How to Extract Text From Image File

We learn how to extract text from image file using use python and opencv. We are cropping out handwritten words from an image in order to make a machine learning model that can predict handwritten words on an image.

Get more details at https://codepiep.com/blog/extracting-handwritten-words-from-image/

OpenCV doc: https://docs.opencv.org/master/

Timestamps:
0:00 | intro
0:25 | demo
1:12 | import
2:28 | image preprocessing
5:10 | finding contours
7:04 | crop word from image
7:40 | words outlined on image
9:20 | outro

tags
Extract Text From Image File,extract text fomr image file,extract text form image file,how to extract text from pdf image file,photo to text converter for pc,photo to text converter,extract text from pictures,how to extract text from gif image file,copy text from image,python code to extract text from image,extract text from image python,extract text from image python opencv,image to text python,image to text converter,extract text from pdf image

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EasyMDE: Simple, Beautiful and Embeddable JavaScript Markdown Editor

EasyMDE - Markdown Editor 

This repository is a fork of SimpleMDE, made by Sparksuite. Go to the dedicated section for more information.

A drop-in JavaScript text area replacement for writing beautiful and understandable Markdown. EasyMDE allows users who may be less experienced with Markdown to use familiar toolbar buttons and shortcuts.

In addition, the syntax is rendered while editing to clearly show the expected result. Headings are larger, emphasized words are italicized, links are underlined, etc.

EasyMDE also features both built-in auto saving and spell checking. The editor is entirely customizable, from theming to toolbar buttons and javascript hooks.

Try the demo

Preview

Quick access

Install EasyMDE

Via npm:

npm install easymde

Via the UNPKG CDN:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://unpkg.com/easymde/dist/easymde.min.css">
<script src="https://unpkg.com/easymde/dist/easymde.min.js"></script>

Or jsDelivr:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/easymde/dist/easymde.min.css">
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/easymde/dist/easymde.min.js"></script>

How to use

Loading the editor

After installing and/or importing the module, you can load EasyMDE onto the first textarea element on the web page:

<textarea></textarea>
<script>
const easyMDE = new EasyMDE();
</script>

Alternatively you can select a specific textarea, via JavaScript:

<textarea id="my-text-area"></textarea>
<script>
const easyMDE = new EasyMDE({element: document.getElementById('my-text-area')});
</script>

Editor functions

Use easyMDE.value() to get the content of the editor:

<script>
easyMDE.value();
</script>

Use easyMDE.value(val) to set the content of the editor:

<script>
easyMDE.value('New input for **EasyMDE**');
</script>

Configuration

Options list

  • autoDownloadFontAwesome: If set to true, force downloads Font Awesome (used for icons). If set to false, prevents downloading. Defaults to undefined, which will intelligently check whether Font Awesome has already been included, then download accordingly.
  • autofocus: If set to true, focuses the editor automatically. Defaults to false.
  • autosave: Saves the text that's being written and will load it back in the future. It will forget the text when the form it's contained in is submitted.
    • enabled: If set to true, saves the text automatically. Defaults to false.
    • delay: Delay between saves, in milliseconds. Defaults to 10000 (10 seconds).
    • submit_delay: Delay before assuming that submit of the form failed and saving the text, in milliseconds. Defaults to autosave.delay or 10000 (10 seconds).
    • uniqueId: You must set a unique string identifier so that EasyMDE can autosave. Something that separates this from other instances of EasyMDE elsewhere on your website.
    • timeFormat: Set DateTimeFormat. More information see DateTimeFormat instances. Default locale: en-US, format: hour:minute.
    • text: Set text for autosave.
  • autoRefresh: Useful, when initializing the editor in a hidden DOM node. If set to { delay: 300 }, it will check every 300 ms if the editor is visible and if positive, call CodeMirror's refresh().
  • blockStyles: Customize how certain buttons that style blocks of text behave.
    • bold: Can be set to ** or __. Defaults to **.
    • code: Can be set to ``` or ~~~. Defaults to ```.
    • italic: Can be set to * or _. Defaults to *.
  • unorderedListStyle: can be *, - or +. Defaults to *.
  • scrollbarStyle: Chooses a scrollbar implementation. The default is "native", showing native scrollbars. The core library also provides the "null" style, which completely hides the scrollbars. Addons can implement additional scrollbar models.
  • element: The DOM element for the textarea element to use. Defaults to the first textarea element on the page.
  • forceSync: If set to true, force text changes made in EasyMDE to be immediately stored in original text area. Defaults to false.
  • hideIcons: An array of icon names to hide. Can be used to hide specific icons shown by default without completely customizing the toolbar.
  • indentWithTabs: If set to false, indent using spaces instead of tabs. Defaults to true.
  • initialValue: If set, will customize the initial value of the editor.
  • previewImagesInEditor: - EasyMDE will show preview of images, false by default, preview for images will appear only for images on separate lines.
  • imagesPreviewHandler: - A custom function for handling the preview of images. Takes the parsed string between the parantheses of the image markdown ![]( ) as argument and returns a string that serves as the src attribute of the <img> tag in the preview. Enables dynamic previewing of images in the frontend without having to upload them to a server, allows copy-pasting of images to the editor with preview.
  • insertTexts: Customize how certain buttons that insert text behave. Takes an array with two elements. The first element will be the text inserted before the cursor or highlight, and the second element will be inserted after. For example, this is the default link value: ["[", "](http://)"].
    • horizontalRule
    • image
    • link
    • table
  • lineNumbers: If set to true, enables line numbers in the editor.
  • lineWrapping: If set to false, disable line wrapping. Defaults to true.
  • minHeight: Sets the minimum height for the composition area, before it starts auto-growing. Should be a string containing a valid CSS value like "500px". Defaults to "300px".
  • maxHeight: Sets fixed height for the composition area. minHeight option will be ignored. Should be a string containing a valid CSS value like "500px". Defaults to undefined.
  • onToggleFullScreen: A function that gets called when the editor's full screen mode is toggled. The function will be passed a boolean as parameter, true when the editor is currently going into full screen mode, or false.
  • parsingConfig: Adjust settings for parsing the Markdown during editing (not previewing).
    • allowAtxHeaderWithoutSpace: If set to true, will render headers without a space after the #. Defaults to false.
    • strikethrough: If set to false, will not process GFM strikethrough syntax. Defaults to true.
    • underscoresBreakWords: If set to true, let underscores be a delimiter for separating words. Defaults to false.
  • overlayMode: Pass a custom codemirror overlay mode to parse and style the Markdown during editing.
    • mode: A codemirror mode object.
    • combine: If set to false, will replace CSS classes returned by the default Markdown mode. Otherwise the classes returned by the custom mode will be combined with the classes returned by the default mode. Defaults to true.
  • placeholder: If set, displays a custom placeholder message.
  • previewClass: A string or array of strings that will be applied to the preview screen when activated. Defaults to "editor-preview".
  • previewRender: Custom function for parsing the plaintext Markdown and returning HTML. Used when user previews.
  • promptURLs: If set to true, a JS alert window appears asking for the link or image URL. Defaults to false.
  • promptTexts: Customize the text used to prompt for URLs.
    • image: The text to use when prompting for an image's URL. Defaults to URL of the image:.
    • link: The text to use when prompting for a link's URL. Defaults to URL for the link:.
  • uploadImage: If set to true, enables the image upload functionality, which can be triggered by drag and drop, copy-paste and through the browse-file window (opened when the user click on the upload-image icon). Defaults to false.
  • imageMaxSize: Maximum image size in bytes, checked before upload (note: never trust client, always check the image size at server-side). Defaults to 1024 * 1024 * 2 (2 MB).
  • imageAccept: A comma-separated list of mime-types used to check image type before upload (note: never trust client, always check file types at server-side). Defaults to image/png, image/jpeg.
  • imageUploadFunction: A custom function for handling the image upload. Using this function will render the options imageMaxSize, imageAccept, imageUploadEndpoint and imageCSRFToken ineffective.
    • The function gets a file and onSuccess and onError callback functions as parameters. onSuccess(imageUrl: string) and onError(errorMessage: string)
  • imageUploadEndpoint: The endpoint where the images data will be sent, via an asynchronous POST request. The server is supposed to save this image, and return a JSON response.
    • if the request was successfully processed (HTTP 200 OK): {"data": {"filePath": "<filePath>"}} where filePath is the path of the image (absolute if imagePathAbsolute is set to true, relative if otherwise);
    • otherwise: {"error": "<errorCode>"}, where errorCode can be noFileGiven (HTTP 400 Bad Request), typeNotAllowed (HTTP 415 Unsupported Media Type), fileTooLarge (HTTP 413 Payload Too Large) or importError (see errorMessages below). If errorCode is not one of the errorMessages, it is alerted unchanged to the user. This allows for server-side error messages. No default value.
  • imagePathAbsolute: If set to true, will treat imageUrl from imageUploadFunction and filePath returned from imageUploadEndpoint as an absolute rather than relative path, i.e. not prepend window.location.origin to it.
  • imageCSRFToken: CSRF token to include with AJAX call to upload image. For various instances like Django, Spring and Laravel.
  • imageCSRFName: CSRF token filed name to include with AJAX call to upload image, applied when imageCSRFToken has value, defaults to csrfmiddlewaretoken.
  • imageCSRFHeader: If set to true, passing CSRF token via header. Defaults to false, which pass CSRF through request body.
  • imageTexts: Texts displayed to the user (mainly on the status bar) for the import image feature, where #image_name#, #image_size# and #image_max_size# will replaced by their respective values, that can be used for customization or internationalization:
    • sbInit: Status message displayed initially if uploadImage is set to true. Defaults to Attach files by drag and dropping or pasting from clipboard..
    • sbOnDragEnter: Status message displayed when the user drags a file to the text area. Defaults to Drop image to upload it..
    • sbOnDrop: Status message displayed when the user drops a file in the text area. Defaults to Uploading images #images_names#.
    • sbProgress: Status message displayed to show uploading progress. Defaults to Uploading #file_name#: #progress#%.
    • sbOnUploaded: Status message displayed when the image has been uploaded. Defaults to Uploaded #image_name#.
    • sizeUnits: A comma-separated list of units used to display messages with human-readable file sizes. Defaults to B, KB, MB (example: 218 KB). You can use B,KB,MB instead if you prefer without whitespaces (218KB).
  • errorMessages: Errors displayed to the user, using the errorCallback option, where #image_name#, #image_size# and #image_max_size# will replaced by their respective values, that can be used for customization or internationalization:
    • noFileGiven: The server did not receive any file from the user. Defaults to You must select a file..
    • typeNotAllowed: The user send a file type which doesn't match the imageAccept list, or the server returned this error code. Defaults to This image type is not allowed..
    • fileTooLarge: The size of the image being imported is bigger than the imageMaxSize, or if the server returned this error code. Defaults to Image #image_name# is too big (#image_size#).\nMaximum file size is #image_max_size#..
    • importError: An unexpected error occurred when uploading the image. Defaults to Something went wrong when uploading the image #image_name#..
  • errorCallback: A callback function used to define how to display an error message. Defaults to (errorMessage) => alert(errorMessage).
  • renderingConfig: Adjust settings for parsing the Markdown during previewing (not editing).
    • codeSyntaxHighlighting: If set to true, will highlight using highlight.js. Defaults to false. To use this feature you must include highlight.js on your page or pass in using the hljs option. For example, include the script and the CSS files like:
      <script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/highlight.js/latest/highlight.min.js"></script>
      <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/highlight.js/latest/styles/github.min.css">
    • hljs: An injectible instance of highlight.js. If you don't want to rely on the global namespace (window.hljs), you can provide an instance here. Defaults to undefined.
    • markedOptions: Set the internal Markdown renderer's options. Other renderingConfig options will take precedence.
    • singleLineBreaks: If set to false, disable parsing GitHub Flavored Markdown (GFM) single line breaks. Defaults to true.
    • sanitizerFunction: Custom function for sanitizing the HTML output of Markdown renderer.
  • shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts associated with this instance. Defaults to the array of shortcuts.
  • showIcons: An array of icon names to show. Can be used to show specific icons hidden by default without completely customizing the toolbar.
  • spellChecker: If set to false, disable the spell checker. Defaults to true. Optionally pass a CodeMirrorSpellChecker-compliant function.
  • inputStyle: textarea or contenteditable. Defaults to textarea for desktop and contenteditable for mobile. contenteditable option is necessary to enable nativeSpellcheck.
  • nativeSpellcheck: If set to false, disable native spell checker. Defaults to true.
  • sideBySideFullscreen: If set to false, allows side-by-side editing without going into fullscreen. Defaults to true.
  • status: If set to false, hide the status bar. Defaults to the array of built-in status bar items.
    • Optionally, you can set an array of status bar items to include, and in what order. You can even define your own custom status bar items.
  • styleSelectedText: If set to false, remove the CodeMirror-selectedtext class from selected lines. Defaults to true.
  • syncSideBySidePreviewScroll: If set to false, disable syncing scroll in side by side mode. Defaults to true.
  • tabSize: If set, customize the tab size. Defaults to 2.
  • theme: Override the theme. Defaults to easymde.
  • toolbar: If set to false, hide the toolbar. Defaults to the array of icons.
  • toolbarTips: If set to false, disable toolbar button tips. Defaults to true.
  • direction: rtl or ltr. Changes text direction to support right-to-left languages. Defaults to ltr.

Options example

Most options demonstrate the non-default behavior:

const editor = new EasyMDE({
    autofocus: true,
    autosave: {
        enabled: true,
        uniqueId: "MyUniqueID",
        delay: 1000,
        submit_delay: 5000,
        timeFormat: {
            locale: 'en-US',
            format: {
                year: 'numeric',
                month: 'long',
                day: '2-digit',
                hour: '2-digit',
                minute: '2-digit',
            },
        },
        text: "Autosaved: "
    },
    blockStyles: {
        bold: "__",
        italic: "_",
    },
    unorderedListStyle: "-",
    element: document.getElementById("MyID"),
    forceSync: true,
    hideIcons: ["guide", "heading"],
    indentWithTabs: false,
    initialValue: "Hello world!",
    insertTexts: {
        horizontalRule: ["", "\n\n-----\n\n"],
        image: ["![](http://", ")"],
        link: ["[", "](https://)"],
        table: ["", "\n\n| Column 1 | Column 2 | Column 3 |\n| -------- | -------- | -------- |\n| Text     | Text      | Text     |\n\n"],
    },
    lineWrapping: false,
    minHeight: "500px",
    parsingConfig: {
        allowAtxHeaderWithoutSpace: true,
        strikethrough: false,
        underscoresBreakWords: true,
    },
    placeholder: "Type here...",

    previewClass: "my-custom-styling",
    previewClass: ["my-custom-styling", "more-custom-styling"],

    previewRender: (plainText) => customMarkdownParser(plainText), // Returns HTML from a custom parser
    previewRender: (plainText, preview) => { // Async method
        setTimeout(() => {
            preview.innerHTML = customMarkdownParser(plainText);
        }, 250);

        return "Loading...";
    },
    promptURLs: true,
    promptTexts: {
        image: "Custom prompt for URL:",
        link: "Custom prompt for URL:",
    },
    renderingConfig: {
        singleLineBreaks: false,
        codeSyntaxHighlighting: true,
        sanitizerFunction: (renderedHTML) => {
            // Using DOMPurify and only allowing <b> tags
            return DOMPurify.sanitize(renderedHTML, {ALLOWED_TAGS: ['b']})
        },
    },
    shortcuts: {
        drawTable: "Cmd-Alt-T"
    },
    showIcons: ["code", "table"],
    spellChecker: false,
    status: false,
    status: ["autosave", "lines", "words", "cursor"], // Optional usage
    status: ["autosave", "lines", "words", "cursor", {
        className: "keystrokes",
        defaultValue: (el) => {
            el.setAttribute('data-keystrokes', 0);
        },
        onUpdate: (el) => {
            const keystrokes = Number(el.getAttribute('data-keystrokes')) + 1;
            el.innerHTML = `${keystrokes} Keystrokes`;
            el.setAttribute('data-keystrokes', keystrokes);
        },
    }], // Another optional usage, with a custom status bar item that counts keystrokes
    styleSelectedText: false,
    sideBySideFullscreen: false,
    syncSideBySidePreviewScroll: false,
    tabSize: 4,
    toolbar: false,
    toolbarTips: false,
});

Toolbar icons

Below are the built-in toolbar icons (only some of which are enabled by default), which can be reorganized however you like. "Name" is the name of the icon, referenced in the JavaScript. "Action" is either a function or a URL to open. "Class" is the class given to the icon. "Tooltip" is the small tooltip that appears via the title="" attribute. Note that shortcut hints are added automatically and reflect the specified action if it has a key bind assigned to it (i.e. with the value of action set to bold and that of tooltip set to Bold, the final text the user will see would be "Bold (Ctrl-B)").

Additionally, you can add a separator between any icons by adding "|" to the toolbar array.

NameActionTooltip
Class
boldtoggleBoldBold
fa fa-bold
italictoggleItalicItalic
fa fa-italic
strikethroughtoggleStrikethroughStrikethrough
fa fa-strikethrough
headingtoggleHeadingSmallerHeading
fa fa-header
heading-smallertoggleHeadingSmallerSmaller Heading
fa fa-header
heading-biggertoggleHeadingBiggerBigger Heading
fa fa-lg fa-header
heading-1toggleHeading1Big Heading
fa fa-header header-1
heading-2toggleHeading2Medium Heading
fa fa-header header-2
heading-3toggleHeading3Small Heading
fa fa-header header-3
codetoggleCodeBlockCode
fa fa-code
quotetoggleBlockquoteQuote
fa fa-quote-left
unordered-listtoggleUnorderedListGeneric List
fa fa-list-ul
ordered-listtoggleOrderedListNumbered List
fa fa-list-ol
clean-blockcleanBlockClean block
fa fa-eraser
linkdrawLinkCreate Link
fa fa-link
imagedrawImageInsert Image
fa fa-picture-o
tabledrawTableInsert Table
fa fa-table
horizontal-ruledrawHorizontalRuleInsert Horizontal Line
fa fa-minus
previewtogglePreviewToggle Preview
fa fa-eye no-disable
side-by-sidetoggleSideBySideToggle Side by Side
fa fa-columns no-disable no-mobile
fullscreentoggleFullScreenToggle Fullscreen
fa fa-arrows-alt no-disable no-mobile
guideThis linkMarkdown Guide
fa fa-question-circle
undoundoUndo
fa fa-undo
redoredoRedo
fa fa-redo

Toolbar customization

Customize the toolbar using the toolbar option.

Only the order of existing buttons:

const easyMDE = new EasyMDE({
    toolbar: ["bold", "italic", "heading", "|", "quote"]
});

All information and/or add your own icons

const easyMDE = new EasyMDE({
    toolbar: [
        {
            name: "bold",
            action: EasyMDE.toggleBold,
            className: "fa fa-bold",
            title: "Bold",
        },
        "italics", // shortcut to pre-made button
        {
            name: "custom",
            action: (editor) => {
                // Add your own code
            },
            className: "fa fa-star",
            title: "Custom Button",
            attributes: { // for custom attributes
                id: "custom-id",
                "data-value": "custom value" // HTML5 data-* attributes need to be enclosed in quotation marks ("") because of the dash (-) in its name.
            }
        },
        "|" // Separator
        // [, ...]
    ]
});

Put some buttons on dropdown menu

const easyMDE = new EasyMDE({
    toolbar: [{
                name: "heading",
                action: EasyMDE.toggleHeadingSmaller,
                className: "fa fa-header",
                title: "Headers",
            },
            "|",
            {
                name: "others",
                className: "fa fa-blind",
                title: "others buttons",
                children: [
                    {
                        name: "image",
                        action: EasyMDE.drawImage,
                        className: "fa fa-picture-o",
                        title: "Image",
                    },
                    {
                        name: "quote",
                        action: EasyMDE.toggleBlockquote,
                        className: "fa fa-percent",
                        title: "Quote",
                    },
                    {
                        name: "link",
                        action: EasyMDE.drawLink,
                        className: "fa fa-link",
                        title: "Link",
                    }
                ]
            },
        // [, ...]
    ]
});

Keyboard shortcuts

EasyMDE comes with an array of predefined keyboard shortcuts, but they can be altered with a configuration option. The list of default ones is as follows:

Shortcut (Windows / Linux)Shortcut (macOS)Action
Ctrl-'Cmd-'"toggleBlockquote"
Ctrl-BCmd-B"toggleBold"
Ctrl-ECmd-E"cleanBlock"
Ctrl-HCmd-H"toggleHeadingSmaller"
Ctrl-ICmd-I"toggleItalic"
Ctrl-KCmd-K"drawLink"
Ctrl-LCmd-L"toggleUnorderedList"
Ctrl-PCmd-P"togglePreview"
Ctrl-Alt-CCmd-Alt-C"toggleCodeBlock"
Ctrl-Alt-ICmd-Alt-I"drawImage"
Ctrl-Alt-LCmd-Alt-L"toggleOrderedList"
Shift-Ctrl-HShift-Cmd-H"toggleHeadingBigger"
F9F9"toggleSideBySide"
F11F11"toggleFullScreen"

Here is how you can change a few, while leaving others untouched:

const editor = new EasyMDE({
    shortcuts: {
        "toggleOrderedList": "Ctrl-Alt-K", // alter the shortcut for toggleOrderedList
        "toggleCodeBlock": null, // unbind Ctrl-Alt-C
        "drawTable": "Cmd-Alt-T", // bind Cmd-Alt-T to drawTable action, which doesn't come with a default shortcut
    }
});

Shortcuts are automatically converted between platforms. If you define a shortcut as "Cmd-B", on PC that shortcut will be changed to "Ctrl-B". Conversely, a shortcut defined as "Ctrl-B" will become "Cmd-B" for Mac users.

The list of actions that can be bound is the same as the list of built-in actions available for toolbar buttons.

Advanced use

Event handling

You can catch the following list of events: https://codemirror.net/doc/manual.html#events

const easyMDE = new EasyMDE();
easyMDE.codemirror.on("change", () => {
    console.log(easyMDE.value());
});

Removing EasyMDE from text area

You can revert to the initial text area by calling the toTextArea method. Note that this clears up the autosave (if enabled) associated with it. The text area will retain any text from the destroyed EasyMDE instance.

const easyMDE = new EasyMDE();
// ...
easyMDE.toTextArea();
easyMDE = null;

If you need to remove registered event listeners (when the editor is not needed anymore), call easyMDE.cleanup().

Useful methods

The following self-explanatory methods may be of use while developing with EasyMDE.

const easyMDE = new EasyMDE();
easyMDE.isPreviewActive(); // returns boolean
easyMDE.isSideBySideActive(); // returns boolean
easyMDE.isFullscreenActive(); // returns boolean
easyMDE.clearAutosavedValue(); // no returned value

How it works

EasyMDE is a continuation of SimpleMDE.

SimpleMDE began as an improvement of lepture's Editor project, but has now taken on an identity of its own. It is bundled with CodeMirror and depends on Font Awesome.

CodeMirror is the backbone of the project and parses much of the Markdown syntax as it's being written. This allows us to add styles to the Markdown that's being written. Additionally, a toolbar and status bar have been added to the top and bottom, respectively. Previews are rendered by Marked using GitHub Flavored Markdown (GFM).

SimpleMDE fork

I originally made this fork to implement FontAwesome 5 compatibility into SimpleMDE. When that was done I submitted a pull request, which has not been accepted yet. This, and the project being inactive since May 2017, triggered me to make more changes and try to put new life into the project.

Changes include:

  • FontAwesome 5 compatibility
  • Guide button works when editor is in preview mode
  • Links are now https:// by default
  • Small styling changes
  • Support for Node 8 and beyond
  • Lots of refactored code
  • Links in preview will open in a new tab by default
  • TypeScript support

My intention is to continue development on this project, improving it and keeping it alive.

Hacking EasyMDE

You may want to edit this library to adapt its behavior to your needs. This can be done in some quick steps:

  1. Follow the prerequisites and installation instructions in the contribution guide;
  2. Do your changes;
  3. Run gulp command, which will generate files: dist/easymde.min.css and dist/easymde.min.js;
  4. Copy-paste those files to your code base, and you are done.

Contributing

Want to contribute to EasyMDE? Thank you! We have a contribution guide just for you!


Author: Ionaru
Source Code: https://github.com/Ionaru/easy-markdown-editor
License: MIT license

#react-native #react 

What Is R Programming Language? introduction & Basics

In this R article, we will learn about What Is R Programming Language? introduction & Basics. R is a programming language developed by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman in 1993. R possesses an extensive catalog of statistical and graphical methods. It includes machine learning algorithms, linear regression, time series, statistical inference to name a few. Most of the R libraries are written in R, but for heavy computational tasks, C, C++, and Fortran codes are preferred.

Data analysis with R is done in a series of steps; programming, transforming, discovering, modeling and communicating the results

  • Program: R is a clear and accessible programming tool
  • Transform: R is made up of a collection of libraries designed specifically for data science
  • Discover: Investigate the data, refine your hypothesis and analyze them
  • Model: R provides a wide array of tools to capture the right model for your data
  • Communicate: Integrate codes, graphs, and outputs to a report with R Markdown or build Shiny apps to share with the world.

What is R used for?

  • Statistical inference
  • Data analysis
  • Machine learning algorithm

As conclusion, R is the world’s most widely used statistics programming language. It’s the 1st choice of data scientists and supported by a vibrant and talented community of contributors. R is taught in universities and deployed in mission-critical business applications.

R-environment setup

Windows Installation – We can download the Windows installer version of R from R-3.2.2 for windows (32/64)
 

As it is a Windows installer (.exe) with the name “R-version-win.exe”. You can just double click and run the installer accepting the default settings. If your Windows is a 32-bit version, it installs the 32-bit version. But if your windows are 64-bit, then it installs both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

After installation, you can locate the icon to run the program in a directory structure “R\R3.2.2\bin\i386\Rgui.exe” under the Windows Program Files. Clicking this icon brings up the R-GUI which is the R console to do R Programming. 
 

R basic Syntax

R Programming is a very popular programming language that is broadly used in data analysis. The way in which we define its code is quite simple. The “Hello World!” is the basic program for all the languages, and now we will understand the syntax of R programming with the “Hello world” program. We can write our code either in the command prompt, or we can use an R script file.

R command prompt

Once you have R environment setup, then it’s easy to start your R command prompt by just typing the following command at your command prompt −
$R
This will launch R interpreter and you will get a prompt > where you can start typing your program as follows −
 

>myString <- "Hello, World"
>print (myString)
[1] "Hello, World!"

Here the first statement defines a string variable myString, where we assign a string “Hello, World!” and then the next statement print() is being used to print the value stored in myString variable.

R data-types

While doing programming in any programming language, you need to use various variables to store various information. Variables are nothing but reserved memory locations to store values. This means that when you create a variable you reserve some space in memory.

In contrast to other programming languages like C and java in R, the variables are not declared as some data type. The variables are assigned with R-Objects and the data type of the R-object becomes the data type of the variable. There are many types of R-objects. The frequently used ones are −

  • Vectors
  • Lists
  • Matrices
  • Arrays
  • Factors
  • Data Frames

Vectors

#create a vector and find the elements which are >5
v<-c(1,2,3,4,5,6,5,8)
v[v>5]

#subset
subset(v,v>5)

#position in the vector created in which square of the numbers of v is >10 holds good
which(v*v>10)

#to know the values 
v[v*v>10]

Output: [1] 6 8 Output: [1] 6 8 Output: [1] 4 5 6 7 8 Output: [1] 4 5 6 5 8

Matrices

A matrix is a two-dimensional rectangular data set. It can be created using a vector input to the matrix function.

#matrices: a vector with two dimensional attributes
mat<-matrix(c(1,2,3,4))
 
mat1<-matrix(c(1,2,3,4),nrow=2)
mat1

Output:     [,1] [,2] [1,]    1    3 [2,]    2    4

mat2<-matrix(c(1,2,3,4),ncol=2,byrow=T)
mat2

Output:       [,1] [,2] [1,]    1    2 [2,]    3    4

mat3<-matrix(c(1,2,3,4),byrow=T)
mat3

#transpose of matrix
mattrans<-t(mat)
mattrans

#create a character matrix called fruits with elements apple, orange, pear, grapes
fruits<-matrix(c("apple","orange","pear","grapes"),2)
#create 3×4 matrix of marks obtained in each quarterly exams for 4 different subjects 
X<-matrix(c(50,70,40,90,60, 80,50, 90,100, 50,30, 70),nrow=3)
X

#give row names and column names
rownames(X)<-paste(prefix="Test.",1:3)
subs<-c("Maths", "English", "Science", "History")
colnames(X)<-subs
X

Output:       [,1]  [1,]    1  [2,]    2  [3,]    3  [4,]    4 Output:      [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4]  [1,]    1    2    3    4 Output:      [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4]  [1,]   50   90   50   50  [2,]   70   60   90   30  [3,]   40   80  100   70 Output:   Maths English Science History  Test. 1    50      90      50      50  Test. 2    70      60      90      30  Test. 3    40      80     100      70

Arrays

While matrices are confined to two dimensions, arrays can be of any number of dimensions. The array function takes a dim attribute which creates the required number of dimensions. In the below example we create an array with two elements which are 3×3 matrices each.

#Arrays
arr<-array(1:24,dim=c(3,4,2))
arr

#create an array using alphabets with dimensions 3 rows, 2 columns and 3 arrays
arr1<-array(letters[1:18],dim=c(3,2,3))

#select only 1st two matrix of an array
arr1[,,c(1:2)]

#LIST
X<-list(u=2, n='abc')
X
X$u
 [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4]
 [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4]
 [,1] [,2]
 [,1] [,2]

Dataframes

Data frames are tabular data objects. Unlike a matrix in a data frame, each column can contain different modes of data. The first column can be numeric while the second column can be character and the third column can be logical. It is a list of vectors of equal length.

#Dataframes
students<-c("J","L","M","K","I","F","R","S")
Subjects<-rep(c("science","maths"),each=2)
marks<-c(55,70,66,85,88,90,56,78)
data<-data.frame(students,Subjects,marks)
#Accessing dataframes
data[[1]]

data$Subjects
data[,1]

Output: [1] J L M K I F R S Levels: F I J K L M R S Output:   data$Subjects   [1] science science maths   maths   science science maths   maths     Levels: maths science 

Factors

Factors are the r-objects which are created using a vector. It stores the vector along with the distinct values of the elements in the vector as labels. The labels are always character irrespective of whether it is numeric or character or Boolean etc. in the input vector. They are useful in statistical modeling.

Factors are created using the factor() function. The nlevels function gives the count of levels.

#Factors
x<-c(1,2,3)
factor(x)

#apply function
data1<-data.frame(age=c(55,34,42,66,77),bmi=c(26,25,21,30,22))
d<-apply(data1,2,mean)
d

#create two vectors age and gender and find mean age with respect to gender
age<-c(33,34,55,54)
gender<-factor(c("m","f","m","f"))
tapply(age,gender,mean)

Output: [1] 1 2 3 Levels: 1 2 3 Output:  age  bmi 54.8 24.8 Output:  f  m         44 44

R Variables

A variable provides us with named storage that our programs can manipulate. A variable in R can store an atomic vector, a group of atomic vectors, or a combination of many R objects. A valid variable name consists of letters, numbers, and the dot or underlines characters.

Rules for writing Identifiers in R

  1. Identifiers can be a combination of letters, digits, period (.), and underscore (_).
  2. It must start with a letter or a period. If it starts with a period, it cannot be followed by a digit.
  3. Reserved words in R cannot be used as identifiers.

Valid identifiers in R

total, sum, .fine.with.dot, this_is_acceptable, Number5

Invalid identifiers in R

tot@l, 5um, _fine, TRUE, .0ne

Best Practices

Earlier versions of R used underscore (_) as an assignment operator. So, the period (.) was used extensively in variable names having multiple words. Current versions of R support underscore as a valid identifier but it is good practice to use a period as word separators.
For example, a.variable.name is preferred over a_variable_name or alternatively we could use camel case as aVariableName.

Constants in R

Constants, as the name suggests, are entities whose value cannot be altered. Basic types of constant are numeric constants and character constants.

Numeric Constants

All numbers fall under this category. They can be of type integer, double or complex. It can be checked with the typeof() function.
Numeric Constants followed by L are regarded as integers and those followed by i are regarded as complex.

> typeof(5)
> typeof(5L)
> typeof(5L)

[1] “double” [1] “double” [[1] “double”

Character Constants

Character constants can be represented using either single quotes (‘) or double quotes (“) as delimiters.

> 'example'
> typeof("5")

[1] "example" [1] "character"

R Operators

Operators – Arithmetic, Relational, Logical, Assignment, and some of the Miscellaneous Operators that R programming language provides. 

There are four main categories of Operators in the R programming language.

  1. Arithmetic Operators
  2. Relational Operators
  3. Logical Operators
  4. Assignment Operators
  5. Mixed Operators

x <- 35
y<-10

   x+y       > x-y     > x*y       > x/y      > x%/%y     > x%%y   > x^y   [1] 45      [1] 25    [1] 350    [1] 3.5      [1] 3      [1] 5 [1]2.75e+15 

Logical Operators

The below table shows the logical operators in R. Operators & and | perform element-wise operation producing result having a length of the longer operand. But && and || examines only the first element of the operands resulting in a single length logical vector.

a <- c(TRUE,TRUE,FALSE,0,6,7)
b <- c(FALSE,TRUE,FALSE,TRUE,TRUE,TRUE)
a&b 
[1] FALSE TRUE FALSE FALSE TRUE TRUE
a&&b
[1] FALSE
> a|b
[1] TRUE TRUE FALSE TRUE TRUE TRUE
> a||b
[1] TRUE
> !a
[1] FALSE FALSE TRUE TRUE FALSE FALSE
> !b
[1] TRUE FALSE TRUE FALSE FALSE FALSE

R functions

Functions are defined using the function() directive and are stored as R objects just like anything else. In particular, they are R objects of class “function”. Here’s a simple function that takes no arguments simply prints ‘Hi statistics’.

#define the function
f <- function() {
print("Hi statistics!!!")
}
#Call the function
f()

Output: [1] "Hi statistics!!!"

Now let’s define a function called standardize, and the function has a single argument x which is used in the body of a function.

#Define the function that will calculate standardized score.
standardize = function(x) {
m = mean(x)
sd = sd(x)
result = (x – m) / sd
result
}
input<- c(40:50) #Take input for what we want to calculate a standardized score.
standardize(input) #Call the function

Output:   standardize(input) #Call the function   [1] -1.5075567 -1.2060454 -0.9045340 -0.6030227 -0.3015113 0.0000000 0.3015113 0.6030227 0.9045340 1.2060454 1.5075567 

Loop Functions

R has some very useful functions which implement looping in a compact form to make life easier. The very rich and powerful family of applied functions is made of intrinsically vectorized functions. These functions in R allow you to apply some function to a series of objects (eg. vectors, matrices, data frames, or files). They include:

  1. lapply(): Loop over a list and evaluate a function on each element
  2. sapply(): Same as lapply but try to simplify the result
  3. apply(): Apply a function over the margins of an array
  4. tapply(): Apply a function over subsets of a vector
  5. mapply(): Multivariate version of lapply

There is another function called split() which is also useful, particularly in conjunction with lapply.

R Vectors

A vector is a sequence of data elements of the same basic type. Members in a vector are officially called components. Vectors are the most basic R data objects and there are six types of atomic vectors. They are logical, integer, double, complex, character, and raw.

The c() function can be used to create vectors of objects by concatenating things together. 
x <- c(1,2,3,4,5) #double
x #If you use only x auto-printing occurs
l <- c(TRUE, FALSE) #logical
l <- c(T, F) ## logical
c <- c("a", "b", "c", "d") ## character
i <- 1:20 ## integer
cm <- c(2+2i, 3+3i) ## complex
print(l)
print(c)
print(i)
print(cm)

You can see the type of each vector using typeof() function in R.
typeof(x)
typeof(l)
typeof(c)
typeof(i)
typeof(cm)

Output: print(l) [1] TRUE FALSE   print(c)   [1] "a" "b" "c" "d"   print(i)   [1] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   print(cm)   [1] 2+2i 3+3i Output: typeof(x) [1] "double"   typeof(l)   [1] "logical"   typeof(c)   [1] "character"   typeof(i)   [1] "integer"   typeof(cm)   [1] "complex" 

Creating a vector using seq() function:

We can use the seq() function to create a vector within an interval by specifying step size or specifying the length of the vector. 

seq(1:10) #By default it will be incremented by 1
seq(1, 20, length.out=5) # specify length of the vector
seq(1, 20, by=2) # specify step size

Output: > seq(1:10) #By default it will be incremented by 1 [1] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > seq(1, 20, length.out=5) # specify length of the vector [1] 1.00 5.75 10.50 15.25 20.00 > seq(1, 20, by=2) # specify step size [1] 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19

Extract Elements from a Vector:

Elements of a vector can be accessed using indexing. The vector indexing can be logical, integer, or character. The [ ] brackets are used for indexing. Indexing starts with position 1, unlike most programming languages where indexing starts from 0.

Extract Using Integer as Index:

We can use integers as an index to access specific elements. We can also use negative integers to return all elements except that specific element.

x<- 101:110
x[1]   #access the first element
x[c(2,3,4,5)] #Extract 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th elements
x[5:10]        #Extract all elements from 5th to 10th
x[c(-5,-10)] #Extract all elements except 5th and 10th
x[-c(5:10)] #Extract all elements except from 5th to 10th 

Output:   x[1] #Extract the first element   [1] 101   x[c(2,3,4,5)] #Extract 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th elements   [1] 102 103 104 105   x[5:10] #Extract all elements from 5th to 10th   [1] 105 106 107 108 109 110   x[c(-5,-10)] #Extract all elements except 5th and 10th   [1] 101 102 103 104 106 107 108 109   x[-c(5:10)] #Extract all elements except from 5th to 10th   [1] 101 102 103 104 

Extract Using Logical Vector as Index:

If you use a logical vector for indexing, the position where the logical vector is TRUE will be returned.

x[x < 105]
x[x>=104]

Output:   x[x < 105] [1] 101 102 103 104 x[x>=104]   [1] 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 

Modify a Vector in R:

We can modify a vector and assign a new value to it. You can truncate a vector by using reassignments. Check the below example. 

x<- 10:12
x[1]<- 101 #Modify the first element
x
x[2]<-102 #Modify the 2nd element
x
x<- x[1:2] #Truncate the last element
x 

Output:   x   [1] 101 11 12   x[2]<-102 #Modify the 2nd element   x   [1] 101 102 12   x<- x[1:2] #Truncate the last element   x   [1] 101 102 

Arithmetic Operations on Vectors:

We can use arithmetic operations on two vectors of the same length. They can be added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided. Check the output of the below code.

# Create two vectors.
v1 <- c(1:10)
v2 <- c(101:110)

# Vector addition.
add.result <- v1+v2
print(add.result)
# Vector subtraction.
sub.result <- v2-v1
print(sub.result)
# Vector multiplication.
multi.result <- v1*v2
print(multi.result)
# Vector division.
divi.result <- v2/v1
print(divi.result)

Output:   print(add.result)   [1] 102 104 106 108 110 112 114 116 118 120   print(sub.result)   [1] 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100   print(multi.result)   [1] 101 204 309 416 525 636 749 864 981 1100   print(divi.result)   [1] 101.00000 51.00000 34.33333 26.00000 21.00000 17.66667 15.28571 13.50000 12.11111 11.00000 

Find Minimum and Maximum in a Vector:

The minimum and the maximum of a vector can be found using the min() or the max() function. range() is also available which returns the minimum and maximum in a vector.

x<- 1001:1010
max(x) # Find the maximum
min(x) # Find the minimum
range(x) #Find the range

Output:   max(x) # Find the maximum   [1] 1010   min(x) # Find the minimum   [1] 1001   range(x) #Find the range   [1] 1001 1010 

R Lists

The list is a data structure having elements of mixed data types. A vector having all elements of the same type is called an atomic vector but a vector having elements of a different type is called list.
We can check the type with typeof() or class() function and find the length using length()function.

x <- list("stat",5.1, TRUE, 1 + 4i)
x
class(x)
typeof(x)
length(x)

Output:   x   [[1]]   [1] "stat"   [[2]]   [1] 5.1   [[3]]   [1] TRUE   [[4]]   [1] 1+4i   class(x)   [1] “list”   typeof(x)   [1] “list”   length(x)   [1] 4 

You can create an empty list of a prespecified length with the vector() function.

x <- vector("list", length = 10)
x

Output:   x   [[1]]   NULL   [[2]]   NULL   [[3]]   NULL   [[4]]   NULL   [[5]]   NULL   [[6]]   NULL   [[7]]   NULL   [[8]]   NULL   [[9]]   NULL   [[10]]   NULL 

How to extract elements from a list?

Lists can be subset using two syntaxes, the $ operator, and square brackets []. The $ operator returns a named element of a list. The [] syntax returns a list, while the [[]] returns an element of a list.

# subsetting
l$e
l["e"]
l[1:2]
l[c(1:2)] #index using integer vector
l[-c(3:length(l))] #negative index to exclude elements from 3rd up to last.
l[c(T,F,F,F,F)] # logical index to access elements

Output: > l$e [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4] [,5] [,6] [,7] [,8] [,9] [,10] [1,] 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [2,] 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [3,] 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [4,] 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 [5,] 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 [6,] 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 [7,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 [8,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 [9,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 [10,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 > l["e"] $e [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4] [,5] [,6] [,7] [,8] [,9] [,10] [1,] 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [2,] 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [3,] 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [4,] 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 [5,] 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 [6,] 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 [7,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 [8,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 [9,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 [10,] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 > l[1:2] [[1]] [1] 1 2 3 4 [[2]] [1] FALSE > l[c(1:2)] #index using integer vector [[1]] [1] 1 2 3 4 [[2]] [1] FALSE > l[-c(3:length(l))] #negative index to exclude elements from 3rd up to last. [[1]] [1] 1 2 3 4 [[2]] [1] FALSE l[c(T,F,F,F,F)] [[1]] [1] 1 2 3 4

Modifying a List in R:

We can change components of a list through reassignment.

l[["name"]] <- "Kalyan Nandi"
l

Output: [[1]] [1] 1 2 3 4 [[2]] [1] FALSE [[3]] [1] “Hello Statistics!” $d function (arg = 42) { print(“Hello World!”) } $name [1] “Kalyan Nandi”

R Matrices

In R Programming Matrix is a two-dimensional data structure. They contain elements of the same atomic types. A Matrix can be created using the matrix() function. R can also be used for matrix calculations. Matrices have rows and columns containing a single data type. In a matrix, the order of rows and columns is important. Dimension can be checked directly with the dim() function and all attributes of an object can be checked with the attributes() function. Check the below example.

Creating a matrix in R

m <- matrix(nrow = 2, ncol = 3)
dim(m)
attributes(m)
m <- matrix(1:20, nrow = 4, ncol = 5)
m

Output:   dim(m)   [1] 2 3   attributes(m)   $dim   [1] 2 3   m <- matrix(1:20, nrow = 4, ncol = 5)   m   [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4] [,5]   [1,] 1 5 9 13 17   [2,] 2 6 10 14 18   [3,] 3 7 11 15 19   [4,] 4 8 12 16 20 

Matrices can be created by column-binding or row-binding with the cbind() and rbind() functions.

x<-1:3
y<-10:12
z<-30:32
cbind(x,y,z)
rbind(x,y,z)

Output:   cbind(x,y,z)   x y z   [1,] 1 10 30   [2,] 2 11 31   [3,] 3 12 32   rbind(x,y,z)   [,1] [,2] [,3]   x 1 2 3   y 10 11 12   z 30 31 32 

By default, the matrix function reorders a vector into columns, but we can also tell R to use rows instead.

x <-1:9
matrix(x, nrow = 3, ncol = 3)
matrix(x, nrow = 3, ncol = 3, byrow = TRUE)

Output   cbind(x,y,z)   x y z   [1,] 1 10 30   [2,] 2 11 31   [3,] 3 12 32   rbind(x,y,z)   [,1] [,2] [,3]   x 1 2 3   y 10 11 12   z 30 31 32 

R Arrays

In R, Arrays are the data types that can store data in more than two dimensions. An array can be created using the array() function. It takes vectors as input and uses the values in the dim parameter to create an array. If you create an array of dimensions (2, 3, 4) then it creates 4 rectangular matrices each with 2 rows and 3 columns. Arrays can store only data type.

Give a Name to Columns and Rows:

We can give names to the rows, columns, and matrices in the array by setting the dimnames parameter.

v1 <- c(1,2,3)
v2 <- 100:110
col.names <- c("Col1","Col2","Col3","Col4","Col5","Col6","Col7")
row.names <- c("Row1","Row2")
matrix.names <- c("Matrix1","Matrix2")
arr4 <- array(c(v1,v2), dim=c(2,7,2), dimnames = list(row.names,col.names, matrix.names))
arr4

Output: , , Matrix1 Col1 Col2 Col3 Col4 Col5 Col6 Col7 Row1 1 3 101 103 105 107 109 Row2 2 100 102 104 106 108 110 , , Matrix2 Col1 Col2 Col3 Col4 Col5 Col6 Col7 Row1 1 3 101 103 105 107 109 Row2 2 100 102 104 106 108 110

Accessing/Extracting Array Elements:

# Print the 2nd row of the 1st matrix of the array.
print(arr4[2,,1])
# Print the element in the 2nd row and 4th column of the 2nd matrix.
print(arr4[2,4,2])
# Print the 2nd Matrix.
print(arr4[,,2])

Output: > print(arr4[2,,1]) Col1 Col2 Col3 Col4 Col5 Col6 Col7 2 100 102 104 106 108 110 > > # Print the element in the 2nd row and 4th column of the 2nd matrix. > print(arr4[2,4,2]) [1] 104 > > # Print the 2nd Matrix. > print(arr4[,,2]) Col1 Col2 Col3 Col4 Col5 Col6 Col7 Row1 1 3 101 103 105 107 109 Row2 2 100 102 104 106 108 110

R Factors

Factors are used to represent categorical data and can be unordered or ordered. An example might be “Male” and “Female” if we consider gender. Factor objects can be created with the factor() function.

x <- factor(c("male", "female", "male", "male", "female"))
x
table(x)

Output:   x   [1] male female male male female   Levels: female male   table(x)   x   female male     2      3 

By default, Levels are put in alphabetical order. If you print the above code you will get levels as female and male. But if you want to get your levels in a particular order then set levels parameter like this.

x <- factor(c("male", "female", "male", "male", "female"), levels=c("male", "female"))
x
table(x)

Output:   x   [1] male female male male female   Levels: male female   table(x)   x   male female    3      2 

R Dataframes

Data frames are used to store tabular data in R. They are an important type of object in R and are used in a variety of statistical modeling applications. Data frames are represented as a special type of list where every element of the list has to have the same length. Each element of the list can be thought of as a column and the length of each element of the list is the number of rows. Unlike matrices, data frames can store different classes of objects in each column. Matrices must have every element be the same class (e.g. all integers or all numeric).

Creating a Data Frame:

Data frames can be created explicitly with the data.frame() function.

employee <- c('Ram','Sham','Jadu')
salary <- c(21000, 23400, 26800)
startdate <- as.Date(c('2016-11-1','2015-3-25','2017-3-14'))
employ_data <- data.frame(employee, salary, startdate)
employ_data
View(employ_data)

Output: employ_data employee salary startdate 1 Ram 21000 2016-11-01 2 Sham 23400 2015-03-25 3 Jadu 26800 2017-03-14   View(employ_data) 

Get the Structure of the Data Frame:

If you look at the structure of the data frame now, you see that the variable employee is a character vector, as shown in the following output:

str(employ_data)

Output: > str(employ_data) 'data.frame': 3 obs. of 3 variables: $ employee : Factor w/ 3 levels "Jadu","Ram","Sham": 2 3 1 $ salary : num 21000 23400 26800 $ startdate: Date, format: "2016-11-01" "2015-03-25" "2017-03-14"

Note that the first column, employee, is of type factor, instead of a character vector. By default, data.frame() function converts character vector into factor. To suppress this behavior, we can pass the argument stringsAsFactors=FALSE.

employ_data <- data.frame(employee, salary, startdate, stringsAsFactors = FALSE)
str(employ_data)

Output: 'data.frame': 3 obs. of 3 variables: $ employee : chr "Ram" "Sham" "Jadu" $ salary : num 21000 23400 26800 $ startdate: Date, format: "2016-11-01" "2015-03-25" "2017-03-14"

R Packages

The primary location for obtaining R packages is CRAN.

You can obtain information about the available packages on CRAN with the available.packages() function.
a <- available.packages()

head(rownames(a), 30) # Show the names of the first 30 packages
Packages can be installed with the install.packages() function in R.  To install a single package, pass the name of the lecture to the install.packages() function as the first argument.
The following code installs the ggplot2 package from CRAN.
install.packages(“ggplot2”)
You can install multiple R packages at once with a single call to install.packages(). Place the names of the R packages in a character vector.
install.packages(c(“caret”, “ggplot2”, “dplyr”))
 

Loading packages
Installing a package does not make it immediately available to you in R; you must load the package. The library() function is used to load packages into R. The following code is used to load the ggplot2 package into R. Do not put the package name in quotes.
library(ggplot2)
If you have Installed your packages without root access using the command install.packages(“ggplot2″, lib=”/data/Rpackages/”). Then to load use the below command.
library(ggplot2, lib.loc=”/data/Rpackages/”)
After loading a package, the functions exported by that package will be attached to the top of the search() list (after the workspace).
library(ggplot2)

search()

R – CSV() files

In R, we can read data from files stored outside the R environment. We can also write data into files that will be stored and accessed by the operating system. R can read and write into various file formats like CSV, Excel, XML, etc.

Getting and Setting the Working Directory

We can check which directory the R workspace is pointing to using the getwd() function. You can also set a new working directory using setwd()function.

# Get and print current working directory.
print(getwd())

# Set current working directory.
setwd("/web/com")

# Get and print current working directory.
print(getwd())

Output: [1] "/web/com/1441086124_2016" [1] "/web/com"

Input as CSV File

The CSV file is a text file in which the values in the columns are separated by a comma. Let’s consider the following data present in the file named input.csv.

You can create this file using windows notepad by copying and pasting this data. Save the file as input.csv using the save As All files(*.*) option in notepad.

Reading a CSV File

Following is a simple example of read.csv() function to read a CSV file available in your current working directory −

data <- read.csv("input.csv")
print(data)
  id,   name,    salary,   start_date,     dept

R- Charts and Graphs

R- Pie Charts

Pie charts are created with the function pie(x, labels=) where x is a non-negative numeric vector indicating the area of each slice and labels= notes a character vector of names for the slices.

Syntax

The basic syntax for creating a pie-chart using the R is −

pie(x, labels, radius, main, col, clockwise)

Following is the description of the parameters used −

  • x is a vector containing the numeric values used in the pie chart.
  • labels are used to give a description of the slices.
  • radius indicates the radius of the circle of the pie chart. (value between −1 and +1).
  • main indicates the title of the chart.
  • col indicates the color palette.
  • clockwise is a logical value indicating if the slices are drawn clockwise or anti-clockwise.

Simple Pie chart

# Simple Pie Chart
slices <- c(10, 12,4, 16, 8)
lbls <- c("US", "UK", "Australia", "Germany", "France")
pie(slices, labels = lbls, main="Pie Chart of Countries")

 

3-D pie chart

The pie3D( ) function in the plotrix package provides 3D exploded pie charts.

# 3D Exploded Pie Chart
library(plotrix)
slices <- c(10, 12, 4, 16, 8)
lbls <- c("US", "UK", "Australia", "Germany", "France")
pie3D(slices,labels=lbls,explode=0.1,
   main="Pie Chart of Countries ")

R -Bar Charts

A bar chart represents data in rectangular bars with a length of the bar proportional to the value of the variable. R uses the function barplot() to create bar charts. R can draw both vertical and Horizontal bars in the bar chart. In the bar chart, each of the bars can be given different colors.

Let us suppose, we have a vector of maximum temperatures (in degree Celsius) for seven days as follows.

max.temp <- c(22, 27, 26, 24, 23, 26, 28)
barplot(max.temp)

Some of the frequently used ones are, “main” to give the title, “xlab” and “ylab” to provide labels for the axes, names.arg for naming each bar, “col” to define color, etc.

We can also plot bars horizontally by providing the argument horiz=TRUE.

# barchart with added parameters
barplot(max.temp,
main = "Maximum Temperatures in a Week",
xlab = "Degree Celsius",
ylab = "Day",
names.arg = c("Sun", "Mon", "Tue", "Wed", "Thu", "Fri", "Sat"),
col = "darkred",
horiz = TRUE)

Simply doing barplot(age) will not give us the required plot. It will plot 10 bars with height equal to the student’s age. But we want to know the number of students in each age category.

This count can be quickly found using the table() function, as shown below.

> table(age)
age
16 17 18 19 
1  2  6  1

Now plotting this data will give our required bar plot. Note below, that we define the argument “density” to shade the bars.

barplot(table(age),
main="Age Count of 10 Students",
xlab="Age",
ylab="Count",
border="red",
col="blue",
density=10
)

 

A histogram represents the frequencies of values of a variable bucketed into ranges. Histogram is similar to bar chat but the difference is it groups the values into continuous ranges. Each bar in histogram represents the height of the number of values present in that range.

R creates histogram using hist() function. This function takes a vector as an input and uses some more parameters to plot histograms.

Syntax

The basic syntax for creating a histogram using R is −

hist(v,main,xlab,xlim,ylim,breaks,col,border)

Following is the description of the parameters used −

  • v is a vector containing numeric values used in the histogram.
  • main indicates the title of the chart.
  • col is used to set the color of the bars.
  • border is used to set the border color of each bar.
  • xlab is used to give a description of the x-axis.
  • xlim is used to specify the range of values on the x-axis.
  • ylim is used to specify the range of values on the y-axis.
  • breaks are used to mention the width of each bar.

Example

A simple histogram is created using input vector, label, col, and border parameters.

The script given below will create and save the histogram in the current R working directory.

# Create data for the graph.
v <-  c(9,13,21,8,36,22,12,41,31,33,19)

# Give the chart file a name.
png(file = "histogram.png")

# Create the histogram.
hist(v,xlab = "Weight",col = "yellow",border = "blue")

# Save the file.
dev.off()

 

Range of X and Y values

To specify the range of values allowed in X axis and Y axis, we can use the xlim and ylim parameters.

The width of each bar can be decided by using breaks.

# Create data for the graph.
v <- c(9,13,21,8,36,22,12,41,31,33,19)

# Give the chart file a name.
png(file = "histogram_lim_breaks.png")

# Create the histogram.
hist(v,xlab = "Weight",col = "green",border = "red", xlim = c(0,40), ylim = c(0,5),
   breaks = 5)

# Save the file.
dev.off()

R vs SAS – Which Tool is Better?

The debate around data analytics tools has been going on forever. Each time a new one comes out, comparisons transpire. Although many aspects of the tool remain subjective, beginners want to know which tool is better to start with.
The most popular and widely used tools for data analytics are R and SAS. Both of them have been around for a long time and are often pitted against each other. So, let’s compare them based on the most relevant factors.

  1. Availability and Cost: SAS is widely used in most private organizations as it is a commercial software. It is more expensive than any other data analytics tool available. It might thus be a bit difficult buying the software if you are an individual professional or a student starting out. On the other hand, R is an open source software and is completely free to use. Anyone can begin using it right away without having to spend a penny. So, regarding availability and cost, R is hands down the better tool.
  2. Ease of learning: Since SAS is a commercial software, it has a whole lot of online resources available. Also, those who already know SQL might find it easier to adapt to SAS as it comes with PROC SQL option. The tool has a user-friendly GUI. It comes with an extensive documentation and tutorial base which can help early learners get started seamlessly. Whereas, the learning curve for R is quite steep. You need to learn to code at the root level and carrying out simple tasks demand a lot of time and effort with R. However, several forums and online communities post religiously about its usage.
  3. Data Handling Capabilities: When it comes to data handling, both SAS and R perform well, but there are some caveats for the latter. While SAS can even churn through terabytes of data with ease, R might be constrained as it makes use of the available RAM in the machine. This can be a hassle for 32-bit systems with low RAM capacity. Due to this, R can at times become unresponsive or give an ‘out of memory’ error. Both of them can run parallel computations, support integrations for Hadoop, Spark, Cloudera and Apache Pig among others. Also, the availability of devices with better RAM capacity might negate the disadvantages of R.
  4. Graphical Capabilities: Graphical capabilities or data visualization is the strongest forte of R. This is where SAS lacks behind in a major way. R has access to packages like GGPlot, RGIS, Lattice, and GGVIS among others which provide superior graphical competency. In comparison, Base SAS is struggling hard to catch up with the advancements in graphics and visualization in data analytics. Even the graphics packages available in SAS are poorly documented which makes them difficult to use.
  5. Advancements in Tool: Advancements in the industry give way to advancements in tools, and both SAS and R hold up pretty well in this regard. SAS, being a corporate software, rolls out new features and technologies frequently with new versions of its software. However, the updates are not as fast as R since it is open source software and has many contributors throughout the world. Alternatively, the latest updates in SAS are pushed out after thorough testing, making them much more stable, and reliable than R. Both the tools come with a fair share of pros & cons.
  6. Job Scenario: Currently, large corporations insist on using SAS, but SMEs and start-ups are increasingly opting for R, given that it’s free. The current job trend seems to show that while SAS is losing its momentum, R is gaining potential. The job scenario is on the cusp of change, and both the tools seem strong, but since R is on an uphill path, it can probably witness more jobs in the future, albeit not in huge corporates.
  7. Deep Learning Support: While SAS has just begun work on adding deep learning support, R has added support for a few packages which enable deep learning capabilities in the tool. You can use KerasR and keras package in R which are mere interfaces for the original Keras package built on Python. Although none of the tools are excellent facilitators of deep learning, R has seen some recent active developments on this front.
  8. Customer Service Support and Community: As one would expect from full-fledged commercial software, SAS offers excellent customer service support as well as the backing of a helpful community. Since R is free open-source software, expecting customer support will be hard to justify. However, it has a vast online community that can help you with almost everything. On the other hand, no matter what problem you face with SAS, you can immediately reach out to their customer support and get it solved without any hassles.

Final Verdict
As per estimations by the Economic Times, the analytics industry will grow to $16 billion till 2025 in India. If you wish to venture into this domain, there can’t be a better time. Just start learning the tool you think is better based on the comparison points above.


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

#r #programming 

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 

Navigating Between DOM Nodes in JavaScript

In the previous chapters you've learnt how to select individual elements on a web page. But there are many occasions where you need to access a child, parent or ancestor element. See the JavaScript DOM nodes chapter to understand the logical relationships between the nodes in a DOM tree.

DOM node provides several properties and methods that allow you to navigate or traverse through the tree structure of the DOM and make changes very easily. In the following section we will learn how to navigate up, down, and sideways in the DOM tree using JavaScript.

Accessing the Child Nodes

You can use the firstChild and lastChild properties of the DOM node to access the first and last direct child node of a node, respectively. If the node doesn't have any child element, it returns null.

Example

<div id="main">
    <h1 id="title">My Heading</h1>
    <p id="hint"><span>This is some text.</span></p>
</div>

<script>
var main = document.getElementById("main");
console.log(main.firstChild.nodeName); // Prints: #text

var hint = document.getElementById("hint");
console.log(hint.firstChild.nodeName); // Prints: SPAN
</script>

Note: The nodeName is a read-only property that returns the name of the current node as a string. For example, it returns the tag name for element node, #text for text node, #comment for comment node, #document for document node, and so on.

If you notice the above example, the nodeName of the first-child node of the main DIV element returns #text instead of H1. Because, whitespace such as spaces, tabs, newlines, etc. are valid characters and they form #text nodes and become a part of the DOM tree. Therefore, since the <div> tag contains a newline before the <h1> tag, so it will create a #text node.

To avoid the issue with firstChild and lastChild returning #text or #comment nodes, you could alternatively use the firstElementChild and lastElementChild properties to return only the first and last element node, respectively. But, it will not work in IE 9 and earlier.

Example

<div id="main">
    <h1 id="title">My Heading</h1>
    <p id="hint"><span>This is some text.</span></p>
</div>

<script>
var main = document.getElementById("main");
alert(main.firstElementChild.nodeName); // Outputs: H1
main.firstElementChild.style.color = "red";

var hint = document.getElementById("hint");
alert(hint.firstElementChild.nodeName); // Outputs: SPAN
hint.firstElementChild.style.color = "blue";
</script>

Similarly, you can use the childNodes property to access all child nodes of a given element, where the first child node is assigned index 0. Here's an example:

Example

<div id="main">
    <h1 id="title">My Heading</h1>
    <p id="hint"><span>This is some text.</span></p>
</div>

<script>
var main = document.getElementById("main");

// First check that the element has child nodes 
if(main.hasChildNodes()) {
    var nodes = main.childNodes;
    
    // Loop through node list and display node name
    for(var i = 0; i < nodes.length; i++) {
        alert(nodes[i].nodeName);
    }
}
</script>

The childNodes returns all child nodes, including non-element nodes like text and comment nodes. To get a collection of only elements, use children property instead.

Example

<div id="main">
    <h1 id="title">My Heading</h1>
    <p id="hint"><span>This is some text.</span></p>
</div>

<script>
var main = document.getElementById("main");

// First check that the element has child nodes 
if(main.hasChildNodes()) {
    var nodes = main.children;
    
    // Loop through node list and display node name
    for(var i = 0; i < nodes.length; i++) {
        alert(nodes[i].nodeName);
    }
}
</script>

#javascript 

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