The Difference between Entity and Value Object, and How They Relate to Swift's Identifiable and Equatable Protocols

Helge Heß recently posted on Mastodon that he “still find[s] it disturbing how many #SwiftLang devs implement Equatable as something that breaks the Equatable contract, just to please some API requiring it. Feels like they usually should implement Identifiable and build on top of that instead.”

Continue reading …

Configuration Objects and the Then Microframework

When parameter lists grow or two kinds of parameters seem to go together a lot, it’s time use the extract parameter object refactoring for greater good – then you can even specify sensible defaults.

This is a typical way to pass a set of options to an objects during initialization in a language like Swift. In languages like JavaScript or Ruby, dictionaries of key–value pairs can work just as well. Using dictionaries in Swift for this can be a pain, though.

Now Soroush wrote about a way that uses the Then microframework as a replacement for configuaration dictionaries. This way you don’t have to promote every property to the initializer’s list of parameters. Here’s a before and after, where you can see that without then you have to write a lot of repeating boilerplate:

// Before

struct FieldData {
    let title: String
    let placeholder: String
    let keyboardType: UIKeyboardType
    let secureEntry: Bool
    let autocorrectType: UITextAutocorrectionType
    let autocapitalizationType: UITextAutocapitalizationType

    init(title: String,
        placeholder: String = "",
        keyboardType: UIKeyboardType = .Default,
        secureEntry: Bool = false,
        autocorrectType: UITextAutocorrectionType = .None,
        autocapitalizationType: UITextAutocapitalizationType = .None)
            self.title = title
            self.placeholder = placeholder
            self.keyboardType = keyboardType
            self.secureEntry = secureEntry
            self.autocorrectType = autocorrectType
            self.autocapitalizationType = autocapitalizationType

let fieldData = FieldData(title: "Password", secureEntry: true)

Now with then, making non-mandatory properties mutable and getting rid of the boilerplate:

// After

struct FieldData {
    let title: String
    var placeholder = ""
    var keyboardType = UIKeyboardType.Default
    var secureEntry = false
    var autocorrectType = UITextAutocorrectionType.No
    var autocapitalizationType = UITextAutocapitalizationType.None

    init(title: String) {
        self.title = title

let fieldData = FieldData(title: "Password").then({
    $0.secureEntry = true

That’s a Swift alternative to Ruby’s hash-based option initializers. There, the dictionary’s key is used as the setter’s name which is then invoked like so:

class Example
  attr_reader :name, :age
  def initialize(args)
    args.each do |k,v|
      instance_variable_set("@#{k}", v) unless v.nil?

e1 = :name => 'foo', :age => 33
#=> #<Example:0x3f9a1c @name="foo", @age=33>

Always Write Functions to Cope with all Possible Parameter Values

Matt Galagher is back writing at Cocoa with Love. His goal is maintainability, which is the greatest of all, I think. It’s easy to copy code samples together to create an app, bur it’s hard to create a product you can keep alive and make better over years. In that vein, his first article, “Partial functions in Swift, Part 1: Avoidance”, includes a lot of details why partial functions will hurt you. This is a great topic. Read his post for the basic set theory involved.

Continue reading …