My original article — “Protocol-oriented Data Structures in Swift 4: A Generic Doubly Linked List” — was published on appcoda.com.
Let’s talk about creating a list on steroids, i.e., a generic doubly linked list in Swift. For our purposes here, a list is a software receptacle that contains related data that we’re interested in inspecting, organizing, manipulating, etc. A doubly linked list stores a list of “nodes.” Each node contains data, knows about the preceding node in the list, and knows about the following node in the list. We’ll talk about adding nodes to the list, removing nodes from the list, displaying information stored in nodes in the list, and traversing the list. I’ve used the term generic because you’ll see that I can store store pretty much every built-in or custom Swift type in my linked list, like
CGAffineTransform… You can even store a collection of instances of a custom class or struct in my list (see section “Storing custom types” below). Most importantly, I’ll show you how to move towards generic programming, also known as generics, parametric polymorphism, templates, or parameterized types, where, when possible, we can write code that applies to many types, and thus reduces code redundancy.
Continue reading “Building a generic doubly linked list using protocol-oriented Swift 4”
The code shown herein will only compile and link in Xcode 10 beta and run on iOS 12 beta and/or OS X 10.14 beta.
While working on a Swift protocol-oriented and generic linked list, I got to thinking about Apple’s “improvements” to version 4.2 of their flagship language. Since a linked list is a list, I thought, “Why not add a subscript to my linked list to facilitate finding specific nodes in my list?” I did that in Swift 4.1 and got what most developers would’ve expected, e.g., used
linkedList["node4"] to get the node in the list associated with the keyword “node4.” With Swift 4.2, I can use the controversial new
@dynamicMemberLookup language attribute and implement dot/member notation, like
Continue reading “Swift 4.2 improvements? Member/dot syntax for subscripts. Trying it out in a protocol-oriented, generic linked list.”
The code shown herein will only compile and link in Xcode 10 beta and run in iOS 12 beta and/or OS X 10.14 beta.
We’re in the middle of Apple’s annual product upgrade cycle and this article is the first in a series of tutorials meant to highlight the most important new features of Swift 4.2. Instead of trying to cover all of the 4.2 features/improvements in one very long article, I’m going go talk about each aspect of the new 4.2 version, one or two features at a time. (If you’re interested in more details as to why I’m focused on 4.2, see section “Swift version methodology” below.) Today, I’ll cover the
allSatisfy(_:) instance method (see also here) of the
Sequence protocol (see also here), of course intimately related to the
Collection protocol (see also here).
Continue reading “Swift 4.2 improvements to Collection and Sequence protocols with method allSatisfy”
Have you ever wondered how all those people out there figured out how to manipulate the iOS file system in their apps? For some strange reason, Apple has never provided well-organized documentation on the subject. Here’s how I feel: “Ask and simple question and get an obtuse and overly complex answer.” There are many articles and tutorials out there, including my own, showing you examples of Objective-C or Swift code for manipulating the iOS file system, and most of the code looks basically the same. Nonetheless, this code is deceivingly complex, often underestimated, and rarely well-explained or well-understood.
Where did everybody find this boilerplate code? From simple observation, I’ve found that in many cases, developers use a copy and paste methodology, i.e., look up a few keywords in a web search engine, find the code needed on sites like StackOverflow or some blog, copy it, paste it into an Xcode project, and beat on it until it works. I don’t want you to feel this way after reading my tutorials.
I hope you’ll find it edifying and interesting to read about how I figured out how to understand and navigate the iOS file system using the “most of the code looks basically the same” boilerplates. But I bet you’ll find it even more intriguing to find that I’ve discovered an much better alternative to the boilerplate code.
Continue reading “The iOS file system in-depth (and how to be the best using critical thinking)”
NOTE: My latest tutorial has just been released, which uses the code shown herein to introduce error handling in Swift 4.
[Download the Xcode 9 project from GitHub so you can follow along with my code explanation and try iOS file management features yourself!]
How many of you have written iOS apps that work with files? I’m talking about developing apps that read, write, create, copy, move, and delete files in the app’s sandboxed file system. I’m not talking about reading an image from your app bundle so you can display it on screen, like so:
let image = UIImage(named: "background.png")
I’m talking about apps like Adobe Photoshop Express which is only useful if it can edit image files; Apple’s Pages and Numbers apps which are only useful if they can edit word processor and spreadsheet/chart files, respectively; and, Microsoft Word which is only useful if it can edit word processor documents. Yes, you can solely work from/in the cloud with all these apps, but you can also opt to store files locally on your devices. What if you open an email attachment or download a file from Safari? I guarantee you that many apps with associations to certain file extensions store those attachments or downloads locally first for editing and display, and only later sync files with iCloud or Dropbox.
Continue reading “iOS file management with FileManager in protocol-oriented Swift 4”
The original article – Protocol Oriented Programming in Swift: Is it better than Object Oriented Programming? – was published on appcoda.com.
We’re going to talk in-depth about protocol-oriented programming (POP) using Swift 4 in this article. This post is the second and final article in a two part series. If you haven’t read the first, introductory article, please do so before continuing onwards. Today, we’ll: discuss why Swift is considered a “protocol-oriented” language, compare POP and object-oriented programming (OOP), compare value semantics and reference semantics, consider local reasoning, implement delegation with protocols, use protocols as types, use protocol polymorphism, review my real-world POP Swift code, and finally, discuss why I’ve not bought 100% into POP. Download the source code from the article so you can follow along: There are 2 playgrounds and one project on GitHub, both in Xcode 9 format and written in Swift 4.
Continue reading “Protocol Oriented Programming in Swift: Advanced Applications”
My original article — Protocol Oriented Programming in Swift: An Introduction — was published on appcoda.com.
(The second and final installment of this series is now available.)
The greatest enemy of software developers is complexity, so when I hear about new technologies promising to help me manage chaos, I listen. One of the “hot” methodologies generating much attention recently (at least since 2015) is “protocol-oriented programming” (POP) in Swift. We’ll use Swift 4 herein. While writing my own code, I’ve found POP to be promising. What’s very intriguing is Apple’s assertion that “at its heart, Swift is protocol-oriented.” I’d like to share my experiences with POP in a formal presentation, a clear and concise tutorial on this up-and-coming technology. I’ll explain the key concepts, provide plenty of code samples, make the inevitable comparison between POP and object-oriented programming (OOP), and pour cold water on the fad-oriented programming (FOP?) crowds’ claim that POP is a magic bullet solution to everything.
Continue reading “Protocol Oriented Programming in Swift: An Introduction”
[Download Xcode 9 project with full Objective-C source from GitHub.]
I’m going to talk about “delegates” and “delegation.” I’ll lead you through a simple example of implementing the delegation design pattern in Objective-C, with full source code, and then show you a more sophisticated scenario. My intent here is to show you how delegation works without getting bogged down in some crazy complex example. Download the Xcode 9 project with full Objective-C source from GitHub to follow along.
I’ll show you how to build a user interface (UI) component, a status/progress indicator, which you can display on screen for processing-intensive tasks… AND I’ll show you how you can customize the behavior of the indicator by using delegation. For example, when the indicator starts, you could disable your UI; when the indicator stops, you could re-enable your UI; and, when the user taps the indicator, you could cancel processing-intensive tasks. Here’s the app we’ll build:
Continue reading “Tutorial: delegates and delegation in Objective-C”
NOTE: Learn all about protocol-oriented programming in Swift here, here, and here.
[Download two Xcode 9 playgrounds with full Swift 4 source from GitHub.]
We’re going to talk about “protocols” in the Swift 4 language today. I’ll explain them conceptually, and then we’ll start coding protocols with a simple example. We’ll then create our own versions of the Apple built-in
Comparable protocols, and apply them to two real-world classes, one for tracking financial securities and one for representing geometric lines/vectors. Finally, we’ll test our geometric “Line” class in a type of Swift playground that supports rendering user interface components (like
UIView) live in the simulator. But first, please ponder the layman’s definition of the word “protocol” before moving on:
… The official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions. …
The accepted or established code of procedure or behaviour in any group, organization, or situation. …
A procedure for carrying out a scientific experiment…
Apple’s “The Swift Programming Language (Swift 4.0.3)” documentation states:
Continue reading “Understanding Swift 4 protocols and using them in your apps”