:
apply plugin: '' || apply plugin: ''
apply plugin: 'me.oriley.crate-plugin'


dependencies {
    compile 'me.oriley.crate:crate-runtime:0.5.0'

    // Optional, only required if you plan to use the helper SVG parsing methods
    compile 'com.caverock:androidsvg:1.2.1'

Crate also includes a Gradle DSL extension to enable extra logging, should you have any issues:

crate {
    // Default is false, will output more info to gradle log and Android logcat if set to true
    debugLogging = true

Now just perform a gradle sync and you're done. You can now have compile time safety with all your projects assets.

Snapshot Builds

If you would like to check out the latest development version, please substitute all versions for -SNAPSHOT. Keep in mind that it is very likely things could break or be unfinished, so stick the official releases if you want things to be more predictable.