Nigel  Uys

Nigel Uys

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Master The Command Line, in one Page

The Art of Command Line

Note: I'm planning to revise this and looking for a new co-author to help with expanding this into a more comprehensive guide. While it's very popular, it could be broader and a bit deeper. If you like to write and are close to being an expert on this material and willing to consider helping, please drop me a note at josh (0x40) holloway.com. –jlevy, Holloway. Thank you!

curl -s 'https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jlevy/the-art-of-command-line/master/README.md' | egrep -o '\w+' | tr -d '`' | cowsay -W50

Fluency on the command line is a skill often neglected or considered arcane, but it improves your flexibility and productivity as an engineer in both obvious and subtle ways. This is a selection of notes and tips on using the command-line that we've found useful when working on Linux. Some tips are elementary, and some are fairly specific, sophisticated, or obscure. This page is not long, but if you can use and recall all the items here, you know a lot.

This work is the result of many authors and translators. Some of this originally appeared on Quora, but it has since moved to GitHub, where people more talented than the original author have made numerous improvements. Please submit a question if you have a question related to the command line. Please contribute if you see an error or something that could be better!

Meta

Scope:

  • This guide is for both beginners and experienced users. The goals are breadth (everything important), specificity (give concrete examples of the most common case), and brevity (avoid things that aren't essential or digressions you can easily look up elsewhere). Every tip is essential in some situation or significantly saves time over alternatives.
  • This is written for Linux, with the exception of the "macOS only" and "Windows only" sections. Many of the other items apply or can be installed on other Unices or macOS (or even Cygwin).
  • The focus is on interactive Bash, though many tips apply to other shells and to general Bash scripting.
  • It includes both "standard" Unix commands as well as ones that require special package installs -- so long as they are important enough to merit inclusion.

Notes:

  • To keep this to one page, content is implicitly included by reference. You're smart enough to look up more detail elsewhere once you know the idea or command to Google. Use apt, yum, dnf, pacman, pip or brew (as appropriate) to install new programs.
  • Use Explainshell to get a helpful breakdown of what commands, options, pipes etc. do.

Basics

Learn basic Bash. Actually, type man bash and at least skim the whole thing; it's pretty easy to follow and not that long. Alternate shells can be nice, but Bash is powerful and always available (learning only zsh, fish, etc., while tempting on your own laptop, restricts you in many situations, such as using existing servers).

Learn at least one text-based editor well. The nano editor is one of the simplest for basic editing (opening, editing, saving, searching). However, for the power user in a text terminal, there is no substitute for Vim (vi), the hard-to-learn but venerable, fast, and full-featured editor. Many people also use the classic Emacs, particularly for larger editing tasks. (Of course, any modern software developer working on an extensive project is unlikely to use only a pure text-based editor and should also be familiar with modern graphical IDEs and tools.)

Finding documentation:

  • Know how to read official documentation with man (for the inquisitive, man man lists the section numbers, e.g. 1 is "regular" commands, 5 is files/conventions, and 8 are for administration). Find man pages with apropos.
  • Know that some commands are not executables, but Bash builtins, and that you can get help on them with help and help -d. You can find out whether a command is an executable, shell builtin or an alias by using type command.
  • curl cheat.sh/command will give a brief "cheat sheet" with common examples of how to use a shell command.

Learn about redirection of output and input using > and < and pipes using |. Know > overwrites the output file and >> appends. Learn about stdout and stderr.

Learn about file glob expansion with * (and perhaps ? and [...]) and quoting and the difference between double " and single ' quotes. (See more on variable expansion below.)

Be familiar with Bash job management: &, ctrl-z, ctrl-c, jobs, fg, bg, kill, etc.

Know ssh, and the basics of passwordless authentication, via ssh-agent, ssh-add, etc.

Basic file management: ls and ls -l (in particular, learn what every column in ls -l means), less, head, tail and tail -f (or even better, less +F), ln and ln -s (learn the differences and advantages of hard versus soft links), chown, chmod, du (for a quick summary of disk usage: du -hs *). For filesystem management, df, mount, fdisk, mkfs, lsblk. Learn what an inode is (ls -i or df -i).

Basic network management: ip or ifconfig, dig, traceroute, route.

Learn and use a version control management system, such as git.

Know regular expressions well, and the various flags to grep/egrep. The -i, -o, -v, -A, -B, and -C options are worth knowing.

Learn to use apt-get, yum, dnf or pacman (depending on distro) to find and install packages. And make sure you have pip to install Python-based command-line tools (a few below are easiest to install via pip).

Everyday use

In Bash, use Tab to complete arguments or list all available commands and ctrl-r to search through command history (after pressing, type to search, press ctrl-r repeatedly to cycle through more matches, press Enter to execute the found command, or hit the right arrow to put the result in the current line to allow editing).

In Bash, use ctrl-w to delete the last word, and ctrl-u to delete the content from current cursor back to the start of the line. Use alt-b and alt-f to move by word, ctrl-a to move cursor to beginning of line, ctrl-e to move cursor to end of line, ctrl-k to kill to the end of the line, ctrl-l to clear the screen. See man readline for all the default keybindings in Bash. There are a lot. For example alt-. cycles through previous arguments, and alt-* expands a glob.

Alternatively, if you love vi-style key-bindings, use set -o vi (and set -o emacs to put it back).

For editing long commands, after setting your editor (for example export EDITOR=vim), ctrl-x ctrl-e will open the current command in an editor for multi-line editing. Or in vi style, escape-v.

To see recent commands, use history. Follow with !n (where n is the command number) to execute again. There are also many abbreviations you can use, the most useful probably being !$ for last argument and !! for last command (see "HISTORY EXPANSION" in the man page). However, these are often easily replaced with ctrl-r and alt-..

Go to your home directory with cd. Access files relative to your home directory with the ~ prefix (e.g. ~/.bashrc). In sh scripts refer to the home directory as $HOME.

To go back to the previous working directory: cd -.

If you are halfway through typing a command but change your mind, hit alt-# to add a # at the beginning and enter it as a comment (or use ctrl-a, #, enter). You can then return to it later via command history.

Use xargs (or parallel). It's very powerful. Note you can control how many items execute per line (-L) as well as parallelism (-P). If you're not sure if it'll do the right thing, use xargs echo first. Also, -I{} is handy. Examples:

      find . -name '*.py' | xargs grep some_function
      cat hosts | xargs -I{} ssh root@{} hostname

pstree -p is a helpful display of the process tree.

Use pgrep and pkill to find or signal processes by name (-f is helpful).

Know the various signals you can send processes. For example, to suspend a process, use kill -STOP [pid]. For the full list, see man 7 signal

Use nohup or disown if you want a background process to keep running forever.

Check what processes are listening via netstat -lntp or ss -plat (for TCP; add -u for UDP) or lsof -iTCP -sTCP:LISTEN -P -n (which also works on macOS).

See also lsof and fuser for open sockets and files.

See uptime or w to know how long the system has been running.

Use alias to create shortcuts for commonly used commands. For example, alias ll='ls -latr' creates a new alias ll.

Save aliases, shell settings, and functions you commonly use in ~/.bashrc, and arrange for login shells to source it. This will make your setup available in all your shell sessions.

Put the settings of environment variables as well as commands that should be executed when you login in ~/.bash_profile. Separate configuration will be needed for shells you launch from graphical environment logins and cron jobs.

Synchronize your configuration files (e.g. .bashrc and .bash_profile) among various computers with Git.

Understand that care is needed when variables and filenames include whitespace. Surround your Bash variables with quotes, e.g. "$FOO". Prefer the -0 or -print0 options to enable null characters to delimit filenames, e.g. locate -0 pattern | xargs -0 ls -al or find / -print0 -type d | xargs -0 ls -al. To iterate on filenames containing whitespace in a for loop, set your IFS to be a newline only using IFS=$'\n'.

In Bash scripts, use set -x (or the variant set -v, which logs raw input, including unexpanded variables and comments) for debugging output. Use strict modes unless you have a good reason not to: Use set -e to abort on errors (nonzero exit code). Use set -u to detect unset variable usages. Consider set -o pipefail too, to abort on errors within pipes (though read up on it more if you do, as this topic is a bit subtle). For more involved scripts, also use trap on EXIT or ERR. A useful habit is to start a script like this, which will make it detect and abort on common errors and print a message:

     set -euo pipefail
      trap "echo 'error: Script failed: see failed command above'" ERR
  • In Bash scripts, subshells (written with parentheses) are convenient ways to group commands. A common example is to temporarily move to a different working directory, e.g.
      # do something in current dir
      (cd /some/other/dir && other-command)
      # continue in original dir

In Bash, note there are lots of kinds of variable expansion. Checking a variable exists: ${name:?error message}. For example, if a Bash script requires a single argument, just write input_file=${1:?usage: $0 input_file}. Using a default value if a variable is empty: ${name:-default}. If you want to have an additional (optional) parameter added to the previous example, you can use something like output_file=${2:-logfile}. If $2 is omitted and thus empty, output_file will be set to logfile. Arithmetic expansion: i=$(( (i + 1) % 5 )). Sequences: {1..10}. Trimming of strings: ${var%suffix} and ${var#prefix}. For example if var=foo.pdf, then echo ${var%.pdf}.txt prints foo.txt.

Brace expansion using {...} can reduce having to re-type similar text and automate combinations of items. This is helpful in examples like mv foo.{txt,pdf} some-dir (which moves both files), cp somefile{,.bak} (which expands to cp somefile somefile.bak) or mkdir -p test-{a,b,c}/subtest-{1,2,3} (which expands all possible combinations and creates a directory tree). Brace expansion is performed before any other expansion.

The order of expansions is: brace expansion; tilde expansion, parameter and variable expansion, arithmetic expansion, and command substitution (done in a left-to-right fashion); word splitting; and filename expansion. (For example, a range like {1..20} cannot be expressed with variables using {$a..$b}. Use seq or a for loop instead, e.g., seq $a $b or for((i=a; i<=b; i++)); do ... ; done.)

The output of a command can be treated like a file via <(some command) (known as process substitution). For example, compare local /etc/hosts with a remote one:

      diff /etc/hosts <(ssh somehost cat /etc/hosts)
  • When writing scripts you may want to put all of your code in curly braces. If the closing brace is missing, your script will be prevented from executing due to a syntax error. This makes sense when your script is going to be downloaded from the web, since it prevents partially downloaded scripts from executing:
{
      # Your code here
}
cat <<EOF
input
on multiple lines
EOF

In Bash, redirect both standard output and standard error via: some-command >logfile 2>&1 or some-command &>logfile. Often, to ensure a command does not leave an open file handle to standard input, tying it to the terminal you are in, it is also good practice to add </dev/null.

Use man ascii for a good ASCII table, with hex and decimal values. For general encoding info, man unicode, man utf-8, and man latin1 are helpful.

Use screen or tmux to multiplex the screen, especially useful on remote ssh sessions and to detach and re-attach to a session. byobu can enhance screen or tmux by providing more information and easier management. A more minimal alternative for session persistence only is dtach.

In ssh, knowing how to port tunnel with -L or -D (and occasionally -R) is useful, e.g. to access web sites from a remote server.

It can be useful to make a few optimizations to your ssh configuration; for example, this ~/.ssh/config contains settings to avoid dropped connections in certain network environments, uses compression (which is helpful with scp over low-bandwidth connections), and multiplex channels to the same server with a local control file:

      TCPKeepAlive=yes
      ServerAliveInterval=15
      ServerAliveCountMax=6
      Compression=yes
      ControlMaster auto
      ControlPath /tmp/%r@%h:%p
      ControlPersist yes

A few other options relevant to ssh are security sensitive and should be enabled with care, e.g. per subnet or host or in trusted networks: StrictHostKeyChecking=no, ForwardAgent=yes

Consider mosh an alternative to ssh that uses UDP, avoiding dropped connections and adding convenience on the road (requires server-side setup).

To get the permissions on a file in octal form, which is useful for system configuration but not available in ls and easy to bungle, use something like

      stat -c '%A %a %n' /etc/timezone

For interactive selection of values from the output of another command, use percol or fzf.

For interaction with files based on the output of another command (like git), use fpp (PathPicker).

For a simple web server for all files in the current directory (and subdirs), available to anyone on your network, use: python -m SimpleHTTPServer 7777 (for port 7777 and Python 2) and python -m http.server 7777 (for port 7777 and Python 3).

For running a command as another user, use sudo. Defaults to running as root; use -u to specify another user. Use -i to login as that user (you will be asked for your password).

For switching the shell to another user, use su username or su - username. The latter with "-" gets an environment as if another user just logged in. Omitting the username defaults to root. You will be asked for the password of the user you are switching to.

Know about the 128K limit on command lines. This "Argument list too long" error is common when wildcard matching large numbers of files. (When this happens alternatives like find and xargs may help.)

For a basic calculator (and of course access to Python in general), use the python interpreter. For example,

>>> 2+3
5

Processing files and data

To locate a file by name in the current directory, find . -iname '*something*' (or similar). To find a file anywhere by name, use locate something (but bear in mind updatedb may not have indexed recently created files).

For general searching through source or data files, there are several options more advanced or faster than grep -r, including (in rough order from older to newer) ack, ag ("the silver searcher"), and rg (ripgrep).

To convert HTML to text: lynx -dump -stdin

For Markdown, HTML, and all kinds of document conversion, try pandoc. For example, to convert a Markdown document to Word format: pandoc README.md --from markdown --to docx -o temp.docx

If you must handle XML, xmlstarlet is old but good.

For JSON, use jq. For interactive use, also see jid and jiq.

For YAML, use shyaml.

For Excel or CSV files, csvkit provides in2csv, csvcut, csvjoin, csvgrep, etc.

For Amazon S3, s3cmd is convenient and s4cmd is faster. Amazon's aws and the improved saws are essential for other AWS-related tasks.

Know about sort and uniq, including uniq's -u and -d options -- see one-liners below. See also comm.

Know about cut, paste, and join to manipulate text files. Many people use cut but forget about join.

Know about wc to count newlines (-l), characters (-m), words (-w) and bytes (-c).

Know about tee to copy from stdin to a file and also to stdout, as in ls -al | tee file.txt.

For more complex calculations, including grouping, reversing fields, and statistical calculations, consider datamash.

Know that locale affects a lot of command line tools in subtle ways, including sorting order (collation) and performance. Most Linux installations will set LANG or other locale variables to a local setting like US English. But be aware sorting will change if you change locale. And know i18n routines can make sort or other commands run many times slower. In some situations (such as the set operations or uniqueness operations below) you can safely ignore slow i18n routines entirely and use traditional byte-based sort order, using export LC_ALL=C.

You can set a specific command's environment by prefixing its invocation with the environment variable settings, as in TZ=Pacific/Fiji date.

Know basic awk and sed for simple data munging. See One-liners for examples.

To replace all occurrences of a string in place, in one or more files:

      perl -pi.bak -e 's/old-string/new-string/g' my-files-*.txt
  • To rename multiple files and/or search and replace within files, try repren. (In some cases the rename command also allows multiple renames, but be careful as its functionality is not the same on all Linux distributions.)
      # Full rename of filenames, directories, and contents foo -> bar:
      repren --full --preserve-case --from foo --to bar .
      # Recover backup files whatever.bak -> whatever:
      repren --renames --from '(.*)\.bak' --to '\1' *.bak
      # Same as above, using rename, if available:
      rename 's/\.bak$//' *.bak
  • As the man page says, rsync really is a fast and extraordinarily versatile file copying tool. It's known for synchronizing between machines but is equally useful locally. When security restrictions allow, using rsync instead of scp allows recovery of a transfer without restarting from scratch. It also is among the fastest ways to delete large numbers of files:

mkdir empty && rsync -r --delete empty/ some-dir && rmdir some-dir

For monitoring progress when processing files, use pv, pycp, pmonitor, progress, rsync --progress, or, for block-level copying, dd status=progress.

Use shuf to shuffle or select random lines from a file.

Know sort's options. For numbers, use -n, or -h for handling human-readable numbers (e.g. from du -h). Know how keys work (-t and -k). In particular, watch out that you need to write -k1,1 to sort by only the first field; -k1 means sort according to the whole line. Stable sort (sort -s) can be useful. For example, to sort first by field 2, then secondarily by field 1, you can use sort -k1,1 | sort -s -k2,2.

If you ever need to write a tab literal in a command line in Bash (e.g. for the -t argument to sort), press ctrl-v [Tab] or write $'\t' (the latter is better as you can copy/paste it).

The standard tools for patching source code are diff and patch. See also diffstat for summary statistics of a diff and sdiff for a side-by-side diff. Note diff -r works for entire directories. Use diff -r tree1 tree2 | diffstat for a summary of changes. Use vimdiff to compare and edit files.

For binary files, use hd, hexdump or xxd for simple hex dumps and bvi, hexedit or biew for binary editing.

Also for binary files, strings (plus grep, etc.) lets you find bits of text.

For binary diffs (delta compression), use xdelta3.

To convert text encodings, try iconv. Or uconv for more advanced use; it supports some advanced Unicode things. For example:

      # Displays hex codes or actual names of characters (useful for debugging):
      uconv -f utf-8 -t utf-8 -x '::Any-Hex;' < input.txt
      uconv -f utf-8 -t utf-8 -x '::Any-Name;' < input.txt
      # Lowercase and removes all accents (by expanding and dropping them):
      uconv -f utf-8 -t utf-8 -x '::Any-Lower; ::Any-NFD; [:Nonspacing Mark:] >; ::Any-NFC;' < input.txt > output.txt

To split files into pieces, see split (to split by size) and csplit (to split by a pattern).

Date and time: To get the current date and time in the helpful ISO 8601 format, use date -u +"%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ" (other options are problematic). To manipulate date and time expressions, use dateadd, datediff, strptime etc. from dateutils.

Use zless, zmore, zcat, and zgrep to operate on compressed files.

File attributes are settable via chattr and offer a lower-level alternative to file permissions. For example, to protect against accidental file deletion the immutable flag: sudo chattr +i /critical/directory/or/file

Use getfacl and setfacl to save and restore file permissions. For example:

   getfacl -R /some/path > permissions.txt
   setfacl --restore=permissions.txt
  • To create empty files quickly, use truncate (creates sparse file), fallocate (ext4, xfs, btrfs and ocfs2 filesystems), xfs_mkfile (almost any filesystems, comes in xfsprogs package), mkfile (for Unix-like systems like Solaris, Mac OS).

System debugging

For web debugging, curl and curl -I are handy, or their wget equivalents, or the more modern httpie.

To know current cpu/disk status, the classic tools are top (or the better htop), iostat, and iotop. Use iostat -mxz 15 for basic CPU and detailed per-partition disk stats and performance insight.

For network connection details, use netstat and ss.

For a quick overview of what's happening on a system, dstat is especially useful. For broadest overview with details, use glances.

To know memory status, run and understand the output of free and vmstat. In particular, be aware the "cached" value is memory held by the Linux kernel as file cache, so effectively counts toward the "free" value.

Java system debugging is a different kettle of fish, but a simple trick on Oracle's and some other JVMs is that you can run kill -3 <pid> and a full stack trace and heap summary (including generational garbage collection details, which can be highly informative) will be dumped to stderr/logs. The JDK's jps, jstat, jstack, jmap are useful. SJK tools are more advanced.

Use mtr as a better traceroute, to identify network issues.

For looking at why a disk is full, ncdu saves time over the usual commands like du -sh *.

To find which socket or process is using bandwidth, try iftop or nethogs.

The ab tool (comes with Apache) is helpful for quick-and-dirty checking of web server performance. For more complex load testing, try siege.

For more serious network debugging, wireshark, tshark, or ngrep.

Know about strace and ltrace. These can be helpful if a program is failing, hanging, or crashing, and you don't know why, or if you want to get a general idea of performance. Note the profiling option (-c), and the ability to attach to a running process (-p). Use trace child option (-f) to avoid missing important calls.

Know about ldd to check shared libraries etc — but never run it on untrusted files.

Know how to connect to a running process with gdb and get its stack traces.

Use /proc. It's amazingly helpful sometimes when debugging live problems. Examples: /proc/cpuinfo, /proc/meminfo, /proc/cmdline, /proc/xxx/cwd, /proc/xxx/exe, /proc/xxx/fd/, /proc/xxx/smaps (where xxx is the process id or pid).

When debugging why something went wrong in the past, sar can be very helpful. It shows historic statistics on CPU, memory, network, etc.

For deeper systems and performance analyses, look at stap (SystemTap), perf, and sysdig.

Check what OS you're on with uname or uname -a (general Unix/kernel info) or lsb_release -a (Linux distro info).

Use dmesg whenever something's acting really funny (it could be hardware or driver issues).

If you delete a file and it doesn't free up expected disk space as reported by du, check whether the file is in use by a process: lsof | grep deleted | grep "filename-of-my-big-file"

One-liners

A few examples of piecing together commands:

  • It is remarkably helpful sometimes that you can do set intersection, union, and difference of text files via sort/uniq. Suppose a and b are text files that are already uniqued. This is fast, and works on files of arbitrary size, up to many gigabytes. (Sort is not limited by memory, though you may need to use the -T option if /tmp is on a small root partition.) See also the note about LC_ALL above and sort's -u option (left out for clarity below).
      sort a b | uniq > c   # c is a union b
      sort a b | uniq -d > c   # c is a intersect b
      sort a b b | uniq -u > c   # c is set difference a - b
  • Pretty-print two JSON files, normalizing their syntax, then coloring and paginating the result:
      diff <(jq --sort-keys . < file1.json) <(jq --sort-keys . < file2.json) | colordiff | less -R

Use grep . * to quickly examine the contents of all files in a directory (so each line is paired with the filename), or head -100 * (so each file has a heading). This can be useful for directories filled with config settings like those in /sys, /proc, /etc.

Summing all numbers in the third column of a text file (this is probably 3X faster and 3X less code than equivalent Python):

     awk '{ x += $3 } END { print x }' myfile
  • To see sizes/dates on a tree of files, this is like a recursive ls -l but is easier to read than ls -lR:
     find . -type f -ls
  • Say you have a text file, like a web server log, and a certain value that appears on some lines, such as an acct_id parameter that is present in the URL. If you want a tally of how many requests for each acct_id:
      egrep -o 'acct_id=[0-9]+' access.log | cut -d= -f2 | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn

To continuously monitor changes, use watch, e.g. check changes to files in a directory with watch -d -n 2 'ls -rtlh | tail' or to network settings while troubleshooting your wifi settings with watch -d -n 2 ifconfig.

Run this function to get a random tip from this document (parses Markdown and extracts an item):

      function taocl() {
        curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jlevy/the-art-of-command-line/master/README.md |
          sed '/cowsay[.]png/d' |
          pandoc -f markdown -t html |
          xmlstarlet fo --html --dropdtd |
          xmlstarlet sel -t -v "(html/body/ul/li[count(p)>0])[$RANDOM mod last()+1]" |
          xmlstarlet unesc | fmt -80 | iconv -t US
      }

Obscure but useful

expr: perform arithmetic or boolean operations or evaluate regular expressions

m4: simple macro processor

yes: print a string a lot

cal: nice calendar

env: run a command (useful in scripts)

printenv: print out environment variables (useful in debugging and scripts)

look: find English words (or lines in a file) beginning with a string

cut, paste and join: data manipulation

fmt: format text paragraphs

pr: format text into pages/columns

fold: wrap lines of text

column: format text fields into aligned, fixed-width columns or tables

expand and unexpand: convert between tabs and spaces

nl: add line numbers

seq: print numbers

bc: calculator

factor: factor integers

gpg: encrypt and sign files

toe: table of terminfo entries

nc: network debugging and data transfer

socat: socket relay and tcp port forwarder (similar to netcat)

slurm: network traffic visualization

dd: moving data between files or devices

file: identify type of a file

tree: display directories and subdirectories as a nesting tree; like ls but recursive

stat: file info

time: execute and time a command

timeout: execute a command for specified amount of time and stop the process when the specified amount of time completes.

lockfile: create semaphore file that can only be removed by rm -f

logrotate: rotate, compress and mail logs.

watch: run a command repeatedly, showing results and/or highlighting changes

when-changed: runs any command you specify whenever it sees file changed. See inotifywait and entr as well.

tac: print files in reverse

comm: compare sorted files line by line

strings: extract text from binary files

tr: character translation or manipulation

iconv or uconv: conversion for text encodings

split and csplit: splitting files

sponge: read all input before writing it, useful for reading from then writing to the same file, e.g., grep -v something some-file | sponge some-file

units: unit conversions and calculations; converts furlongs per fortnight to twips per blink (see also /usr/share/units/definitions.units)

apg: generates random passwords

xz: high-ratio file compression

ldd: dynamic library info

nm: symbols from object files

ab or wrk: benchmarking web servers

strace: system call debugging

mtr: better traceroute for network debugging

cssh: visual concurrent shell

rsync: sync files and folders over SSH or in local file system

wireshark and tshark: packet capture and network debugging

ngrep: grep for the network layer

host and dig: DNS lookups

lsof: process file descriptor and socket info

dstat: useful system stats

glances: high level, multi-subsystem overview

iostat: Disk usage stats

mpstat: CPU usage stats

vmstat: Memory usage stats

htop: improved version of top

last: login history

w: who's logged on

id: user/group identity info

sar: historic system stats

iftop or nethogs: network utilization by socket or process

ss: socket statistics

dmesg: boot and system error messages

sysctl: view and configure Linux kernel parameters at run time

hdparm: SATA/ATA disk manipulation/performance

lsblk: list block devices: a tree view of your disks and disk partitions

lshw, lscpu, lspci, lsusb, dmidecode: hardware information, including CPU, BIOS, RAID, graphics, devices, etc.

lsmod and modinfo: List and show details of kernel modules.

fortune, ddate, and sl: um, well, it depends on whether you consider steam locomotives and Zippy quotations "useful"

macOS only

These are items relevant only on macOS.

Package management with brew (Homebrew) and/or port (MacPorts). These can be used to install on macOS many of the above commands.

Copy output of any command to a desktop app with pbcopy and paste input from one with pbpaste.

To enable the Option key in macOS Terminal as an alt key (such as used in the commands above like alt-b, alt-f, etc.), open Preferences -> Profiles -> Keyboard and select "Use Option as Meta key".

To open a file with a desktop app, use open or open -a /Applications/Whatever.app.

Spotlight: Search files with mdfind and list metadata (such as photo EXIF info) with mdls.

Be aware macOS is based on BSD Unix, and many commands (for example ps, ls, tail, awk, sed) have many subtle variations from Linux, which is largely influenced by System V-style Unix and GNU tools. You can often tell the difference by noting a man page has the heading "BSD General Commands Manual." In some cases GNU versions can be installed, too (such as gawk and gsed for GNU awk and sed). If writing cross-platform Bash scripts, avoid such commands (for example, consider Python or perl) or test carefully.

To get macOS release information, use sw_vers.

Windows only

These items are relevant only on Windows.

Ways to obtain Unix tools under Windows

Access the power of the Unix shell under Microsoft Windows by installing Cygwin. Most of the things described in this document will work out of the box.

On Windows 10, you can use Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which provides a familiar Bash environment with Unix command line utilities.

If you mainly want to use GNU developer tools (such as GCC) on Windows, consider MinGW and its MSYS package, which provides utilities such as bash, gawk, make and grep. MSYS doesn't have all the features compared to Cygwin. MinGW is particularly useful for creating native Windows ports of Unix tools.

Another option to get Unix look and feel under Windows is Cash. Note that only very few Unix commands and command-line options are available in this environment.

Useful Windows command-line tools

You can perform and script most Windows system administration tasks from the command line by learning and using wmic.

Native command-line Windows networking tools you may find useful include ping, ipconfig, tracert, and netstat.

You can perform many useful Windows tasks by invoking the Rundll32 command.

Cygwin tips and tricks

Install additional Unix programs with the Cygwin's package manager.

Use mintty as your command-line window.

Access the Windows clipboard through /dev/clipboard.

Run cygstart to open an arbitrary file through its registered application.

Access the Windows registry with regtool.

Note that a C:\ Windows drive path becomes /cygdrive/c under Cygwin, and that Cygwin's / appears under C:\cygwin on Windows. Convert between Cygwin and Windows-style file paths with cygpath. This is most useful in scripts that invoke Windows programs.

More resources

Disclaimer

With the exception of very small tasks, code is written so others can read it. With power comes responsibility. The fact you can do something in Bash doesn't necessarily mean you should! ;)

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Author: jlevy
Source Code: https://github.com/jlevy/the-art-of-command-line 
License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

#windows #macos #linux #bash #documentation #unix 

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Swift Tips: A Collection Useful Tips for The Swift Language

SwiftTips

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

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

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

        set {
            history.append(value)
            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)
        appendLiteral(localized)
    }
}


/*
 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
}

@dynamicMemberLookup
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

@_functionBuilder
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 {
                  someValue
               } else {
                  someOtherValue
               }

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"
    default:
        return "Out of range"
    }
}

print(spelledOut)

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") }

print(array)

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):
        print(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() {
        print(service.call())
    }
}

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 }
            
            code(self)
        }
    }
    
    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
            strongSelf.handle(result)
        })
    }
    
    private func handle(_ result: Int) {
        print("🎉 \(result)")
    }
}

var consumer: Consumer? = Consumer()

consumer?.consume()

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
            lock.unlock()
        }
        
        lock.lock()
        
        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 {
            onUpdate?(value)
        }
    }
    
    var onUpdate: ((Value) -> Void)? {
        didSet {
            onUpdate?(value)
        }
    }
    
    init(_ value: Value, _ onUpdate: ((Value) -> Void)? = nil) {
        self.value = value
        self.onUpdate = onUpdate
        self.onUpdate?(value)
    }
}

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

variable.onUpdate = { data in
    if let data = data {
        print(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 {
                return
            }
        }
    }
}

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

tableView.register(MyCell.self)
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):
            ifLeft?(a)
        case let .right(b):
            ifRight?(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.append(fileURL)
        }
    }
    
    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

configurator("Foo")

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 {
                next.run()
            }
        })
    }
}

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)
            .run()

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?.cancel()
        workItem = DispatchWorkItem(block: action)
        queue.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + delay, execute: workItem!)
    }
}

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

debouncedPrint()
debouncedPrint()
debouncedPrint()

// 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
    default:
        return nil
    }
}

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

doesNotWorkWithOptionalString(label.text.orEmpty)

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 {
            completion(value)
        }
    }
}

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 {
                parsedClassNames.append(name)
            }
        }
        
        return parsedClassNames
            .sorted()
            .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)

sleep(2)
expirable.value // 42
sleep(2)
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 {
    functionA()
} else if !expr2 && expr3 {
    functionB()
} else if expr1 && !expr2 && expr3 {
    functionC()
}

switch (expr1, expr2, expr3) {
    
case (true, _, false):
    functionA()
case (_, false, true):
    functionB()
case (true, false, true):
    functionC()
default:
    break
}

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 {
    @discardableResult
    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)

view.addSubview(label)

🚨 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 👇

Summary

Tips


Download Details:

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

License: MIT license
#swift 

Rupert  Beatty

Rupert Beatty

1673365703

Swift-tips: A Collection Useful Tips for The Swift Language

SwiftTips

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!

📣 NEW 📣 Swift Tips are now available on YouTube 👇

Tips

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

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

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

        set {
            history.append(value)
            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)
        appendLiteral(localized)
    }
}


/*
 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
}

@dynamicMemberLookup
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

@_functionBuilder
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 {
                  someValue
               } else {
                  someOtherValue
               }

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"
    default:
        return "Out of range"
    }
}

print(spelledOut)

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") }

print(array)

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):
        print(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() {
        print(service.call())
    }
}

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 }
            
            code(self)
        }
    }
    
    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
            strongSelf.handle(result)
        })
    }
    
    private func handle(_ result: Int) {
        print("🎉 \(result)")
    }
}

var consumer: Consumer? = Consumer()

consumer?.consume()

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
            lock.unlock()
        }
        
        lock.lock()
        
        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 {
            onUpdate?(value)
        }
    }
    
    var onUpdate: ((Value) -> Void)? {
        didSet {
            onUpdate?(value)
        }
    }
    
    init(_ value: Value, _ onUpdate: ((Value) -> Void)? = nil) {
        self.value = value
        self.onUpdate = onUpdate
        self.onUpdate?(value)
    }
}

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

variable.onUpdate = { data in
    if let data = data {
        print(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 {
                return
            }
        }
    }
}

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

tableView.register(MyCell.self)
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):
            ifLeft?(a)
        case let .right(b):
            ifRight?(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.append(fileURL)
        }
    }
    
    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

configurator("Foo")

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 {
                next.run()
            }
        })
    }
}

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)
            .run()

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?.cancel()
        workItem = DispatchWorkItem(block: action)
        queue.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + delay, execute: workItem!)
    }
}

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

debouncedPrint()
debouncedPrint()
debouncedPrint()

// 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
    default:
        return nil
    }
}

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

doesNotWorkWithOptionalString(label.text.orEmpty)

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 {
            completion(value)
        }
    }
}

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 {
                parsedClassNames.append(name)
            }
        }
        
        return parsedClassNames
            .sorted()
            .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)

sleep(2)
expirable.value // 42
sleep(2)
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 {
    functionA()
} else if !expr2 && expr3 {
    functionB()
} else if expr1 && !expr2 && expr3 {
    functionC()
}

switch (expr1, expr2, expr3) {
    
case (true, _, false):
    functionA()
case (_, false, true):
    functionB()
case (true, false, true):
    functionC()
default:
    break
}

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 {
    @discardableResult
    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)

view.addSubview(label)

🚨 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

Download Details:

Author: Vincent-pradeilles
Source Code: https://github.com/vincent-pradeilles/swift-tips 
License: MIT license

#swift #tips 

Amazon Rekognition Video Analyzer Written in Opencv

Create a Serverless Pipeline for Video Frame Analysis and Alerting

Introduction

Imagine being able to capture live video streams, identify objects using deep learning, and then trigger actions or notifications based on the identified objects -- all with low latency and without a single server to manage.

This is exactly what this project is going to help you accomplish with AWS. You will be able to setup and run a live video capture, analysis, and alerting solution prototype.

The prototype was conceived to address a specific use case, which is alerting based on a live video feed from an IP security camera. At a high level, the solution works as follows. A camera surveils a particular area, streaming video over the network to a video capture client. The client samples video frames and sends them over to AWS, where they are analyzed and stored along with metadata. If certain objects are detected in the analyzed video frames, SMS alerts are sent out. Once a person receives an SMS alert, they will likely want to know what caused it. For that, sampled video frames can be monitored with low latency using a web-based user interface.

Here's the prototype's conceptual architecture:

Architecture

Let's go through the steps necessary to get this prototype up and running. If you are starting from scratch and are not familiar with Python, completing all steps can take a few hours.

Preparing your development environment

Here’s a high-level checklist of what you need to do to setup your development environment.

  1. Sign up for an AWS account if you haven't already and create an Administrator User. The steps are published here.
  2. Ensure that you have Python 2.7+ and Pip on your machine. Instructions for that varies based on your operating system and OS version.
  3. Create a Python virtual environment for the project with Virtualenv. This helps keep project’s python dependencies neatly isolated from your Operating System’s default python installation. Once you’ve created a virtual python environment, activate it before moving on with the following steps.
  4. Use Pip to install AWS CLI. Configure the AWS CLI. It is recommended that the access keys you configure are associated with an IAM User who has full access to the following:
  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon Kinesis
  • AWS Lambda
  • Amazon CloudWatch and CloudWatch Logs
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • Amazon Rekognition
  • Amazon SNS
  • Amazon API Gateway
  • Creating IAM Roles

The IAM User can be the Administrator User you created in Step 1.

5.   Make sure you choose a region where all of the above services are available. Regions us-east-1 (N. Virginia), us-west-2 (Oregon), and eu-west-1 (Ireland) fulfill this criterion. Visit this page to learn more about service availability in AWS regions.

6.   Use Pip to install Open CV 3 python dependencies and then compile, build, and install Open CV 3 (required by Video Cap clients). You can follow this guide to get Open CV 3 up and running on OS X Sierra with Python 2.7. There's another guide for Open CV 3 and Python 3.5 on OS X Sierra. Other guides exist as well for Windows and Raspberry Pi.

7.   Use Pip to install Boto3. Boto is the Amazon Web Services (AWS) SDK for Python, which allows Python developers to write software that makes use of Amazon services like S3 and EC2. Boto provides an easy to use, object-oriented API as well as low-level direct access to AWS services.

8.   Use Pip to install Pynt. Pynt enables you to write project build scripts in Python.

9.   Clone this GitHub repository. Choose a directory path for your project that does not contain spaces (I'll refer to the full path to this directory as <path-to-project-dir>).

10.   Use Pip to install pytz. Pytz is needed for timezone calculations. Use the following commands:

pip install pytz # Install pytz in your virtual python env

pip install pytz -t <path-to-project-dir>/lambda/imageprocessor/ # Install pytz to be packaged and deployed with the Image Processor lambda function

Finally, obtain an IP camera. If you don’t have an IP camera, you can use your smartphone with an IP camera app. This is useful in case you want to test things out before investing in an IP camera. Also, you can simply use your laptop’s built-in camera or a connected USB camera. If you use an IP camera, make sure your camera is connected to the same Local Area Network as the Video Capture client.

Configuring the project

In this section, I list every configuration file, parameters within it, and parameter default values. The build commands detailed later extract the majority of their parameters from these configuration files. Also, the prototype's two AWS Lambda functions - Image Processor and Frame Fetcher - extract parameters at runtime from imageprocessor-params.json and framefetcher-params.json respectively.

NOTE: Do not remove any of the attributes already specified in these files.

NOTE: You must set the value of any parameter that has the tag NO-DEFAULT

config/global-params.json

Specifies “global” build configuration parameters. It is read by multiple build scripts.

{
    "StackName" : "video-analyzer-stack"
}

Parameters:

  • StackName - The name of the stack to be created in your AWS account.

config/cfn-params.json

Specifies and overrides default values of AWS CloudFormation parameters defined in the template (located at aws-infra/aws-infra-cfn.yaml). This file is read by a number of build scripts, including createstack, deploylambda, and webui.

{
    "SourceS3BucketParameter" : "<NO-DEFAULT>",
    "ImageProcessorSourceS3KeyParameter" : "src/lambda_imageprocessor.zip",
    "FrameFetcherSourceS3KeyParameter" : "src/lambda_framefetcher.zip",

    "FrameS3BucketNameParameter" : "<NO-DEFAULT>",

    "FrameFetcherApiResourcePathPart" : "enrichedframe",
    "ApiGatewayRestApiNameParameter" : "VidAnalyzerRestApi",
    "ApiGatewayStageNameParameter": "development",
    "ApiGatewayUsagePlanNameParameter" : "development-plan"
}

Parameters:

SourceS3BucketParameter - The Amazon S3 bucket to which your AWS Lambda function packages (.zip files) will be deployed. If a bucket with such a name does not exist, the deploylambda build command will create it for you with appropriate permissions. AWS CloudFormation will access this bucket to retrieve the .zip files for Image Processor and Frame Fetcher AWS Lambda functions.

ImageProcessorSourceS3KeyParameter - The Amazon S3 key under which the Image Processor function .zip file will be stored.

FrameFetcherSourceS3KeyParameter - The Amazon S3 key under which the Frame Fetcher function .zip file will be stored.

FrameS3BucketNameParameter - The Amazon S3 bucket that will be used for storing video frame images. There must not be an existing S3 bucket with the same name.

FrameFetcherApiResourcePathPart - The name of the Frame Fetcher API resource path part in the API Gateway URL.

ApiGatewayRestApiNameParameter - The name of the API Gateway REST API to be created by AWS CloudFormation.

ApiGatewayStageNameParameter - The name of the API Gateway stage to be created by AWS CloudFormation.

ApiGatewayUsagePlanNameParameter - The name of the API Gateway usage plan to be created by AWS CloudFormation.

config/imageprocessor-params.json

Specifies configuration parameters to be used at run-time by the Image Processor lambda function. This file is packaged along with the Image Processor lambda function code in a single .zip file using the packagelambda build script.

{
    "s3_bucket" : "<NO-DEFAULT>",
    "s3_key_frames_root" : "frames/",

    "ddb_table" : "EnrichedFrame",

    "rekog_max_labels" : 123,
    "rekog_min_conf" : 50.0,

    "label_watch_list" : ["Human", "Pet", "Bag", "Toy"],
    "label_watch_min_conf" : 90.0,
    "label_watch_phone_num" : "",
    "label_watch_sns_topic_arn" : "",
    "timezone" : "US/Eastern"
}

s3_bucket - The Amazon S3 bucket in which Image Processor will store captured video frame images. The value specified here must match the value specified for the FrameS3BucketNameParameter parameter in the cfn-params.json file.

s3_key_frames_root - The Amazon S3 key prefix that will be prepended to the keys of all stored video frame images.

ddb_table - The Amazon DynamoDB table in which Image Processor will store video frame metadata. The default value,EnrichedFrame, matches the default value of the AWS CloudFormation template parameter DDBTableNameParameter in the aws-infra/aws-infra-cfn.yaml template file.

rekog_max_labels - The maximum number of labels that Amazon Rekognition can return to Image Processor.

rekog_min_conf - The minimum confidence required for a label identified by Amazon Rekognition. Any labels with confidence below this value will not be returned to Image Processor.

label_watch_list - A list of labels for to watch out for. If any of the labels specified in this parameter are returned by Amazon Rekognition, an SMS alert will be sent via Amazon SNS. The label's confidence must exceed label_watch_min_conf.

label_watch_min_conf - The minimum confidence required for a label to trigger a Watch List alert.

label_watch_phone_num - The mobile phone number to which a Watch List SMS alert will be sent. Does not have a default value. You must configure a valid phone number adhering to the E.164 format (e.g. +1404XXXYYYY) for the Watch List feature to become active.

label_watch_sns_topic_arn - The SNS topic ARN to which you want Watch List alert messages to be sent. The alert message contains a notification text in addition to a JSON formatted list of Watch List labels found. This can be used to publish alerts to any SNS subscribers, such as Amazon SQS queues.

timezone - The timezone used to report time and date in SMS alerts. By default, it is "US/Eastern". See this list of country codes, names, continents, capitals, and pytz timezones).

config/framefetcher-params.json

Specifies configuration parameters to be used at run-time by the Frame Fetcher lambda function. This file is packaged along with the Frame Fetcher lambda function code in a single .zip file using the packagelambda build script.

{
    "s3_pre_signed_url_expiry" : 1800,

    "ddb_table" : "EnrichedFrame",
    "ddb_gsi_name" : "processed_year_month-processed_timestamp-index",

    "fetch_horizon_hrs" : 24,
    "fetch_limit" : 3
}

s3_pre_signed_url_expiry - Frame Fetcher returns video frame metadata. Along with the returned metadata, Frame Fetcher generates and returns a pre-signed URL for every video frame. Using a pre-signed URL, a client (such as the Web UI) can securely access the JPEG image associated with a particular frame. By default, the pre-signed URLs expire in 30 minutes.

ddb_table - The Amazon DynamoDB table from which Frame Fetcher will fetch video frame metadata. The default value,EnrichedFrame, matches the default value of the AWS CloudFormation template parameter DDBTableNameParameter in the aws-infra/aws-infra-cfn.yaml template file.

ddb_gsi_name - The name of the Amazon DynamoDB Global Secondary Index that Frame Fetcher will use to query frame metadata. The default value matches the default value of the AWS CloudFormation template parameter DDBGlobalSecondaryIndexNameParameter in the aws-infra/aws-infra-cfn.yaml template file.

fetch_horizon_hrs - Frame Fetcher will exclude any video frames that were ingested prior to the point in the past represented by (time now - fetch_horizon_hrs).

fetch_limit - The maximum number of video frame metadata items that Frame Fetcher will retrieve from Amazon DynamoDB.

Building the prototype

Common interactions with the project have been simplified for you. Using pynt, the following tasks are automated with simple commands:

  • Creating, deleting, and updating the AWS infrastructure stack with AWS CloudFormation
  • Packaging lambda code into .zip files and deploying them into an Amazon S3 bucket
  • Running the video capture client to stream from a built-in laptop webcam or a USB camera
  • Running the video capture client to stream from an IP camera (MJPEG stream)
  • Build a simple web user interface (Web UI)
  • Run a lightweight local HTTP server to serve Web UI for development and demo purposes

For a list of all available tasks, enter the following command in the root directory of this project:

pynt -l

The output represents the list of build commands available to you:

pynt -l output

Build commands are implemented as python scripts in the file build.py. The scripts use the AWS Python SDK (Boto) under the hood. They are documented in the following section.

Prior to using these build commands, you must configure the project. Configuration parameters are split across JSON-formatted files located under the config/ directory. Configuration parameters are described in detail in an earlier section.

Build commands

This section describes important build commands and how to use them. If you want to use these commands right away to build the prototype, you may skip to the section titled "Deploy and run the prototype".

The packagelambda build command

Run this command to package the prototype's AWS Lambda functions and their dependencies (Image Processor and Frame Fetcher) into separate .zip packages (one per function). The deployment packages are created under the build/ directory.

pynt packagelambda # Package both functions and their dependencies into zip files.

pynt packagelambda[framefetcher] # Package only Frame Fetcher.

Currently, only Image Processor requires an external dependency, pytz. If you add features to Image Processor or Frame Fetcher that require external dependencies, you should install the dependencies using Pip by issuing the following command.

pip install <module-name> -t <path-to-project-dir>/lambda/<lambda-function-dir>

For example, let's say you want to perform image processing in the Image Processor Lambda function. You may decide on using the Pillow image processing library. To ensure Pillow is packaged with your Lambda function in one .zip file, issue the following command:

pip install Pillow -t <path-to-project-dir>/lambda/imageprocessor #Install Pillow dependency

You can find more details on installing AWS Lambda dependencies here.

The deploylambda build command

Run this command before you run createstack. The deploylambda command uploads Image Processor and Frame Fetcher .zip packages to Amazon S3 for pickup by AWS CloudFormation while creating the prototype's stack. This command will parse the deployment Amazon S3 bucket name and keys names from the cfn-params.json file. If the bucket does not exist, the script will create it. This bucket must be in the same AWS region as the AWS CloudFormation stack, or else the stack creation will fail. Without parameters, the command will deploy the .zip packages of both Image Processor and Frame Fetcher. You can specify either “imageprocessor” or “framefetcher” as a parameter between square brackets to deploy an individual function.

Here are sample command invocations.

pynt deploylambda # Deploy both functions to Amazon S3.

pynt deploylambda[framefetcher] # Deploy only Frame Fetcher to Amazon S3.

The createstack build command

The createstack command creates the prototype's AWS CloudFormation stack behind the scenes by invoking the create_stack() API. The AWS CloudFormation template used is located at aws-infra/aws-infra-cfn.yaml under the project’s root directory. The prototype's stack requires a number of parameters to be successfully created. The createstack script reads parameters from both global-params.json and cfn-params.json configuration files. The script then passes those parameters to the create_stack() call.

Note that you must, first, package and deploy Image Processor and Frame Fetcher functions to Amazon S3 using the packagelambda and deploylambda commands (documented later in this guid) for the AWS CloudFormation stack creation to succeed.

You can issue the command as follows:

pynt createstack

Stack creation should take only a couple of minutes. At any time, you can check on the prototype's stack status either through the AWS CloudFormation console or by issuing the following command.

pynt stackstatus

Congratulations! You’ve just created the prototype's entire architecture in your AWS account.

The deletestack build command

The deletestack command, once issued, does a few things. First, it empties the Amazon S3 bucket used to store video frame images. Next, it calls the AWS CloudFormation delete_stack() API to delete the prototype's stack from your account. Finally, it removes any unneeded resources not deleted by the stack (for example, the prototype's API Gateway Usage Plan resource).

You can issue the deletestack command as follows.

pynt deletestack

As with createstack, you can monitor the progress of stack deletion using the stackstatus build command.

The deletedata build command

The deletedata command, once issued, empties the Amazon S3 bucket used to store video frame images. Next, it also deletes all items in the DynamoDB table used to store frame metadata.

Use this command to clear all previously ingested video frames and associated metadata. The command will ask for confirmation [Y/N] before proceeding with deletion.

You can issue the deletedata command as follows.

pynt deletedata

The stackstatus build command

The stackstatus command will query AWS CloudFormation for the status of the prototype's stack. This command is most useful for quickly checking that the prototype is up and running (i.e. status is "CREATE_COMPLETE" or "UPDATE_COMPLETE") and ready to serve requests from the Web UI.

You can issue the command as follows.

pynt stackstatus # Get the prototype's Stack Status

The webui build command

Run this command when the prototype's stack has been created (using createstack). The webui command “builds” the Web UI through which you can monitor incoming captured video frames. First, the script copies the webui/ directory verbatim into the project’s build/ directory. Next, the script generates an apigw.js file which contains the API Gateway base URL and the API key to be used by Web UI for invoking the Fetch Frames function deployed in AWS Lambda. This file is created in the Web UI build directory.

You can issue the Web UI build command as follows.

pynt webui

The webuiserver build command

The webuiserver command starts a local, lightweight, Python-based HTTP server on your machine to serve Web UI from the build/web-ui/ directory. Use this command to serve the prototype's Web UI for development and demonstration purposes. You can specify the server’s port as pynt task parameter, between square brackets.

Here’s sample invocation of the command.

pynt webuiserver # Starts lightweight HTTP Server on port 8080.

The videocaptureip and videocapture build commands

The videocaptureip command fires up the MJPEG-based video capture client (source code under the client/ directory). This command accepts, as parameters, an MJPEG stream URL and an optional frame capture rate. The capture rate is defined as 1 every X number of frames. Captured frames are packaged, serialized, and sent to the Kinesis Frame Stream. The video capture client for IP cameras uses Open CV 3 to do simple image processing operations on captured frame images – mainly image rotation.

Here’s a sample command invocation.

pynt videocaptureip["http://192.168.0.2/video",20] # Captures 1 frame every 20.

On the other hand, the videocapture command (without the trailing 'ip'), fires up a video capture client that captures frames from a camera attached to the machine on which it runs. If you run this command on your laptop, for instance, the client will attempt to access its built-in video camera. This video capture client relies on Open CV 3 to capture video from physically connected cameras. Captured frames are packaged, serialized, and sent to the Kinesis Frame Stream.

Here’s a sample invocation.

pynt videocapture[20] # Captures one frame every 20.

Deploy and run the prototype

In this section, we are going use project's build commands to deploy and run the prototype in your AWS account. We’ll use the commands to create the prototype's AWS CloudFormation stack, build and serve the Web UI, and run the Video Cap client.

Prepare your development environment, and ensure configuration parameters are set as you wish.

On your machine, in a command line terminal change into the root directory of the project. Activate your virtual Python environment. Then, enter the following commands:

$ pynt packagelambda #First, package code & configuration files into .zip files

#Command output without errors

$ pynt deploylambda #Second, deploy your lambda code to Amazon S3

#Command output without errors

$ pynt createstack #Now, create the prototype's CloudFormation stack

#Command output without errors

$ pynt webui #Build the Web UI

#Command output without errors
  • On your machine, in a separate command line terminal:
$ pynt webuiserver #Start the Web UI server on port 8080 by default
  • In your browser, access http://localhost:8080 to access the prototype's Web UI. You should see a screen similar to this:

Empty Web UI

Now turn on your IP camera or launch the app on your smartphone. Ensure that your camera is accepting connections for streaming MJPEG video over HTTP, and identify the local URL for accessing that stream.

Then, in a terminal window at the root directory of the project, issue this command:

$ pynt videocaptureip["<your-ip-cam-mjpeg-url>",<capture-rate>]
  • Or, if you don’t have an IP camera and would like to use a built-in camera:
$ pynt videocapture[<frame-capture-rate>]
  • Few seconds after you execute this step, the dashed area in the Web UI will auto-populate with captured frames, side by side with labels recognized in them.

When you are done

After you are done experimenting with the prototype, perform the following steps to avoid unwanted costs.

  • Terminate video capture client(s) (press Ctrl+C in command line terminal where you got it running)
  • Close all open Web UI browser windows or tabs.
  • Execute the pynt deletestack command (see docs above)
  • After you run deletestack, visit the AWS CloudFormation console to double-check the stack is deleted.
  • Ensure that Amazon S3 buckets and objects within them are deleted.

Remember, you can always setup the entire prototype again with a few simple commands.

License

Licensed under the Amazon Software License.

A copy of the License is located at

http://aws.amazon.com/asl/

The AWS CloudFormation Stack (optional read)

Let’s quickly go through the stack that AWS CloudFormation sets up in your account based on the template. AWS CloudFormation uses as much parallelism as possible while creating resources. As a result, some resources may be created in an order different than what I’m going to describe here.

First, AWS CloudFormation creates the IAM roles necessary to allow AWS services to interact with one another. This includes the following.

ImageProcessorLambdaExecutionRole – a role to be assumed by the Image Processor lambda function. It allows full access to Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon S3, Amazon SNS, and AWS CloudWatch Logs. The role also allows read-only access to Amazon Kinesis and Amazon Rekognition. For simplicity, only managed AWS role permission policies are used.

FrameFetcherLambdaExecutionRole – a role to be assumed by the Frame Fetcher lambda function. It allows full access to Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, and AWS CloudWatch Logs. For simplicity, only managed AWS permission policies are used. In parallel, AWS CloudFormation creates the Amazon S3 bucket to be used to store the captured video frame images. It also creates the Kinesis Frame Stream to receive captured video frame images from the Video Cap client.

Next, the Image Processor lambda function is created in addition to an AWS Lambda Event Source Mapping to allow Amazon Kinesis to trigger Image Processor once new captured video frames are available.

The Frame Fetcher lambda function is also created. Frame Fetcher is a simple lambda function that responds to a GET request by returning the latest list of frames, in descending order by processing timestamp, up to a configurable number of hours, called the “fetch horizon” (check the framefetcher-params.json file for more run-time configuration parameters). Necessary AWS Lambda Permissions are also created to permit Amazon API Gateway to invoke the Frame Fetcher lambda function.

AWS CloudFormation also creates the DynamoDB table where Enriched Frame metadata is stored by the Image Processor lambda function as described in the architecture overview section of this post. A Global Secondary Index (GSI) is also created; to be used by the Frame Fetcher lambda function in fetching Enriched Frame metadata in descending order by time of capture.

Finally, AWS CloudFormation creates the Amazon API Gateway resources necessary to allow the Web UI to securely invoke the Frame Fetcher lambda function with a GET request to a public API Gateway URL.

The following API Gateway resources are created.

REST API named “RtRekogRestAPI” by default.

An API Gateway resource with a path part set to “enrichedframe” by default.

A GET API Gateway method associated with the “enrichedframe” resource. This method is configured with Lambda proxy integration with the Frame Fetcher lambda function (learn more about AWS API Gateway proxy integration here). The method is also configured such that an API key is required.

An OPTIONS API Gateway method associated with the “enrichedframe” resource. This method’s purpose is to enable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS). Enabling CORS allows the Web UI to make Ajax requests to the Frame Fetcher API Gateway URL. Note that the Frame Fetcher lambda function must, itself, also return the Access-Control-Allow-Origin CORS header in its HTTP response.

A “development” API Gateway deployment to allow the invocation of the prototype's API over the Internet.

A “development” API Gateway stage for the API deployment along with an API Gateway usage plan named “development-plan” by default.

An API Gateway API key, name “DevApiKey” by default. The key is associated with the “development” stage and “development-plan” usage plan.

All defaults can be overridden in the cfn-params.json configuration file. That’s it for the prototype's AWS CloudFormation stack! This stack was designed primarily for development/demo purposes, especially how the Amazon API Gateway resources are set up.

FAQ

Q: Why is this project titled "amazon-rekognition-video-analyzer" despite the security-focused use case?

A: Although this prototype was conceived to address the security monitoring and alerting use case, you can use the prototype's architecture and code as a starting point to address a wide variety of use cases involving low-latency analysis of live video frames with Amazon Rekognition.

Download Details:
Author: aws-samples
Source Code: https://github.com/aws-samples/amazon-rekognition-video-analyzer
License: View license

#opencv  #python #aws 

Swipe - One Page Bootstrap 5 Template

Swipe is a free mobile application One Page Bootstrap 5 Template featuring sections such as about, testimonials, frequently asked questions, and two app download CTA sections.

Using beautifully vibrant colors and illustrations you can create a stunning presentational page for your mobile app.

Demo: https://demo.themesberg.com/swipe/
Free Download: https://themesberg.com/product/bootstrap/swipe-free-mobile-app-one-page-bootstrap-5-template
Github repository: https://github.com/themesberg/swipe-one-page-bootstrap-5

#bootstrap #bootstrap5 #bootstrap-5 #one-page #one-page-template #themesberg

Vincent Lab

Vincent Lab

1605178380

How to Create a Command Line (CLI) Tool in Node.js

In this video I will show you how to turn a Node.js application into a command line tool application.

#command line #node.js #cli #command line interface #template generator #node.js cli