11 Things I Learned By Studying The Metro UI CSS Files

The promise of CSS3 is the ability to do things web developers and designers have desired for a couple of decades now. And well it delivers on a lot of that promise with so many new added features, especially in concert with new HTML5 markup functionality. In the following code snippet are the CSS rules that define how an HTML5 range control is styled. This is the control the user can slide back and forth to provide a value.


What is GEEK

Buddha Community

11 Things I Learned By Studying The Metro UI CSS Files
Kaia  Schmitt

Kaia Schmitt


SDK for Connecting to AWS IoT From A Device using Embedded C

AWS IoT Device SDK for Embedded C


The AWS IoT Device SDK for Embedded C (C-SDK) is a collection of C source files under the MIT open source license that can be used in embedded applications to securely connect IoT devices to AWS IoT Core. It contains MQTT client, HTTP client, JSON Parser, AWS IoT Device Shadow, AWS IoT Jobs, and AWS IoT Device Defender libraries. This SDK is distributed in source form, and can be built into customer firmware along with application code, other libraries and an operating system (OS) of your choice. These libraries are only dependent on standard C libraries, so they can be ported to various OS's - from embedded Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) to Linux/Mac/Windows. You can find sample usage of C-SDK libraries on POSIX systems using OpenSSL (e.g. Linux demos in this repository), and on FreeRTOS using mbedTLS (e.g. FreeRTOS demos in FreeRTOS repository).

For the latest release of C-SDK, please see the section for Releases and Documentation.

C-SDK includes libraries that are part of the FreeRTOS 202012.01 LTS release. Learn more about the FreeRTOS 202012.01 LTS libraries by clicking here.


The C-SDK libraries are licensed under the MIT open source license.


C-SDK simplifies access to various AWS IoT services. C-SDK has been tested to work with AWS IoT Core and an open source MQTT broker to ensure interoperability. The AWS IoT Device Shadow, AWS IoT Jobs, and AWS IoT Device Defender libraries are flexible to work with any MQTT client and JSON parser. The MQTT client and JSON parser libraries are offered as choices without being tightly coupled with the rest of the SDK. C-SDK contains the following libraries:


The coreMQTT library provides the ability to establish an MQTT connection with a broker over a customer-implemented transport layer, which can either be a secure channel like a TLS session (mutually authenticated or server-only authentication) or a non-secure channel like a plaintext TCP connection. This MQTT connection can be used for performing publish operations to MQTT topics and subscribing to MQTT topics. The library provides a mechanism to register customer-defined callbacks for receiving incoming PUBLISH, acknowledgement and keep-alive response events from the broker. The library has been refactored for memory optimization and is compliant with the MQTT 3.1.1 standard. It has no dependencies on any additional libraries other than the standard C library, a customer-implemented network transport interface, and optionally a customer-implemented platform time function. The refactored design embraces different use-cases, ranging from resource-constrained platforms using only QoS 0 MQTT PUBLISH messages to resource-rich platforms using QoS 2 MQTT PUBLISH over TLS connections.

See memory requirements for the latest release here.


The coreHTTP library provides the ability to establish an HTTP connection with a server over a customer-implemented transport layer, which can either be a secure channel like a TLS session (mutually authenticated or server-only authentication) or a non-secure channel like a plaintext TCP connection. The HTTP connection can be used to make "GET" (include range requests), "PUT", "POST" and "HEAD" requests. The library provides a mechanism to register a customer-defined callback for receiving parsed header fields in an HTTP response. The library has been refactored for memory optimization, and is a client implementation of a subset of the HTTP/1.1 standard.

See memory requirements for the latest release here.


The coreJSON library is a JSON parser that strictly enforces the ECMA-404 JSON standard. It provides a function to validate a JSON document, and a function to search for a key and return its value. A search can descend into nested structures using a compound query key. A JSON document validation also checks for illegal UTF8 encodings and illegal Unicode escape sequences.

See memory requirements for the latest release here.


The corePKCS11 library is an implementation of the PKCS #11 interface (API) that makes it easier to develop applications that rely on cryptographic operations. Only a subset of the PKCS #11 v2.4 standard has been implemented, with a focus on operations involving asymmetric keys, random number generation, and hashing.

The Cryptoki or PKCS #11 standard defines a platform-independent API to manage and use cryptographic tokens. The name, "PKCS #11", is used interchangeably to refer to the API itself and the standard which defines it.

The PKCS #11 API is useful for writing software without taking a dependency on any particular implementation or hardware. By writing against the PKCS #11 standard interface, code can be used interchangeably with multiple algorithms, implementations and hardware.

Generally vendors for secure cryptoprocessors such as Trusted Platform Module (TPM), Hardware Security Module (HSM), Secure Element, or any other type of secure hardware enclave, distribute a PKCS #11 implementation with the hardware. The purpose of corePKCS11 mock is therefore to provide a PKCS #11 implementation that allows for rapid prototyping and development before switching to a cryptoprocessor specific PKCS #11 implementation in production devices.

Since the PKCS #11 interface is defined as part of the PKCS #11 specification replacing corePKCS11 with another implementation should require little porting effort, as the interface will not change. The system tests distributed in corePKCS11 repository can be leveraged to verify the behavior of a different implementation is similar to corePKCS11.

See memory requirements for the latest release here.

AWS IoT Device Shadow

The AWS IoT Device Shadow library enables you to store and retrieve the current state one or more shadows of every registered device. A device’s shadow is a persistent, virtual representation of your device that you can interact with from AWS IoT Core even if the device is offline. The device state is captured in its "shadow" is represented as a JSON document. The device can send commands over MQTT to get, update and delete its latest state as well as receive notifications over MQTT about changes in its state. The device’s shadow(s) are uniquely identified by the name of the corresponding "thing", a representation of a specific device or logical entity on the AWS Cloud. See Managing Devices with AWS IoT for more information on IoT "thing". This library supports named shadows, a feature of the AWS IoT Device Shadow service that allows you to create multiple shadows for a single IoT device. More details about AWS IoT Device Shadow can be found in AWS IoT documentation.

The AWS IoT Device Shadow library has no dependencies on additional libraries other than the standard C library. It also doesn’t have any platform dependencies, such as threading or synchronization. It can be used with any MQTT library and any JSON library (see demos with coreMQTT and coreJSON).

See memory requirements for the latest release here.

AWS IoT Jobs

The AWS IoT Jobs library enables you to interact with the AWS IoT Jobs service which notifies one or more connected devices of a pending “Job”. A Job can be used to manage your fleet of devices, update firmware and security certificates on your devices, or perform administrative tasks such as restarting devices and performing diagnostics. For documentation of the service, please see the AWS IoT Developer Guide. Interactions with the Jobs service use the MQTT protocol. This library provides an API to compose and recognize the MQTT topic strings used by the Jobs service.

The AWS IoT Jobs library has no dependencies on additional libraries other than the standard C library. It also doesn’t have any platform dependencies, such as threading or synchronization. It can be used with any MQTT library and any JSON library (see demos with libmosquitto and coreJSON).

See memory requirements for the latest release here.

AWS IoT Device Defender

The AWS IoT Device Defender library enables you to interact with the AWS IoT Device Defender service to continuously monitor security metrics from devices for deviations from what you have defined as appropriate behavior for each device. If something doesn’t look right, AWS IoT Device Defender sends out an alert so you can take action to remediate the issue. More details about Device Defender can be found in AWS IoT Device Defender documentation. This library supports custom metrics, a feature that helps you monitor operational health metrics that are unique to your fleet or use case. For example, you can define a new metric to monitor the memory usage or CPU usage on your devices.

The AWS IoT Device Defender library has no dependencies on additional libraries other than the standard C library. It also doesn’t have any platform dependencies, such as threading or synchronization. It can be used with any MQTT library and any JSON library (see demos with coreMQTT and coreJSON).

See memory requirements for the latest release here.

AWS IoT Over-the-air Update

The AWS IoT Over-the-air Update (OTA) library enables you to manage the notification of a newly available update, download the update, and perform cryptographic verification of the firmware update. Using the OTA library, you can logically separate firmware updates from the application running on your devices. You can also use the library to send other files (e.g. images, certificates) to one or more devices registered with AWS IoT. More details about OTA library can be found in AWS IoT Over-the-air Update documentation.

The AWS IoT Over-the-air Update library has a dependency on coreJSON for parsing of JSON job document and tinyCBOR for decoding encoded data streams, other than the standard C library. It can be used with any MQTT library, HTTP library, and operating system (e.g. Linux, FreeRTOS) (see demos with coreMQTT and coreHTTP over Linux).

See memory requirements for the latest release here.

AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning

The AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning library enables you to interact with the AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning MQTT APIs in order to provison IoT devices without preexisting device certificates. With AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning, devices can securely receive unique device certificates from AWS IoT when they connect for the first time. For an overview of all provisioning options offered by AWS IoT, see device provisioning documentation. For details about Fleet Provisioning, refer to the AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning documentation.

See memory requirements for the latest release here.


The AWS SigV4 library enables you to sign HTTP requests with Signature Version 4 Signing Process. Signature Version 4 (SigV4) is the process to add authentication information to HTTP requests to AWS services. For security, most requests to AWS must be signed with an access key. The access key consists of an access key ID and secret access key.

See memory requirements for the latest release here.


The backoffAlgorithm library is a utility library to calculate backoff period using an exponential backoff with jitter algorithm for retrying network operations (like failed network connection with server). This library uses the "Full Jitter" strategy for the exponential backoff with jitter algorithm. More information about the algorithm can be seen in the Exponential Backoff and Jitter AWS blog.

Exponential backoff with jitter is typically used when retrying a failed connection or network request to the server. An exponential backoff with jitter helps to mitigate the failed network operations with servers, that are caused due to network congestion or high load on the server, by spreading out retry requests across multiple devices attempting network operations. Besides, in an environment with poor connectivity, a client can get disconnected at any time. A backoff strategy helps the client to conserve battery by not repeatedly attempting reconnections when they are unlikely to succeed.

The backoffAlgorithm library has no dependencies on libraries other than the standard C library.

See memory requirements for the latest release here.

Sending metrics to AWS IoT

When establishing a connection with AWS IoT, users can optionally report the Operating System, Hardware Platform and MQTT client version information of their device to AWS. This information can help AWS IoT provide faster issue resolution and technical support. If users want to report this information, they can send a specially formatted string (see below) in the username field of the MQTT CONNECT packet.


The format of the username string with metrics is:



  • is the actual username used for authentication, if username and password are used for authentication. When username and password based authentication is not used, this is an empty value.
  • is the Operating System the application is running on (e.g. Ubuntu)
  • is the version number of the Operating System (e.g. 20.10)
  • is the Hardware Platform the application is running on (e.g. RaspberryPi)
  • is the MQTT Client library being used (e.g. coreMQTT)
  • is the version of the MQTT Client library being used (e.g. 1.1.0)


  • Actual_Username = “iotuser”, OS_Name = Ubuntu, OS_Version = 20.10, Hardware_Platform_Name = RaspberryPi, MQTT_Library_Name = coremqtt, MQTT_Library_version = 1.1.0. If username is not used, then “iotuser” can be removed.
/* Username string:
 * iotuser?SDK=Ubuntu&Version=20.10&Platform=RaspberryPi&MQTTLib=coremqtt@1.1.0

#define OS_NAME                   "Ubuntu"
#define OS_VERSION                "20.10"
#define HARDWARE_PLATFORM_NAME    "RaspberryPi"
#define MQTT_LIB                  "coremqtt@1.1.0"

#define USERNAME_STRING           "iotuser?SDK=" OS_NAME "&Version=" OS_VERSION "&Platform=" HARDWARE_PLATFORM_NAME "&MQTTLib=" MQTT_LIB
#define USERNAME_STRING_LENGTH    ( ( uint16_t ) ( sizeof( USERNAME_STRING ) - 1 ) )

MQTTConnectInfo_t connectInfo;
connectInfo.pUserName = USERNAME_STRING;
connectInfo.userNameLength = USERNAME_STRING_LENGTH;
mqttStatus = MQTT_Connect( pMqttContext, &connectInfo, NULL, CONNACK_RECV_TIMEOUT_MS, pSessionPresent );


C-SDK releases will now follow a date based versioning scheme with the format YYYYMM.NN, where:

  • Y represents the year.
  • M represents the month.
  • N represents the release order within the designated month (00 being the first release).

For example, a second release in June 2021 would be 202106.01. Although the SDK releases have moved to date-based versioning, each library within the SDK will still retain semantic versioning. In semantic versioning, the version number itself (X.Y.Z) indicates whether the release is a major, minor, or point release. You can use the semantic version of a library to assess the scope and impact of a new release on your application.

Releases and Documentation

All of the released versions of the C-SDK libraries are available as git tags. For example, the last release of the v3 SDK version is available at tag 3.1.2.


API documentation of 202108.00 release

This release introduces the refactored AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning library and the new AWS SigV4 library.

Additionally, this release brings minor version updates in the AWS IoT Over-the-Air Update and corePKCS11 libraries.


API documentation of 202103.00 release

This release includes a major update to the APIs of the AWS IoT Over-the-air Update library.

Additionally, AWS IoT Device Shadow library introduces a minor update by adding support for named shadow, a feature of the AWS IoT Device Shadow service that allows you to create multiple shadows for a single IoT device. AWS IoT Jobs library introduces a minor update by introducing macros for $next job ID and compile-time generation of topic strings. AWS IoT Device Defender library introduces a minor update that adds macros to API for custom metrics feature of AWS IoT Device Defender service.

corePKCS11 also introduces a patch update by removing the pkcs11configPAL_DESTROY_SUPPORTED config and mbedTLS platform abstraction layer of DestroyObject. Lastly, no code changes are introduced for backoffAlgorithm, coreHTTP, coreMQTT, and coreJSON; however, patch updates are made to improve documentation and CI.


API documentation of 202012.01 release

This release includes AWS IoT Over-the-air Update(Release Candidate), backoffAlgorithm, and PKCS #11 libraries. Additionally, there is a major update to the coreJSON and coreHTTP APIs. All libraries continue to undergo code quality checks (e.g. MISRA-C compliance), and Coverity static analysis. In addition, all libraries except AWS IoT Over-the-air Update and backoffAlgorithm undergo validation of memory safety with the C Bounded Model Checker (CBMC) automated reasoning tool.


API documentation of 202011.00 release

This release includes refactored HTTP client, AWS IoT Device Defender, and AWS IoT Jobs libraries. Additionally, there is a major update to the coreJSON API. All libraries continue to undergo code quality checks (e.g. MISRA-C compliance), Coverity static analysis, and validation of memory safety with the C Bounded Model Checker (CBMC) automated reasoning tool.


API documentation of 202009.00 release

This release includes refactored MQTT, JSON Parser, and AWS IoT Device Shadow libraries for optimized memory usage and modularity. These libraries are included in the SDK via Git submoduling. These libraries have gone through code quality checks including verification that no function has a GNU Complexity score over 8, and checks against deviations from mandatory rules in the MISRA coding standard. Deviations from the MISRA C:2012 guidelines are documented under MISRA Deviations. These libraries have also undergone both static code analysis from Coverity static analysis, and validation of memory safety and data structure invariance through the CBMC automated reasoning tool.

If you are upgrading from v3.x API of the C-SDK to the 202009.00 release, please refer to Migration guide from v3.1.2 to 202009.00 and newer releases. If you are using the C-SDK v4_beta_deprecated branch, note that we will continue to maintain this branch for critical bug fixes and security patches but will not add new features to it. See the C-SDK v4_beta_deprecated branch README for additional details.


Details available here.

Porting Guide for 202009.00 and newer releases

All libraries depend on the ISO C90 standard library and additionally on the stdint.h library for fixed-width integers, including uint8_t, int8_t, uint16_t, uint32_t and int32_t, and constant macros like UINT16_MAX. If your platform does not support the stdint.h library, definitions of the mentioned fixed-width integer types will be required for porting any C-SDK library to your platform.

Porting coreMQTT

Guide for porting coreMQTT library to your platform is available here.

Porting coreHTTP

Guide for porting coreHTTP library is available here.

Porting AWS IoT Device Shadow

Guide for porting AWS IoT Device Shadow library is available here.

Porting AWS IoT Device Defender

Guide for porting AWS IoT Device Defender library is available here.

Porting AWS IoT Over-the-air Update

Guide for porting OTA library to your platform is available here.

Migration guide from v3.1.2 to 202009.00 and newer releases

MQTT Migration

Migration guide for MQTT library is available here.

Shadow Migration

Migration guide for Shadow library is available here.

Jobs Migration

Migration guide for Jobs library is available here.


main branch

The main branch hosts the continuous development of the AWS IoT Embedded C SDK (C-SDK) libraries. Please be aware that the development at the tip of the main branch is continuously in progress, and may have bugs. Consider using the tagged releases of the C-SDK for production ready software.

v4_beta_deprecated branch (formerly named v4_beta)

The v4_beta_deprecated branch contains a beta version of the C-SDK libraries, which is now deprecated. This branch was earlier named as v4_beta, and was renamed to v4_beta_deprecated. The libraries in this branch will not be released. However, critical bugs will be fixed and tested. No new features will be added to this branch.

Getting Started


This repository uses Git Submodules to bring in the C-SDK libraries (eg, MQTT ) and third-party dependencies (eg, mbedtls for POSIX platform transport layer). Note: If you download the ZIP file provided by GitHub UI, you will not get the contents of the submodules (The ZIP file is also not a valid git repository). If you download from the 202012.00 Release Page page, you will get the entire repository (including the submodules) in the ZIP file, aws-iot-device-sdk-embedded-c-202012.00.zip. To clone the latest commit to main branch using HTTPS:

git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/aws/aws-iot-device-sdk-embedded-C.git

Using SSH:

git clone --recurse-submodules git@github.com:aws/aws-iot-device-sdk-embedded-C.git

If you have downloaded the repo without using the --recurse-submodules argument, you need to run:

git submodule update --init --recursive

When building with CMake, submodules are also recursively cloned automatically. However, -DBUILD_CLONE_SUBMODULES=0 can be passed as a CMake flag to disable this functionality. This is useful when you'd like to build CMake while using a different commit from a submodule.

Configuring Demos

The libraries in this SDK are not dependent on any operating system. However, the demos for the libraries in this SDK are built and tested on a Linux platform. The demos build with CMake, a cross-platform build tool.


  • CMake 3.2.0 or any newer version for utilizing the build system of the repository.
  • C90 compiler such as gcc
    • Due to the use of mbedtls in corePKCS11, a C99 compiler is required if building the PKCS11 demos or the CMake install target.
  • Although not a part of the ISO C90 standard, stdint.h is required for fixed-width integer types that include uint8_t, int8_t, uint16_t, uint32_t and int32_t, and constant macros like UINT16_MAX, while stdbool.h is required for boolean parameters in coreMQTT. For compilers that do not provide these header files, coreMQTT provides the files stdint.readme and stdbool.readme, which can be renamed to stdint.h and stdbool.h, respectively, to provide the required type definitions.
  • A supported operating system. The ports provided with this repo are expected to work with all recent versions of the following operating systems, although we cannot guarantee the behavior on all systems.
    • Linux system with POSIX sockets, threads, RT, and timer APIs. (We have tested on Ubuntu 18.04).

Build Dependencies

The follow table shows libraries that need to be installed in your system to run certain demos. If a dependency is not installed and cannot be built from source, demos that require that dependency will be excluded from the default all target.

OpenSSL1.1.0 or laterAll TLS demos and tests with the exception of PKCS11
Mosquitto Client1.4.10 or laterAWS IoT Jobs Mosquitto demo

AWS IoT Account Setup

You need to setup an AWS account and access the AWS IoT console for running the AWS IoT Device Shadow library, AWS IoT Device Defender library, AWS IoT Jobs library, AWS IoT OTA library and coreHTTP S3 download demos. Also, the AWS account can be used for running the MQTT mutual auth demo against AWS IoT broker. Note that running the AWS IoT Device Defender, AWS IoT Jobs and AWS IoT Device Shadow library demos require the setup of a Thing resource for the device running the demo. Follow the links to:

The MQTT Mutual Authentication and AWS IoT Shadow demos include example AWS IoT policy documents to run each respective demo with AWS IoT. You may use the MQTT Mutual auth and Shadow example policies by replacing [AWS_REGION] and [AWS_ACCOUNT_ID] with the strings of your region and account identifier. While the IoT Thing name and MQTT client identifier do not need to match for the demos to run, the example policies have the Thing name and client identifier identical as per AWS IoT best practices.

It can be very helpful to also have the AWS Command Line Interface tooling installed.

Configuring mutual authentication demos of MQTT and HTTP

You can pass the following configuration settings as command line options in order to run the mutual auth demos. Make sure to run the following command in the root directory of the C-SDK:

## optionally find your-aws-iot-endpoint from the command line
aws iot describe-endpoint --endpoint-type iot:Data-ATS
cmake -S . -Bbuild
-DAWS_IOT_ENDPOINT="<your-aws-iot-endpoint>" -DCLIENT_CERT_PATH="<your-client-certificate-path>" -DCLIENT_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH="<your-client-private-key-path>" 

In order to set these configurations manually, edit demo_config.h in demos/mqtt/mqtt_demo_mutual_auth/ and demos/http/http_demo_mutual_auth/ to #define the following:

  • Set AWS_IOT_ENDPOINT to your custom endpoint. This is found on the Settings page of the AWS IoT Console and has a format of ABCDEFG1234567.iot.<aws-region>.amazonaws.com where <aws-region> can be an AWS region like us-east-2.
    • Optionally, it can also be found with the AWS CLI command aws iot describe-endpoint --endpoint-type iot:Data-ATS.
  • Set CLIENT_CERT_PATH to the path of the client certificate downloaded when setting up the device certificate in AWS IoT Account Setup.
  • Set CLIENT_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH to the path of the private key downloaded when setting up the device certificate in AWS IoT Account Setup.

It is possible to configure ROOT_CA_CERT_PATH to any PEM-encoded Root CA Certificate. However, this is optional because CMake will download and set it to AmazonRootCA1.pem when unspecified.

Configuring AWS IoT Device Defender and AWS IoT Device Shadow demos

To build the AWS IoT Device Defender and AWS IoT Device Shadow demos, you can pass the following configuration settings as command line options. Make sure to run the following command in the root directory of the C-SDK:

cmake -S . -Bbuild -DAWS_IOT_ENDPOINT="<your-aws-iot-endpoint>" -DROOT_CA_CERT_PATH="<your-path-to-amazon-root-ca>" -DCLIENT_CERT_PATH="<your-client-certificate-path>" -DCLIENT_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH="<your-client-private-key-path>" -DTHING_NAME="<your-registered-thing-name>"

An Amazon Root CA certificate can be downloaded from here.

In order to set these configurations manually, edit demo_config.h in the demo folder to #define the following:

  • Set AWS_IOT_ENDPOINT to your custom endpoint. This is found on the Settings page of the AWS IoT Console and has a format of ABCDEFG1234567.iot.us-east-2.amazonaws.com.
  • Set ROOT_CA_CERT_PATH to the path of the root CA certificate downloaded when setting up the device certificate in AWS IoT Account Setup.
  • Set CLIENT_CERT_PATH to the path of the client certificate downloaded when setting up the device certificate in AWS IoT Account Setup.
  • Set CLIENT_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH to the path of the private key downloaded when setting up the device certificate in AWS IoT Account Setup.
  • Set THING_NAME to the name of the Thing created in AWS IoT Account Setup.

Configuring the AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning demo

To build the AWS IoT Fleet Provisioning Demo, you can pass the following configuration settings as command line options. Make sure to run the following command in the root directory of the C-SDK:

cmake -S . -Bbuild -DAWS_IOT_ENDPOINT="<your-aws-iot-endpoint>" -DROOT_CA_CERT_PATH="<your-path-to-amazon-root-ca>" -DCLAIM_CERT_PATH="<your-claim-certificate-path>" -DCLAIM_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH="<your-claim-private-key-path>" -DPROVISIONING_TEMPLATE_NAME="<your-template-name>" -DDEVICE_SERIAL_NUMBER="<your-serial-number>"

An Amazon Root CA certificate can be downloaded from here.

To create a provisioning template and claim credentials, sign into your AWS account and visit here. Make sure to enable the "Use the AWS IoT registry to manage your device fleet" option. Once you have created the template and credentials, modify the claim certificate's policy to match the sample policy.

In order to set these configurations manually, edit demo_config.h in the demo folder to #define the following:

  • Set AWS_IOT_ENDPOINT to your custom endpoint. This is found on the Settings page of the AWS IoT Console and has a format of ABCDEFG1234567.iot.us-east-2.amazonaws.com.
  • Set ROOT_CA_CERT_PATH to the path of the root CA certificate downloaded when setting up the device certificate in AWS IoT Account Setup.
  • Set CLAIM_CERT_PATH to the path of the claim certificate downloaded when setting up the template and claim credentials.
  • Set CLAIM_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH to the path of the private key downloaded when setting up the template and claim credentials.
  • Set PROVISIONING_TEMPLATE_NAME to the name of the provisioning template created.
  • Set DEVICE_SERIAL_NUMBER to an arbitrary string representing a device identifier.

Configuring the S3 demos

You can pass the following configuration settings as command line options in order to run the S3 demos. Make sure to run the following command in the root directory of the C-SDK:

cmake -S . -Bbuild -DS3_PRESIGNED_GET_URL="s3-get-url" -DS3_PRESIGNED_PUT_URL="s3-put-url"

S3_PRESIGNED_PUT_URL is only needed for the S3 upload demo.

In order to set these configurations manually, edit demo_config.h in demos/http/http_demo_s3_download_multithreaded, and demos/http/http_demo_s3_upload to #define the following:

  • Set S3_PRESIGNED_GET_URL to a S3 presigned URL with GET access.
  • Set S3_PRESIGNED_PUT_URL to a S3 presigned URL with PUT access.

You can generate the presigned urls using demos/http/common/src/presigned_urls_gen.py. More info can be found here.

Configure S3 Download HTTP Demo using SigV4 Library:

Refer this demos/http/http_demo_s3_download/README.md to follow the steps needed to configure and run the S3 Download HTTP Demo using SigV4 Library that generates the authorization HTTP header needed to authenticate the HTTP requests send to S3.

Setup for AWS IoT Jobs demo

  1. The demo requires the Linux platform to contain curl and libmosquitto. On a Debian platform, these dependencies can be installed with:
    apt install curl libmosquitto-dev

If the platform does not contain the libmosquitto library, the demo will build the library from source.

libmosquitto 1.4.10 or any later version of the first major release is required to run this demo.

  1. A job that specifies the URL to download for the demo needs to be created on the AWS account for the Thing resource that will be used by the demo.
    The job can be created directly from the AWS IoT console or using the aws cli tool.

The following creates a job that specifies a Linux Kernel link for downloading.

 aws iot create-job \
        --job-id 'job_1' \
        --targets arn:aws:iot:us-west-2:<account-id>:thing/<thing-name> \
        --document '{"url":"https://cdn.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/linux-5.8.5.tar.xz"}'

Prerequisites for the AWS Over-The-Air Update (OTA) demos

  1. To perform a successful OTA update, you need to complete the prerequisites mentioned here.
  2. A code signing certificate is required to authenticate the update. A code signing certificate based on the SHA-256 ECDSA algorithm will work with the current demos. An example of how to generate this kind of certificate can be found here.

Scheduling an OTA Update Job

After you build and run the initial executable you will have to create another executable and schedule an OTA update job with this image.

  1. Increase the version of the application by setting macro APP_VERSION_BUILD in demos/ota/ota_demo_core_[mqtt/http]/demo_config.h to a different version than what is running.
  2. Rebuild the application using the build steps below into a different directory, say build-dir-2.
  3. Rename the demo executable to reflect the change, e.g. mv ota_demo_core_mqtt ota_demo_core_mqtt2
  4. Create an OTA job:
    1. Go to the AWS IoT Core console.
    2. Manage → Jobs → Create → Create a FreeRTOS OTA update job → Select the corresponding name for your device from the thing list.
    3. Sign a new firmware → Create a new profile → Select any SHA-ECDSA signing platform → Upload the code signing certificate(from prerequisites) and provide its path on the device.
    4. Select the image → Select the bucket you created during the prerequisite steps → Upload the binary build-dir-2/bin/ota_demo2.
    5. The path on device should be the absolute path to place the executable and the binary name: e.g. /home/ubuntu/aws-iot-device-sdk-embedded-C-staging/build-dir/bin/ota_demo_core_mqtt2.
    6. Select the IAM role created during the prerequisite steps.
    7. Create the Job.
  5. Run the initial executable again with the following command: sudo ./ota_demo_core_mqtt or sudo ./ota_demo_core_http.
  6. After the initial executable has finished running, go to the directory where the downloaded firmware image resides which is the path name used when creating an OTA job.
  7. Change the permissions of the downloaded firmware to make it executable, as it may be downloaded with read (user default) permissions only: chmod 775 ota_demo_core_mqtt2
  8. Run the downloaded firmware image with the following command: sudo ./ota_demo_core_mqtt2

Building and Running Demos

Before building the demos, ensure you have installed the prerequisite software. On Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04, gcc, cmake, and OpenSSL can be installed with:

sudo apt install build-essential cmake libssl-dev

Build a single demo

  • Go to the root directory of the C-SDK.
  • Run cmake to generate the Makefiles: cmake -S . -Bbuild && cd build
  • Choose a demo from the list below or alternatively, run make help | grep demo:
  • Replace demo_name with your desired demo then build it: make demo_name
  • Go to the build/bin directory and run any demo executables from there.

Build all configured demos

  • Go to the root directory of the C-SDK.
  • Run cmake to generate the Makefiles: cmake -S . -Bbuild && cd build
  • Run this command to build all configured demos: make
  • Go to the build/bin directory and run any demo executables from there.

Running corePKCS11 demos

The corePKCS11 demos do not require any AWS IoT resources setup, and are standalone. The demos build upon each other to introduce concepts in PKCS #11 sequentially. Below is the recommended order.

  1. pkcs11_demo_management_and_rng
  2. pkcs11_demo_mechanisms_and_digests
  3. pkcs11_demo_objects
  4. pkcs11_demo_sign_and_verify
    1. Please note that this demo requires the private and public key generated from pkcs11_demo_objects to be in the directory the demo is executed from.

Alternative option of Docker containers for running demos locally

Install Docker:

curl -fsSL https://get.docker.com -o get-docker.sh

sh get-docker.sh

Installing Mosquitto to run MQTT demos locally

The following instructions have been tested on an Ubuntu 18.04 environment with Docker and OpenSSL installed.

Download the official Docker image for Mosquitto 1.6.14. This version is deliberately chosen so that the Docker container can load certificates from the host system. Any version after 1.6.14 will drop privileges as soon as the configuration file has been read (before TLS certificates are loaded).

docker pull eclipse-mosquitto:1.6.14

If a Mosquitto broker with TLS communication needs to be run, ignore this step and proceed to the next step. A Mosquitto broker with plain text communication can be run by executing the command below.

docker run -it -p 1883:1883 --name mosquitto-plain-text eclipse-mosquitto:1.6.14

Set BROKER_ENDPOINT defined in demos/mqtt/mqtt_demo_plaintext/demo_config.h to localhost.

Ignore the remaining steps unless a Mosquitto broker with TLS communication also needs to be run.

For TLS communication with Mosquitto broker, server and CA credentials need to be created. Use OpenSSL commands to generate the credentials for the Mosquitto server.

# Generate CA key and certificate. Provide the Subject field information as appropriate for CA certificate.
openssl req -x509 -nodes -sha256 -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout ca.key -out ca.crt
# Generate server key and certificate.# Provide the Subject field information as appropriate for Server certificate. Make sure the Common Name (CN) field is different from the root CA certificate.
openssl req -nodes -sha256 -new -keyout server.key -out server.csr # Sign with the CA cert.
openssl x509 -req -sha256 -in server.csr -CA ca.crt -CAkey ca.key -CAcreateserial -out server.crt -days 365

Note: Make sure to use different Common Name (CN) detail between the CA and server certificates; otherwise, SSL handshake fails with exactly same Common Name (CN) detail in both the certificates.

port 8883

cafile /mosquitto/config/ca.crt
certfile /mosquitto/config/server.crt
keyfile /mosquitto/config/server.key

# Use this option for TLS mutual authentication (where client will provide CA signed certificate)
#require_certificate true
tls_version tlsv1.2
#use_identity_as_username true

Create a mosquitto.conf file to use port 8883 (for TLS communication) and providing path to the generated credentials.

Run the docker container from the local directory containing the generated credential and mosquitto.conf files.

docker run -it -p 8883:8883 -v $(pwd):/mosquitto/config/ --name mosquitto-basic-tls eclipse-mosquitto:1.6.14

Update demos/mqtt/mqtt_demo_basic_tls/demo_config.h to the following:
Set BROKER_ENDPOINT to localhost.
Set ROOT_CA_CERT_PATH to the absolute path of the CA certificate created in step 4. for the local Mosquitto server.

Installing httpbin to run HTTP demos locally

Run httpbin through port 80:

docker pull kennethreitz/httpbin
docker run -p 80:80 kennethreitz/httpbin

SERVER_HOST defined in demos/http/http_demo_plaintext/demo_config.h can now be set to localhost.

To run http_demo_basic_tls, download ngrok in order to create an HTTPS tunnel to the httpbin server currently hosted on port 80:

./ngrok http 80 # May have to use ./ngrok.exe depending on OS or filename of the executable

ngrok will provide an https link that can be substituted in demos/http/http_demo_basic_tls/demo_config.h and has a format of https://ABCDEFG12345.ngrok.io.

Set SERVER_HOST in demos/http/http_demo_basic_tls/demo_config.h to the https link provided by ngrok, without https:// preceding it.

You must also download the Root CA certificate provided by the ngrok https link and set ROOT_CA_CERT_PATH in demos/http/http_demo_basic_tls/demo_config.h to the file path of the downloaded certificate.


The C-SDK libraries and platform abstractions can be installed to a file system through CMake. To do so, run the following command in the root directory of the C-SDK. Note that installation is not required to run any of the demos.

cmake -S . -Bbuild -DBUILD_DEMOS=0 -DBUILD_TESTS=0
cd build
sudo make install

Note that because make install will automatically build the all target, it may be useful to disable building demos and tests with -DBUILD_DEMOS=0 -DBUILD_TESTS=0 unless they have already been configured. Super-user permissions may be needed if installing to a system include or system library path.

To install only a subset of all libraries, pass -DINSTALL_LIBS to install only the libraries you need. By default, all libraries will be installed, but you may exclude any library that you don't need from this list:


By default, the install path will be in the project directory of the SDK. You can also set -DINSTALL_TO_SYSTEM=1 to install to the system path for headers and libraries in your OS (e.g. /usr/local/include & /usr/local/lib for Linux).

Upon entering make install, the location of each library will be specified first followed by the location of all installed headers:

-- Installing: /usr/local/lib/libaws_iot_defender.so
-- Installing: /usr/local/lib/libaws_iot_shadow.so
-- Installing: /usr/local/include/aws/defender.h
-- Installing: /usr/local/include/aws/defender_config_defaults.h
-- Installing: /usr/local/include/aws/shadow.h
-- Installing: /usr/local/include/aws/shadow_config_defaults.h

You may also set an installation path of your choice by passing the following flags through CMake. Make sure to run the following command in the root directory of the C-SDK:

cmake -S . -Bbuild -DBUILD_DEMOS=0 -DBUILD_TESTS=0 \
cd build
sudo make install

POSIX platform abstractions are used together with the C-SDK libraries in the demos. By default, these abstractions are also installed but can be excluded by passing the flag: -DINSTALL_PLATFORM_ABSTRACTIONS=0.

Lastly, a custom config path for any specific library can also be specified through the following CMake flags, allowing libraries to be compiled with a config of your choice:


Note that the file name of the header should not be included in the directory.

Generating Documentation

Note: For pre-generated documentation, please visit Releases and Documentation section.

The Doxygen references were created using Doxygen version 1.9.2. To generate the Doxygen pages, use the provided Python script at tools/doxygen/generate_docs.py. Please ensure that each of the library submodules under libraries/standard/ and libraries/aws/ are cloned before using this script.

git submodule update --init --recursive --checkout
python3 tools/doxygen/generate_docs.py

The generated documentation landing page is located at docs/doxygen/output/html/index.html.

Author: aws
Source code: https://github.com/aws/aws-iot-device-sdk-embedded-C
License: MIT license


Swift Tips: A Collection Useful Tips for The Swift Language


The following is a collection of tips I find to be useful when working with the Swift language. More content is available on my Twitter account!

Property Wrappers as Debugging Tools

Property Wrappers allow developers to wrap properties with specific behaviors, that will be seamlessly triggered whenever the properties are accessed.

While their primary use case is to implement business logic within our apps, it's also possible to use Property Wrappers as debugging tools!

For example, we could build a wrapper called @History, that would be added to a property while debugging and would keep track of all the values set to this property.

import Foundation

struct History<Value> {
    private var value: Value
    private(set) var history: [Value] = []

    init(wrappedValue: Value) {
        self.value = wrappedValue
    var wrappedValue: Value {
        get { value }

        set {
            value = newValue
    var projectedValue: Self {
        return self

// We can then decorate our business code
// with the `@History` wrapper
struct User {
    @History var name: String = ""

var user = User()

// All the existing call sites will still
// compile, without the need for any change
user.name = "John"
user.name = "Jane"

// But now we can also access an history of
// all the previous values!
user.$name.history // ["", "John"]

Localization through String interpolation

Swift 5 gave us the possibility to define our own custom String interpolation methods.

This feature can be used to power many use cases, but there is one that is guaranteed to make sense in most projects: localizing user-facing strings.

import Foundation

extension String.StringInterpolation {
    mutating func appendInterpolation(localized key: String, _ args: CVarArg...) {
        let localized = String(format: NSLocalizedString(key, comment: ""), arguments: args)

 Let's assume that this is the content of our Localizable.strings:
 "welcome.screen.greetings" = "Hello %@!";

let userName = "John"
print("\(localized: "welcome.screen.greetings", userName)") // Hello John!

Implementing pseudo-inheritance between structs

If you’ve always wanted to use some kind of inheritance mechanism for your structs, Swift 5.1 is going to make you very happy!

Using the new KeyPath-based dynamic member lookup, you can implement some pseudo-inheritance, where a type inherits the API of another one 🎉

(However, be careful, I’m definitely not advocating inheritance as a go-to solution 🙃)

import Foundation

protocol Inherits {
    associatedtype SuperType
    var `super`: SuperType { get }

extension Inherits {
    subscript<T>(dynamicMember keyPath: KeyPath<SuperType, T>) -> T {
        return self.`super`[keyPath: keyPath]

struct Person {
    let name: String

struct User: Inherits {
    let `super`: Person
    let login: String
    let password: String

let user = User(super: Person(name: "John Appleseed"), login: "Johnny", password: "1234")

user.name // "John Appleseed"
user.login // "Johnny"

Composing NSAttributedString through a Function Builder

Swift 5.1 introduced Function Builders: a great tool for building custom DSL syntaxes, like SwiftUI. However, one doesn't need to be building a full-fledged DSL in order to leverage them.

For example, it's possible to write a simple Function Builder, whose job will be to compose together individual instances of NSAttributedString through a nicer syntax than the standard API.

import UIKit

class NSAttributedStringBuilder {
    static func buildBlock(_ components: NSAttributedString...) -> NSAttributedString {
        let result = NSMutableAttributedString(string: "")
        return components.reduce(into: result) { (result, current) in result.append(current) }

extension NSAttributedString {
    class func composing(@NSAttributedStringBuilder _ parts: () -> NSAttributedString) -> NSAttributedString {
        return parts()

let result = NSAttributedString.composing {
    NSAttributedString(string: "Hello",
                       attributes: [.font: UIFont.systemFont(ofSize: 24),
                                    .foregroundColor: UIColor.red])
    NSAttributedString(string: " world!",
                       attributes: [.font: UIFont.systemFont(ofSize: 20),
                                    .foregroundColor: UIColor.orange])

Using switch and if as expressions

Contrary to other languages, like Kotlin, Swift does not allow switch and if to be used as expressions. Meaning that the following code is not valid Swift:

let constant = if condition {
               } else {

A common solution to this problem is to wrap the if or switch statement within a closure, that will then be immediately called. While this approach does manage to achieve the desired goal, it makes for a rather poor syntax.

To avoid the ugly trailing () and improve on the readability, you can define a resultOf function, that will serve the exact same purpose, in a more elegant way.

import Foundation

func resultOf<T>(_ code: () -> T) -> T {
    return code()

let randomInt = Int.random(in: 0...3)

let spelledOut: String = resultOf {
    switch randomInt {
    case 0:
        return "Zero"
    case 1:
        return "One"
    case 2:
        return "Two"
    case 3:
        return "Three"
        return "Out of range"


Avoiding double negatives within guard statements

A guard statement is a very convenient way for the developer to assert that a condition is met, in order for the execution of the program to keep going.

However, since the body of a guard statement is meant to be executed when the condition evaluates to false, the use of the negation (!) operator within the condition of a guard statement can make the code hard to read, as it becomes a double negative.

A nice trick to avoid such double negatives is to encapsulate the use of the ! operator within a new property or function, whose name does not include a negative.

import Foundation

extension Collection {
    var hasElements: Bool {
        return !isEmpty

let array = Bool.random() ? [1, 2, 3] : []

guard array.hasElements else { fatalError("array was empty") }


Defining a custom init without loosing the compiler-generated one

It's common knowledge for Swift developers that, when you define a struct, the compiler is going to automatically generate a memberwise init for you. That is, unless you also define an init of your own. Because then, the compiler won't generate any memberwise init.

Yet, there are many instances where we might enjoy the opportunity to get both. As it turns out, this goal is quite easy to achieve: you just need to define your own init in an extension rather than inside the type definition itself.

import Foundation

struct Point {
    let x: Int
    let y: Int

extension Point {
    init() {
        x = 0
        y = 0

let usingDefaultInit = Point(x: 4, y: 3)
let usingCustomInit = Point()

Implementing a namespace through an empty enum

Swift does not really have an out-of-the-box support of namespaces. One could argue that a Swift module can be seen as a namespace, but creating a dedicated Framework for this sole purpose can legitimately be regarded as overkill.

Some developers have taken the habit to use a struct which only contains static fields to implement a namespace. While this does the job, it requires us to remember to implement an empty private init(), because it wouldn't make sense for such a struct to be instantiated.

It's actually possible to take this approach one step further, by replacing the struct with an enum. While it might seem weird to have an enum with no case, it's actually a very idiomatic way to declare a type that cannot be instantiated.

import Foundation

enum NumberFormatterProvider {
    static var currencyFormatter: NumberFormatter {
        let formatter = NumberFormatter()
        formatter.numberStyle = .currency
        formatter.roundingIncrement = 0.01
        return formatter
    static var decimalFormatter: NumberFormatter {
        let formatter = NumberFormatter()
        formatter.numberStyle = .decimal
        formatter.decimalSeparator = ","
        return formatter

NumberFormatterProvider() // ❌ impossible to instantiate by mistake

NumberFormatterProvider.currencyFormatter.string(from: 2.456) // $2.46
NumberFormatterProvider.decimalFormatter.string(from: 2.456) // 2,456

Using Never to represent impossible code paths

Never is quite a peculiar type in the Swift Standard Library: it is defined as an empty enum enum Never { }.

While this might seem odd at first glance, it actually yields a very interesting property: it makes it a type that cannot be constructed (i.e. it possesses no instances).

This way, Never can be used as a generic parameter to let the compiler know that a particular feature will not be used.

import Foundation

enum Result<Value, Error> {
    case success(value: Value)
    case failure(error: Error)

func willAlwaysSucceed(_ completion: @escaping ((Result<String, Never>) -> Void)) {
    completion(.success(value: "Call was successful"))

willAlwaysSucceed( { result in
    switch result {
    case .success(let value):
    // the compiler knows that the `failure` case cannot happen
    // so it doesn't require us to handle it.

Providing a default value to a Decodable enum

Swift's Codable framework does a great job at seamlessly decoding entities from a JSON stream. However, when we integrate web-services, we are sometimes left to deal with JSONs that require behaviors that Codable does not provide out-of-the-box.

For instance, we might have a string-based or integer-based enum, and be required to set it to a default value when the data found in the JSON does not match any of its cases.

We might be tempted to implement this via an extensive switch statement over all the possible cases, but there is a much shorter alternative through the initializer init?(rawValue:):

import Foundation

enum State: String, Decodable {
    case active
    case inactive
    case undefined
    init(from decoder: Decoder) throws {
        let container = try decoder.singleValueContainer()
        let decodedString = try container.decode(String.self)
        self = State(rawValue: decodedString) ?? .undefined

let data = """
["active", "inactive", "foo"]
""".data(using: .utf8)!

let decoded = try! JSONDecoder().decode([State].self, from: data)

print(decoded) // [State.active, State.inactive, State.undefined]

Another lightweight dependency injection through default values for function parameters

Dependency injection boils down to a simple idea: when an object requires a dependency, it shouldn't create it by itself, but instead it should be given a function that does it for him.

Now the great thing with Swift is that, not only can a function take another function as a parameter, but that parameter can also be given a default value.

When you combine both those features, you can end up with a dependency injection pattern that is both lightweight on boilerplate, but also type safe.

import Foundation

protocol Service {
    func call() -> String

class ProductionService: Service {
    func call() -> String {
        return "This is the production"

class MockService: Service {
    func call() -> String {
        return "This is a mock"

typealias Provider<T> = () -> T

class Controller {
    let service: Service
    init(serviceProvider: Provider<Service> = { return ProductionService() }) {
        self.service = serviceProvider()
    func work() {

let productionController = Controller()
productionController.work() // prints "This is the production"

let mockedController = Controller(serviceProvider: { return MockService() })
mockedController.work() // prints "This is a mock"

Lightweight dependency injection through protocol-oriented programming

Singletons are pretty bad. They make your architecture rigid and tightly coupled, which then results in your code being hard to test and refactor. Instead of using singletons, your code should rely on dependency injection, which is a much more architecturally sound approach.

But singletons are so easy to use, and dependency injection requires us to do extra-work. So maybe, for simple situations, we could find an in-between solution?

One possible solution is to rely on one of Swift's most know features: protocol-oriented programming. Using a protocol, we declare and access our dependency. We then store it in a private singleton, and perform the injection through an extension of said protocol.

This way, our code will indeed be decoupled from its dependency, while at the same time keeping the boilerplate to a minimum.

import Foundation

protocol Formatting {
    var formatter: NumberFormatter { get }

private let sharedFormatter: NumberFormatter = {
    let sharedFormatter = NumberFormatter()
    sharedFormatter.numberStyle = .currency
    return sharedFormatter

extension Formatting {
    var formatter: NumberFormatter { return sharedFormatter }

class ViewModel: Formatting {
    var displayableAmount: String?
    func updateDisplay(to amount: Double) {
        displayableAmount = formatter.string(for: amount)

let viewModel = ViewModel()

viewModel.updateDisplay(to: 42000.45)
viewModel.displayableAmount // "$42,000.45"

Getting rid of overabundant [weak self] and guard

Callbacks are a part of almost all iOS apps, and as frameworks such as RxSwift keep gaining in popularity, they become ever more present in our codebase.

Seasoned Swift developers are aware of the potential memory leaks that @escaping callbacks can produce, so they make real sure to always use [weak self], whenever they need to use self inside such a context. And when they need to have self be non-optional, they then add a guard statement along.

Consequently, this syntax of a [weak self] followed by a guard rapidly tends to appear everywhere in the codebase. The good thing is that, through a little protocol-oriented trick, it's actually possible to get rid of this tedious syntax, without loosing any of its benefits!

import Foundation
import PlaygroundSupport

PlaygroundPage.current.needsIndefiniteExecution = true

protocol Weakifiable: class { }

extension Weakifiable {
    func weakify(_ code: @escaping (Self) -> Void) -> () -> Void {
        return { [weak self] in
            guard let self = self else { return }
    func weakify<T>(_ code: @escaping (T, Self) -> Void) -> (T) -> Void {
        return { [weak self] arg in
            guard let self = self else { return }
            code(arg, self)

extension NSObject: Weakifiable { }

class Producer: NSObject {
    deinit {
        print("deinit Producer")
    private var handler: (Int) -> Void = { _ in }
    func register(handler: @escaping (Int) -> Void) {
        self.handler = handler
        DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 1.0, execute: { self.handler(42) })

class Consumer: NSObject {
    deinit {
        print("deinit Consumer")
    let producer = Producer()
    func consume() {
        producer.register(handler: weakify { result, strongSelf in
    private func handle(_ result: Int) {
        print("🎉 \(result)")

var consumer: Consumer? = Consumer()


DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 2.0, execute: { consumer = nil })

// This code prints:
// 🎉 42
// deinit Consumer
// deinit Producer

Solving callback hell with function composition

Asynchronous functions are a big part of iOS APIs, and most developers are familiar with the challenge they pose when one needs to sequentially call several asynchronous APIs.

This often results in callbacks being nested into one another, a predicament often referred to as callback hell.

Many third-party frameworks are able to tackle this issue, for instance RxSwift or PromiseKit. Yet, for simple instances of the problem, there is no need to use such big guns, as it can actually be solved with simple function composition.

import Foundation

typealias CompletionHandler<Result> = (Result?, Error?) -> Void

infix operator ~>: MultiplicationPrecedence

func ~> <T, U>(_ first: @escaping (CompletionHandler<T>) -> Void, _ second: @escaping (T, CompletionHandler<U>) -> Void) -> (CompletionHandler<U>) -> Void {
    return { completion in
        first({ firstResult, error in
            guard let firstResult = firstResult else { completion(nil, error); return }
            second(firstResult, { (secondResult, error) in
                completion(secondResult, error)

func ~> <T, U>(_ first: @escaping (CompletionHandler<T>) -> Void, _ transform: @escaping (T) -> U) -> (CompletionHandler<U>) -> Void {
    return { completion in
        first({ result, error in
            guard let result = result else { completion(nil, error); return }
            completion(transform(result), nil)

func service1(_ completionHandler: CompletionHandler<Int>) {
    completionHandler(42, nil)

func service2(arg: String, _ completionHandler: CompletionHandler<String>) {
    completionHandler("🎉 \(arg)", nil)

let chainedServices = service1
    ~> { int in return String(int / 2) }
    ~> service2

chainedServices({ result, _ in
    guard let result = result else { return }
    print(result) // Prints: 🎉 21

Transform an asynchronous function into a synchronous one

Asynchronous functions are a great way to deal with future events without blocking a thread. Yet, there are times where we would like them to behave in exactly such a blocking way.

Think about writing unit tests and using mocked network calls. You will need to add complexity to your test in order to deal with asynchronous functions, whereas synchronous ones would be much easier to manage.

Thanks to Swift proficiency in the functional paradigm, it is possible to write a function whose job is to take an asynchronous function and transform it into a synchronous one.

import Foundation

func makeSynchrone<A, B>(_ asyncFunction: @escaping (A, (B) -> Void) -> Void) -> (A) -> B {
    return { arg in
        let lock = NSRecursiveLock()
        var result: B? = nil
        asyncFunction(arg) {
            result = $0
        return result!

func myAsyncFunction(arg: Int, completionHandler: (String) -> Void) {
    completionHandler("🎉 \(arg)")

let syncFunction = makeSynchrone(myAsyncFunction)

print(syncFunction(42)) // prints 🎉 42

Using KeyPaths instead of closures

Closures are a great way to interact with generic APIs, for instance APIs that allow to manipulate data structures through the use of generic functions, such as filter() or sorted().

The annoying part is that closures tend to clutter your code with many instances of {, } and $0, which can quickly undermine its readably.

A nice alternative for a cleaner syntax is to use a KeyPath instead of a closure, along with an operator that will deal with transforming the provided KeyPath in a closure.

import Foundation

prefix operator ^

prefix func ^ <Element, Attribute>(_ keyPath: KeyPath<Element, Attribute>) -> (Element) -> Attribute {
    return { element in element[keyPath: keyPath] }

struct MyData {
    let int: Int
    let string: String

let data = [MyData(int: 2, string: "Foo"), MyData(int: 4, string: "Bar")]

data.map(^\.int) // [2, 4]
data.map(^\.string) // ["Foo", "Bar"]

Bringing some type-safety to a userInfo Dictionary

Many iOS APIs still rely on a userInfo Dictionary to handle use-case specific data. This Dictionary usually stores untyped values, and is declared as follows: [String: Any] (or sometimes [AnyHashable: Any].

Retrieving data from such a structure will involve some conditional casting (via the as? operator), which is prone to both errors and repetitions. Yet, by introducing a custom subscript, it's possible to encapsulate all the tedious logic, and end-up with an easier and more robust API.

import Foundation

typealias TypedUserInfoKey<T> = (key: String, type: T.Type)

extension Dictionary where Key == String, Value == Any {
    subscript<T>(_ typedKey: TypedUserInfoKey<T>) -> T? {
        return self[typedKey.key] as? T

let userInfo: [String : Any] = ["Foo": 4, "Bar": "forty-two"]

let integerTypedKey = TypedUserInfoKey(key: "Foo", type: Int.self)
let intValue = userInfo[integerTypedKey] // returns 4
type(of: intValue) // returns Int?

let stringTypedKey = TypedUserInfoKey(key: "Bar", type: String.self)
let stringValue = userInfo[stringTypedKey] // returns "forty-two"
type(of: stringValue) // returns String?

Lightweight data-binding for an MVVM implementation

MVVM is a great pattern to separate business logic from presentation logic. The main challenge to make it work, is to define a mechanism for the presentation layer to be notified of model updates.

RxSwift is a perfect choice to solve such a problem. Yet, some developers don't feel confortable with leveraging a third-party library for such a central part of their architecture.

For those situation, it's possible to define a lightweight Variable type, that will make the MVVM pattern very easy to use!

import Foundation

class Variable<Value> {
    var value: Value {
        didSet {
    var onUpdate: ((Value) -> Void)? {
        didSet {
    init(_ value: Value, _ onUpdate: ((Value) -> Void)? = nil) {
        self.value = value
        self.onUpdate = onUpdate

let variable: Variable<String?> = Variable(nil)

variable.onUpdate = { data in
    if let data = data {

variable.value = "Foo"
variable.value = "Bar"

// prints:
// Foo
// Bar

Using typealias to its fullest

The keyword typealias allows developers to give a new name to an already existing type. For instance, Swift defines Void as a typealias of (), the empty tuple.

But a less known feature of this mechanism is that it allows to assign concrete types for generic parameters, or to rename them. This can help make the semantics of generic types much clearer, when used in specific use cases.

import Foundation

enum Either<Left, Right> {
    case left(Left)
    case right(Right)

typealias Result<Value> = Either<Value, Error>

typealias IntOrString = Either<Int, String>

Writing an interruptible overload of forEach

Iterating through objects via the forEach(_:) method is a great alternative to the classic for loop, as it allows our code to be completely oblivious of the iteration logic. One limitation, however, is that forEach(_:) does not allow to stop the iteration midway.

Taking inspiration from the Objective-C implementation, we can write an overload that will allow the developer to stop the iteration, if needed.

import Foundation

extension Sequence {
    func forEach(_ body: (Element, _ stop: inout Bool) throws -> Void) rethrows {
        var stop = false
        for element in self {
            try body(element, &stop)
            if stop {

["Foo", "Bar", "FooBar"].forEach { element, stop in
    stop = (element == "Bar")

// Prints:
// Foo
// Bar

Optimizing the use of reduce()

Functional programing is a great way to simplify a codebase. For instance, reduce is an alternative to the classic for loop, without most the boilerplate. Unfortunately, simplicity often comes at the price of performance.

Consider that you want to remove duplicate values from a Sequence. While reduce() is a perfectly fine way to express this computation, the performance will be sub optimal, because of all the unnecessary Array copying that will happen every time its closure gets called.

That's when reduce(into:_:) comes into play. This version of reduce leverages the capacities of copy-on-write type (such as Array or Dictionnary) in order to avoid unnecessary copying, which results in a great performance boost.

import Foundation

func time(averagedExecutions: Int = 1, _ code: () -> Void) {
    let start = Date()
    for _ in 0..<averagedExecutions { code() }
    let end = Date()
    let duration = end.timeIntervalSince(start) / Double(averagedExecutions)
    print("time: \(duration)")

let data = (1...1_000).map { _ in Int(arc4random_uniform(256)) }

// runs in 0.63s
time {
    let noDuplicates: [Int] = data.reduce([], { $0.contains($1) ? $0 : $0 + [$1] })

// runs in 0.15s
time {
    let noDuplicates: [Int] = data.reduce(into: [], { if !$0.contains($1) { $0.append($1) } } )

Avoiding hardcoded reuse identifiers

UI components such as UITableView and UICollectionView rely on reuse identifiers in order to efficiently recycle the views they display. Often, those reuse identifiers take the form of a static hardcoded String, that will be used for every instance of their class.

Through protocol-oriented programing, it's possible to avoid those hardcoded values, and instead use the name of the type as a reuse identifier.

import Foundation
import UIKit

protocol Reusable {
    static var reuseIdentifier: String { get }

extension Reusable {
    static var reuseIdentifier: String {
        return String(describing: self)

extension UITableViewCell: Reusable { }

extension UITableView {
    func register<T: UITableViewCell>(_ class: T.Type) {
        register(`class`, forCellReuseIdentifier: T.reuseIdentifier)
    func dequeueReusableCell<T: UITableViewCell>(for indexPath: IndexPath) -> T {
        return dequeueReusableCell(withIdentifier: T.reuseIdentifier, for: indexPath) as! T

class MyCell: UITableViewCell { }

let tableView = UITableView()

let myCell: MyCell = tableView.dequeueReusableCell(for: [0, 0])

Defining a union type

The C language has a construct called union, that allows a single variable to hold values from different types. While Swift does not provide such a construct, it provides enums with associated values, which allows us to define a type called Either that implements a union of two types.

import Foundation

enum Either<A, B> {
    case left(A)
    case right(B)
    func either(ifLeft: ((A) -> Void)? = nil, ifRight: ((B) -> Void)? = nil) {
        switch self {
        case let .left(a):
        case let .right(b):

extension Bool { static func random() -> Bool { return arc4random_uniform(2) == 0 } }

var intOrString: Either<Int, String> = Bool.random() ? .left(2) : .right("Foo")

intOrString.either(ifLeft: { print($0 + 1) }, ifRight: { print($0 + "Bar") })

If you're interested by this kind of data structure, I strongly recommend that you learn more about Algebraic Data Types.

Asserting that classes have associated NIBs and vice-versa

Most of the time, when we create a .xib file, we give it the same name as its associated class. From that, if we later refactor our code and rename such a class, we run the risk of forgetting to rename the associated .xib.

While the error will often be easy to catch, if the .xib is used in a remote section of its app, it might go unnoticed for sometime. Fortunately it's possible to build custom test predicates that will assert that 1) for a given class, there exists a .nib with the same name in a given Bundle, 2) for all the .nib in a given Bundle, there exists a class with the same name.

import XCTest

public func XCTAssertClassHasNib(_ class: AnyClass, bundle: Bundle, file: StaticString = #file, line: UInt = #line) {
    let associatedNibURL = bundle.url(forResource: String(describing: `class`), withExtension: "nib")
    XCTAssertNotNil(associatedNibURL, "Class \"\(`class`)\" has no associated nib file", file: file, line: line)

public func XCTAssertNibHaveClasses(_ bundle: Bundle, file: StaticString = #file, line: UInt = #line) {
    guard let bundleName = bundle.infoDictionary?["CFBundleName"] as? String,
        let basePath = bundle.resourcePath,
        let enumerator = FileManager.default.enumerator(at: URL(fileURLWithPath: basePath),
                                                    includingPropertiesForKeys: nil,
                                                    options: [.skipsHiddenFiles, .skipsSubdirectoryDescendants]) else { return }
    var nibFilesURLs = [URL]()
    for case let fileURL as URL in enumerator {
        if fileURL.pathExtension.uppercased() == "NIB" {
    nibFilesURLs.map { $0.lastPathComponent }
        .compactMap { $0.split(separator: ".").first }
        .map { String($0) }
        .forEach {
            let associatedClass: AnyClass? = bundle.classNamed("\(bundleName).\($0)")
            XCTAssertNotNil(associatedClass, "File \"\($0).nib\" has no associated class", file: file, line: line)

XCTAssertClassHasNib(MyFirstTableViewCell.self, bundle: Bundle(for: AppDelegate.self))
XCTAssertClassHasNib(MySecondTableViewCell.self, bundle: Bundle(for: AppDelegate.self))
XCTAssertNibHaveClasses(Bundle(for: AppDelegate.self))

Many thanks Benjamin Lavialle for coming up with the idea behind the second test predicate.

Small footprint type-erasing with functions

Seasoned Swift developers know it: a protocol with associated type (PAT) "can only be used as a generic constraint because it has Self or associated type requirements". When we really need to use a PAT to type a variable, the goto workaround is to use a type-erased wrapper.

While this solution works perfectly, it requires a fair amount of boilerplate code. In instances where we are only interested in exposing one particular function of the PAT, a shorter approach using function types is possible.

import Foundation
import UIKit

protocol Configurable {
    associatedtype Model
    func configure(with model: Model)

typealias Configurator<Model> = (Model) -> ()

extension UILabel: Configurable {
    func configure(with model: String) {
        self.text = model

let label = UILabel()
let configurator: Configurator<String> = label.configure


label.text // "Foo"

Performing animations sequentially

UIKit exposes a very powerful and simple API to perform view animations. However, this API can become a little bit quirky to use when we want to perform animations sequentially, because it involves nesting closure within one another, which produces notoriously hard to maintain code.

Nonetheless, it's possible to define a rather simple class, that will expose a really nicer API for this particular use case 👌

import Foundation
import UIKit

class AnimationSequence {
    typealias Animations = () -> Void
    private let current: Animations
    private let duration: TimeInterval
    private var next: AnimationSequence? = nil
    init(animations: @escaping Animations, duration: TimeInterval) {
        self.current = animations
        self.duration = duration
    @discardableResult func append(animations: @escaping Animations, duration: TimeInterval) -> AnimationSequence {
        var lastAnimation = self
        while let nextAnimation = lastAnimation.next {
            lastAnimation = nextAnimation
        lastAnimation.next = AnimationSequence(animations: animations, duration: duration)
        return self
    func run() {
        UIView.animate(withDuration: duration, animations: current, completion: { finished in
            if finished, let next = self.next {

var firstView = UIView()
var secondView = UIView()

firstView.alpha = 0
secondView.alpha = 0

AnimationSequence(animations: { firstView.alpha = 1.0 }, duration: 1)
            .append(animations: { secondView.alpha = 1.0 }, duration: 0.5)
            .append(animations: { firstView.alpha = 0.0 }, duration: 2.0)

Debouncing a function call

Debouncing is a very useful tool when dealing with UI inputs. Consider a search bar, whose content is used to query an API. It wouldn't make sense to perform a request for every character the user is typing, because as soon as a new character is entered, the result of the previous request has become irrelevant.

Instead, our code will perform much better if we "debounce" the API call, meaning that we will wait until some delay has passed, without the input being modified, before actually performing the call.

import Foundation

func debounced(delay: TimeInterval, queue: DispatchQueue = .main, action: @escaping (() -> Void)) -> () -> Void {
    var workItem: DispatchWorkItem?
    return {
        workItem = DispatchWorkItem(block: action)
        queue.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + delay, execute: workItem!)

let debouncedPrint = debounced(delay: 1.0) { print("Action performed!") }


// After a 1 second delay, this gets
// printed only once to the console:

// Action performed!

Providing useful operators for Optional booleans

When we need to apply the standard boolean operators to Optional booleans, we often end up with a syntax unnecessarily crowded with unwrapping operations. By taking a cue from the world of three-valued logics, we can define a couple operators that make working with Bool? values much nicer.

import Foundation

func && (lhs: Bool?, rhs: Bool?) -> Bool? {
    switch (lhs, rhs) {
    case (false, _), (_, false):
        return false
    case let (unwrapLhs?, unwrapRhs?):
        return unwrapLhs && unwrapRhs
        return nil

func || (lhs: Bool?, rhs: Bool?) -> Bool? {
    switch (lhs, rhs) {
    case (true, _), (_, true):
        return true
    case let (unwrapLhs?, unwrapRhs?):
        return unwrapLhs || unwrapRhs
        return nil

false && nil // false
true && nil // nil
[true, nil, false].reduce(true, &&) // false

nil || true // true
nil || false // nil
[true, nil, false].reduce(false, ||) // true

Removing duplicate values from a Sequence

Transforming a Sequence in order to remove all the duplicate values it contains is a classic use case. To implement it, one could be tempted to transform the Sequence into a Set, then back to an Array. The downside with this approach is that it will not preserve the order of the sequence, which can definitely be a dealbreaker. Using reduce() it is possible to provide a concise implementation that preserves ordering:

import Foundation

extension Sequence where Element: Equatable {
    func duplicatesRemoved() -> [Element] {
        return reduce([], { $0.contains($1) ? $0 : $0 + [$1] })

let data = [2, 5, 2, 3, 6, 5, 2]

data.duplicatesRemoved() // [2, 5, 3, 6]

Shorter syntax to deal with optional strings

Optional strings are very common in Swift code, for instance many objects from UIKit expose the text they display as a String?. Many times you will need to manipulate this data as an unwrapped String, with a default value set to the empty string for nil cases.

While the nil-coalescing operator (e.g. ??) is a perfectly fine way to a achieve this goal, defining a computed variable like orEmpty can help a lot in cleaning the syntax.

import Foundation
import UIKit

extension Optional where Wrapped == String {
    var orEmpty: String {
        switch self {
        case .some(let value):
            return value
        case .none:
            return ""

func doesNotWorkWithOptionalString(_ param: String) {
    // do something with `param`

let label = UILabel()
label.text = "This is some text."


Encapsulating background computation and UI update

Every seasoned iOS developers knows it: objects from UIKit can only be accessed from the main thread. Any attempt to access them from a background thread is a guaranteed crash.

Still, running a costly computation on the background, and then using it to update the UI can be a common pattern.

In such cases you can rely on asyncUI to encapsulate all the boilerplate code.

import Foundation
import UIKit

func asyncUI<T>(_ computation: @autoclosure @escaping () -> T, qos: DispatchQoS.QoSClass = .userInitiated, _ completion: @escaping (T) -> Void) {
    DispatchQueue.global(qos: qos).async {
        let value = computation()
        DispatchQueue.main.async {

let label = UILabel()

func costlyComputation() -> Int { return (0..<10_000).reduce(0, +) }

asyncUI(costlyComputation()) { value in
    label.text = "\(value)"

Retrieving all the necessary data to build a debug view

A debug view, from which any controller of an app can be instantiated and pushed on the navigation stack, has the potential to bring some real value to a development process. A requirement to build such a view is to have a list of all the classes from a given Bundle that inherit from UIViewController. With the following extension, retrieving this list becomes a piece of cake 🍰

import Foundation
import UIKit
import ObjectiveC

extension Bundle {
    func viewControllerTypes() -> [UIViewController.Type] {
        guard let bundlePath = self.executablePath else { return [] }
        var size: UInt32 = 0
        var rawClassNames: UnsafeMutablePointer<UnsafePointer<Int8>>!
        var parsedClassNames = [String]()
        rawClassNames = objc_copyClassNamesForImage(bundlePath, &size)
        for index in 0..<size {
            let className = rawClassNames[Int(index)]
            if let name = NSString.init(utf8String:className) as String?,
                NSClassFromString(name) is UIViewController.Type {
        return parsedClassNames
            .compactMap { NSClassFromString($0) as? UIViewController.Type }

// Fetch all view controller types in UIKit
Bundle(for: UIViewController.self).viewControllerTypes()

I share the credit for this tip with Benoît Caron.

Defining a function to map over dictionaries

Update As it turns out, map is actually a really bad name for this function, because it does not preserve composition of transformations, a property that is required to fit the definition of a real map function.

Surprisingly enough, the standard library doesn't define a map() function for dictionaries that allows to map both keys and values into a new Dictionary. Nevertheless, such a function can be helpful, for instance when converting data across different frameworks.

import Foundation

extension Dictionary {
    func map<T: Hashable, U>(_ transform: (Key, Value) throws -> (T, U)) rethrows -> [T: U] {
        var result: [T: U] = [:]
        for (key, value) in self {
            let (transformedKey, transformedValue) = try transform(key, value)
            result[transformedKey] = transformedValue
        return result

let data = [0: 5, 1: 6, 2: 7]
data.map { ("\($0)", $1 * $1) } // ["2": 49, "0": 25, "1": 36]

A shorter syntax to remove nil values

Swift provides the function compactMap(), that can be used to remove nil values from a Sequence of optionals when calling it with an argument that just returns its parameter (i.e. compactMap { $0 }). Still, for such use cases it would be nice to get rid of the trailing closure.

The implementation isn't as straightforward as your usual extension, but once it has been written, the call site definitely gets cleaner 👌

import Foundation

protocol OptionalConvertible {
    associatedtype Wrapped
    func asOptional() -> Wrapped?

extension Optional: OptionalConvertible {
    func asOptional() -> Wrapped? {
        return self

extension Sequence where Element: OptionalConvertible {
    func compacted() -> [Element.Wrapped] {
        return compactMap { $0.asOptional() }

let data = [nil, 1, 2, nil, 3, 5, nil, 8, nil]
data.compacted() // [1, 2, 3, 5, 8]

Dealing with expirable values

It might happen that your code has to deal with values that come with an expiration date. In a game, it could be a score multiplier that will only last for 30 seconds. Or it could be an authentication token for an API, with a 15 minutes lifespan. In both instances you can rely on the type Expirable to encapsulate the expiration logic.

import Foundation

struct Expirable<T> {
    private var innerValue: T
    private(set) var expirationDate: Date
    var value: T? {
        return hasExpired() ? nil : innerValue
    init(value: T, expirationDate: Date) {
        self.innerValue = value
        self.expirationDate = expirationDate
    init(value: T, duration: Double) {
        self.innerValue = value
        self.expirationDate = Date().addingTimeInterval(duration)
    func hasExpired() -> Bool {
        return expirationDate < Date()

let expirable = Expirable(value: 42, duration: 3)

expirable.value // 42
expirable.value // nil

I share the credit for this tip with Benoît Caron.

Using parallelism to speed-up map()

Almost all Apple devices able to run Swift code are powered by a multi-core CPU, consequently making a good use of parallelism is a great way to improve code performance. map() is a perfect candidate for such an optimization, because it is almost trivial to define a parallel implementation.

import Foundation

extension Array {
    func parallelMap<T>(_ transform: (Element) -> T) -> [T] {
        let res = UnsafeMutablePointer<T>.allocate(capacity: count)
        DispatchQueue.concurrentPerform(iterations: count) { i in
            res[i] = transform(self[i])
        let finalResult = Array<T>(UnsafeBufferPointer(start: res, count: count))
        res.deallocate(capacity: count)
        return finalResult

let array = (0..<1_000).map { $0 }

func work(_ n: Int) -> Int {
    return (0..<n).reduce(0, +)

array.parallelMap { work($0) }

🚨 Make sure to only use parallelMap() when the transform function actually performs some costly computations. Otherwise performances will be systematically slower than using map(), because of the multithreading overhead.

Measuring execution time with minimum boilerplate

During development of a feature that performs some heavy computations, it can be helpful to measure just how much time a chunk of code takes to run. The time() function is a nice tool for this purpose, because of how simple it is to add and then to remove when it is no longer needed.

import Foundation

func time(averagedExecutions: Int = 1, _ code: () -> Void) {
    let start = Date()
    for _ in 0..<averagedExecutions { code() }
    let end = Date()
    let duration = end.timeIntervalSince(start) / Double(averagedExecutions)
    print("time: \(duration)")

time {
    (0...10_000).map { $0 * $0 }
// time: 0.183973908424377

Running two pieces of code in parallel

Concurrency is definitely one of those topics were the right encapsulation bears the potential to make your life so much easier. For instance, with this piece of code you can easily launch two computations in parallel, and have the results returned in a tuple.

import Foundation

func parallel<T, U>(_ left: @autoclosure () -> T, _ right: @autoclosure () -> U) -> (T, U) {
    var leftRes: T?
    var rightRes: U?
    DispatchQueue.concurrentPerform(iterations: 2, execute: { id in
        if id == 0 {
            leftRes = left()
        } else {
            rightRes = right()
    return (leftRes!, rightRes!)

let values = (1...100_000).map { $0 }

let results = parallel(values.map { $0 * $0 }, values.reduce(0, +))

Making good use of #file, #line and #function

Swift exposes three special variables #file, #line and #function, that are respectively set to the name of the current file, line and function. Those variables become very useful when writing custom logging functions or test predicates.

import Foundation

func log(_ message: String, _ file: String = #file, _ line: Int = #line, _ function: String = #function) {
    print("[\(file):\(line)] \(function) - \(message)")

func foo() {
    log("Hello world!")

foo() // [MyPlayground.playground:8] foo() - Hello world!

Comparing Optionals through Conditional Conformance

Swift 4.1 has introduced a new feature called Conditional Conformance, which allows a type to implement a protocol only when its generic type also does.

With this addition it becomes easy to let Optional implement Comparable only when Wrapped also implements Comparable:

import Foundation

extension Optional: Comparable where Wrapped: Comparable {
    public static func < (lhs: Optional, rhs: Optional) -> Bool {
        switch (lhs, rhs) {
        case let (lhs?, rhs?):
            return lhs < rhs
        case (nil, _?):
            return true // anything is greater than nil
        case (_?, nil):
            return false // nil in smaller than anything
        case (nil, nil):
            return true // nil is not smaller than itself

let data: [Int?] = [8, 4, 3, nil, 12, 4, 2, nil, -5]
data.sorted() // [nil, nil, Optional(-5), Optional(2), Optional(3), Optional(4), Optional(4), Optional(8), Optional(12)]

Safely subscripting a Collection

Any attempt to access an Array beyond its bounds will result in a crash. While it's possible to write conditions such as if index < array.count { array[index] } in order to prevent such crashes, this approach will rapidly become cumbersome.

A great thing is that this condition can be encapsulated in a custom subscript that will work on any Collection:

import Foundation

extension Collection {
    subscript (safe index: Index) -> Element? {
        return indices.contains(index) ? self[index] : nil

let data = [1, 3, 4]

data[safe: 1] // Optional(3)
data[safe: 10] // nil

Easier String slicing using ranges

Subscripting a string with a range can be very cumbersome in Swift 4. Let's face it, no one wants to write lines like someString[index(startIndex, offsetBy: 0)..<index(startIndex, offsetBy: 10)] on a regular basis.

Luckily, with the addition of one clever extension, strings can be sliced as easily as arrays 🎉

import Foundation

extension String {
    public subscript(value: CountableClosedRange<Int>) -> Substring {
        get {
            return self[index(startIndex, offsetBy: value.lowerBound)...index(startIndex, offsetBy: value.upperBound)]
    public subscript(value: CountableRange<Int>) -> Substring {
        get {
            return self[index(startIndex, offsetBy: value.lowerBound)..<index(startIndex, offsetBy: value.upperBound)]
    public subscript(value: PartialRangeUpTo<Int>) -> Substring {
        get {
            return self[..<index(startIndex, offsetBy: value.upperBound)]
    public subscript(value: PartialRangeThrough<Int>) -> Substring {
        get {
            return self[...index(startIndex, offsetBy: value.upperBound)]
    public subscript(value: PartialRangeFrom<Int>) -> Substring {
        get {
            return self[index(startIndex, offsetBy: value.lowerBound)...]

let data = "This is a string!"

data[..<4]  // "This"
data[5..<9] // "is a"
data[10...] // "string!"

Concise syntax for sorting using a KeyPath

By using a KeyPath along with a generic type, a very clean and concise syntax for sorting data can be implemented:

import Foundation

extension Sequence {
    func sorted<T: Comparable>(by attribute: KeyPath<Element, T>) -> [Element] {
        return sorted(by: { $0[keyPath: attribute] < $1[keyPath: attribute] })

let data = ["Some", "words", "of", "different", "lengths"]

data.sorted(by: \.count) // ["of", "Some", "words", "lengths", "different"]

If you like this syntax, make sure to checkout KeyPathKit!

Manufacturing cache-efficient versions of pure functions

By capturing a local variable in a returned closure, it is possible to manufacture cache-efficient versions of pure functions. Be careful though, this trick only works with non-recursive function!

import Foundation

func cached<In: Hashable, Out>(_ f: @escaping (In) -> Out) -> (In) -> Out {
    var cache = [In: Out]()
    return { (input: In) -> Out in
        if let cachedValue = cache[input] {
            return cachedValue
        } else {
            let result = f(input)
            cache[input] = result
            return result

let cachedCos = cached { (x: Double) in cos(x) }

cachedCos(.pi * 2) // value of cos for 2π is now cached

Simplifying complex conditions with pattern matching

When distinguishing between complex boolean conditions, using a switch statement along with pattern matching can be more readable than the classic series of if {} else if {}.

import Foundation

let expr1: Bool
let expr2: Bool
let expr3: Bool

if expr1 && !expr3 {
} else if !expr2 && expr3 {
} else if expr1 && !expr2 && expr3 {

switch (expr1, expr2, expr3) {
case (true, _, false):
case (_, false, true):
case (true, false, true):

Easily generating arrays of data

Using map() on a range makes it easy to generate an array of data.

import Foundation

func randomInt() -> Int { return Int(arc4random()) }

let randomArray = (1...10).map { _ in randomInt() }

Using @autoclosure for cleaner call sites

Using @autoclosure enables the compiler to automatically wrap an argument within a closure, thus allowing for a very clean syntax at call sites.

import UIKit

extension UIView {
    class func animate(withDuration duration: TimeInterval, _ animations: @escaping @autoclosure () -> Void) {
        UIView.animate(withDuration: duration, animations: animations)

let view = UIView()

UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.3, view.backgroundColor = .orange)

Observing new and old value with RxSwift

When working with RxSwift, it's very easy to observe both the current and previous value of an observable sequence by simply introducing a shift using skip().

import RxSwift

let values = Observable.of(4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42)

let newAndOld = Observable.zip(values, values.skip(1)) { (previous: $0, current: $1) }
    .subscribe(onNext: { pair in
        print("current: \(pair.current) - previous: \(pair.previous)")

//current: 8 - previous: 4
//current: 15 - previous: 8
//current: 16 - previous: 15
//current: 23 - previous: 16
//current: 42 - previous: 23

Implicit initialization from literal values

Using protocols such as ExpressibleByStringLiteral it is possible to provide an init that will be automatically when a literal value is provided, allowing for nice and short syntax. This can be very helpful when writing mock or test data.

import Foundation

extension URL: ExpressibleByStringLiteral {
    public init(stringLiteral value: String) {
        self.init(string: value)!

let url: URL = "http://www.google.fr"

NSURLConnection.canHandle(URLRequest(url: "http://www.google.fr"))

Achieving systematic validation of data

Through some clever use of Swift private visibility it is possible to define a container that holds any untrusted value (such as a user input) from which the only way to retrieve the value is by making it successfully pass a validation test.

import Foundation

struct Untrusted<T> {
    private(set) var value: T

protocol Validator {
    associatedtype T
    static func validation(value: T) -> Bool

extension Validator {
    static func validate(untrusted: Untrusted<T>) -> T? {
        if self.validation(value: untrusted.value) {
            return untrusted.value
        } else {
            return nil

struct FrenchPhoneNumberValidator: Validator {
    static func validation(value: String) -> Bool {
       return (value.count) == 10 && CharacterSet(charactersIn: value).isSubset(of: CharacterSet.decimalDigits)

let validInput = Untrusted(value: "0122334455")
let invalidInput = Untrusted(value: "0123")

FrenchPhoneNumberValidator.validate(untrusted: validInput) // returns "0122334455"
FrenchPhoneNumberValidator.validate(untrusted: invalidInput) // returns nil

Implementing the builder pattern with keypaths

With the addition of keypaths in Swift 4, it is now possible to easily implement the builder pattern, that allows the developer to clearly separate the code that initializes a value from the code that uses it, without the burden of defining a factory method.

import UIKit

protocol With {}

extension With where Self: AnyObject {
    func with<T>(_ property: ReferenceWritableKeyPath<Self, T>, setTo value: T) -> Self {
        self[keyPath: property] = value
        return self

extension UIView: With {}

let view = UIView()

let label = UILabel()
    .with(\.textColor, setTo: .red)
    .with(\.text, setTo: "Foo")
    .with(\.textAlignment, setTo: .right)
    .with(\.layer.cornerRadius, setTo: 5)


🚨 The Swift compiler does not perform OS availability checks on properties referenced by keypaths. Any attempt to use a KeyPath for an unavailable property will result in a runtime crash.

I share the credit for this tip with Marion Curtil.

Storing functions rather than values

When a type stores values for the sole purpose of parametrizing its functions, it’s then possible to not store the values but directly the function, with no discernable difference at the call site.

import Foundation

struct MaxValidator {
    let max: Int
    let strictComparison: Bool
    func isValid(_ value: Int) -> Bool {
        return self.strictComparison ? value < self.max : value <= self.max

struct MaxValidator2 {
    var isValid: (_ value: Int) -> Bool
    init(max: Int, strictComparison: Bool) {
        self.isValid = strictComparison ? { $0 < max } : { $0 <= max }

MaxValidator(max: 5, strictComparison: true).isValid(5) // false
MaxValidator2(max: 5, strictComparison: false).isValid(5) // true

Defining operators on function types

Functions are first-class citizen types in Swift, so it is perfectly legal to define operators for them.

import Foundation

let firstRange = { (0...3).contains($0) }
let secondRange = { (5...6).contains($0) }

func ||(_ lhs: @escaping (Int) -> Bool, _ rhs: @escaping (Int) -> Bool) -> (Int) -> Bool {
    return { value in
        return lhs(value) || rhs(value)

(firstRange || secondRange)(2) // true
(firstRange || secondRange)(4) // false
(firstRange || secondRange)(6) // true

Typealiases for functions

Typealiases are great to express function signatures in a more comprehensive manner, which then enables us to easily define functions that operate on them, resulting in a nice way to write and use some powerful API.

import Foundation

typealias RangeSet = (Int) -> Bool

func union(_ left: @escaping RangeSet, _ right: @escaping RangeSet) -> RangeSet {
    return { left($0) || right($0) }

let firstRange = { (0...3).contains($0) }
let secondRange = { (5...6).contains($0) }

let unionRange = union(firstRange, secondRange)

unionRange(2) // true
unionRange(4) // false

Encapsulating state within a function

By returning a closure that captures a local variable, it's possible to encapsulate a mutable state within a function.

import Foundation

func counterFactory() -> () -> Int {
    var counter = 0
    return {
        counter += 1
        return counter

let counter = counterFactory()

counter() // returns 1
counter() // returns 2

Generating all cases for an Enum

⚠️ Since Swift 4.2, allCases can now be synthesized at compile-time by simply conforming to the protocol CaseIterable. The implementation below should no longer be used in production code.

Through some clever leveraging of how enums are stored in memory, it is possible to generate an array that contains all the possible cases of an enum. This can prove particularly useful when writing unit tests that consume random data.

import Foundation

enum MyEnum { case first; case second; case third; case fourth }

protocol EnumCollection: Hashable {
    static var allCases: [Self] { get }

extension EnumCollection {
    public static var allCases: [Self] {
        var i = 0
        return Array(AnyIterator {
            let next = withUnsafePointer(to: &i) {
                $0.withMemoryRebound(to: Self.self, capacity: 1) { $0.pointee }
            if next.hashValue != i { return nil }
            i += 1
            return next

extension MyEnum: EnumCollection { }

MyEnum.allCases // [.first, .second, .third, .fourth]

Using map on optional values

The if-let syntax is a great way to deal with optional values in a safe manner, but at times it can prove to be just a little bit to cumbersome. In such cases, using the Optional.map() function is a nice way to achieve a shorter code while retaining safeness and readability.

import UIKit

let date: Date? = Date() // or could be nil, doesn't matter
let formatter = DateFormatter()
let label = UILabel()

if let safeDate = date {
    label.text = formatter.string(from: safeDate)

label.text = date.map { return formatter.string(from: $0) }

label.text = date.map(formatter.string(from:)) // even shorter, tough less readable

📣 NEW 📣 Swift Tips are now available on YouTube 👇



Download Details:

Author: vincent-pradeilles
Source code: https://github.com/vincent-pradeilles/swift-tips

License: MIT license

11 Things I Learned By Studying The Metro UI CSS Files

The promise of CSS3 is the ability to do things web developers and designers have desired for a couple of decades now. And well it delivers on a lot of that promise with so many new added features, especially in concert with new HTML5 markup functionality. In the following code snippet are the CSS rules that define how an HTML5 range control is styled. This is the control the user can slide back and forth to provide a value.


CSS FlexBox Cheat Sheets for Web Developers in 2021

It’s 2021! Let’s refresh Our CSS Flexbox  Memory. Here’s a Cheat Sheet of everything you can do with CSS flexbox to get started in 2021

#css3 #learn-flexbox-css #flexbox-tutorials #learn-css #web-development #learn-web-development #learning-css

Alisha  Larkin

Alisha Larkin


An Introduction to CSS Variables

This article is part 1 out of 3 articles detailing CSS files. You can find links to the other two at the bottom of this page.

One of the biggest issues with writing large amounts of CSS is keeping things consistent. For example, in a large codebase a single color can be used hundreds of times in hundreds of places. This repetition makes maintenance difficult as a simple design tweak like changing a color can result in that change needing to be made in many, many places.

CSS pre-processors like Sass and Less attempt to solve this particular problem (and others) by including variables. Variables let you set common values like colors and sizes in a single place then reference the variable when you need to use those values. Now a simple color change only needs to be made in one place.

Modern CSS, though, is very powerful and CSS now has native support for variables. You don’t need any build tools or pipelines; they are just part of the language. The code you write is the code that the browser uses. Formally, variables are “custom properties” but are commonly referred to simply as variables. Let’s explore how they can be used and how they can make writing CSS a much better experience.

Declaring and Using Variables

One of the telling things about the name “custom properties” is that they are CSS properties. Since they are properties, they have to be declared within a CSS rule like any other property:

/* Nope! */
--brand-color: #003d7d;

.foo {
    /* Yep! */
    --brand-color: #003d7d;

To differentiate variables from standard properties, they must start with --. Any name can be used though, so long as you only use letters, numbers, and dashes. Remember that they are case-sensitive, so --foo and --Foo are not the same variable.

Variables are also part of the normal cascade of CSS properties. This effectively means that you will want to declare your global variables on the highest element in the document tree, which is almost always html. But if you have styles that apply to the html element and want to keep your variable declarations separate, a common practice is to use the :root pseudo-class:

:root {
    --brand-color: #003d7d;

The values of your variables can be many different things as basically any valid CSS value can be the value of a variable. Sizes and colors are just the beginning as entire border and background values can also be stored. You can also use the value from one variable to set another. The possibilities are endless.

:root {
    --brand-color: #003d7d;
    --spacing: 4px;
    --spacing-large: calc(var(--spacing) * 2);
    --border: 2px solid var(--brand-color);
    --info-icon-bg-image: url('data:/...');

In the code sample above, you probably noticed how we access the value of variables: the var() function. The first parameter to that function should be the variable you need the value from. The second (optional) parameter is used as a fallback value. This is useful if you are not sure if a variable has been set and can be used for all sorts of fun tricks.

:root {
    --some-color: #003d7d;

.widget {
    background-color: var(--some-color);
    font-size: var(--font-size, 16px);

In that example, since we did not declare a --font-size variable, var() will return 16px since that is the fallback value. Note that only the first value is considered the variable to evaluate and, like the values of variables, the fallback value can contain commas. For example, var(–foo, red, blue) defines a fallback of red, blue and not two separate fallback values.

#css #learning-css #css-fundamentals #learn-css #software-development