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Coursera's Swift Style Guide
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Coursera Swift coding guidelines


  • No semicolons, unless they are required.
  • No parentheses, unless they are required.
  • Each variable or constant must be on a separate line.
  • let is preferred, var is only used when mutability is strictly required.
  • Always use named parameters.
  • Indentation = 4 spaces (no TABs).

Variables or constants

  • Avoid using self to keep code clean. Swift does not require the use of self. Use self only when absolutely needed.
  • Use type inference as far as possible.


let course = "Course"
var courseTitle: String

Not preferred

let course: String = "Course"

Ordering instance variables

Order the instance variables in the class, with this order:

  • Immutable
  • Optional immutable
  • Variables
  • Optional variables


if let name = optionalName {
  	greeting = "Hello, \(name)"
} else {
    greeting = "Bye"


Use if let syntax if the unwrapping involves more than 1 statement or when the optional is to be used as a conditional.

Use ? in other cases.


if let unwrapped = optional {
	  unwrapped statement 1;
	  unwrapped statement 2;

optional?.optionalFunction()  // evaluates to nil if optional is not present

Use optional chaining when you need to go through a series of optionals.


if let validCorgis = coursera.mobileTeam?.coreTeam?.corgis {


  • Class prefixes are not needed.


  • Always use named parameters when using tuples in functions using the # parameter.
  • Nest functions whenever possible.


func findIndexOfString(#inputString: String, #array: [String]) -> (index: Int?, name: String?) {
    for (index, value) in enumerate(array) {
        if (value == string) {
            return (index, string)
    return (nil, nil)


  • Functional Guidelines
    • If a class wants to KVO a property then it must supply a class context.
    • Super should be called in the KVO observation function.
    • Always remove observer on deinit.
  • Style Guidelines
    • Each KVO key path match should call its own update/changed function.
    • Switch statements are often the best way to follow the logical 'return-first' guideline for the observer function.
      • Remember, in Swift cases do not fall-through by default.


import Foundation
class ClassB: NSObject {
    var someProperty: Int = 0

private var NewClassKVOContext = "NewClassKVOContext"

class NewClass: NSObject {
    var classB: ClassB

    override init() {
        classB = ClassB()
        classB.addObserver(self, forKeyPath: "someProperty", options: .Initial | .New, context: &newClassKVOContext)

    // MARK: KVO Methods

    override func observeValueForKeyPath(keyPath: String!, ofObject object: AnyObject!, change: [NSObject : AnyObject]!, context: UnsafeMutablePointer<Void>) {
        if context != &newClassKVOContext {
            super.observeValueForKeyPath(keyPath, ofObject: object, change: change, context: context)

        switch keyPath {
        case "someProperty":
            super.observeValueForKeyPath(keyPath, ofObject: object, change: change, context: context)

    func somePropertyChanged(someProperty: AnyObject?) {
        if let validSomeProperty = someProperty as? Bool {
            // Do something

    // MARK: Deinit

    deinit {
        classB.removeObserver(self, forKeyPath: "someProperty", context: &newClassKVOContext)
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