Swift

What are primary associated types in Swift 5.7?

Published on: June 8, 2022

Swift 5.7 introduces many new features that involve generics and protocols. In this post, we're going to explore an extremely powerful new features that's called "primary associated types". By the end of this post you will know and understand what primary associated types are, and why I think they are extremely important and powerful to help you write better code. If your familiar with Swift 5.6 or earlier, you might know that protocols with associated types have always been somewhat of an interesting beast. They were hard to use sometimes, and before Swift 5.1 we would always have to resort...

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What’s the difference between any and some in Swift 5.7?

Published on: June 8, 2022

Protocols are an extremely important part in the Swift language, and in recent updates we've received some new capabilities around protocol and generics that allow us to be much more intentional about how we use protocols in our code. This is done through the any and some keywords. In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about the similarities and differences between these two keywords. We'll start with an introduction of each keyword, and then you'll learn a bit more about the problems each keyword solves, and how you can decide whether you should use some or...

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Formatting dates in Swift using Date.FormatStyle on iOS 15

Published on: May 27, 2022

Formatting dates in Swift using Date.FormatStyle on iOS 15 Working with dates isn’t easy. And showing them to your users in the correct locale hasn’t always been easy either. With iOS 15, Apple introduced a new way to convert Date objects from and to String. This new way comes in the form of the new Formatter api that replaces DateFormatter. As any seasoned iOS developer will tell you, DateFormatter objects are expensive to create, and therefor kind of tedious to manage correctly. With the new Formatter api, we no longer need to work with DateFormatter. Instead, we can ask a...

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Closures in Swift explained

Published on: May 23, 2022

Closures are a powerful programming concept that enable many different programming patterns. However, for lots of beginning programmers, closures can be tricky to use and understand. This is especially true when closures are used in an asynchronous context. For example, when they’re used as completion handlers or if they’re passed around in an app so they can be called later. In this post, I will explain what closures are in Swift, how they work, and most importantly I will show you various examples of closures with increasing complexity. By the end of this post you will understand everything you need...

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What is the “any” keyword in Swift?

Published on: March 15, 2022

This article has been updated for Swift 5.7 With Swift 5.6, Apple added a new keyword to the Swift language: any. As you'll see in this post, usage of the any keyword looks very similar to how you use the some keyword. They're both bput in front of protocols, and they both tell us something about how that protocol is used. Once you dig deeper into what any means, you'll find that it's very different from some. In fact, you might come to the conclusion that any is somewhat of the opposite of some. In this post, you will learn...

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Using Swift’s async/await to build an image loader

Published on: September 6, 2021

Async/await will be the defacto way of doing asynchronous programming on iOS 15 and above. I've already written quite a bit about the new Swift Concurrency features, and there's still plenty to write about. In this post, I'm going to take a look at building an asynchronous image loader that has support for caching. SwiftUI on iOS 15 already has a component that allows us to load images from the network but it doesn't support caching (other than what’s already offered by URLSession), and it only works with a URL rather than also accepting a URLRequest. The component will be...

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Building a token refresh flow with async/await and Swift Concurrency

Published on: August 16, 2021

One of my favorite concurrency problems to solve is building concurrency-proof token refresh flows. Refreshing authentication tokens is something that a lot of us deal with regularly, and doing it correctly can be a pretty challenging task. Especially when you want to make sure you only issue a single token refresh request even if multiple network calls encounter the need to refresh a token. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you automatically retry a request that failed due to a token expiration after you've obtained a new (valid) authentication token. I wrote about a flow that does this before,...

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Using Swift Concurrency’s task group for tasks with varying output

Published on: August 9, 2021

Earlier, I published a post on Swift Concurrency's task groups. If you haven't read that post yet, and you're not familiar with task groups, I recommend that you read that post first because I won't be explaining task groups in this post. Instead, you will learn about a technique that you can use to work around a limitation of task groups. Task groups can run a number of child tasks where every child task in the task group produces the same output. This is a hard requirement of the withTaskGroup function. This means that task groups are not the right...

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Running tasks concurrently with Swift Concurrency’s async let

Published on: August 9, 2021

In last week's post, I demonstrated how you can use a task group in Swift to concurrently run multiple tasks that produce the same output. This is useful when you're loading a bunch of images, or in any other case where you have a potentially undefined number of tasks to run, as long as you (somehow) make sure that every task in your group produces the same output. Unfortunately, this isn't always a reasonable thing to do. For example, you might already know that you only have a very limited, predetermined, number of tasks that you want to run. These...

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Running tasks in parallel with Swift Concurrency’s task groups

Published on: August 5, 2021

With Apple's overhaul of how concurrency will work in Swift 5.5 and newer, we need to learn a lot of things from scratch. While we might have used DispatchQueue.async or other mechanisms to kick off multiple asynchronous tasks in the past, we shouldn't use these older concurrency tools in Swift's new concurrency model. Luckily, Swift Concurrency comes with many features already which means that for a lot of our old uses cases, a new paradigm exists. In this post, you will learn what Swift Concurrency's task groups are, and how you can use them to concurrently perform a lot of...

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