Mislav Javor

2 Interesting Swift Style Patterns


Without doubt, styling our code properly is not a task to be pushed aside. Often times, we’ll just type away - leaving the file when the code compiles and does what we expect it to do.

But during all of this - we mustn’t forget:

Code is written once by one person, but read multiple times by multiple people

– Some smart guy

General code style guides and Swift code style guides are commonplace and I don’t mean to repeat them. For now I’ll just demonstrate two cool patterns that I wish I saw more often

1. “Nested” guard

The pattern looks like this:

Let’s assume we’re working with optional-heavy code. This could turn into tower-of-doom if let chains. Or we could use guard and have a tidy code structure where the code shape encapsulates functionality

func foo(optionalA: String?, optionalB: String?, model: Model?) throws {
      let firstName = optionalA,
      let address = model?.address,
      let color = model.color
    else {
      // Handle error

2. “Static” structures

Sometimes we’ll use our struct as a type of namespace or value holder type. We don’t want them to be initializable. One way to ensure this is by creating a private constructor. We can put the constructor anywhere in the code - but I think the best place to put it inline with the declaration of the struct. That way everything it’s crystal clear what the semantic purpose of the struct is

struct ColorUtilities { private init(){}
    static func darkenColor(color: UIColor) -> UIColor{
        // implemntation

struct Constants { private init(){}
    static let baseURL = "https://api.mysite.com/v1/"

EDIT: Some commenters made good remarks about alternate approaches to this problem. I’ll put them in the addition:

2.1. Using @available attribute

@available(*, unavailable, message: "Don't even think about it")
init() { }

2.2. Using enums instead

Since, in Swift, empty enums don’t have a constructor (empty meaning an enum without any case clauses) - they can be used as static “namespace” types. Only thing this won’t allow you to do - is to add a StructName.shared type singleton if at a later point you need some configuration

enum ColorUtilities {
    static func darkenColor(color: UIColor) -> UIColor {

2.3. Extensions

While some propsed extensions to existing types for store of info, I don’t like that approach since extensions are, by default, pollutatns. I do think they have a place and a purpose - but they can be detrimental to your code quality - specially if you’re building a framework


Writing readable code isn’t hard and it will help you in the long run. Always think how readable the code will be before writing it

Happy Coding 💻

Mislav Javor

I'm an entrepreneur and a software developer. CEO of a blockchain startup aiming to simplify buying and selling of electricity. Actively participating in the proliferation of healthy (technology oriented) blockchain culture. Organizer of Blockchain Development Meetup Zagreb, lectured at HUB385 Academy and University of Osijek on topics of smart comtract development. In my free time, I'm a singer and a guitar/piano player. Contact at mislav@ampnet.io

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