Joseph  Norton

Joseph Norton

1576817700

Python Flappy Bird AI Tutorial (with NEAT) - Implementing NEAT/Creating Fitness Function

In this AI flappy bird tutorial we start coding and implementing the NEAT algorithm.

Download CONFIG File: https://techwithtim.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/config-feedforward.txt

NEAT Documentation: https://neat-python.readthedocs.io/en/latest/config_file.html
NEAT Article: http://nn.cs.utexas.edu/downloads/papers/stanley.cec02.pdf
Code: https://github.com/techwithtim/NEAT-Flappy-Bird/blob/master/flappy_bird.py

#python

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Python Flappy Bird AI Tutorial (with NEAT) - Implementing NEAT/Creating Fitness Function
Easter  Deckow

Easter Deckow

1655630160

PyTumblr: A Python Tumblr API v2 Client

PyTumblr

Installation

Install via pip:

$ pip install pytumblr

Install from source:

$ git clone https://github.com/tumblr/pytumblr.git
$ cd pytumblr
$ python setup.py install

Usage

Create a client

A pytumblr.TumblrRestClient is the object you'll make all of your calls to the Tumblr API through. Creating one is this easy:

client = pytumblr.TumblrRestClient(
    '<consumer_key>',
    '<consumer_secret>',
    '<oauth_token>',
    '<oauth_secret>',
)

client.info() # Grabs the current user information

Two easy ways to get your credentials to are:

  1. The built-in interactive_console.py tool (if you already have a consumer key & secret)
  2. The Tumblr API console at https://api.tumblr.com/console
  3. Get sample login code at https://api.tumblr.com/console/calls/user/info

Supported Methods

User Methods

client.info() # get information about the authenticating user
client.dashboard() # get the dashboard for the authenticating user
client.likes() # get the likes for the authenticating user
client.following() # get the blogs followed by the authenticating user

client.follow('codingjester.tumblr.com') # follow a blog
client.unfollow('codingjester.tumblr.com') # unfollow a blog

client.like(id, reblogkey) # like a post
client.unlike(id, reblogkey) # unlike a post

Blog Methods

client.blog_info(blogName) # get information about a blog
client.posts(blogName, **params) # get posts for a blog
client.avatar(blogName) # get the avatar for a blog
client.blog_likes(blogName) # get the likes on a blog
client.followers(blogName) # get the followers of a blog
client.blog_following(blogName) # get the publicly exposed blogs that [blogName] follows
client.queue(blogName) # get the queue for a given blog
client.submission(blogName) # get the submissions for a given blog

Post Methods

Creating posts

PyTumblr lets you create all of the various types that Tumblr supports. When using these types there are a few defaults that are able to be used with any post type.

The default supported types are described below.

  • state - a string, the state of the post. Supported types are published, draft, queue, private
  • tags - a list, a list of strings that you want tagged on the post. eg: ["testing", "magic", "1"]
  • tweet - a string, the string of the customized tweet you want. eg: "Man I love my mega awesome post!"
  • date - a string, the customized GMT that you want
  • format - a string, the format that your post is in. Support types are html or markdown
  • slug - a string, the slug for the url of the post you want

We'll show examples throughout of these default examples while showcasing all the specific post types.

Creating a photo post

Creating a photo post supports a bunch of different options plus the described default options * caption - a string, the user supplied caption * link - a string, the "click-through" url for the photo * source - a string, the url for the photo you want to use (use this or the data parameter) * data - a list or string, a list of filepaths or a single file path for multipart file upload

#Creates a photo post using a source URL
client.create_photo(blogName, state="published", tags=["testing", "ok"],
                    source="https://68.media.tumblr.com/b965fbb2e501610a29d80ffb6fb3e1ad/tumblr_n55vdeTse11rn1906o1_500.jpg")

#Creates a photo post using a local filepath
client.create_photo(blogName, state="queue", tags=["testing", "ok"],
                    tweet="Woah this is an incredible sweet post [URL]",
                    data="/Users/johnb/path/to/my/image.jpg")

#Creates a photoset post using several local filepaths
client.create_photo(blogName, state="draft", tags=["jb is cool"], format="markdown",
                    data=["/Users/johnb/path/to/my/image.jpg", "/Users/johnb/Pictures/kittens.jpg"],
                    caption="## Mega sweet kittens")

Creating a text post

Creating a text post supports the same options as default and just a two other parameters * title - a string, the optional title for the post. Supports markdown or html * body - a string, the body of the of the post. Supports markdown or html

#Creating a text post
client.create_text(blogName, state="published", slug="testing-text-posts", title="Testing", body="testing1 2 3 4")

Creating a quote post

Creating a quote post supports the same options as default and two other parameter * quote - a string, the full text of the qote. Supports markdown or html * source - a string, the cited source. HTML supported

#Creating a quote post
client.create_quote(blogName, state="queue", quote="I am the Walrus", source="Ringo")

Creating a link post

  • title - a string, the title of post that you want. Supports HTML entities.
  • url - a string, the url that you want to create a link post for.
  • description - a string, the desciption of the link that you have
#Create a link post
client.create_link(blogName, title="I like to search things, you should too.", url="https://duckduckgo.com",
                   description="Search is pretty cool when a duck does it.")

Creating a chat post

Creating a chat post supports the same options as default and two other parameters * title - a string, the title of the chat post * conversation - a string, the text of the conversation/chat, with diablog labels (no html)

#Create a chat post
chat = """John: Testing can be fun!
Renee: Testing is tedious and so are you.
John: Aw.
"""
client.create_chat(blogName, title="Renee just doesn't understand.", conversation=chat, tags=["renee", "testing"])

Creating an audio post

Creating an audio post allows for all default options and a has 3 other parameters. The only thing to keep in mind while dealing with audio posts is to make sure that you use the external_url parameter or data. You cannot use both at the same time. * caption - a string, the caption for your post * external_url - a string, the url of the site that hosts the audio file * data - a string, the filepath of the audio file you want to upload to Tumblr

#Creating an audio file
client.create_audio(blogName, caption="Rock out.", data="/Users/johnb/Music/my/new/sweet/album.mp3")

#lets use soundcloud!
client.create_audio(blogName, caption="Mega rock out.", external_url="https://soundcloud.com/skrillex/sets/recess")

Creating a video post

Creating a video post allows for all default options and has three other options. Like the other post types, it has some restrictions. You cannot use the embed and data parameters at the same time. * caption - a string, the caption for your post * embed - a string, the HTML embed code for the video * data - a string, the path of the file you want to upload

#Creating an upload from YouTube
client.create_video(blogName, caption="Jon Snow. Mega ridiculous sword.",
                    embed="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40pUYLacrj4")

#Creating a video post from local file
client.create_video(blogName, caption="testing", data="/Users/johnb/testing/ok/blah.mov")

Editing a post

Updating a post requires you knowing what type a post you're updating. You'll be able to supply to the post any of the options given above for updates.

client.edit_post(blogName, id=post_id, type="text", title="Updated")
client.edit_post(blogName, id=post_id, type="photo", data="/Users/johnb/mega/awesome.jpg")

Reblogging a Post

Reblogging a post just requires knowing the post id and the reblog key, which is supplied in the JSON of any post object.

client.reblog(blogName, id=125356, reblog_key="reblog_key")

Deleting a post

Deleting just requires that you own the post and have the post id

client.delete_post(blogName, 123456) # Deletes your post :(

A note on tags: When passing tags, as params, please pass them as a list (not a comma-separated string):

client.create_text(blogName, tags=['hello', 'world'], ...)

Getting notes for a post

In order to get the notes for a post, you need to have the post id and the blog that it is on.

data = client.notes(blogName, id='123456')

The results include a timestamp you can use to make future calls.

data = client.notes(blogName, id='123456', before_timestamp=data["_links"]["next"]["query_params"]["before_timestamp"])

Tagged Methods

# get posts with a given tag
client.tagged(tag, **params)

Using the interactive console

This client comes with a nice interactive console to run you through the OAuth process, grab your tokens (and store them for future use).

You'll need pyyaml installed to run it, but then it's just:

$ python interactive-console.py

and away you go! Tokens are stored in ~/.tumblr and are also shared by other Tumblr API clients like the Ruby client.

Running tests

The tests (and coverage reports) are run with nose, like this:

python setup.py test

Author: tumblr
Source Code: https://github.com/tumblr/pytumblr
License: Apache-2.0 license

#python #api 

Ray  Patel

Ray Patel

1619510796

Lambda, Map, Filter functions in python

Welcome to my Blog, In this article, we will learn python lambda function, Map function, and filter function.

Lambda function in python: Lambda is a one line anonymous function and lambda takes any number of arguments but can only have one expression and python lambda syntax is

Syntax: x = lambda arguments : expression

Now i will show you some python lambda function examples:

#python #anonymous function python #filter function in python #lambda #lambda python 3 #map python #python filter #python filter lambda #python lambda #python lambda examples #python map

Tamale  Moses

Tamale Moses

1669003576

Exploring Mutable and Immutable in Python

In this Python article, let's learn about Mutable and Immutable in Python. 

Mutable and Immutable in Python

Mutable is a fancy way of saying that the internal state of the object is changed/mutated. So, the simplest definition is: An object whose internal state can be changed is mutable. On the other hand, immutable doesn’t allow any change in the object once it has been created.

Both of these states are integral to Python data structure. If you want to become more knowledgeable in the entire Python Data Structure, take this free course which covers multiple data structures in Python including tuple data structure which is immutable. You will also receive a certificate on completion which is sure to add value to your portfolio.

Mutable Definition

Mutable is when something is changeable or has the ability to change. In Python, ‘mutable’ is the ability of objects to change their values. These are often the objects that store a collection of data.

Immutable Definition

Immutable is the when no change is possible over time. In Python, if the value of an object cannot be changed over time, then it is known as immutable. Once created, the value of these objects is permanent.

List of Mutable and Immutable objects

Objects of built-in type that are mutable are:

  • Lists
  • Sets
  • Dictionaries
  • User-Defined Classes (It purely depends upon the user to define the characteristics) 

Objects of built-in type that are immutable are:

  • Numbers (Integer, Rational, Float, Decimal, Complex & Booleans)
  • Strings
  • Tuples
  • Frozen Sets
  • User-Defined Classes (It purely depends upon the user to define the characteristics)

Object mutability is one of the characteristics that makes Python a dynamically typed language. Though Mutable and Immutable in Python is a very basic concept, it can at times be a little confusing due to the intransitive nature of immutability.

Objects in Python

In Python, everything is treated as an object. Every object has these three attributes:

  • Identity – This refers to the address that the object refers to in the computer’s memory.
  • Type – This refers to the kind of object that is created. For example- integer, list, string etc. 
  • Value – This refers to the value stored by the object. For example – List=[1,2,3] would hold the numbers 1,2 and 3

While ID and Type cannot be changed once it’s created, values can be changed for Mutable objects.

Check out this free python certificate course to get started with Python.

Mutable Objects in Python

I believe, rather than diving deep into the theory aspects of mutable and immutable in Python, a simple code would be the best way to depict what it means in Python. Hence, let us discuss the below code step-by-step:

#Creating a list which contains name of Indian cities  

cities = [‘Delhi’, ‘Mumbai’, ‘Kolkata’]

# Printing the elements from the list cities, separated by a comma & space

for city in cities:
		print(city, end=’, ’)

Output [1]: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata

#Printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(cities)))

Output [2]: 0x1691d7de8c8

#Adding a new city to the list cities

cities.append(‘Chennai’)

#Printing the elements from the list cities, separated by a comma & space 

for city in cities:
	print(city, end=’, ’)

Output [3]: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai

#Printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(cities)))

Output [4]: 0x1691d7de8c8

The above example shows us that we were able to change the internal state of the object ‘cities’ by adding one more city ‘Chennai’ to it, yet, the memory address of the object did not change. This confirms that we did not create a new object, rather, the same object was changed or mutated. Hence, we can say that the object which is a type of list with reference variable name ‘cities’ is a MUTABLE OBJECT.

Let us now discuss the term IMMUTABLE. Considering that we understood what mutable stands for, it is obvious that the definition of immutable will have ‘NOT’ included in it. Here is the simplest definition of immutable– An object whose internal state can NOT be changed is IMMUTABLE.

Again, if you try and concentrate on different error messages, you have encountered, thrown by the respective IDE; you use you would be able to identify the immutable objects in Python. For instance, consider the below code & associated error message with it, while trying to change the value of a Tuple at index 0. 

#Creating a Tuple with variable name ‘foo’

foo = (1, 2)

#Changing the index[0] value from 1 to 3

foo[0] = 3
	
TypeError: 'tuple' object does not support item assignment 

Immutable Objects in Python

Once again, a simple code would be the best way to depict what immutable stands for. Hence, let us discuss the below code step-by-step:

#Creating a Tuple which contains English name of weekdays

weekdays = ‘Sunday’, ‘Monday’, ‘Tuesday’, ‘Wednesday’, ‘Thursday’, ‘Friday’, ‘Saturday’

# Printing the elements of tuple weekdays

print(weekdays)

Output [1]:  (‘Sunday’, ‘Monday’, ‘Tuesday’, ‘Wednesday’, ‘Thursday’, ‘Friday’, ‘Saturday’)

#Printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(weekdays)))

Output [2]: 0x1691cc35090

#tuples are immutable, so you cannot add new elements, hence, using merge of tuples with the # + operator to add a new imaginary day in the tuple ‘weekdays’

weekdays  +=  ‘Pythonday’,

#Printing the elements of tuple weekdays

print(weekdays)

Output [3]: (‘Sunday’, ‘Monday’, ‘Tuesday’, ‘Wednesday’, ‘Thursday’, ‘Friday’, ‘Saturday’, ‘Pythonday’)

#Printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(weekdays)))

Output [4]: 0x1691cc8ad68

This above example shows that we were able to use the same variable name that is referencing an object which is a type of tuple with seven elements in it. However, the ID or the memory location of the old & new tuple is not the same. We were not able to change the internal state of the object ‘weekdays’. The Python program manager created a new object in the memory address and the variable name ‘weekdays’ started referencing the new object with eight elements in it.  Hence, we can say that the object which is a type of tuple with reference variable name ‘weekdays’ is an IMMUTABLE OBJECT.

Also Read: Understanding the Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) in Python

Where can you use mutable and immutable objects:

Mutable objects can be used where you want to allow for any updates. For example, you have a list of employee names in your organizations, and that needs to be updated every time a new member is hired. You can create a mutable list, and it can be updated easily.

Immutability offers a lot of useful applications to different sensitive tasks we do in a network centred environment where we allow for parallel processing. By creating immutable objects, you seal the values and ensure that no threads can invoke overwrite/update to your data. This is also useful in situations where you would like to write a piece of code that cannot be modified. For example, a debug code that attempts to find the value of an immutable object.

Watch outs:  Non transitive nature of Immutability:

OK! Now we do understand what mutable & immutable objects in Python are. Let’s go ahead and discuss the combination of these two and explore the possibilities. Let’s discuss, as to how will it behave if you have an immutable object which contains the mutable object(s)? Or vice versa? Let us again use a code to understand this behaviour–

#creating a tuple (immutable object) which contains 2 lists(mutable) as it’s elements

#The elements (lists) contains the name, age & gender 

person = (['Ayaan', 5, 'Male'], ['Aaradhya', 8, 'Female'])

#printing the tuple

print(person)

Output [1]: (['Ayaan', 5, 'Male'], ['Aaradhya', 8, 'Female'])

#printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(person)))

Output [2]: 0x1691ef47f88

#Changing the age for the 1st element. Selecting 1st element of tuple by using indexing [0] then 2nd element of the list by using indexing [1] and assigning a new value for age as 4

person[0][1] = 4

#printing the updated tuple

print(person)

Output [3]: (['Ayaan', 4, 'Male'], ['Aaradhya', 8, 'Female'])

#printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(person)))

Output [4]: 0x1691ef47f88

In the above code, you can see that the object ‘person’ is immutable since it is a type of tuple. However, it has two lists as it’s elements, and we can change the state of lists (lists being mutable). So, here we did not change the object reference inside the Tuple, but the referenced object was mutated.

Also Read: Real-Time Object Detection Using TensorFlow

Same way, let’s explore how it will behave if you have a mutable object which contains an immutable object? Let us again use a code to understand the behaviour–

#creating a list (mutable object) which contains tuples(immutable) as it’s elements

list1 = [(1, 2, 3), (4, 5, 6)]

#printing the list

print(list1)

Output [1]: [(1, 2, 3), (4, 5, 6)]

#printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(list1)))

Output [2]: 0x1691d5b13c8	

#changing object reference at index 0

list1[0] = (7, 8, 9)

#printing the list

Output [3]: [(7, 8, 9), (4, 5, 6)]

#printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(list1)))

Output [4]: 0x1691d5b13c8

As an individual, it completely depends upon you and your requirements as to what kind of data structure you would like to create with a combination of mutable & immutable objects. I hope that this information will help you while deciding the type of object you would like to select going forward.

Before I end our discussion on IMMUTABILITY, allow me to use the word ‘CAVITE’ when we discuss the String and Integers. There is an exception, and you may see some surprising results while checking the truthiness for immutability. For instance:
#creating an object of integer type with value 10 and reference variable name ‘x’ 

x = 10
 

#printing the value of ‘x’

print(x)

Output [1]: 10

#Printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(x)))

Output [2]: 0x538fb560

#creating an object of integer type with value 10 and reference variable name ‘y’

y = 10

#printing the value of ‘y’

print(y)

Output [3]: 10

#Printing the location of the object created in the memory address in hexadecimal format

print(hex(id(y)))

Output [4]: 0x538fb560

As per our discussion and understanding, so far, the memory address for x & y should have been different, since, 10 is an instance of Integer class which is immutable. However, as shown in the above code, it has the same memory address. This is not something that we expected. It seems that what we have understood and discussed, has an exception as well.

Quick checkPython Data Structures

Immutability of Tuple

Tuples are immutable and hence cannot have any changes in them once they are created in Python. This is because they support the same sequence operations as strings. We all know that strings are immutable. The index operator will select an element from a tuple just like in a string. Hence, they are immutable.

Exceptions in immutability

Like all, there are exceptions in the immutability in python too. Not all immutable objects are really mutable. This will lead to a lot of doubts in your mind. Let us just take an example to understand this.

Consider a tuple ‘tup’.

Now, if we consider tuple tup = (‘GreatLearning’,[4,3,1,2]) ;

We see that the tuple has elements of different data types. The first element here is a string which as we all know is immutable in nature. The second element is a list which we all know is mutable. Now, we all know that the tuple itself is an immutable data type. It cannot change its contents. But, the list inside it can change its contents. So, the value of the Immutable objects cannot be changed but its constituent objects can. change its value.

FAQs

1. Difference between mutable vs immutable in Python?

Mutable ObjectImmutable Object
State of the object can be modified after it is created.State of the object can’t be modified once it is created.
They are not thread safe.They are thread safe
Mutable classes are not final.It is important to make the class final before creating an immutable object.

2. What are the mutable and immutable data types in Python?

  • Some mutable data types in Python are:

list, dictionary, set, user-defined classes.

  • Some immutable data types are: 

int, float, decimal, bool, string, tuple, range.

3. Are lists mutable in Python?

Lists in Python are mutable data types as the elements of the list can be modified, individual elements can be replaced, and the order of elements can be changed even after the list has been created.
(Examples related to lists have been discussed earlier in this blog.)

4. Why are tuples called immutable types?

Tuple and list data structures are very similar, but one big difference between the data types is that lists are mutable, whereas tuples are immutable. The reason for the tuple’s immutability is that once the elements are added to the tuple and the tuple has been created; it remains unchanged.

A programmer would always prefer building a code that can be reused instead of making the whole data object again. Still, even though tuples are immutable, like lists, they can contain any Python object, including mutable objects.

5. Are sets mutable in Python?

A set is an iterable unordered collection of data type which can be used to perform mathematical operations (like union, intersection, difference etc.). Every element in a set is unique and immutable, i.e. no duplicate values should be there, and the values can’t be changed. However, we can add or remove items from the set as the set itself is mutable.

6. Are strings mutable in Python?

Strings are not mutable in Python. Strings are a immutable data types which means that its value cannot be updated.

Join Great Learning Academy’s free online courses and upgrade your skills today.


Original article source at: https://www.mygreatlearning.com

#python 

A Collection Of Swift Tips & Tricks That I've Shared on Twitter

⚠️ This list is no longer being updated. For my latest Swift tips, checkout the "Tips" section on Swift by Sundell.

Swift tips & tricks ⚡️

One of the things I really love about Swift is how I keep finding interesting ways to use it in various situations, and when I do - I usually share them on Twitter. Here's a collection of all the tips & tricks that I've shared so far. Each entry has a link to the original tweet, if you want to respond with some feedback or question, which is always super welcome! 🚀

Also make sure to check out all of my other Swift content:

#102 Making async tests faster and more stable

🚀 Here are some quick tips to make async tests faster & more stable:

  • 😴 Avoid sleep() - use expectations instead
  • ⏱ Use generous timeouts to avoid flakiness on CI
  • 🧐 Put all assertions at the end of each test, not inside closures
// BEFORE:

class MentionDetectorTests: XCTestCase {
    func testDetectingMention() {
        let detector = MentionDetector()
        let string = "This test was written by @johnsundell."

        detector.detectMentions(in: string) { mentions in
            XCTAssertEqual(mentions, ["johnsundell"])
        }
        
        sleep(2)
    }
}

// AFTER:

class MentionDetectorTests: XCTestCase {
    func testDetectingMention() {
        let detector = MentionDetector()
        let string = "This test was written by @johnsundell."

        var mentions: [String]?
        let expectation = self.expectation(description: #function)

        detector.detectMentions(in: string) {
            mentions = $0
            expectation.fulfill()
        }

        waitForExpectations(timeout: 10)
        XCTAssertEqual(mentions, ["johnsundell"])
    }
}

For more on async testing, check out "Unit testing asynchronous Swift code".

#101 Adding support for Apple Pencil double-taps

✍️ Adding support for the new Apple Pencil double-tap feature is super easy! All you have to do is to create a UIPencilInteraction, add it to a view, and implement one delegate method. Hopefully all pencil-compatible apps will soon adopt this.

let interaction = UIPencilInteraction()
interaction.delegate = self
view.addInteraction(interaction)

extension ViewController: UIPencilInteractionDelegate {
    func pencilInteractionDidTap(_ interaction: UIPencilInteraction) {
        // Handle pencil double-tap
    }
}

For more on using this and other iPad Pro features, check out "Building iPad Pro features in Swift".

#100 Combining values with functions

😎 Here's a cool function that combines a value with a function to return a closure that captures that value, so that it can be called without any arguments. Super useful when working with closure-based APIs and we want to use some of our properties without having to capture self.

func combine<A, B>(_ value: A, with closure: @escaping (A) -> B) -> () -> B {
    return { closure(value) }
}

// BEFORE:

class ProductViewController: UIViewController {
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()

        buyButton.handler = { [weak self] in
            guard let self = self else {
                return
            }
            
            self.productManager.startCheckout(for: self.product)
        }
    }
}

// AFTER:

class ProductViewController: UIViewController {
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()

        buyButton.handler = combine(product, with: productManager.startCheckout)
    }
}

#99 Dependency injection using functions

💉 When I'm only using a single function from a dependency, I love to inject that function as a closure, instead of having to create a protocol and inject the whole object. Makes dependency injection & testing super simple.

final class ArticleLoader {
    typealias Networking = (Endpoint) -> Future<Data>
    
    private let networking: Networking
    
    init(networking: @escaping Networking = URLSession.shared.load) {
        self.networking = networking
    }
    
    func loadLatest() -> Future<[Article]> {
        return networking(.latestArticles).decode()
    }
}

For more on this technique, check out "Simple Swift dependency injection with functions".

#98 Using a custom exception handler

💥 It's cool that you can easily assign a closure as a custom NSException handler. This is super useful when building things in Playgrounds - since you can't use breakpoints - so instead of just signal SIGABRT, you'll get the full exception description if something goes wrong.

NSSetUncaughtExceptionHandler { exception in
    print(exception)
}

#97 Using type aliases to give semantic meaning to primitives

❤️ I love that in Swift, we can use the type system to make our code so much more self-documenting - one way of doing so is to use type aliases to give the primitive types that we use a more semantic meaning.

extension List.Item {
    // Using type aliases, we can give semantic meaning to the
    // primitive types that we use, without having to introduce
    // wrapper types.
    typealias Index = Int
}

extension List {
    enum Mutation {
        // Our enum cases now become a lot more self-documenting,
        // without having to add additional parameter labels to
        // explain them.
        case add(Item, Item.Index)
        case update(Item, Item.Index)
        case remove(Item.Index)
    }
}

For more on self-documenting code, check out "Writing self-documenting Swift code".

#96 Specializing protocols using constraints

🤯 A little late night prototyping session reveals that protocol constraints can not only be applied to extensions - they can also be added to protocol definitions!

This is awesome, since it lets us easily define specialized protocols based on more generic ones.

protocol Component {
    associatedtype Container
    func add(to container: Container)
}

// Protocols that inherit from other protocols can include
// constraints to further specialize them.
protocol ViewComponent: Component where Container == UIView {
    associatedtype View: UIView
    var view: View { get }
}

extension ViewComponent {
    func add(to container: UIView) {
        container.addSubview(view)
    }
}

For more on specializing protocols, check out "Specializing protocols in Swift".

#95 Unwrapping an optional or throwing an error

📦 Here's a super handy extension on Swift's Optional type, which gives us a really nice API for easily unwrapping an optional, or throwing an error in case the value turned out to be nil:

extension Optional {
    func orThrow(_ errorExpression: @autoclosure () -> Error) throws -> Wrapped {
        switch self {
        case .some(let value):
            return value
        case .none:
            throw errorExpression()
        }
    }
}

let file = try loadFile(at: path).orThrow(MissingFileError())

For more ways that optionals can be extended, check out "Extending optionals in Swift".

#94 Testing code that uses static APIs

👩‍🔬 Testing code that uses static APIs can be really tricky, but there's a way that it can often be done - using Swift's first class function capabilities!

Instead of accessing that static API directly, we can inject the function we want to use, which enables us to mock it!

// BEFORE

class FriendsLoader {
    func loadFriends(then handler: @escaping (Result<[Friend]>) -> Void) {
        Networking.loadData(from: .friends) { result in
            ...
        }
    }
}

// AFTER

class FriendsLoader {
    typealias Handler<T> = (Result<T>) -> Void
    typealias DataLoadingFunction = (Endpoint, @escaping Handler<Data>) -> Void

    func loadFriends(using dataLoading: DataLoadingFunction = Networking.loadData,
                     then handler: @escaping Handler<[Friend]>) {
        dataLoading(.friends) { result in
            ...
        }
    }
}

// MOCKING IN TESTS

let dataLoading: FriendsLoader.DataLoadingFunction = { _, handler in
    handler(.success(mockData))
}

friendsLoader.loadFriends(using: dataLoading) { result in
    ...
}

#93 Matching multiple enum cases with associated values

🐾 Swift's pattern matching capabilities are so powerful! Two enum cases with associated values can even be matched and handled by the same switch case - which is super useful when handling state changes with similar data.

enum DownloadState {
    case inProgress(progress: Double)
    case paused(progress: Double)
    case cancelled
    case finished(Data)
}

func downloadStateDidChange(to state: DownloadState) {
    switch state {
    case .inProgress(let progress), .paused(let progress):
        updateProgressView(with: progress)
    case .cancelled:
        showCancelledMessage()
    case .finished(let data):
        process(data)
    }
}

#92 Multiline string literals

🅰 One really nice benefit of Swift multiline string literals - even for single lines of text - is that they don't require quotes to be escaped. Perfect when working with things like HTML, or creating a custom description for an object.

let html = highlighter.highlight("Array<String>")

XCTAssertEqual(html, """
<span class="type">Array</span>&lt;<span class="type">String</span>&gt;
""")

#91 Reducing sequences

💎 While it's very common in functional programming, the reduce function might be a bit of a hidden gem in Swift. It provides a super useful way to transform a sequence into a single value.

extension Sequence where Element: Equatable {
    func numberOfOccurrences(of target: Element) -> Int {
        return reduce(0) { result, element in
            guard element == target else {
                return result
            }

            return result + 1
        }
    }
}

You can read more about transforming collections in "Transforming collections in Swift".

#90 Avoiding manual Codable implementations

📦 When I use Codable in Swift, I want to avoid manual implementations as much as possible, even when there's a mismatch between my code structure and the JSON I'm decoding.

One way that can often be achieved is to use private data containers combined with computed properties.

struct User: Codable {
    let name: String
    let age: Int

    var homeTown: String { return originPlace.name }

    private let originPlace: Place
}

private extension User {
    struct Place: Codable {
        let name: String
    }
}

extension User {
    struct Container: Codable {
        let user: User
    }
}

#89 Using feature flags instead of feature branches

🚢 Instead of using feature branches, I merge almost all of my code directly into master - and then I use feature flags to conditionally enable features when they're ready. That way I can avoid merge conflicts and keep shipping!

extension ListViewController {
    func addSearchIfNeeded() {
        // Rather than having to keep maintaining a separate
        // feature branch for a new feature, we can use a flag
        // to conditionally turn it on.
        guard FeatureFlags.searchEnabled else {
            return
        }

        let resultsVC = SearchResultsViewController()
        let searchVC = UISearchController(
            searchResultsController: resultsVC
        )

        searchVC.searchResultsUpdater = resultsVC
        navigationItem.searchController = searchVC
    }
}

You can read more about feature flags in "Feature flags in Swift".

#88 Lightweight data hierarchies using tuples

💾 Here I'm using tuples to create a lightweight hierarchy for my data, giving me a nice structure without having to introduce any additional types.

struct CodeSegment {
    var tokens: (
        previous: String?,
        current: String
    )

    var delimiters: (
        previous: Character?
        next: Character?
    )
}

handle(segment.tokens.current)

You can read more about tuples in "Using tuples as lightweight types in Swift"

#87 The rule of threes

3️⃣ Whenever I have 3 properties or local variables that share the same prefix, I usually try to extract them into their own method or type. That way I can avoid massive types & methods, and also increase readability, without falling into a "premature optimization" trap.

Before

public func generate() throws {
    let contentFolder = try folder.subfolder(named: "content")

    let articleFolder = try contentFolder.subfolder(named: "posts")
    let articleProcessor = ContentProcessor(folder: articleFolder)
    let articles = try articleProcessor.process()

    ...
}

After

public func generate() throws {
    let contentFolder = try folder.subfolder(named: "content")
    let articles = try processArticles(in: contentFolder)
    ...
}

private func processArticles(in folder: Folder) throws -> [ContentItem] {
    let folder = try folder.subfolder(named: "posts")
    let processor = ContentProcessor(folder: folder)
    return try processor.process()
}

#86 Useful Codable extensions

👨‍🔧 Here's two extensions that I always add to the Encodable & Decodable protocols, which for me really make the Codable API nicer to use. By using type inference for decoding, a lot of boilerplate can be removed when the compiler is already able to infer the resulting type.

extension Encodable {
    func encoded() throws -> Data {
        return try JSONEncoder().encode(self)
    }
}

extension Data {
    func decoded<T: Decodable>() throws -> T {
        return try JSONDecoder().decode(T.self, from: self)
    }
}

let data = try user.encoded()

// By using a generic type in the decoded() method, the
// compiler can often infer the type we want to decode
// from the current context.
try userDidLogin(data.decoded())

// And if not, we can always supply the type, still making
// the call site read very nicely.
let otherUser = try data.decoded() as User

#85 Using shared UserDefaults suites

📦 UserDefaults is a lot more powerful than what it first might seem like. Not only can it store more complex values (like dates & dictionaries) and parse command line arguments - it also enables easy sharing of settings & lightweight data between apps in the same App Group.

let sharedDefaults = UserDefaults(suiteName: "my-app-group")!
let useDarkMode = sharedDefaults.bool(forKey: "dark-mode")

// This value is put into the shared suite.
sharedDefaults.set(true, forKey: "dark-mode")

// If you want to treat the shared settings as read-only (and add
// local overrides on top of them), you can simply add the shared
// suite to the standard UserDefaults.
let combinedDefaults = UserDefaults.standard
combinedDefaults.addSuite(named: "my-app-group")

// This value is a local override, not added to the shared suite.
combinedDefaults.set(true, forKey: "app-specific-override")

#84 Custom UIView backing layers

🎨 By overriding layerClass you can tell UIKit what CALayer class to use for a UIView's backing layer. That way you can reduce the amount of layers, and don't have to do any manual layout.

final class GradientView: UIView {
    override class var layerClass: AnyClass { return CAGradientLayer.self }

    var colors: (start: UIColor, end: UIColor)? {
        didSet { updateLayer() }
    }

    private func updateLayer() {
        let layer = self.layer as! CAGradientLayer
        layer.colors = colors.map { [$0.start.cgColor, $0.end.cgColor] }
    }
}

#83 Auto-Equatable enums with associated values

✅ That the compiler now automatically synthesizes Equatable conformances is such a huge upgrade for Swift! And the cool thing is that it works for all kinds of types - even for enums with associated values! Especially useful when using enums for verification in unit tests.

struct Article: Equatable {
    let title: String
    let text: String
}

struct User: Equatable {
    let name: String
    let age: Int
}

extension Navigator {
    enum Destination: Equatable {
        case profile(User)
        case article(Article)
    }
}

func testNavigatingToArticle() {
    let article = Article(title: "Title", text: "Text")
    controller.select(article)
    XCTAssertEqual(navigator.destinations, [.article(article)])
}

#82 Defaults for associated types

🤝 Associated types can have defaults in Swift - which is super useful for types that are not easily inferred (for example when they're not used for a specific instance method or property).

protocol Identifiable {
    associatedtype RawIdentifier: Codable = String

    var id: Identifier<Self> { get }
}

struct User: Identifiable {
    let id: Identifier<User>
    let name: String
}

struct Group: Identifiable {
    typealias RawIdentifier = Int

    let id: Identifier<Group>
    let name: String
}

#81 Creating a dedicated identifier type

🆔 If you want to avoid using plain strings as identifiers (which can increase both type safety & readability), it's really easy to create a custom Identifier type that feels just like a native Swift type, thanks to protocols!

More on this topic in "Type-safe identifiers in Swift".

struct Identifier: Hashable {
    let string: String
}

extension Identifier: ExpressibleByStringLiteral {
    init(stringLiteral value: String) {
        string = value
    }
}

extension Identifier: CustomStringConvertible {
    var description: String {
        return string
    }
}

extension Identifier: Codable {
    init(from decoder: Decoder) throws {
        let container = try decoder.singleValueContainer()
        string = try container.decode(String.self)
    }

    func encode(to encoder: Encoder) throws {
        var container = encoder.singleValueContainer()
        try container.encode(string)
    }
}

struct Article: Codable {
    let id: Identifier
    let title: String
}

let article = Article(id: "my-article", title: "Hello world!")

#80 Assigning optional tuple members to variables

🙌 A really cool thing about using tuples to model the internal state of a Swift type, is that you can unwrap an optional tuple's members directly into local variables.

Very useful in order to group multiple optional values together for easy unwrapping & handling.

class ImageTransformer {
    private var queue = [(image: UIImage, transform: Transform)]()

    private func processNext() {
        // When unwrapping an optional tuple, you can assign the members
        // directly to local variables.
        guard let (image, transform) = queue.first else {
            return
        }

        let context = Context()
        context.draw(image)
        context.apply(transform)
        ...
    }
}

#79 Struct convenience initializers

❤️ I love to structure my code using extensions in Swift. One big benefit of doing so when it comes to struct initializers, is that defining a convenience initializer doesn't remove the default one the compiler generates - best of both worlds!

struct Article {
    let date: Date
    var title: String
    var text: String
    var comments: [Comment]
}

extension Article {
    init(title: String, text: String) {
        self.init(date: Date(), title: title, text: text, comments: [])
    }
}

let articleA = Article(title: "Best Cupcake Recipe", text: "...")

let articleB = Article(
    date: Date(),
    title: "Best Cupcake Recipe",
    text: "...",
    comments: [
        Comment(user: currentUser, text: "Yep, can confirm!")
    ]
)

#78 Usages of throwing functions

🏈 A big benefit of using throwing functions for synchronous Swift APIs is that the caller can decide whether they want to treat the return value as optional (try?) or required (try).

func loadFile(named name: String) throws -> File {
    guard let url = urlForFile(named: name) else {
        throw File.Error.missing
    }

    do {
        let data = try Data(contentsOf: url)
        return File(url: url, data: data)
    } catch {
        throw File.Error.invalidData(error)
    }
}

let requiredFile = try loadFile(named: "AppConfig.json")

let optionalFile = try? loadFile(named: "UserSettings.json")

#77 Nested generic types

🐝 Types that are nested in generics automatically inherit their parent's generic types - which is super useful when defining accessory types (for things like states or outcomes).

struct Task<Input, Output> {
    typealias Closure = (Input) throws -> Output

    let closure: Closure
}

extension Task {
    enum Result {
        case success(Output)
        case failure(Error)
    }
}

#76 Equatable & Hashable structures

🤖 Now that the Swift compiler automatically synthesizes Equatable & Hashable conformances for value types, it's easier than ever to setup model structures with nested types that are all Equatable/Hashable!

typealias Value = Hashable & Codable

struct User: Value {
    var name: String
    var age: Int
    var lastLoginDate: Date?
    var settings: Settings
}

extension User {
    struct Settings: Value {
        var itemsPerPage: Int
        var theme: Theme
    }
}

extension User.Settings {
    enum Theme: String, Value {
        case light
        case dark
    }
}

You can read more about using nested types in Swift here.

#75 Conditional conformances

🎉 Swift 4.1 is here! One of the key features it brings is conditional conformances, which lets you have a type only conform to a protocol under certain constraints.

protocol UnboxTransformable {
    associatedtype RawValue

    static func transform(_ value: RawValue) throws -> Self?
}

extension Array: UnboxTransformable where Element: UnboxTransformable {
    typealias RawValue = [Element.RawValue]

    static func transform(_ value: RawValue) throws -> [Element]? {
        return try value.compactMap(Element.transform)
    }
}

I also have an article with lots of more info on conditional conformances here. Paul Hudson also has a great overview of all Swift 4.1 features here.

#74 Generic type aliases

🕵️‍♀️ A cool thing about Swift type aliases is that they can be generic! Combine that with tuples and you can easily define simple generic types.

typealias Pair<T> = (T, T)

extension Game {
    func calculateScore(for players: Pair<Player>) -> Int {
        ...
    }
}

You can read more about using tuples as lightweight types here.

#73 Parsing command line arguments using UserDefaults

☑️ A really cool "hidden" feature of UserDefaults is that it contains any arguments that were passed to the app at launch!

Super useful both in Swift command line tools & scripts, but also to temporarily override a value when debugging iOS apps.

let defaults = UserDefaults.standard
let query = defaults.string(forKey: "query")
let resultCount = defaults.integer(forKey: "results")

#72 Using the & operator

👏 Swift's & operator is awesome! Not only can you use it to compose protocols, you can compose other types too! Very useful if you want to hide concrete types & implementation details.

protocol LoadableFromURL {
    func load(from url: URL)
}

class ContentViewController: UIViewController, LoadableFromURL {
    func load(from url: URL) {
        ...
    }
}

class ViewControllerFactory {
    func makeContentViewController() -> UIViewController & LoadableFromURL {
        return ContentViewController()
    }
}

#71 Capturing multiple values in mocks

🤗 When capturing values in mocks, using an array (instead of just a single value) makes it easy to verify that only a certain number of values were passed.

Perfect for protecting against "over-calling" something.

class UserManagerTests: XCTestCase {
    func testObserversCalledWhenUserFirstLogsIn() {
        let manager = UserManager()

        let observer = ObserverMock()
        manager.addObserver(observer)

        // First login, observers should be notified
        let user = User(id: 123, name: "John")
        manager.userDidLogin(user)
        XCTAssertEqual(observer.users, [user])

        // If the same user logs in again, observers shouldn't be notified
        manager.userDidLogin(user)
        XCTAssertEqual(observer.users, [user])
    }
}

private extension UserManagerTests {
    class ObserverMock: UserManagerObserver {
        private(set) var users = [User]()

        func userDidChange(to user: User) {
            users.append(user)
        }
    }
}

#70 Reducing the need for mocks

👋 When writing tests, you don't always need to create mocks - you can create stubs using real instances of things like errors, URLs & UserDefaults.

Here's how to do that for some common tasks/object types in Swift:

// Create errors using NSError (#function can be used to reference the name of the test)
let error = NSError(domain: #function, code: 1, userInfo: nil)

// Create non-optional URLs using file paths
let url = URL(fileURLWithPath: "Some/URL")

// Reference the test bundle using Bundle(for:)
let bundle = Bundle(for: type(of: self))

// Create an explicit UserDefaults object (instead of having to use a mock)
let userDefaults = UserDefaults(suiteName: #function)

// Create queues to control/await concurrent operations
let queue = DispatchQueue(label: #function)

For when you actually do need mocking, check out "Mocking in Swift".

#69 Using "then" as an external parameter label for closures

⏱ I've started using "then" as an external parameter label for completion handlers. Makes the call site read really nicely (Because I do ❤️ conversational API design) regardless of whether trailing closure syntax is used or not.

protocol DataLoader {
    // Adding type aliases to protocols can be a great way to
    // reduce verbosity for parameter types.
    typealias Handler = (Result<Data>) -> Void
    associatedtype Endpoint

    func loadData(from endpoint: Endpoint, then handler: @escaping Handler)
}

loader.loadData(from: .messages) { result in
    ...
}

loader.loadData(from: .messages, then: { result in
    ...
})

#68 Combining lazily evaluated sequences with the builder pattern

😴 Combining lazily evaluated sequences with builder pattern-like properties can lead to some pretty sweet APIs for configurable sequences in Swift.

Also useful for queries & other things you "build up" and then execute.

// Extension adding builder pattern-like properties that return
// a new sequence value with the given configuration applied
extension FileSequence {
    var recursive: FileSequence {
        var sequence = self
        sequence.isRecursive = true
        return sequence
    }

    var includingHidden: FileSequence {
        var sequence = self
        sequence.includeHidden = true
        return sequence
    }
}

// BEFORE

let files = folder.makeFileSequence(recursive: true, includeHidden: true)

// AFTER

let files = folder.files.recursive.includingHidden

Want an intro to lazy sequences? Check out "Swift sequences: The art of being lazy".

#67 Faster & more stable UI tests

My top 3 tips for faster & more stable UI tests:

📱 Reset the app's state at the beginning of every test.

🆔 Use accessibility identifiers instead of UI strings.

⏱ Use expectations instead of waiting time.

func testOpeningArticle() {
    // Launch the app with an argument that tells it to reset its state
    let app = XCUIApplication()
    app.launchArguments.append("--uitesting")
    app.launch()
    
    // Check that the app is displaying an activity indicator
    let activityIndicator = app.activityIndicator.element
    XCTAssertTrue(activityIndicator.exists)
    
    // Wait for the loading indicator to disappear = content is ready
    expectation(for: NSPredicate(format: "exists == 0"),
                evaluatedWith: activityIndicator)
                
    // Use a generous timeout in case the network is slow
    waitForExpectations(timeout: 10)
    
    // Tap the cell for the first article
    app.tables.cells["Article.0"].tap()
    
    // Assert that a label with the accessibility identifier "Article.Title" exists
    let label = app.staticTexts["Article.Title"]
    XCTAssertTrue(label.exists)
}

#66 Accessing the clipboard from a Swift script

📋 It's super easy to access the contents of the clipboard from a Swift script. A big benefit of Swift scripting is being able to use Cocoa's powerful APIs for Mac apps.

import Cocoa

let clipboard = NSPasteboard.general.string(forType: .string)

#65 Using tuples for view state

🎯 Using Swift tuples for view state can be a super nice way to group multiple properties together and render them reactively using the layout system.

By using a tuple we don't have to either introduce a new type or make our view model-aware.

class TextView: UIView {
    var state: (title: String?, text: String?) {
        // By telling UIKit that our view needs layout and binding our
        // state in layoutSubviews, we can react to state changes without
        // doing unnecessary layout work.
        didSet { setNeedsLayout() }
    }

    private let titleLabel = UILabel()
    private let textLabel = UILabel()

    override func layoutSubviews() {
        super.layoutSubviews()

        titleLabel.text = state.title
        textLabel.text = state.text

        ...
    }
}

#64 Throwing tests and LocalizedError

⚾️ Swift tests can throw, which is super useful in order to avoid complicated logic or force unwrapping. By making errors conform to LocalizedError, you can also get a nice error message in Xcode if there's a failure.

class ImageCacheTests: XCTestCase {
    func testCachingAndLoadingImage() throws {
        let bundle = Bundle(for: type(of: self))
        let cache = ImageCache(bundle: bundle)
        
        // Bonus tip: You can easily load images from your test
        // bundle using this UIImage initializer
        let image = try require(UIImage(named: "sample", in: bundle, compatibleWith: nil))
        try cache.cache(image, forKey: "key")
        
        let cachedImage = try cache.image(forKey: "key")
        XCTAssertEqual(image, cachedImage)
    }
}

enum ImageCacheError {
    case emptyKey
    case dataConversionFailed
}

// When using throwing tests, making your errors conform to
// LocalizedError will render a much nicer error message in
// Xcode (per default only the error code is shown).
extension ImageCacheError: LocalizedError {
    var errorDescription: String? {
        switch self {
        case .emptyKey:
            return "An empty key was given"
        case .dataConversionFailed:
            return "Failed to convert the given image to Data"
        }
    }
}

For more information, and the implementation of the require method used above, check out "Avoiding force unwrapping in Swift unit tests".

#63 The difference between static and class properties

✍️ Unlike static properties, class properties can be overridden by subclasses (however, they can't be stored, only computed).

class TableViewCell: UITableViewCell {
    class var preferredHeight: CGFloat { return 60 }
}

class TallTableViewCell: TableViewCell {
    override class var preferredHeight: CGFloat { return 100 }
}

#62 Creating extensions with static factory methods

👨‍🎨 Creating extensions with static factory methods can be a great alternative to subclassing in Swift, especially for things like setting up UIViews, CALayers or other kinds of styling.

It also lets you remove a lot of styling & setup from your view controllers.

extension UILabel {
    static func makeForTitle() -> UILabel {
        let label = UILabel()
        label.font = .boldSystemFont(ofSize: 24)
        label.textColor = .darkGray
        label.adjustsFontSizeToFitWidth = true
        label.minimumScaleFactor = 0.75
        return label
    }

    static func makeForText() -> UILabel {
        let label = UILabel()
        label.font = .systemFont(ofSize: 16)
        label.textColor = .black
        label.numberOfLines = 0
        return label
    }
}

class ArticleViewController: UIViewController {
    lazy var titleLabel = UILabel.makeForTitle()
    lazy var textLabel = UILabel.makeForText()
}

#61 Child view controller auto-resizing

🧒 An awesome thing about child view controllers is that they're automatically resized to match their parent, making them a super nice solution for things like loading & error views.

class ListViewController: UIViewController {
    func loadItems() {
        let loadingViewController = LoadingViewController()
        add(loadingViewController)

        dataLoader.loadItems { [weak self] result in
            loadingViewController.remove()
            self?.handle(result)
        }
    }
}

For more about child view controller (including the add and remove methods used above), check out "Using child view controllers as plugins in Swift".

#60 Using zip

🤐 Using the zip function in Swift you can easily combine two sequences. Super useful when using two sequences to do some work, since zip takes care of all the bounds-checking.

func render(titles: [String]) {
    for (label, text) in zip(titleLabels, titles) {
        print(text)
        label.text = text
    }
}

#59 Defining custom option sets

🎛 The awesome thing about option sets in Swift is that they can automatically either be passed as a single member or as a set. Even cooler is that you can easily define your own option sets as well, perfect for options and other non-exclusive values.

// Option sets are awesome, because you can easily pass them
// both using dot syntax and array literal syntax, like when
// using the UIView animation API:
UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.3,
               delay: 0,
               options: .allowUserInteraction,
               animations: animations)

UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.3,
               delay: 0,
               options: [.allowUserInteraction, .layoutSubviews],
               animations: animations)

// The cool thing is that you can easily define your own option
// sets as well, by defining a struct that has an Int rawValue,
// that will be used as a bit mask.
extension Cache {
    struct Options: OptionSet {
        static let saveToDisk = Options(rawValue: 1)
        static let clearOnMemoryWarning = Options(rawValue: 1 << 1)
        static let clearDaily = Options(rawValue: 1 << 2)

        let rawValue: Int
    }
}

// We can now use Cache.Options just like UIViewAnimationOptions:
Cache(options: .saveToDisk)
Cache(options: [.saveToDisk, .clearDaily])

#58 Using the where clause with associated types

🙌 Using the where clause when designing protocol-oriented APIs in Swift can let your implementations (or others' if it's open source) have a lot more freedom, especially when it comes to collections.

See "Using generic type constraints in Swift 4" for more info.

public protocol PathFinderMap {
    associatedtype Node
    // Using the 'where' clause for associated types, we can
    // ensure that a type meets certain requirements (in this
    // case that it's a sequence with Node elements).
    associatedtype NodeSequence: Sequence where NodeSequence.Element == Node

    // Instead of using a concrete type (like [Node]) here, we
    // give implementors of this protocol more freedom while
    // still meeting our requirements. For example, one
    // implementation might use Set<Node>.
    func neighbors(of node: Node) -> NodeSequence
}

#57 Using first class functions when iterating over a dictionary

👨‍🍳 Combine first class functions in Swift with the fact that Dictionary elements are (Key, Value) tuples and you can build yourself some pretty awesome functional chains when iterating over a Dictionary.

func makeActor(at coordinate: Coordinate, for building: Building) -> Actor {
    let actor = Actor()
    actor.position = coordinate.point
    actor.animation = building.animation
    return actor
}

func render(_ buildings: [Coordinate : Building]) {
    buildings.map(makeActor).forEach(add)
}

#56 Calling instance methods as static functions

😎 In Swift, you can call any instance method as a static function and it will return a closure representing that method. This is how running tests using SPM on Linux works.

More about this topic in my blog post "First class functions in Swift".

// This produces a '() -> Void' closure which is a reference to the
// given view's 'removeFromSuperview' method.
let closure = UIView.removeFromSuperview(view)

// We can now call it just like we would any other closure, and it
// will run 'view.removeFromSuperview()'
closure()

// This is how running tests using the Swift Package Manager on Linux
// works, you return your test functions as closures:
extension UserManagerTests {
    static var allTests = [
        ("testLoggingIn", testLoggingIn),
        ("testLoggingOut", testLoggingOut),
        ("testUserPermissions", testUserPermissions)
    ]
}

#55 Dropping suffixes from method names to support multiple arguments

👏 One really nice benefit of dropping suffixes from method names (and just using verbs, when possible) is that it becomes super easy to support both single and multiple arguments, and it works really well semantically.

extension UIView {
    func add(_ subviews: UIView...) {
        subviews.forEach(addSubview)
    }
}

view.add(button)
view.add(label)

// By dropping the "Subview" suffix from the method name, both
// single and multiple arguments work really well semantically.
view.add(button, label)

#54 Constraining protocols to classes to ensure mutability

👽 Using the AnyObject (or class) constraint on protocols is not only useful when defining delegates (or other weak references), but also when you always want instances to be mutable without copying.

// By constraining a protocol with 'AnyObject' it can only be adopted
// by classes, which means all instances will always be mutable, and
// that it's the original instance (not a copy) that will be mutated.
protocol DataContainer: AnyObject {
    var data: Data? { get set }
}

class UserSettingsManager {
    private var settings: Settings
    private let dataContainer: DataContainer

    // Since DataContainer is a protocol, we an easily mock it in
    // tests if we use dependency injection
    init(settings: Settings, dataContainer: DataContainer) {
        self.settings = settings
        self.dataContainer = dataContainer
    }

    func saveSettings() throws {
        let data = try settings.serialize()

        // We can now assign properties on an instance of our protocol
        // because the compiler knows it's always going to be a class
        dataContainer.data = data
    }
}

#53 String-based enums in string interpolation

🍣 Even if you define a custom raw value for a string-based enum in Swift, the full case name will be used in string interpolation.

Super useful when using separate raw values for JSON, while still wanting to use the full case name in other contexts.

extension Building {
    // This enum has custom raw values that are used when decoding
    // a value, for example from JSON.
    enum Kind: String {
        case castle = "C"
        case town = "T"
        case barracks = "B"
        case goldMine = "G"
        case camp = "CA"
        case blacksmith = "BL"
    }

    var animation: Animation {
        return Animation(
            // When used in string interpolation, the full case name is still used.
            // For 'castle' this will be 'buildings/castle'.
            name: "buildings/\(kind)",
            frameCount: frameCount,
            frameDuration: frameDuration
        )
    }
}

#52 Expressively comparing a value with a list of candidates

👨‍🔬 Continuing to experiment with expressive ways of comparing a value with a list of candidates in Swift. Adding an extension on Equatable is probably my favorite approach so far.

extension Equatable {
    func isAny(of candidates: Self...) -> Bool {
        return candidates.contains(self)
    }
}

let isHorizontal = direction.isAny(of: .left, .right)

See tip #35 for my previous experiment.

#51 UIView bounds and transforms

📐 A really interesting side-effect of a UIView's bounds being its rect within its own coordinate system is that transforms don't affect it at all. That's why it's usually a better fit than frame when doing layout calculations of subviews.

let view = UIView()
view.frame.size = CGSize(width: 100, height: 100)
view.transform = CGAffineTransform(scaleX: 2, y: 2)

print(view.frame) // (-50.0, -50.0, 200.0, 200.0)
print(view.bounds) // (0.0, 0.0, 100.0, 100.0)

#50 UIKit default arguments

👏 It's awesome that many UIKit APIs with completion handlers and other optional parameters import into Swift with default arguments (even though they are written in Objective-C). Getting rid of all those nil arguments is so nice!

// BEFORE: All parameters are specified, just like in Objective-C

viewController.present(modalViewController, animated: true, completion: nil)

modalViewController.dismiss(animated: true, completion: nil)

viewController.transition(from: loadingViewController,
                          to: contentViewController,
                          duration: 0.3,
                          options: [],
                          animations: animations,
                          completion: nil)

// AFTER: Since many UIKit APIs with completion handlers and other
// optional parameters import into Swift with default arguments,
// we can make our calls shorter

viewController.present(modalViewController, animated: true)

modalViewController.dismiss(animated: true)

viewController.transition(from: loadingViewController,
                          to: contentViewController,
                          duration: 0.3,
                          animations: animations)

#49 Avoiding Massive View Controllers

✂️ Avoiding Massive View Controllers is all about finding the right levels of abstraction and splitting things up.

My personal rule of thumb is that as soon as I have 3 methods or properties that have the same prefix, I break them out into their own type.

// BEFORE

class LoginViewController: UIViewController {
    private lazy var signUpLabel = UILabel()
    private lazy var signUpImageView = UIImageView()
    private lazy var signUpButton = UIButton()
}

// AFTER

class LoginViewController: UIViewController {
    private lazy var signUpView = SignUpView()
}

class SignUpView: UIView {
    private lazy var label = UILabel()
    private lazy var imageView = UIImageView()
    private lazy var button = UIButton()
}

#48 Extending optionals

❤️ I love the fact that optionals are enums in Swift - it makes it so easy to extend them with convenience APIs for certain types. Especially useful when doing things like data validation on optional values.

func validateTextFields() -> Bool {
    guard !usernameTextField.text.isNilOrEmpty else {
        return false
    }

    ...

    return true
}

// Since all optionals are actual enum values in Swift, we can easily
// extend them for certain types, to add our own convenience APIs

extension Optional where Wrapped == String {
    var isNilOrEmpty: Bool {
        switch self {
        case let string?:
            return string.isEmpty
        case nil:
            return true
        }
    }
}

// Since strings are now Collections in Swift 4, you can even
// add this property to all optional collections:

extension Optional where Wrapped: Collection {
    var isNilOrEmpty: Bool {
        switch self {
        case let collection?:
            return collection.isEmpty
        case nil:
            return true
        }
    }
}

#47 Using where with for-loops

🗺 Using the where keyword can be a super nice way to quickly apply a filter in a for-loop in Swift. You can of course use map, filter and forEach, or guard, but for simple loops I think this is very expressive and nice.

func archiveMarkedPosts() {
    for post in posts where post.isMarked {
        archive(post)
    }
}

func healAllies() {
    for player in players where player.isAllied(to: currentPlayer) {
        player.heal()
    }
}

#46 Variable shadowing

👻 Variable shadowing can be super useful in Swift, especially when you want to create a local copy of a parameter value in order to use it as state within a closure.

init(repeatMode: RepeatMode, closure: @escaping () -> UpdateOutcome) {
    // Shadow the argument with a local, mutable copy
    var repeatMode = repeatMode
    
    self.closure = {
        // With shadowing, there's no risk of accidentially
        // referring to the immutable version
        switch repeatMode {
        case .forever:
            break
        case .times(let count):
            guard count > 0 else {
                return .finished
            }
            
            // We can now capture the mutable version and use
            // it for state in a closure
            repeatMode = .times(count - 1)
        }
        
        return closure()
    }
}

#45 Using dot syntax for static properties and initializers

✒️ Dot syntax is one of my favorite features of Swift. What's really cool is that it's not only for enums, any static method or property can be used with dot syntax - even initializers! Perfect for convenience APIs and default parameters.

public enum RepeatMode {
    case times(Int)
    case forever
}

public extension RepeatMode {
    static var never: RepeatMode {
        return .times(0)
    }

    static var once: RepeatMode {
        return .times(1)
    }
}

view.perform(animation, repeated: .once)

// To make default parameters more compact, you can even use init with dot syntax

class ImageLoader {
    init(cache: Cache = .init(), decoder: ImageDecoder = .init()) {
        ...
    }
}

#44 Calling functions as closures with a tuple as parameters

🚀 One really cool aspect of Swift having first class functions is that you can pass any function (or even initializer) as a closure, and even call it with a tuple containing its parameters!

// This function lets us treat any "normal" function or method as
// a closure and run it with a tuple that contains its parameters
func call<Input, Output>(_ function: (Input) -> Output, with input: Input) -> Output {
    return function(input)
}

class ViewFactory {
    func makeHeaderView() -> HeaderView {
        // We can now pass an initializer as a closure, and a tuple
        // containing its parameters
        return call(HeaderView.init, with: loadTextStyles())
    }
    
    private func loadTextStyles() -> (font: UIFont, color: UIColor) {
        return (theme.font, theme.textColor)
    }
}

class HeaderView {
    init(font: UIFont, textColor: UIColor) {
        ...
    }
}

#43 Enabling static dependency injection

💉 If you've been struggling to test code that uses static APIs, here's a technique you can use to enable static dependency injection without having to modify any call sites:

// Before: Almost impossible to test due to the use of singletons

class Analytics {
    static func log(_ event: Event) {
        Database.shared.save(event)
        
        let dictionary = event.serialize()
        NetworkManager.shared.post(dictionary, to: eventURL)
    }
}

// After: Much easier to test, since we can inject mocks as arguments

class Analytics {
    static func log(_ event: Event,
                    database: Database = .shared,
                    networkManager: NetworkManager = .shared) {
        database.save(event)
        
        let dictionary = event.serialize()
        networkManager.post(dictionary, to: eventURL)
    }
}

#42 Type inference for lazy properties in Swift 4

🎉 In Swift 4, type inference works for lazy properties and you don't need to explicitly refer to self!

// Swift 3

class PurchaseView: UIView {
    private lazy var buyButton: UIButton = self.makeBuyButton()
    
    private func makeBuyButton() -> UIButton {
        let button = UIButton()
        button.setTitle("Buy", for: .normal)
        button.setTitleColor(.blue, for: .normal)
        return button
    }
}

// Swift 4

class PurchaseView: UIView {
    private lazy var buyButton = makeBuyButton()
    
    private func makeBuyButton() -> UIButton {
        let button = UIButton()
        button.setTitle("Buy", for: .normal)
        button.setTitleColor(.blue, for: .normal)
        return button
    }
}

#41 Converting Swift errors to NSError

😎 You can turn any Swift Error into an NSError, which is super useful when pattern matching with a code 👍. Also, switching on optionals is pretty cool!

let task = urlSession.dataTask(with: url) { data, _, error in
    switch error {
    case .some(let error as NSError) where error.code == NSURLErrorNotConnectedToInternet:
        presenter.showOfflineView()
    case .some(let error):
        presenter.showGenericErrorView()
    case .none:
        presenter.renderContent(from: data)
    }
}

task.resume()

Also make sure to check out Kostas Kremizas' tip about how you can pattern match directly against a member of URLError.

#40 Making UIImage macOS compatible

🖥 Here's an easy way to make iOS model code that uses UIImage macOS compatible - like me and Gui Rambo discussed on the Swift by Sundell Podcast.

// Either put this in a separate file that you only include in your macOS target or wrap the code in #if os(macOS) / #endif

import Cocoa

// Step 1: Typealias UIImage to NSImage
typealias UIImage = NSImage

// Step 2: You might want to add these APIs that UIImage has but NSImage doesn't.
extension NSImage {
    var cgImage: CGImage? {
        var proposedRect = CGRect(origin: .zero, size: size)

        return cgImage(forProposedRect: &proposedRect,
                       context: nil,
                       hints: nil)
    }

    convenience init?(named name: String) {
        self.init(named: Name(name))
    }
}

// Step 3: Profit - you can now make your model code that uses UIImage cross-platform!
struct User {
    let name: String
    let profileImage: UIImage
}

#39 Internally mutable protocol-oriented APIs

🤖 You can easily define a protocol-oriented API that can only be mutated internally, by using an internal protocol that extends a public one.

// Declare a public protocol that acts as your immutable API
public protocol ModelHolder {
    associatedtype Model
    var model: Model { get }
}

// Declare an extended, internal protocol that provides a mutable API
internal protocol MutableModelHolder: ModelHolder {
    var model: Model { get set }
}

// You can now implement the requirements using 'public internal(set)'
public class UserHolder: MutableModelHolder {
    public internal(set) var model: User

    internal init(model: User) {
        self.model = model
    }
}

#38 Switching on a set

🎛 You can switch on a set using array literals as cases in Swift! Can be really useful to avoid many if/else if statements.

class RoadTile: Tile {
    var connectedDirections = Set<Direction>()

    func render() {
        switch connectedDirections {
        case [.up, .down]:
            image = UIImage(named: "road-vertical")
        case [.left, .right]:
            image = UIImage(named: "road-horizontal")
        default:
            image = UIImage(named: "road")
        }
    }
}

#37 Adding the current locale to cache keys

🌍 When caching localized content in an app, it's a good idea to add the current locale to all keys, to prevent bugs when switching languages.

func cache(_ content: Content, forKey key: String) throws {
    let data = try wrap(content) as Data
    let key = localize(key: key)
    try storage.store(data, forKey: key)
}

func loadCachedContent(forKey key: String) -> Content? {
    let key = localize(key: key)
    let data = storage.loadData(forKey: key)
    return data.flatMap { try? unbox(data: $0) }
}

private func localize(key: String) -> String {
    return key + "-" + Bundle.main.preferredLocalizations[0]
}

#36 Setting up tests to avoid retain cycles with weak references

🚳 Here's an easy way to setup a test to avoid accidental retain cycles with object relationships (like weak delegates & observers) in Swift:

func testDelegateNotRetained() {
    // Assign the delegate (weak) and also retain it using a local var
    var delegate: Delegate? = DelegateMock()
    controller.delegate = delegate
    XCTAssertNotNil(controller.delegate)
    
    // Release the local var, which should also release the weak reference
    delegate = nil
    XCTAssertNil(controller.delegate)
}

#35 Expressively matching a value against a list of candidates

👨‍🔬 Playing around with an expressive way to check if a value matches any of a list of candidates in Swift:

// Instead of multiple conditions like this:

if string == "One" || string == "Two" || string == "Three" {

}

// You can now do:

if string == any(of: "One", "Two", "Three") {

}

You can find a gist with the implementation here.

#34 Organizing code using extensions

👪 APIs in a Swift extension automatically inherit its access control level, making it a neat way to organize public, internal & private APIs.

public extension Animation {
    init(textureNamed textureName: String) {
        frames = [Texture(name: textureName)]
    }
    
    init(texturesNamed textureNames: [String], frameDuration: TimeInterval = 1) {
        frames = textureNames.map(Texture.init)
        self.frameDuration = frameDuration
    }
    
    init(image: Image) {
        frames = [Texture(image: image)]
    }
}

internal extension Animation {
    func loadFrameImages() -> [Image] {
        return frames.map { $0.loadImageIfNeeded() }
    }
}

#33 Using map to transform an optional into a Result type

🗺 Using map you can transform an optional value into an optional Result type by simply passing in the enum case.

enum Result<Value> {
    case value(Value)
    case error(Error)
}

class Promise<Value> {
    private var result: Result<Value>?
    
    init(value: Value? = nil) {
        result = value.map(Result.value)
    }
}

#32 Assigning to self in struct initializers

👌 It's so nice that you can assign directly to self in struct initializers in Swift. Very useful when adding conformance to protocols.

extension Bool: AnswerConvertible {
    public init(input: String) throws {
        switch input.lowercased() {
        case "y", "yes", "👍":
            self = true
        default:
            self = false
        }
    }
}

#31 Recursively calling closures as inline functions

☎️ Defining Swift closures as inline functions enables you to recursively call them, which is super useful in things like custom sequences.

class Database {
    func records(matching query: Query) -> AnySequence<Record> {
        var recordIterator = loadRecords().makeIterator()
        
        func iterate() -> Record? {
            guard let nextRecord = recordIterator.next() else {
                return nil
            }
            
            guard nextRecord.matches(query) else {
                // Since the closure is an inline function, it can be recursively called,
                // in this case in order to advance to the next item.
                return iterate()
            }
            
            return nextRecord
        }
        
        // AnySequence/AnyIterator are part of the standard library and provide an easy way
        // to define custom sequences using closures.
        return AnySequence { AnyIterator(iterate) }
    }
}

Rob Napier points out that using the above might cause crashes if used on a large databaset, since Swift has no guaranteed Tail Call Optimization (TCO).

Slava Pestov also points out that another benefit of inline functions vs closures is that they can have their own generic parameter list.

#30 Passing self to required Objective-C dependencies

🏖 Using lazy properties in Swift, you can pass self to required Objective-C dependencies without having to use force-unwrapped optionals.

class DataLoader: NSObject {
    lazy var urlSession: URLSession = self.makeURLSession()
    
    private func makeURLSession() -> URLSession {
        return URLSession(configuration: .default, delegate: self, delegateQueue: .main)
    }
}

class Renderer {
    lazy var displayLink: CADisplayLink = self.makeDisplayLink()
    
    private func makeDisplayLink() -> CADisplayLink {
        return CADisplayLink(target: self, selector: #selector(screenDidRefresh))
    }
}

#29 Making weak or lazy properties readonly

👓 If you have a property in Swift that needs to be weak or lazy, you can still make it readonly by using private(set).

class Node {
    private(set) weak var parent: Node?
    private(set) lazy var children = [Node]()

    func add(child: Node) {
        children.append(child)
        child.parent = self
    }
}

#28 Defining static URLs using string literals

🌏 Tired of using URL(string: "url")! for static URLs? Make URL conform to ExpressibleByStringLiteral and you can now simply use "url" instead.

extension URL: ExpressibleByStringLiteral {
    // By using 'StaticString' we disable string interpolation, for safety
    public init(stringLiteral value: StaticString) {
        self = URL(string: "\(value)").require(hint: "Invalid URL string literal: \(value)")
    }
}

// We can now define URLs using static string literals 🎉
let url: URL = "https://www.swiftbysundell.com"
let task = URLSession.shared.dataTask(with: "https://www.swiftbysundell.com")

// In Swift 3 or earlier, you also have to implement 2 additional initializers
extension URL {
    public init(extendedGraphemeClusterLiteral value: StaticString) {
        self.init(stringLiteral: value)
    }

    public init(unicodeScalarLiteral value: StaticString) {
        self.init(stringLiteral: value)
    }
}

To find the extension that adds the require() method on Optional that I use above, check out Require.

#27 Manipulating points, sizes and frames using math operators

✚ I'm always careful with operator overloading, but for manipulating things like sizes, points & frames I find them super useful.

extension CGSize {
    static func *(lhs: CGSize, rhs: CGFloat) -> CGSize {
        return CGSize(width: lhs.width * rhs, height: lhs.height * rhs)
    }
}

button.frame.size = image.size * 2

If you like the above idea, check out CGOperators, which contains math operator overloads for all Core Graphics' vector types.

#26 Using closure types in generic constraints

🔗 You can use closure types in generic constraints in Swift. Enables nice APIs for handling sequences of closures.

extension Sequence where Element == () -> Void {
    func callAll() {
        forEach { $0() }
    }
}

extension Sequence where Element == () -> String {
    func joinedResults(separator: String) -> String {
        return map { $0() }.joined(separator: separator)
    }
}

callbacks.callAll()
let names = nameProviders.joinedResults(separator: ", ")

(If you're using Swift 3, you have to change Element to Iterator.Element)

#25 Using associated enum values to avoid state-specific optionals

🎉 Using associated enum values is a super nice way to encapsulate mutually exclusive state info (and avoiding state-specific optionals).

// BEFORE: Lots of state-specific, optional properties

class Player {
    var isWaitingForMatchMaking: Bool
    var invitingUser: User?
    var numberOfLives: Int
    var playerDefeatedBy: Player?
    var roundDefeatedIn: Int?
}

// AFTER: All state-specific information is encapsulated in enum cases

class Player {
    enum State {
        case waitingForMatchMaking
        case waitingForInviteResponse(from: User)
        case active(numberOfLives: Int)
        case defeated(by: Player, roundNumber: Int)
    }
    
    var state: State
}

#24 Using enums for async result types

👍 I really like using enums for all async result types, even boolean ones. Self-documenting, and makes the call site a lot nicer to read too!

protocol PushNotificationService {
    // Before
    func enablePushNotifications(completionHandler: @escaping (Bool) -> Void)
    
    // After
    func enablePushNotifications(completionHandler: @escaping (PushNotificationStatus) -> Void)
}

enum PushNotificationStatus {
    case enabled
    case disabled
}

service.enablePushNotifications { status in
    if status == .enabled {
        enableNotificationsButton.removeFromSuperview()
    }
}

#23 Working on async code in a playground

🏃 Want to work on your async code in a Swift Playground? Just set needsIndefiniteExecution to true to keep it running:

import PlaygroundSupport

PlaygroundPage.current.needsIndefiniteExecution = true

DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 3) {
    let greeting = "Hello after 3 seconds"
    print(greeting)
}

To stop the playground from executing, simply call PlaygroundPage.current.finishExecution().

#22 Overriding self with a weak reference

💦 Avoid memory leaks when accidentially refering to self in closures by overriding it locally with a weak reference:

Swift >= 4.2

dataLoader.loadData(from: url) { [weak self] result in
    guard let self = self else { 
        return 
    }

    self.cache(result)
    
    ...

Swift < 4.2

dataLoader.loadData(from: url) { [weak self] result in
    guard let `self` = self else {
        return
    }

    self.cache(result)
    
    ...

Note that the reason the above currently works is because of a compiler bug (which I hope gets turned into a properly supported feature soon).

#21 Using DispatchWorkItem

🕓 Using dispatch work items you can easily cancel a delayed asynchronous GCD task if you no longer need it:

let workItem = DispatchWorkItem {
    // Your async code goes in here
}

// Execute the work item after 1 second
DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 1, execute: workItem)

// You can cancel the work item if you no longer need it
workItem.cancel()

#20 Combining a sequence of functions

➕ While working on a new Swift developer tool (to be open sourced soon 😉), I came up with a pretty neat way of organizing its sequence of operations, by combining their functions into a closure:

internal func +<A, B, C>(lhs: @escaping (A) throws -> B,
                         rhs: @escaping (B) throws -> C) -> (A) throws -> C {
    return { try rhs(lhs($0)) }
}

public func run() throws {
    try (determineTarget + build + analyze + output)()
}

If you're familiar with the functional programming world, you might know the above technique as the pipe operator (thanks to Alexey Demedreckiy for pointing this out!)

#19 Chaining optionals with map() and flatMap()

🗺 Using map() and flatMap() on optionals you can chain multiple operations without having to use lengthy if lets or guards:

// BEFORE

guard let string = argument(at: 1) else {
    return
}

guard let url = URL(string: string) else {
    return
}

handle(url)

// AFTER

argument(at: 1).flatMap(URL.init).map(handle)

#18 Using self-executing closures for lazy properties

🚀 Using self-executing closures is a great way to encapsulate lazy property initialization:

class StoreViewController: UIViewController {
    private lazy var collectionView: UICollectionView = {
        let layout = UICollectionViewFlowLayout()
        let view = UICollectionView(frame: self.view.bounds, collectionViewLayout: layout)
        view.delegate = self
        view.dataSource = self
        return view
    }()
    
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()
        view.addSubview(collectionView)
    }
}

#17 Speeding up Swift package tests

⚡️ You can speed up your Swift package tests using the --parallel flag. For Marathon, the tests execute 3 times faster that way!

swift test --parallel

#16 Avoiding mocking UserDefaults

🛠 Struggling with mocking UserDefaults in a test? The good news is: you don't need mocking - just create a real instance:

class LoginTests: XCTestCase {
    private var userDefaults: UserDefaults!
    private var manager: LoginManager!
    
    override func setUp() {
        super.setup()
        
        userDefaults = UserDefaults(suiteName: #file)
        userDefaults.removePersistentDomain(forName: #file)
        
        manager = LoginManager(userDefaults: userDefaults)
    }
}

#15 Using variadic parameters

👍 Using variadic parameters in Swift, you can create some really nice APIs that take a list of objects without having to use an array:

extension Canvas {
    func add(_ shapes: Shape...) {
        shapes.forEach(add)
    }
}

let circle = Circle(center: CGPoint(x: 5, y: 5), radius: 5)
let lineA = Line(start: .zero, end: CGPoint(x: 10, y: 10))
let lineB = Line(start: CGPoint(x: 0, y: 10), end: CGPoint(x: 10, y: 0))

let canvas = Canvas()
canvas.add(circle, lineA, lineB)
canvas.render()

#14 Referring to enum cases with associated values as closures

😮 Just like you can refer to a Swift function as a closure, you can do the same thing with enum cases with associated values:

enum UnboxPath {
    case key(String)
    case keyPath(String)
}

struct UserSchema {
    static let name = key("name")
    static let age = key("age")
    static let posts = key("posts")
    
    private static let key = UnboxPath.key
}

#13 Using the === operator to compare objects by instance

📈 The === operator lets you check if two objects are the same instance. Very useful when verifying that an array contains an instance in a test:

protocol InstanceEquatable: class, Equatable {}

extension InstanceEquatable {
    static func ==(lhs: Self, rhs: Self) -> Bool {
        return lhs === rhs
    }
}

extension Enemy: InstanceEquatable {}

func testDestroyingEnemy() {
    player.attack(enemy)
    XCTAssertTrue(player.destroyedEnemies.contains(enemy))
}

#12 Calling initializers with dot syntax and passing them as closures

😎 Cool thing about Swift initializers: you can call them using dot syntax and pass them as closures! Perfect for mocking dates in tests.

class Logger {
    private let storage: LogStorage
    private let dateProvider: () -> Date
    
    init(storage: LogStorage = .init(), dateProvider: @escaping () -> Date = Date.init) {
        self.storage = storage
        self.dateProvider = dateProvider
    }
    
    func log(event: Event) {
        storage.store(event: event, date: dateProvider())
    }
}

#11 Structuring UI tests as extensions on XCUIApplication

📱 Most of my UI testing logic is now categories on XCUIApplication. Makes the test cases really easy to read:

func testLoggingInAndOut() {
    XCTAssertFalse(app.userIsLoggedIn)
    
    app.launch()
    app.login()
    XCTAssertTrue(app.userIsLoggedIn)
    
    app.logout()
    XCTAssertFalse(app.userIsLoggedIn)
}

func testDisplayingCategories() {
    XCTAssertFalse(app.isDisplayingCategories)
    
    app.launch()
    app.login()
    app.goToCategories()
    XCTAssertTrue(app.isDisplayingCategories)
}

#10 Avoiding default cases in switch statements

🙂 It’s a good idea to avoid “default” cases when switching on Swift enums - it’ll “force you” to update your logic when a new case is added:

enum State {
    case loggedIn
    case loggedOut
    case onboarding
}

func handle(_ state: State) {
    switch state {
    case .loggedIn:
        showMainUI()
    case .loggedOut:
        showLoginUI()
    // Compiler error: Switch must be exhaustive
    }
}

#9 Using the guard statement in many different scopes

💂 It's really cool that you can use Swift's 'guard' statement to exit out of pretty much any scope, not only return from functions:

// You can use the 'guard' statement to...

for string in strings {
    // ...continue an iteration
    guard shouldProcess(string) else {
        continue
    }
    
    // ...or break it
    guard !shouldBreak(for: string) else {
        break
    }
    
    // ...or return
    guard !shouldReturn(for: string) else {
        return
    }
    
    // ..or throw an error
    guard string.isValid else {
        throw StringError.invalid(string)
    }
    
    // ...or exit the program
    guard !shouldExit(for: string) else {
        exit(1)
    }
}

#8 Passing functions & operators as closures

❤️ Love how you can pass functions & operators as closures in Swift. For example, it makes the syntax for sorting arrays really nice!

let array = [3, 9, 1, 4, 6, 2]
let sorted = array.sorted(by: <)

#7 Using #function for UserDefaults key consistency

🗝 Here's a neat little trick I use to get UserDefault key consistency in Swift (#function expands to the property name in getters/setters). Just remember to write a good suite of tests that'll guard you against bugs when changing property names.

extension UserDefaults {
    var onboardingCompleted: Bool {
        get { return bool(forKey: #function) }
        set { set(newValue, forKey: #function) }
    }
}

#6 Using a name already taken by the standard library

📛 Want to use a name already taken by the standard library for a nested type? No problem - just use Swift. to disambiguate:

extension Command {
    enum Error: Swift.Error {
        case missing
        case invalid(String)
    }
}

#5 Using Wrap to implement Equatable

📦 Playing around with using Wrap to implement Equatable for any type, primarily for testing:

protocol AutoEquatable: Equatable {}

extension AutoEquatable {
    static func ==(lhs: Self, rhs: Self) -> Bool {
        let lhsData = try! wrap(lhs) as Data
        let rhsData = try! wrap(rhs) as Data
        return lhsData == rhsData
    }
}

#4 Using typealiases to reduce the length of method signatures

📏 One thing that I find really useful in Swift is to use typealiases to reduce the length of method signatures in generic types:

public class PathFinder<Object: PathFinderObject> {
    public typealias Map = Object.Map
    public typealias Node = Map.Node
    public typealias Path = PathFinderPath<Object>
    
    public static func possiblePaths(for object: Object, at rootNode: Node, on map: Map) -> Path.Sequence {
        return .init(object: object, rootNode: rootNode, map: map)
    }
}

#3 Referencing either external or internal parameter name when writing docs

📖 You can reference either the external or internal parameter label when writing Swift docs - and they get parsed the same:

// EITHER:

class Foo {
    /**
    *   - parameter string: A string
    */
    func bar(with string: String) {}
}

// OR:

class Foo {
    /**
    *   - parameter with: A string
    */
    func bar(with string: String) {}
}

#2 Using auto closures

👍 Finding more and more uses for auto closures in Swift. Can enable some pretty nice APIs:

extension Dictionary {
    mutating func value(for key: Key, orAdd valueClosure: @autoclosure () -> Value) -> Value {
        if let value = self[key] {
            return value
        }
        
        let value = valueClosure()
        self[key] = value
        return value
    }
}

#1 Namespacing with nested types

🚀 I’ve started to become a really big fan of nested types in Swift. Love the additional namespacing it gives you!

public struct Map {
    public struct Model {
        public let size: Size
        public let theme: Theme
        public var terrain: [Position : Terrain.Model]
        public var units: [Position : Unit.Model]
        public var buildings: [Position : Building.Model]
    }
    
    public enum Direction {
        case up
        case right
        case down
        case left
    }
    
    public struct Position {
        public var x: Int
        public var y: Int
    }
    
    public enum Size: String {
        case small = "S"
        case medium = "M"
        case large = "L"
        case extraLarge = "XL"
    }
}

Download Details:

Author: JohnSundell
Source code: https://github.com/JohnSundell/SwiftTips

License: MIT license
#swift 

Rupert  Beatty

Rupert Beatty

1666245660

A Collection Of Swift Tips & Tricks That I've Shared on Twitter

Swift tips & tricks ⚡️

One of the things I really love about Swift is how I keep finding interesting ways to use it in various situations, and when I do - I usually share them on Twitter. Here's a collection of all the tips & tricks that I've shared so far. Each entry has a link to the original tweet, if you want to respond with some feedback or question, which is always super welcome! 🚀

⚠️ This list is no longer being updated. For my latest Swift tips, checkout the "Tips" section on Swift by Sundell.

Also make sure to check out all of my other Swift content:

102 Making async tests faster and more stable

🚀 Here are some quick tips to make async tests faster & more stable:

  • 😴 Avoid sleep() - use expectations instead
  • ⏱ Use generous timeouts to avoid flakiness on CI
  • 🧐 Put all assertions at the end of each test, not inside closures
// BEFORE:

class MentionDetectorTests: XCTestCase {
    func testDetectingMention() {
        let detector = MentionDetector()
        let string = "This test was written by @johnsundell."

        detector.detectMentions(in: string) { mentions in
            XCTAssertEqual(mentions, ["johnsundell"])
        }
        
        sleep(2)
    }
}

// AFTER:

class MentionDetectorTests: XCTestCase {
    func testDetectingMention() {
        let detector = MentionDetector()
        let string = "This test was written by @johnsundell."

        var mentions: [String]?
        let expectation = self.expectation(description: #function)

        detector.detectMentions(in: string) {
            mentions = $0
            expectation.fulfill()
        }

        waitForExpectations(timeout: 10)
        XCTAssertEqual(mentions, ["johnsundell"])
    }
}

For more on async testing, check out "Unit testing asynchronous Swift code".

101 Adding support for Apple Pencil double-taps

✍️ Adding support for the new Apple Pencil double-tap feature is super easy! All you have to do is to create a UIPencilInteraction, add it to a view, and implement one delegate method. Hopefully all pencil-compatible apps will soon adopt this.

let interaction = UIPencilInteraction()
interaction.delegate = self
view.addInteraction(interaction)

extension ViewController: UIPencilInteractionDelegate {
    func pencilInteractionDidTap(_ interaction: UIPencilInteraction) {
        // Handle pencil double-tap
    }
}

For more on using this and other iPad Pro features, check out "Building iPad Pro features in Swift".

100 Combining values with functions

😎 Here's a cool function that combines a value with a function to return a closure that captures that value, so that it can be called without any arguments. Super useful when working with closure-based APIs and we want to use some of our properties without having to capture self.

func combine<A, B>(_ value: A, with closure: @escaping (A) -> B) -> () -> B {
    return { closure(value) }
}

// BEFORE:

class ProductViewController: UIViewController {
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()

        buyButton.handler = { [weak self] in
            guard let self = self else {
                return
            }
            
            self.productManager.startCheckout(for: self.product)
        }
    }
}

// AFTER:

class ProductViewController: UIViewController {
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()

        buyButton.handler = combine(product, with: productManager.startCheckout)
    }
}

99 Dependency injection using functions

💉 When I'm only using a single function from a dependency, I love to inject that function as a closure, instead of having to create a protocol and inject the whole object. Makes dependency injection & testing super simple.

final class ArticleLoader {
    typealias Networking = (Endpoint) -> Future<Data>
    
    private let networking: Networking
    
    init(networking: @escaping Networking = URLSession.shared.load) {
        self.networking = networking
    }
    
    func loadLatest() -> Future<[Article]> {
        return networking(.latestArticles).decode()
    }
}

For more on this technique, check out "Simple Swift dependency injection with functions".

98 Using a custom exception handler

💥 It's cool that you can easily assign a closure as a custom NSException handler. This is super useful when building things in Playgrounds - since you can't use breakpoints - so instead of just signal SIGABRT, you'll get the full exception description if something goes wrong.

NSSetUncaughtExceptionHandler { exception in
    print(exception)
}

97 Using type aliases to give semantic meaning to primitives

❤️ I love that in Swift, we can use the type system to make our code so much more self-documenting - one way of doing so is to use type aliases to give the primitive types that we use a more semantic meaning.

extension List.Item {
    // Using type aliases, we can give semantic meaning to the
    // primitive types that we use, without having to introduce
    // wrapper types.
    typealias Index = Int
}

extension List {
    enum Mutation {
        // Our enum cases now become a lot more self-documenting,
        // without having to add additional parameter labels to
        // explain them.
        case add(Item, Item.Index)
        case update(Item, Item.Index)
        case remove(Item.Index)
    }
}

For more on self-documenting code, check out "Writing self-documenting Swift code".

96 Specializing protocols using constraints

🤯 A little late night prototyping session reveals that protocol constraints can not only be applied to extensions - they can also be added to protocol definitions!

This is awesome, since it lets us easily define specialized protocols based on more generic ones.

protocol Component {
    associatedtype Container
    func add(to container: Container)
}

// Protocols that inherit from other protocols can include
// constraints to further specialize them.
protocol ViewComponent: Component where Container == UIView {
    associatedtype View: UIView
    var view: View { get }
}

extension ViewComponent {
    func add(to container: UIView) {
        container.addSubview(view)
    }
}

For more on specializing protocols, check out "Specializing protocols in Swift".

95 Unwrapping an optional or throwing an error

📦 Here's a super handy extension on Swift's Optional type, which gives us a really nice API for easily unwrapping an optional, or throwing an error in case the value turned out to be nil:

extension Optional {
    func orThrow(_ errorExpression: @autoclosure () -> Error) throws -> Wrapped {
        switch self {
        case .some(let value):
            return value
        case .none:
            throw errorExpression()
        }
    }
}

let file = try loadFile(at: path).orThrow(MissingFileError())

For more ways that optionals can be extended, check out "Extending optionals in Swift".

94 Testing code that uses static APIs

👩‍🔬 Testing code that uses static APIs can be really tricky, but there's a way that it can often be done - using Swift's first class function capabilities!

Instead of accessing that static API directly, we can inject the function we want to use, which enables us to mock it!

// BEFORE

class FriendsLoader {
    func loadFriends(then handler: @escaping (Result<[Friend]>) -> Void) {
        Networking.loadData(from: .friends) { result in
            ...
        }
    }
}

// AFTER

class FriendsLoader {
    typealias Handler<T> = (Result<T>) -> Void
    typealias DataLoadingFunction = (Endpoint, @escaping Handler<Data>) -> Void

    func loadFriends(using dataLoading: DataLoadingFunction = Networking.loadData,
                     then handler: @escaping Handler<[Friend]>) {
        dataLoading(.friends) { result in
            ...
        }
    }
}

// MOCKING IN TESTS

let dataLoading: FriendsLoader.DataLoadingFunction = { _, handler in
    handler(.success(mockData))
}

friendsLoader.loadFriends(using: dataLoading) { result in
    ...
}

93 Matching multiple enum cases with associated values

🐾 Swift's pattern matching capabilities are so powerful! Two enum cases with associated values can even be matched and handled by the same switch case - which is super useful when handling state changes with similar data.

enum DownloadState {
    case inProgress(progress: Double)
    case paused(progress: Double)
    case cancelled
    case finished(Data)
}

func downloadStateDidChange(to state: DownloadState) {
    switch state {
    case .inProgress(let progress), .paused(let progress):
        updateProgressView(with: progress)
    case .cancelled:
        showCancelledMessage()
    case .finished(let data):
        process(data)
    }
}

92 Multiline string literals

🅰 One really nice benefit of Swift multiline string literals - even for single lines of text - is that they don't require quotes to be escaped. Perfect when working with things like HTML, or creating a custom description for an object.

let html = highlighter.highlight("Array<String>")

XCTAssertEqual(html, """
<span class="type">Array</span>&lt;<span class="type">String</span>&gt;
""")

91 Reducing sequences

💎 While it's very common in functional programming, the reduce function might be a bit of a hidden gem in Swift. It provides a super useful way to transform a sequence into a single value.

extension Sequence where Element: Equatable {
    func numberOfOccurrences(of target: Element) -> Int {
        return reduce(0) { result, element in
            guard element == target else {
                return result
            }

            return result + 1
        }
    }
}

You can read more about transforming collections in "Transforming collections in Swift".

90 Avoiding manual Codable implementations

📦 When I use Codable in Swift, I want to avoid manual implementations as much as possible, even when there's a mismatch between my code structure and the JSON I'm decoding.

One way that can often be achieved is to use private data containers combined with computed properties.

struct User: Codable {
    let name: String
    let age: Int

    var homeTown: String { return originPlace.name }

    private let originPlace: Place
}

private extension User {
    struct Place: Codable {
        let name: String
    }
}

extension User {
    struct Container: Codable {
        let user: User
    }
}

89 Using feature flags instead of feature branches

🚢 Instead of using feature branches, I merge almost all of my code directly into master - and then I use feature flags to conditionally enable features when they're ready. That way I can avoid merge conflicts and keep shipping!

extension ListViewController {
    func addSearchIfNeeded() {
        // Rather than having to keep maintaining a separate
        // feature branch for a new feature, we can use a flag
        // to conditionally turn it on.
        guard FeatureFlags.searchEnabled else {
            return
        }

        let resultsVC = SearchResultsViewController()
        let searchVC = UISearchController(
            searchResultsController: resultsVC
        )

        searchVC.searchResultsUpdater = resultsVC
        navigationItem.searchController = searchVC
    }
}

You can read more about feature flags in "Feature flags in Swift".

88 Lightweight data hierarchies using tuples

💾 Here I'm using tuples to create a lightweight hierarchy for my data, giving me a nice structure without having to introduce any additional types.

struct CodeSegment {
    var tokens: (
        previous: String?,
        current: String
    )

    var delimiters: (
        previous: Character?
        next: Character?
    )
}

handle(segment.tokens.current)

You can read more about tuples in "Using tuples as lightweight types in Swift"

87 The rule of threes

3️⃣ Whenever I have 3 properties or local variables that share the same prefix, I usually try to extract them into their own method or type. That way I can avoid massive types & methods, and also increase readability, without falling into a "premature optimization" trap.

Before

public func generate() throws {
    let contentFolder = try folder.subfolder(named: "content")

    let articleFolder = try contentFolder.subfolder(named: "posts")
    let articleProcessor = ContentProcessor(folder: articleFolder)
    let articles = try articleProcessor.process()

    ...
}

After

public func generate() throws {
    let contentFolder = try folder.subfolder(named: "content")
    let articles = try processArticles(in: contentFolder)
    ...
}

private func processArticles(in folder: Folder) throws -> [ContentItem] {
    let folder = try folder.subfolder(named: "posts")
    let processor = ContentProcessor(folder: folder)
    return try processor.process()
}

86 Useful Codable extensions

👨‍🔧 Here's two extensions that I always add to the Encodable & Decodable protocols, which for me really make the Codable API nicer to use. By using type inference for decoding, a lot of boilerplate can be removed when the compiler is already able to infer the resulting type.

extension Encodable {
    func encoded() throws -> Data {
        return try JSONEncoder().encode(self)
    }
}

extension Data {
    func decoded<T: Decodable>() throws -> T {
        return try JSONDecoder().decode(T.self, from: self)
    }
}

let data = try user.encoded()

// By using a generic type in the decoded() method, the
// compiler can often infer the type we want to decode
// from the current context.
try userDidLogin(data.decoded())

// And if not, we can always supply the type, still making
// the call site read very nicely.
let otherUser = try data.decoded() as User

85 Using shared UserDefaults suites

📦 UserDefaults is a lot more powerful than what it first might seem like. Not only can it store more complex values (like dates & dictionaries) and parse command line arguments - it also enables easy sharing of settings & lightweight data between apps in the same App Group.

let sharedDefaults = UserDefaults(suiteName: "my-app-group")!
let useDarkMode = sharedDefaults.bool(forKey: "dark-mode")

// This value is put into the shared suite.
sharedDefaults.set(true, forKey: "dark-mode")

// If you want to treat the shared settings as read-only (and add
// local overrides on top of them), you can simply add the shared
// suite to the standard UserDefaults.
let combinedDefaults = UserDefaults.standard
combinedDefaults.addSuite(named: "my-app-group")

// This value is a local override, not added to the shared suite.
combinedDefaults.set(true, forKey: "app-specific-override")

84 Custom UIView backing layers

🎨 By overriding layerClass you can tell UIKit what CALayer class to use for a UIView's backing layer. That way you can reduce the amount of layers, and don't have to do any manual layout.

final class GradientView: UIView {
    override class var layerClass: AnyClass { return CAGradientLayer.self }

    var colors: (start: UIColor, end: UIColor)? {
        didSet { updateLayer() }
    }

    private func updateLayer() {
        let layer = self.layer as! CAGradientLayer
        layer.colors = colors.map { [$0.start.cgColor, $0.end.cgColor] }
    }
}

83 Auto-Equatable enums with associated values

✅ That the compiler now automatically synthesizes Equatable conformances is such a huge upgrade for Swift! And the cool thing is that it works for all kinds of types - even for enums with associated values! Especially useful when using enums for verification in unit tests.

struct Article: Equatable {
    let title: String
    let text: String
}

struct User: Equatable {
    let name: String
    let age: Int
}

extension Navigator {
    enum Destination: Equatable {
        case profile(User)
        case article(Article)
    }
}

func testNavigatingToArticle() {
    let article = Article(title: "Title", text: "Text")
    controller.select(article)
    XCTAssertEqual(navigator.destinations, [.article(article)])
}

82 Defaults for associated types

🤝 Associated types can have defaults in Swift - which is super useful for types that are not easily inferred (for example when they're not used for a specific instance method or property).

protocol Identifiable {
    associatedtype RawIdentifier: Codable = String

    var id: Identifier<Self> { get }
}

struct User: Identifiable {
    let id: Identifier<User>
    let name: String
}

struct Group: Identifiable {
    typealias RawIdentifier = Int

    let id: Identifier<Group>
    let name: String
}

81 Creating a dedicated identifier type

🆔 If you want to avoid using plain strings as identifiers (which can increase both type safety & readability), it's really easy to create a custom Identifier type that feels just like a native Swift type, thanks to protocols!

More on this topic in "Type-safe identifiers in Swift".

struct Identifier: Hashable {
    let string: String
}

extension Identifier: ExpressibleByStringLiteral {
    init(stringLiteral value: String) {
        string = value
    }
}

extension Identifier: CustomStringConvertible {
    var description: String {
        return string
    }
}

extension Identifier: Codable {
    init(from decoder: Decoder) throws {
        let container = try decoder.singleValueContainer()
        string = try container.decode(String.self)
    }

    func encode(to encoder: Encoder) throws {
        var container = encoder.singleValueContainer()
        try container.encode(string)
    }
}

struct Article: Codable {
    let id: Identifier
    let title: String
}

let article = Article(id: "my-article", title: "Hello world!")

80 Assigning optional tuple members to variables

🙌 A really cool thing about using tuples to model the internal state of a Swift type, is that you can unwrap an optional tuple's members directly into local variables.

Very useful in order to group multiple optional values together for easy unwrapping & handling.

class ImageTransformer {
    private var queue = [(image: UIImage, transform: Transform)]()

    private func processNext() {
        // When unwrapping an optional tuple, you can assign the members
        // directly to local variables.
        guard let (image, transform) = queue.first else {
            return
        }

        let context = Context()
        context.draw(image)
        context.apply(transform)
        ...
    }
}

79 Struct convenience initializers

❤️ I love to structure my code using extensions in Swift. One big benefit of doing so when it comes to struct initializers, is that defining a convenience initializer doesn't remove the default one the compiler generates - best of both worlds!

struct Article {
    let date: Date
    var title: String
    var text: String
    var comments: [Comment]
}

extension Article {
    init(title: String, text: String) {
        self.init(date: Date(), title: title, text: text, comments: [])
    }
}

let articleA = Article(title: "Best Cupcake Recipe", text: "...")

let articleB = Article(
    date: Date(),
    title: "Best Cupcake Recipe",
    text: "...",
    comments: [
        Comment(user: currentUser, text: "Yep, can confirm!")
    ]
)

78 Usages of throwing functions

🏈 A big benefit of using throwing functions for synchronous Swift APIs is that the caller can decide whether they want to treat the return value as optional (try?) or required (try).

func loadFile(named name: String) throws -> File {
    guard let url = urlForFile(named: name) else {
        throw File.Error.missing
    }

    do {
        let data = try Data(contentsOf: url)
        return File(url: url, data: data)
    } catch {
        throw File.Error.invalidData(error)
    }
}

let requiredFile = try loadFile(named: "AppConfig.json")

let optionalFile = try? loadFile(named: "UserSettings.json")

77 Nested generic types

🐝 Types that are nested in generics automatically inherit their parent's generic types - which is super useful when defining accessory types (for things like states or outcomes).

struct Task<Input, Output> {
    typealias Closure = (Input) throws -> Output

    let closure: Closure
}

extension Task {
    enum Result {
        case success(Output)
        case failure(Error)
    }
}

76 Equatable & Hashable structures

🤖 Now that the Swift compiler automatically synthesizes Equatable & Hashable conformances for value types, it's easier than ever to setup model structures with nested types that are all Equatable/Hashable!

typealias Value = Hashable & Codable

struct User: Value {
    var name: String
    var age: Int
    var lastLoginDate: Date?
    var settings: Settings
}

extension User {
    struct Settings: Value {
        var itemsPerPage: Int
        var theme: Theme
    }
}

extension User.Settings {
    enum Theme: String, Value {
        case light
        case dark
    }
}

You can read more about using nested types in Swift here.

75 Conditional conformances

🎉 Swift 4.1 is here! One of the key features it brings is conditional conformances, which lets you have a type only conform to a protocol under certain constraints.

protocol UnboxTransformable {
    associatedtype RawValue

    static func transform(_ value: RawValue) throws -> Self?
}

extension Array: UnboxTransformable where Element: UnboxTransformable {
    typealias RawValue = [Element.RawValue]

    static func transform(_ value: RawValue) throws -> [Element]? {
        return try value.compactMap(Element.transform)
    }
}

I also have an article with lots of more info on conditional conformances here. Paul Hudson also has a great overview of all Swift 4.1 features here.

74 Generic type aliases

🕵️‍♀️ A cool thing about Swift type aliases is that they can be generic! Combine that with tuples and you can easily define simple generic types.

typealias Pair<T> = (T, T)

extension Game {
    func calculateScore(for players: Pair<Player>) -> Int {
        ...
    }
}

You can read more about using tuples as lightweight types here.

73 Parsing command line arguments using UserDefaults

☑️ A really cool "hidden" feature of UserDefaults is that it contains any arguments that were passed to the app at launch!

Super useful both in Swift command line tools & scripts, but also to temporarily override a value when debugging iOS apps.

let defaults = UserDefaults.standard
let query = defaults.string(forKey: "query")
let resultCount = defaults.integer(forKey: "results")

72 Using the & operator

👏 Swift's & operator is awesome! Not only can you use it to compose protocols, you can compose other types too! Very useful if you want to hide concrete types & implementation details.

protocol LoadableFromURL {
    func load(from url: URL)
}

class ContentViewController: UIViewController, LoadableFromURL {
    func load(from url: URL) {
        ...
    }
}

class ViewControllerFactory {
    func makeContentViewController() -> UIViewController & LoadableFromURL {
        return ContentViewController()
    }
}

71 Capturing multiple values in mocks

🤗 When capturing values in mocks, using an array (instead of just a single value) makes it easy to verify that only a certain number of values were passed.

Perfect for protecting against "over-calling" something.

class UserManagerTests: XCTestCase {
    func testObserversCalledWhenUserFirstLogsIn() {
        let manager = UserManager()

        let observer = ObserverMock()
        manager.addObserver(observer)

        // First login, observers should be notified
        let user = User(id: 123, name: "John")
        manager.userDidLogin(user)
        XCTAssertEqual(observer.users, [user])

        // If the same user logs in again, observers shouldn't be notified
        manager.userDidLogin(user)
        XCTAssertEqual(observer.users, [user])
    }
}

private extension UserManagerTests {
    class ObserverMock: UserManagerObserver {
        private(set) var users = [User]()

        func userDidChange(to user: User) {
            users.append(user)
        }
    }
}

70 Reducing the need for mocks

👋 When writing tests, you don't always need to create mocks - you can create stubs using real instances of things like errors, URLs & UserDefaults.

Here's how to do that for some common tasks/object types in Swift:

// Create errors using NSError (#function can be used to reference the name of the test)
let error = NSError(domain: #function, code: 1, userInfo: nil)

// Create non-optional URLs using file paths
let url = URL(fileURLWithPath: "Some/URL")

// Reference the test bundle using Bundle(for:)
let bundle = Bundle(for: type(of: self))

// Create an explicit UserDefaults object (instead of having to use a mock)
let userDefaults = UserDefaults(suiteName: #function)

// Create queues to control/await concurrent operations
let queue = DispatchQueue(label: #function)

For when you actually do need mocking, check out "Mocking in Swift".

69 Using "then" as an external parameter label for closures

⏱ I've started using "then" as an external parameter label for completion handlers. Makes the call site read really nicely (Because I do ❤️ conversational API design) regardless of whether trailing closure syntax is used or not.

protocol DataLoader {
    // Adding type aliases to protocols can be a great way to
    // reduce verbosity for parameter types.
    typealias Handler = (Result<Data>) -> Void
    associatedtype Endpoint

    func loadData(from endpoint: Endpoint, then handler: @escaping Handler)
}

loader.loadData(from: .messages) { result in
    ...
}

loader.loadData(from: .messages, then: { result in
    ...
})

68 Combining lazily evaluated sequences with the builder pattern

😴 Combining lazily evaluated sequences with builder pattern-like properties can lead to some pretty sweet APIs for configurable sequences in Swift.

Also useful for queries & other things you "build up" and then execute.

// Extension adding builder pattern-like properties that return
// a new sequence value with the given configuration applied
extension FileSequence {
    var recursive: FileSequence {
        var sequence = self
        sequence.isRecursive = true
        return sequence
    }

    var includingHidden: FileSequence {
        var sequence = self
        sequence.includeHidden = true
        return sequence
    }
}

// BEFORE

let files = folder.makeFileSequence(recursive: true, includeHidden: true)

// AFTER

let files = folder.files.recursive.includingHidden

Want an intro to lazy sequences? Check out "Swift sequences: The art of being lazy".

67 Faster & more stable UI tests

My top 3 tips for faster & more stable UI tests:

📱 Reset the app's state at the beginning of every test.

🆔 Use accessibility identifiers instead of UI strings.

⏱ Use expectations instead of waiting time.

func testOpeningArticle() {
    // Launch the app with an argument that tells it to reset its state
    let app = XCUIApplication()
    app.launchArguments.append("--uitesting")
    app.launch()
    
    // Check that the app is displaying an activity indicator
    let activityIndicator = app.activityIndicator.element
    XCTAssertTrue(activityIndicator.exists)
    
    // Wait for the loading indicator to disappear = content is ready
    expectation(for: NSPredicate(format: "exists == 0"),
                evaluatedWith: activityIndicator)
                
    // Use a generous timeout in case the network is slow
    waitForExpectations(timeout: 10)
    
    // Tap the cell for the first article
    app.tables.cells["Article.0"].tap()
    
    // Assert that a label with the accessibility identifier "Article.Title" exists
    let label = app.staticTexts["Article.Title"]
    XCTAssertTrue(label.exists)
}

66 Accessing the clipboard from a Swift script

📋 It's super easy to access the contents of the clipboard from a Swift script. A big benefit of Swift scripting is being able to use Cocoa's powerful APIs for Mac apps.

import Cocoa

let clipboard = NSPasteboard.general.string(forType: .string)

65 Using tuples for view state

🎯 Using Swift tuples for view state can be a super nice way to group multiple properties together and render them reactively using the layout system.

By using a tuple we don't have to either introduce a new type or make our view model-aware.

class TextView: UIView {
    var state: (title: String?, text: String?) {
        // By telling UIKit that our view needs layout and binding our
        // state in layoutSubviews, we can react to state changes without
        // doing unnecessary layout work.
        didSet { setNeedsLayout() }
    }

    private let titleLabel = UILabel()
    private let textLabel = UILabel()

    override func layoutSubviews() {
        super.layoutSubviews()

        titleLabel.text = state.title
        textLabel.text = state.text

        ...
    }
}

64 Throwing tests and LocalizedError

⚾️ Swift tests can throw, which is super useful in order to avoid complicated logic or force unwrapping. By making errors conform to LocalizedError, you can also get a nice error message in Xcode if there's a failure.

class ImageCacheTests: XCTestCase {
    func testCachingAndLoadingImage() throws {
        let bundle = Bundle(for: type(of: self))
        let cache = ImageCache(bundle: bundle)
        
        // Bonus tip: You can easily load images from your test
        // bundle using this UIImage initializer
        let image = try require(UIImage(named: "sample", in: bundle, compatibleWith: nil))
        try cache.cache(image, forKey: "key")
        
        let cachedImage = try cache.image(forKey: "key")
        XCTAssertEqual(image, cachedImage)
    }
}

enum ImageCacheError {
    case emptyKey
    case dataConversionFailed
}

// When using throwing tests, making your errors conform to
// LocalizedError will render a much nicer error message in
// Xcode (per default only the error code is shown).
extension ImageCacheError: LocalizedError {
    var errorDescription: String? {
        switch self {
        case .emptyKey:
            return "An empty key was given"
        case .dataConversionFailed:
            return "Failed to convert the given image to Data"
        }
    }
}

For more information, and the implementation of the require method used above, check out "Avoiding force unwrapping in Swift unit tests".

63 The difference between static and class properties

✍️ Unlike static properties, class properties can be overridden by subclasses (however, they can't be stored, only computed).

class TableViewCell: UITableViewCell {
    class var preferredHeight: CGFloat { return 60 }
}

class TallTableViewCell: TableViewCell {
    override class var preferredHeight: CGFloat { return 100 }
}

62 Creating extensions with static factory methods

👨‍🎨 Creating extensions with static factory methods can be a great alternative to subclassing in Swift, especially for things like setting up UIViews, CALayers or other kinds of styling.

It also lets you remove a lot of styling & setup from your view controllers.

extension UILabel {
    static func makeForTitle() -> UILabel {
        let label = UILabel()
        label.font = .boldSystemFont(ofSize: 24)
        label.textColor = .darkGray
        label.adjustsFontSizeToFitWidth = true
        label.minimumScaleFactor = 0.75
        return label
    }

    static func makeForText() -> UILabel {
        let label = UILabel()
        label.font = .systemFont(ofSize: 16)
        label.textColor = .black
        label.numberOfLines = 0
        return label
    }
}

class ArticleViewController: UIViewController {
    lazy var titleLabel = UILabel.makeForTitle()
    lazy var textLabel = UILabel.makeForText()
}

61 Child view controller auto-resizing

🧒 An awesome thing about child view controllers is that they're automatically resized to match their parent, making them a super nice solution for things like loading & error views.

class ListViewController: UIViewController {
    func loadItems() {
        let loadingViewController = LoadingViewController()
        add(loadingViewController)

        dataLoader.loadItems { [weak self] result in
            loadingViewController.remove()
            self?.handle(result)
        }
    }
}

For more about child view controller (including the add and remove methods used above), check out "Using child view controllers as plugins in Swift".

60 Using zip

🤐 Using the zip function in Swift you can easily combine two sequences. Super useful when using two sequences to do some work, since zip takes care of all the bounds-checking.

func render(titles: [String]) {
    for (label, text) in zip(titleLabels, titles) {
        print(text)
        label.text = text
    }
}

59 Defining custom option sets

🎛 The awesome thing about option sets in Swift is that they can automatically either be passed as a single member or as a set. Even cooler is that you can easily define your own option sets as well, perfect for options and other non-exclusive values.

// Option sets are awesome, because you can easily pass them
// both using dot syntax and array literal syntax, like when
// using the UIView animation API:
UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.3,
               delay: 0,
               options: .allowUserInteraction,
               animations: animations)

UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.3,
               delay: 0,
               options: [.allowUserInteraction, .layoutSubviews],
               animations: animations)

// The cool thing is that you can easily define your own option
// sets as well, by defining a struct that has an Int rawValue,
// that will be used as a bit mask.
extension Cache {
    struct Options: OptionSet {
        static let saveToDisk = Options(rawValue: 1)
        static let clearOnMemoryWarning = Options(rawValue: 1 << 1)
        static let clearDaily = Options(rawValue: 1 << 2)

        let rawValue: Int
    }
}

// We can now use Cache.Options just like UIViewAnimationOptions:
Cache(options: .saveToDisk)
Cache(options: [.saveToDisk, .clearDaily])

58 Using the where clause with associated types

🙌 Using the where clause when designing protocol-oriented APIs in Swift can let your implementations (or others' if it's open source) have a lot more freedom, especially when it comes to collections.

See "Using generic type constraints in Swift 4" for more info.

public protocol PathFinderMap {
    associatedtype Node
    // Using the 'where' clause for associated types, we can
    // ensure that a type meets certain requirements (in this
    // case that it's a sequence with Node elements).
    associatedtype NodeSequence: Sequence where NodeSequence.Element == Node

    // Instead of using a concrete type (like [Node]) here, we
    // give implementors of this protocol more freedom while
    // still meeting our requirements. For example, one
    // implementation might use Set<Node>.
    func neighbors(of node: Node) -> NodeSequence
}

57 Using first class functions when iterating over a dictionary

👨‍🍳 Combine first class functions in Swift with the fact that Dictionary elements are (Key, Value) tuples and you can build yourself some pretty awesome functional chains when iterating over a Dictionary.

func makeActor(at coordinate: Coordinate, for building: Building) -> Actor {
    let actor = Actor()
    actor.position = coordinate.point
    actor.animation = building.animation
    return actor
}

func render(_ buildings: [Coordinate : Building]) {
    buildings.map(makeActor).forEach(add)
}

56 Calling instance methods as static functions

😎 In Swift, you can call any instance method as a static function and it will return a closure representing that method. This is how running tests using SPM on Linux works.

More about this topic in my blog post "First class functions in Swift".

// This produces a '() -> Void' closure which is a reference to the
// given view's 'removeFromSuperview' method.
let closure = UIView.removeFromSuperview(view)

// We can now call it just like we would any other closure, and it
// will run 'view.removeFromSuperview()'
closure()

// This is how running tests using the Swift Package Manager on Linux
// works, you return your test functions as closures:
extension UserManagerTests {
    static var allTests = [
        ("testLoggingIn", testLoggingIn),
        ("testLoggingOut", testLoggingOut),
        ("testUserPermissions", testUserPermissions)
    ]
}

55 Dropping suffixes from method names to support multiple arguments

👏 One really nice benefit of dropping suffixes from method names (and just using verbs, when possible) is that it becomes super easy to support both single and multiple arguments, and it works really well semantically.

extension UIView {
    func add(_ subviews: UIView...) {
        subviews.forEach(addSubview)
    }
}

view.add(button)
view.add(label)

// By dropping the "Subview" suffix from the method name, both
// single and multiple arguments work really well semantically.
view.add(button, label)

54 Constraining protocols to classes to ensure mutability

👽 Using the AnyObject (or class) constraint on protocols is not only useful when defining delegates (or other weak references), but also when you always want instances to be mutable without copying.

// By constraining a protocol with 'AnyObject' it can only be adopted
// by classes, which means all instances will always be mutable, and
// that it's the original instance (not a copy) that will be mutated.
protocol DataContainer: AnyObject {
    var data: Data? { get set }
}

class UserSettingsManager {
    private var settings: Settings
    private let dataContainer: DataContainer

    // Since DataContainer is a protocol, we an easily mock it in
    // tests if we use dependency injection
    init(settings: Settings, dataContainer: DataContainer) {
        self.settings = settings
        self.dataContainer = dataContainer
    }

    func saveSettings() throws {
        let data = try settings.serialize()

        // We can now assign properties on an instance of our protocol
        // because the compiler knows it's always going to be a class
        dataContainer.data = data
    }
}

53 String-based enums in string interpolation

🍣 Even if you define a custom raw value for a string-based enum in Swift, the full case name will be used in string interpolation.

Super useful when using separate raw values for JSON, while still wanting to use the full case name in other contexts.

extension Building {
    // This enum has custom raw values that are used when decoding
    // a value, for example from JSON.
    enum Kind: String {
        case castle = "C"
        case town = "T"
        case barracks = "B"
        case goldMine = "G"
        case camp = "CA"
        case blacksmith = "BL"
    }

    var animation: Animation {
        return Animation(
            // When used in string interpolation, the full case name is still used.
            // For 'castle' this will be 'buildings/castle'.
            name: "buildings/\(kind)",
            frameCount: frameCount,
            frameDuration: frameDuration
        )
    }
}

52 Expressively comparing a value with a list of candidates

👨‍🔬 Continuing to experiment with expressive ways of comparing a value with a list of candidates in Swift. Adding an extension on Equatable is probably my favorite approach so far.

extension Equatable {
    func isAny(of candidates: Self...) -> Bool {
        return candidates.contains(self)
    }
}

let isHorizontal = direction.isAny(of: .left, .right)

See tip 35 for my previous experiment.

51 UIView bounds and transforms

📐 A really interesting side-effect of a UIView's bounds being its rect within its own coordinate system is that transforms don't affect it at all. That's why it's usually a better fit than frame when doing layout calculations of subviews.

let view = UIView()
view.frame.size = CGSize(width: 100, height: 100)
view.transform = CGAffineTransform(scaleX: 2, y: 2)

print(view.frame) // (-50.0, -50.0, 200.0, 200.0)
print(view.bounds) // (0.0, 0.0, 100.0, 100.0)

50 UIKit default arguments

👏 It's awesome that many UIKit APIs with completion handlers and other optional parameters import into Swift with default arguments (even though they are written in Objective-C). Getting rid of all those nil arguments is so nice!

// BEFORE: All parameters are specified, just like in Objective-C

viewController.present(modalViewController, animated: true, completion: nil)

modalViewController.dismiss(animated: true, completion: nil)

viewController.transition(from: loadingViewController,
                          to: contentViewController,
                          duration: 0.3,
                          options: [],
                          animations: animations,
                          completion: nil)

// AFTER: Since many UIKit APIs with completion handlers and other
// optional parameters import into Swift with default arguments,
// we can make our calls shorter

viewController.present(modalViewController, animated: true)

modalViewController.dismiss(animated: true)

viewController.transition(from: loadingViewController,
                          to: contentViewController,
                          duration: 0.3,
                          animations: animations)

49 Avoiding Massive View Controllers

✂️ Avoiding Massive View Controllers is all about finding the right levels of abstraction and splitting things up.

My personal rule of thumb is that as soon as I have 3 methods or properties that have the same prefix, I break them out into their own type.

// BEFORE

class LoginViewController: UIViewController {
    private lazy var signUpLabel = UILabel()
    private lazy var signUpImageView = UIImageView()
    private lazy var signUpButton = UIButton()
}

// AFTER

class LoginViewController: UIViewController {
    private lazy var signUpView = SignUpView()
}

class SignUpView: UIView {
    private lazy var label = UILabel()
    private lazy var imageView = UIImageView()
    private lazy var button = UIButton()
}

48 Extending optionals

❤️ I love the fact that optionals are enums in Swift - it makes it so easy to extend them with convenience APIs for certain types. Especially useful when doing things like data validation on optional values.

func validateTextFields() -> Bool {
    guard !usernameTextField.text.isNilOrEmpty else {
        return false
    }

    ...

    return true
}

// Since all optionals are actual enum values in Swift, we can easily
// extend them for certain types, to add our own convenience APIs

extension Optional where Wrapped == String {
    var isNilOrEmpty: Bool {
        switch self {
        case let string?:
            return string.isEmpty
        case nil:
            return true
        }
    }
}

// Since strings are now Collections in Swift 4, you can even
// add this property to all optional collections:

extension Optional where Wrapped: Collection {
    var isNilOrEmpty: Bool {
        switch self {
        case let collection?:
            return collection.isEmpty
        case nil:
            return true
        }
    }
}

47 Using where with for-loops

🗺 Using the where keyword can be a super nice way to quickly apply a filter in a for-loop in Swift. You can of course use map, filter and forEach, or guard, but for simple loops I think this is very expressive and nice.

func archiveMarkedPosts() {
    for post in posts where post.isMarked {
        archive(post)
    }
}

func healAllies() {
    for player in players where player.isAllied(to: currentPlayer) {
        player.heal()
    }
}

46 Variable shadowing

👻 Variable shadowing can be super useful in Swift, especially when you want to create a local copy of a parameter value in order to use it as state within a closure.

init(repeatMode: RepeatMode, closure: @escaping () -> UpdateOutcome) {
    // Shadow the argument with a local, mutable copy
    var repeatMode = repeatMode
    
    self.closure = {
        // With shadowing, there's no risk of accidentially
        // referring to the immutable version
        switch repeatMode {
        case .forever:
            break
        case .times(let count):
            guard count > 0 else {
                return .finished
            }
            
            // We can now capture the mutable version and use
            // it for state in a closure
            repeatMode = .times(count - 1)
        }
        
        return closure()
    }
}

45 Using dot syntax for static properties and initializers

✒️ Dot syntax is one of my favorite features of Swift. What's really cool is that it's not only for enums, any static method or property can be used with dot syntax - even initializers! Perfect for convenience APIs and default parameters.

public enum RepeatMode {
    case times(Int)
    case forever
}

public extension RepeatMode {
    static var never: RepeatMode {
        return .times(0)
    }

    static var once: RepeatMode {
        return .times(1)
    }
}

view.perform(animation, repeated: .once)

// To make default parameters more compact, you can even use init with dot syntax

class ImageLoader {
    init(cache: Cache = .init(), decoder: ImageDecoder = .init()) {
        ...
    }
}

44 Calling functions as closures with a tuple as parameters

🚀 One really cool aspect of Swift having first class functions is that you can pass any function (or even initializer) as a closure, and even call it with a tuple containing its parameters!

// This function lets us treat any "normal" function or method as
// a closure and run it with a tuple that contains its parameters
func call<Input, Output>(_ function: (Input) -> Output, with input: Input) -> Output {
    return function(input)
}

class ViewFactory {
    func makeHeaderView() -> HeaderView {
        // We can now pass an initializer as a closure, and a tuple
        // containing its parameters
        return call(HeaderView.init, with: loadTextStyles())
    }
    
    private func loadTextStyles() -> (font: UIFont, color: UIColor) {
        return (theme.font, theme.textColor)
    }
}

class HeaderView {
    init(font: UIFont, textColor: UIColor) {
        ...
    }
}

43 Enabling static dependency injection

💉 If you've been struggling to test code that uses static APIs, here's a technique you can use to enable static dependency injection without having to modify any call sites:

// Before: Almost impossible to test due to the use of singletons

class Analytics {
    static func log(_ event: Event) {
        Database.shared.save(event)
        
        let dictionary = event.serialize()
        NetworkManager.shared.post(dictionary, to: eventURL)
    }
}

// After: Much easier to test, since we can inject mocks as arguments

class Analytics {
    static func log(_ event: Event,
                    database: Database = .shared,
                    networkManager: NetworkManager = .shared) {
        database.save(event)
        
        let dictionary = event.serialize()
        networkManager.post(dictionary, to: eventURL)
    }
}

42 Type inference for lazy properties in Swift 4

🎉 In Swift 4, type inference works for lazy properties and you don't need to explicitly refer to self!

// Swift 3

class PurchaseView: UIView {
    private lazy var buyButton: UIButton = self.makeBuyButton()
    
    private func makeBuyButton() -> UIButton {
        let button = UIButton()
        button.setTitle("Buy", for: .normal)
        button.setTitleColor(.blue, for: .normal)
        return button
    }
}

// Swift 4

class PurchaseView: UIView {
    private lazy var buyButton = makeBuyButton()
    
    private func makeBuyButton() -> UIButton {
        let button = UIButton()
        button.setTitle("Buy", for: .normal)
        button.setTitleColor(.blue, for: .normal)
        return button
    }
}

41 Converting Swift errors to NSError

😎 You can turn any Swift Error into an NSError, which is super useful when pattern matching with a code 👍. Also, switching on optionals is pretty cool!

let task = urlSession.dataTask(with: url) { data, _, error in
    switch error {
    case .some(let error as NSError) where error.code == NSURLErrorNotConnectedToInternet:
        presenter.showOfflineView()
    case .some(let error):
        presenter.showGenericErrorView()
    case .none:
        presenter.renderContent(from: data)
    }
}

task.resume()

Also make sure to check out Kostas Kremizas' tip about how you can pattern match directly against a member of URLError.

40 Making UIImage macOS compatible

🖥 Here's an easy way to make iOS model code that uses UIImage macOS compatible - like me and Gui Rambo discussed on the Swift by Sundell Podcast.

// Either put this in a separate file that you only include in your macOS target or wrap the code in #if os(macOS) / #endif

import Cocoa

// Step 1: Typealias UIImage to NSImage
typealias UIImage = NSImage

// Step 2: You might want to add these APIs that UIImage has but NSImage doesn't.
extension NSImage {
    var cgImage: CGImage? {
        var proposedRect = CGRect(origin: .zero, size: size)

        return cgImage(forProposedRect: &proposedRect,
                       context: nil,
                       hints: nil)
    }

    convenience init?(named name: String) {
        self.init(named: Name(name))
    }
}

// Step 3: Profit - you can now make your model code that uses UIImage cross-platform!
struct User {
    let name: String
    let profileImage: UIImage
}

39 Internally mutable protocol-oriented APIs

🤖 You can easily define a protocol-oriented API that can only be mutated internally, by using an internal protocol that extends a public one.

// Declare a public protocol that acts as your immutable API
public protocol ModelHolder {
    associatedtype Model
    var model: Model { get }
}

// Declare an extended, internal protocol that provides a mutable API
internal protocol MutableModelHolder: ModelHolder {
    var model: Model { get set }
}

// You can now implement the requirements using 'public internal(set)'
public class UserHolder: MutableModelHolder {
    public internal(set) var model: User

    internal init(model: User) {
        self.model = model
    }
}

38 Switching on a set

🎛 You can switch on a set using array literals as cases in Swift! Can be really useful to avoid many if/else if statements.

class RoadTile: Tile {
    var connectedDirections = Set<Direction>()

    func render() {
        switch connectedDirections {
        case [.up, .down]:
            image = UIImage(named: "road-vertical")
        case [.left, .right]:
            image = UIImage(named: "road-horizontal")
        default:
            image = UIImage(named: "road")
        }
    }
}

37 Adding the current locale to cache keys

🌍 When caching localized content in an app, it's a good idea to add the current locale to all keys, to prevent bugs when switching languages.

func cache(_ content: Content, forKey key: String) throws {
    let data = try wrap(content) as Data
    let key = localize(key: key)
    try storage.store(data, forKey: key)
}

func loadCachedContent(forKey key: String) -> Content? {
    let key = localize(key: key)
    let data = storage.loadData(forKey: key)
    return data.flatMap { try? unbox(data: $0) }
}

private func localize(key: String) -> String {
    return key + "-" + Bundle.main.preferredLocalizations[0]
}

36 Setting up tests to avoid retain cycles with weak references

🚳 Here's an easy way to setup a test to avoid accidental retain cycles with object relationships (like weak delegates & observers) in Swift:

func testDelegateNotRetained() {
    // Assign the delegate (weak) and also retain it using a local var
    var delegate: Delegate? = DelegateMock()
    controller.delegate = delegate
    XCTAssertNotNil(controller.delegate)
    
    // Release the local var, which should also release the weak reference
    delegate = nil
    XCTAssertNil(controller.delegate)
}

35 Expressively matching a value against a list of candidates

👨‍🔬 Playing around with an expressive way to check if a value matches any of a list of candidates in Swift:

// Instead of multiple conditions like this:

if string == "One" || string == "Two" || string == "Three" {

}

// You can now do:

if string == any(of: "One", "Two", "Three") {

}

You can find a gist with the implementation here.

34 Organizing code using extensions

👪 APIs in a Swift extension automatically inherit its access control level, making it a neat way to organize public, internal & private APIs.

public extension Animation {
    init(textureNamed textureName: String) {
        frames = [Texture(name: textureName)]
    }
    
    init(texturesNamed textureNames: [String], frameDuration: TimeInterval = 1) {
        frames = textureNames.map(Texture.init)
        self.frameDuration = frameDuration
    }
    
    init(image: Image) {
        frames = [Texture(image: image)]
    }
}

internal extension Animation {
    func loadFrameImages() -> [Image] {
        return frames.map { $0.loadImageIfNeeded() }
    }
}

33 Using map to transform an optional into a Result type

🗺 Using map you can transform an optional value into an optional Result type by simply passing in the enum case.

enum Result<Value> {
    case value(Value)
    case error(Error)
}

class Promise<Value> {
    private var result: Result<Value>?
    
    init(value: Value? = nil) {
        result = value.map(Result.value)
    }
}

32 Assigning to self in struct initializers

👌 It's so nice that you can assign directly to self in struct initializers in Swift. Very useful when adding conformance to protocols.

extension Bool: AnswerConvertible {
    public init(input: String) throws {
        switch input.lowercased() {
        case "y", "yes", "👍":
            self = true
        default:
            self = false
        }
    }
}

31 Recursively calling closures as inline functions

☎️ Defining Swift closures as inline functions enables you to recursively call them, which is super useful in things like custom sequences.

class Database {
    func records(matching query: Query) -> AnySequence<Record> {
        var recordIterator = loadRecords().makeIterator()
        
        func iterate() -> Record? {
            guard let nextRecord = recordIterator.next() else {
                return nil
            }
            
            guard nextRecord.matches(query) else {
                // Since the closure is an inline function, it can be recursively called,
                // in this case in order to advance to the next item.
                return iterate()
            }
            
            return nextRecord
        }
        
        // AnySequence/AnyIterator are part of the standard library and provide an easy way
        // to define custom sequences using closures.
        return AnySequence { AnyIterator(iterate) }
    }
}

Rob Napier points out that using the above might cause crashes if used on a large databaset, since Swift has no guaranteed Tail Call Optimization (TCO).

Slava Pestov also points out that another benefit of inline functions vs closures is that they can have their own generic parameter list.

30 Passing self to required Objective-C dependencies

🏖 Using lazy properties in Swift, you can pass self to required Objective-C dependencies without having to use force-unwrapped optionals.

class DataLoader: NSObject {
    lazy var urlSession: URLSession = self.makeURLSession()
    
    private func makeURLSession() -> URLSession {
        return URLSession(configuration: .default, delegate: self, delegateQueue: .main)
    }
}

class Renderer {
    lazy var displayLink: CADisplayLink = self.makeDisplayLink()
    
    private func makeDisplayLink() -> CADisplayLink {
        return CADisplayLink(target: self, selector: #selector(screenDidRefresh))
    }
}

29 Making weak or lazy properties readonly

👓 If you have a property in Swift that needs to be weak or lazy, you can still make it readonly by using private(set).

class Node {
    private(set) weak var parent: Node?
    private(set) lazy var children = [Node]()

    func add(child: Node) {
        children.append(child)
        child.parent = self
    }
}

28 Defining static URLs using string literals

🌏 Tired of using URL(string: "url")! for static URLs? Make URL conform to ExpressibleByStringLiteral and you can now simply use "url" instead.

extension URL: ExpressibleByStringLiteral {
    // By using 'StaticString' we disable string interpolation, for safety
    public init(stringLiteral value: StaticString) {
        self = URL(string: "\(value)").require(hint: "Invalid URL string literal: \(value)")
    }
}

// We can now define URLs using static string literals 🎉
let url: URL = "https://www.swiftbysundell.com"
let task = URLSession.shared.dataTask(with: "https://www.swiftbysundell.com")

// In Swift 3 or earlier, you also have to implement 2 additional initializers
extension URL {
    public init(extendedGraphemeClusterLiteral value: StaticString) {
        self.init(stringLiteral: value)
    }

    public init(unicodeScalarLiteral value: StaticString) {
        self.init(stringLiteral: value)
    }
}

To find the extension that adds the require() method on Optional that I use above, check out Require.

27 Manipulating points, sizes and frames using math operators

✚ I'm always careful with operator overloading, but for manipulating things like sizes, points & frames I find them super useful.

extension CGSize {
    static func *(lhs: CGSize, rhs: CGFloat) -> CGSize {
        return CGSize(width: lhs.width * rhs, height: lhs.height * rhs)
    }
}

button.frame.size = image.size * 2

If you like the above idea, check out CGOperators, which contains math operator overloads for all Core Graphics' vector types.

26 Using closure types in generic constraints

🔗 You can use closure types in generic constraints in Swift. Enables nice APIs for handling sequences of closures.

extension Sequence where Element == () -> Void {
    func callAll() {
        forEach { $0() }
    }
}

extension Sequence where Element == () -> String {
    func joinedResults(separator: String) -> String {
        return map { $0() }.joined(separator: separator)
    }
}

callbacks.callAll()
let names = nameProviders.joinedResults(separator: ", ")

(If you're using Swift 3, you have to change Element to Iterator.Element)

25 Using associated enum values to avoid state-specific optionals

🎉 Using associated enum values is a super nice way to encapsulate mutually exclusive state info (and avoiding state-specific optionals).

// BEFORE: Lots of state-specific, optional properties

class Player {
    var isWaitingForMatchMaking: Bool
    var invitingUser: User?
    var numberOfLives: Int
    var playerDefeatedBy: Player?
    var roundDefeatedIn: Int?
}

// AFTER: All state-specific information is encapsulated in enum cases

class Player {
    enum State {
        case waitingForMatchMaking
        case waitingForInviteResponse(from: User)
        case active(numberOfLives: Int)
        case defeated(by: Player, roundNumber: Int)
    }
    
    var state: State
}

24 Using enums for async result types

👍 I really like using enums for all async result types, even boolean ones. Self-documenting, and makes the call site a lot nicer to read too!

protocol PushNotificationService {
    // Before
    func enablePushNotifications(completionHandler: @escaping (Bool) -> Void)
    
    // After
    func enablePushNotifications(completionHandler: @escaping (PushNotificationStatus) -> Void)
}

enum PushNotificationStatus {
    case enabled
    case disabled
}

service.enablePushNotifications { status in
    if status == .enabled {
        enableNotificationsButton.removeFromSuperview()
    }
}

23 Working on async code in a playground

🏃 Want to work on your async code in a Swift Playground? Just set needsIndefiniteExecution to true to keep it running:

import PlaygroundSupport

PlaygroundPage.current.needsIndefiniteExecution = true

DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 3) {
    let greeting = "Hello after 3 seconds"
    print(greeting)
}

To stop the playground from executing, simply call PlaygroundPage.current.finishExecution().

22 Overriding self with a weak reference

💦 Avoid memory leaks when accidentially refering to self in closures by overriding it locally with a weak reference:

Swift >= 4.2

dataLoader.loadData(from: url) { [weak self] result in
    guard let self = self else { 
        return 
    }

    self.cache(result)
    
    ...

Swift < 4.2

dataLoader.loadData(from: url) { [weak self] result in
    guard let `self` = self else {
        return
    }

    self.cache(result)
    
    ...

Note that the reason the above currently works is because of a compiler bug (which I hope gets turned into a properly supported feature soon).

21 Using DispatchWorkItem

🕓 Using dispatch work items you can easily cancel a delayed asynchronous GCD task if you no longer need it:

let workItem = DispatchWorkItem {
    // Your async code goes in here
}

// Execute the work item after 1 second
DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 1, execute: workItem)

// You can cancel the work item if you no longer need it
workItem.cancel()

20 Combining a sequence of functions

➕ While working on a new Swift developer tool (to be open sourced soon 😉), I came up with a pretty neat way of organizing its sequence of operations, by combining their functions into a closure:

internal func +<A, B, C>(lhs: @escaping (A) throws -> B,
                         rhs: @escaping (B) throws -> C) -> (A) throws -> C {
    return { try rhs(lhs($0)) }
}

public func run() throws {
    try (determineTarget + build + analyze + output)()
}

If you're familiar with the functional programming world, you might know the above technique as the pipe operator (thanks to Alexey Demedreckiy for pointing this out!)

19 Chaining optionals with map() and flatMap()

🗺 Using map() and flatMap() on optionals you can chain multiple operations without having to use lengthy if lets or guards:

// BEFORE

guard let string = argument(at: 1) else {
    return
}

guard let url = URL(string: string) else {
    return
}

handle(url)

// AFTER

argument(at: 1).flatMap(URL.init).map(handle)

18 Using self-executing closures for lazy properties

🚀 Using self-executing closures is a great way to encapsulate lazy property initialization:

class StoreViewController: UIViewController {
    private lazy var collectionView: UICollectionView = {
        let layout = UICollectionViewFlowLayout()
        let view = UICollectionView(frame: self.view.bounds, collectionViewLayout: layout)
        view.delegate = self
        view.dataSource = self
        return view
    }()
    
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()
        view.addSubview(collectionView)
    }
}

17 Speeding up Swift package tests

⚡️ You can speed up your Swift package tests using the --parallel flag. For Marathon, the tests execute 3 times faster that way!

swift test --parallel

16 Avoiding mocking UserDefaults

🛠 Struggling with mocking UserDefaults in a test? The good news is: you don't need mocking - just create a real instance:

class LoginTests: XCTestCase {
    private var userDefaults: UserDefaults!
    private var manager: LoginManager!
    
    override func setUp() {
        super.setup()
        
        userDefaults = UserDefaults(suiteName: #file)
        userDefaults.removePersistentDomain(forName: #file)
        
        manager = LoginManager(userDefaults: userDefaults)
    }
}

15 Using variadic parameters

👍 Using variadic parameters in Swift, you can create some really nice APIs that take a list of objects without having to use an array:

extension Canvas {
    func add(_ shapes: Shape...) {
        shapes.forEach(add)
    }
}

let circle = Circle(center: CGPoint(x: 5, y: 5), radius: 5)
let lineA = Line(start: .zero, end: CGPoint(x: 10, y: 10))
let lineB = Line(start: CGPoint(x: 0, y: 10), end: CGPoint(x: 10, y: 0))

let canvas = Canvas()
canvas.add(circle, lineA, lineB)
canvas.render()

14 Referring to enum cases with associated values as closures

😮 Just like you can refer to a Swift function as a closure, you can do the same thing with enum cases with associated values:

enum UnboxPath {
    case key(String)
    case keyPath(String)
}

struct UserSchema {
    static let name = key("name")
    static let age = key("age")
    static let posts = key("posts")
    
    private static let key = UnboxPath.key
}

13 Using the === operator to compare objects by instance

📈 The === operator lets you check if two objects are the same instance. Very useful when verifying that an array contains an instance in a test:

protocol InstanceEquatable: class, Equatable {}

extension InstanceEquatable {
    static func ==(lhs: Self, rhs: Self) -> Bool {
        return lhs === rhs
    }
}

extension Enemy: InstanceEquatable {}

func testDestroyingEnemy() {
    player.attack(enemy)
    XCTAssertTrue(player.destroyedEnemies.contains(enemy))
}

12 Calling initializers with dot syntax and passing them as closures

😎 Cool thing about Swift initializers: you can call them using dot syntax and pass them as closures! Perfect for mocking dates in tests.

class Logger {
    private let storage: LogStorage
    private let dateProvider: () -> Date
    
    init(storage: LogStorage = .init(), dateProvider: @escaping () -> Date = Date.init) {
        self.storage = storage
        self.dateProvider = dateProvider
    }
    
    func log(event: Event) {
        storage.store(event: event, date: dateProvider())
    }
}

11 Structuring UI tests as extensions on XCUIApplication

📱 Most of my UI testing logic is now categories on XCUIApplication. Makes the test cases really easy to read:

func testLoggingInAndOut() {
    XCTAssertFalse(app.userIsLoggedIn)
    
    app.launch()
    app.login()
    XCTAssertTrue(app.userIsLoggedIn)
    
    app.logout()
    XCTAssertFalse(app.userIsLoggedIn)
}

func testDisplayingCategories() {
    XCTAssertFalse(app.isDisplayingCategories)
    
    app.launch()
    app.login()
    app.goToCategories()
    XCTAssertTrue(app.isDisplayingCategories)
}

10 Avoiding default cases in switch statements

🙂 It’s a good idea to avoid “default” cases when switching on Swift enums - it’ll “force you” to update your logic when a new case is added:

enum State {
    case loggedIn
    case loggedOut
    case onboarding
}

func handle(_ state: State) {
    switch state {
    case .loggedIn:
        showMainUI()
    case .loggedOut:
        showLoginUI()
    // Compiler error: Switch must be exhaustive
    }
}

9 Using the guard statement in many different scopes

💂 It's really cool that you can use Swift's 'guard' statement to exit out of pretty much any scope, not only return from functions:

// You can use the 'guard' statement to...

for string in strings {
    // ...continue an iteration
    guard shouldProcess(string) else {
        continue
    }
    
    // ...or break it
    guard !shouldBreak(for: string) else {
        break
    }
    
    // ...or return
    guard !shouldReturn(for: string) else {
        return
    }
    
    // ..or throw an error
    guard string.isValid else {
        throw StringError.invalid(string)
    }
    
    // ...or exit the program
    guard !shouldExit(for: string) else {
        exit(1)
    }
}

8 Passing functions & operators as closures

❤️ Love how you can pass functions & operators as closures in Swift. For example, it makes the syntax for sorting arrays really nice!

let array = [3, 9, 1, 4, 6, 2]
let sorted = array.sorted(by: <)

7 Using #function for UserDefaults key consistency

🗝 Here's a neat little trick I use to get UserDefault key consistency in Swift (#function expands to the property name in getters/setters). Just remember to write a good suite of tests that'll guard you against bugs when changing property names.

extension UserDefaults {
    var onboardingCompleted: Bool {
        get { return bool(forKey: #function) }
        set { set(newValue, forKey: #function) }
    }
}

6 Using a name already taken by the standard library

📛 Want to use a name already taken by the standard library for a nested type? No problem - just use Swift. to disambiguate:

extension Command {
    enum Error: Swift.Error {
        case missing
        case invalid(String)
    }
}

5 Using Wrap to implement Equatable

📦 Playing around with using Wrap to implement Equatable for any type, primarily for testing:

protocol AutoEquatable: Equatable {}

extension AutoEquatable {
    static func ==(lhs: Self, rhs: Self) -> Bool {
        let lhsData = try! wrap(lhs) as Data
        let rhsData = try! wrap(rhs) as Data
        return lhsData == rhsData
    }
}

4 Using typealiases to reduce the length of method signatures

📏 One thing that I find really useful in Swift is to use typealiases to reduce the length of method signatures in generic types:

public class PathFinder<Object: PathFinderObject> {
    public typealias Map = Object.Map
    public typealias Node = Map.Node
    public typealias Path = PathFinderPath<Object>
    
    public static func possiblePaths(for object: Object, at rootNode: Node, on map: Map) -> Path.Sequence {
        return .init(object: object, rootNode: rootNode, map: map)
    }
}

3 Referencing either external or internal parameter name when writing docs

📖 You can reference either the external or internal parameter label when writing Swift docs - and they get parsed the same:

// EITHER:

class Foo {
    /**
    *   - parameter string: A string
    */
    func bar(with string: String) {}
}

// OR:

class Foo {
    /**
    *   - parameter with: A string
    */
    func bar(with string: String) {}
}

2 Using auto closures

👍 Finding more and more uses for auto closures in Swift. Can enable some pretty nice APIs:

extension Dictionary {
    mutating func value(for key: Key, orAdd valueClosure: @autoclosure () -> Value) -> Value {
        if let value = self[key] {
            return value
        }
        
        let value = valueClosure()
        self[key] = value
        return value
    }
}

1 Namespacing with nested types

🚀 I’ve started to become a really big fan of nested types in Swift. Love the additional namespacing it gives you!

public struct Map {
    public struct Model {
        public let size: Size
        public let theme: Theme
        public var terrain: [Position : Terrain.Model]
        public var units: [Position : Unit.Model]
        public var buildings: [Position : Building.Model]
    }
    
    public enum Direction {
        case up
        case right
        case down
        case left
    }
    
    public struct Position {
        public var x: Int
        public var y: Int
    }
    
    public enum Size: String {
        case small = "S"
        case medium = "M"
        case large = "L"
        case extraLarge = "XL"
    }
}

Download Details:

Author: JohnSundell
Source Code: https://github.com/JohnSundell/SwiftTips 
License: MIT license

#swift #tips #tricks