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eureka

Swift Style Guide

English | 日本語

This style guide is a product of our iOS team's more than a year writing, reviewing, and testing Swift code. It reflects the coding rules we have observed as "efficient" in our production apps.

The guidelines here try to accomplish/encourage practices that accomplish the following goals:

  • to make it hard to write programmer errors, or at least make them hard to miss
  • to increase readability and clarity of intent, with assumption that the code will be reviewed/consumed by a different person
  • to minimize unnecessary code bloat
  • to observe aesthetics that the majority of the team voted for

We understand that a quite a few of the guidelines below are controversial and may even be opposite what the Swift community generally observes, but we have tried and tested these practices in a team environment and they work for us.

That said, this is a live document. As our app grows, our team improves, and Swift evolves, our practices will adapt as well and this list will be updated if needed.

Table of Contents

Styles and Conventions

Formatting

Semicolons

Trailing semicolons (;) are not allowed.

OKNG
self.backgroundColor = UIColor.whiteColor()
self.completion = { 
    // ...
}
self.backgroundColor = UIColor.whiteColor();
self.completion = { 
    // ...
};

Rationale: There is no practical advantage of using trailing semicolons. It is, however, a very good way to catch someone copy-pasting Objective-C code ;)

Whitespaces

Use 4 spaces for tabs.

Set Xcode's Text Editing settings as shown:

screen shot 2016-02-10 at 15 29 59

Rationale: Maintains visually similar indentation across different text editors.

All source files should end with a single trailing newline (only).

OKNG
class Button {
  // ...
}
// <-- One line here
class Button {
  // ...
} // <-- No new line after
class Button {
  // ...
}
// <-- One line here
// <-- Another line here

Rationale: Prevents no-trailing-newline errors and reduces noise in commit diffs.

All functions should be at least one empty line apart each other.

OK
class BaseViewController: UIViewController {
    // ...
override viewDidLoad() {
    // ...
}

override viewWillAppear(animated: Bool) {
    // ...
}

}

Rationale: Gives breathing room between code blocks.

Use single spaces around operator definitions and operator calls.

OKNG
func <| (lhs: Int, rhs: Int) -> Int {
    // ...
}
let value = 1 <| 2
func <|(lhs: Int, rhs: Int) -> Int {
    // ...
}
let value = 1<|2

Rationale: Readability.

Use single spaces around return arrows (->) both in functions and in closures.

OKNG
func doSomething(value: Int) -> Int {
    // ...
}
func doSomething(value: Int)->Int {
    // ...
}

Rationale: Readability.

Commas

Commas (,) should have no whitespace before it, and should have either one space or one newline after.

OKNG
let array = [1, 2, 3]
let array = [1,2,3]
let array = [1 ,2 ,3]
let array = [1 , 2 , 3]
self.presentViewController(
    controller,
    animated: true,
    completion: nil
)
self.presentViewController(
    controller ,
    animated: true,completion: nil
)

Rationale: Keeps comma-separated items visually separate.

Colons

Colons (:) used to indicate type should have one space after it and should have no whitespace before it.

OKNG
func createItem(item: Item)
func createItem(item:Item)
func createItem(item :Item)
func createItem(item : Item)
var item: Item? = nil
var item:Item? = nil
var item :Item? = nil
var item : Item? = nil

Rationale: The colon describes the object to its left, not the right. (Just how we write colons in english)

Colons (:) for case statements should have no whitespace before it, and should have either one space or one newline after it.

OKNG
switch result {
case .Success:
self.completion()
case .Failure:
self.failure()
}
switch result {
case .Success :
self.completion()
case .Failure:self.reportError()
}

Rationale: Same as he previous rule, the colon describes the object to its left, not the right.

Braces

Open braces ({) should be one space following the previous non-whitespace character.

OKNG
class Icon {
    // ...
}
class Icon{
    // ...
}
let block = { () -> Void in
    // ...
}
let block ={ () -> Void in
    // ...
}

Rationale: Separates the brace from the declaration.

Open braces ({) for type declarations, functions, and closures should be followed by one empty line. Single-statement closures can be written in one line.

OKNG
class Icon {
let image: UIImage
var completion: (() -> Void)

init(image: UIImage) {

    self.image = image
    self.completion = { [weak self] in self?.didComplete() }
}

func doSomething() {

    self.doSomethingElse()
}

}
class Icon {
    let image: UIImage
init(image: UIImage) {
    self.image = image
    self.completion = { [weak self] in print("done"); self?.didComplete() }
}

func doSomething() { self.doSomethingElse() }

}

Rationale: Gives breathing room when scanning for code.

Empty declarations should be written in empty braces ({}), otherwise a comment should indicate the reason for the empty implementation.

OKNG
extension Icon: Equatable {}
extension Icon: Equatable {
}
var didTap: () -> Void = {}
override func drawRect(rect: CGRect) {}
@objc dynamic func controllerDidChangeContent(controller: NSFetchedResultsController) {
// do nothing; delegate method required to enable tracking mode

}
var didTap: () -> Void = { }
override func drawRect(rect: CGRect) {
}
@objc dynamic func controllerDidChangeContent(controller: NSFetchedResultsController) {
}

Rationale: Makes it clear that the declaration was meant to be empty and not just a missing TODO.

Close braces (}) should not have empty lines before it. For single line expressions enclosed in braces, there should be one space between the last statement and the closing brace.

OKNG
class Button {
var didTap: (sender: Button) -> Void = { _ in }

func tap() {

    self.didTap()
}

}
class Button {
var didTap: (sender: Button) -> Void = {_ in}

func tap() {

    self.didTap()
    
}

}

Rationale: Provides breathing room between declarations while keeping code compact.

Close braces (}) unless on the same line as its corresponding open brace ({), should be left-aligned with the statement that declared the open brace.

OKNG
lazy var largeImage: UIImage = { () -> UIImage in
let image = // ...
return image

}()
lazy var largeImage: UIImage = { () -> UIImage in
let image = // ...
return image
}()

Rationale: Close braces left-aligned with their opening statements visually express their scopes pretty well. This rule is the basis for the succeeding formatting guidelines below.

Properties

The get and set statement and their close braces (}) should all be left-aligned. If the statement in the braces can be expressed in a single line, the get and set declaration can be inlined.

The rules on braces apply.

OKNG
struct Rectangle {
// ...
var right: Float {

    get {
    
        return self.x + self.width
    }
    set {
    
        self.x = newValue - self.width
    }
}

}
struct Rectangle {
// ...
var right: Float {

    get
    {
        return self.x + self.width
    }
    set
    {
        self.x = newValue - self.width
    }
}

}
struct Rectangle {
// ...
var right: Float {

    get { return self.x + self.width }
    set { self.x = newValue - self.width }
}

}
struct Rectangle {
// ...
var right: Float {

    get { return self.x + self.width }
    set { self.x = newValue - self.width
        print(self) 
    }
}

}

Rationale: Combined with the rules on braces, this formatting provides very good consistency and scannability.

Read-only computed properties should ommit the get clause.

OKNG
struct Rectangle {
// ...
var right: Float {

    return self.x + self.width
}

}
struct Rectangle {
// ...
var right: Float {

    get {
    
        return self.x + self.width
    }
}

}

Rationale: The return statement provides enough clarity that lets us use the more compact form.

Control Flow Statements

if, else, switch, do, catch, repeat, guard, for, while, and defer statements should be left-aligned with their respective close braces (}).

The rules on braces apply.

OKNG
if array.isEmpty {
    // ...
}
else {
    // ...
}
if array.isEmpty {
    // ...
} else {
    // ...
}
if array.isEmpty
{
    // ...
}
else
{
    // ...
}

Rationale: Combined with the rules on braces, this formatting provides very good consistency and scannability. Close braces left-aligned with their respective control flow statements visually express their scopes pretty well.

case statements should be left-aligned with the switch statement. Single-line case statements can be inlined and written compact. Multi-line case statements should be indented below case: and separated with one empty line.

The rules on braces apply.

OKNG
switch result {
case .Success:
self.doSomething()
self.doSomethingElse()
case .Failure:
self.doSomething()
self.doSomethingElse()
}
switch result {
case .Success: self.doSomething()
self.doSomethingElse()
case .Failure: self.doSomething()
self.doSomethingElse()
}
switch result {
case .Success: self.doSomething()
case .Failure: self.doSomethingElse()
}
switch result {
case .Success: self.doSomething()
case .Failure: self.doSomethingElse()

}

Rationale: Reliance on Xcode's auto-indentation. For multi-line statements, separating cases with empty lines enhance visual separation.

Conditions for if, switch, for, and while statements should not be enclosed in parentheses (()).

OKNG
if array.isEmpty {
    // ...
}
if (array.isEmpty) {
    // ...
}

Rationale: This isn't Objective-C.

Try to avoid nesting statements by returning early when possible.

OKNG
guard let strongSelf = self else {
return

}
// do many things with strongSelf
if let strongSelf = self {
// do many things with strongSelf

}

Rationale: The more nested scopes to keep track of, the heavier the burden of scanning code.

Naming

Naming rules are mostly based on Apple's naming conventions, since we'll end up consuming their API anyway.

Capitalization

Type names (class, struct, enum, protocol) should be in UpperCamelCase.

OKNG
class ImageButton {
enum ButtonState {
    // ...
}

}
class image_button {
enum buttonState {
    // ...
}

}

Rationale: Adopt Apple's naming rules for uniformity.

enum values and OptionSetType values should be in UpperCamelCase.

OKNG
enum ErrorCode {
case Unknown
  case NetworkNotFound
  case InvalidParameters

}
struct CacheOptions : OptionSetType {
static let None = CacheOptions(rawValue: 0)
static let MemoryOnly = CacheOptions(rawValue: 1)
static let DiskOnly = CacheOptions(rawValue: 2)
static let All: CacheOptions = [.MemoryOnly, .DiskOnly]
// ...

}
enum ErrorCode {
case unknown
  case network_not_found
  case invalidParameters

}
struct CacheOptions : OptionSetType {
static let none = CacheOptions(rawValue: 0)
static let memory_only = CacheOptions(rawValue: 1)
static let diskOnly = CacheOptions(rawValue: 2)
static let all: CacheOptions = [.memory_only, .diskOnly]
// ...

}

Rationale: Adopt Apple's naming rules for uniformity.

Variables and functions should be in lowerCamelCase, including statics and constants. An exception is acronyms, which should be UPPERCASE.

OKNG
var webView: UIWebView?
var URLString: String?
func didTapReloadButton() {
// ..
}
var web_view: UIWebView?
var urlString: String?
func DidTapReloadButton() {
// ..
}

Rationale: Adopt Apple's naming rules for uniformity. As for acronyms, the readability makes keeping them upper-case worth it.

Semantics

Avoid single-character names for types, variables, and functions. The only place they are allowed is as indexes in iterators.

OKNG
for (i, value) in array.enumerate() {
    // ... "i" is well known
}
for (i, v) in array.enumerate() {
    // ... what's "v"?
}

Rationale: There is always a better name than single-character names. Even with i, it is still more readable to use index instead.

Avoid abbreviations as much as possible. (although some are allowed such as min/max)

OKNG
let errorCode = error.code
let err = error.code

Rationale: Clarity is prioritized over slight brevity.

Choose a name that communicates as much information about what it is and what it's for.

OKNG
class Article {
var title: String

}
class Article {
var text: String
// is this the title or the content text?

}
Better
class NewsArticle {
var headlineTitle: String

}

Rationale: Clarity is prioritized over slight brevity. Also, the more specific the name, the less likely they are to collide with other symbols.

When pertaining to URLs, distinguish strings from actual NSURLs by appending the suffix ~String.

OKNG
var requestURL: NSURL
var sourceURLString: String
func loadURL(URL: NSURL) {
// ...
}
func loadURLString(URLString: String) {
// ...
}
var requestURL: NSURL
var sourceURL: String
func loadURL(URL: NSURL) {
// ...
}
func loadURL(URL: String) {
// ...
}

Rationale: Saves a few seconds checking header declarations for the correct type.

Do not pertain to constructs (class, struct, enum, protocol, etc.) in their names.

OKNG
class User {
    // ...
}
enum Result {
// ...
}
protocol Queryable {
// ...
}
class UserClass {
    // ...
}
enum ResultEnum {
// ...
}
protocol QueryableProtocol {
// ...
}

Rationale: The extra suffix is redundant. It should be noted though that Objective-C protocols with the same name as an existing Objective-C class are bridged to Swift with a ~Protocol suffix (e.g. NSObject and NSObjectProtocol). But they are irrelevant to this guideline as they are automatically generated by the Swift compiler.

Dependencies

Import Statements

import statements for OS frameworks and external frameworks should be separated and alphabetized.

OKNG
import Foundation
import UIKit
import Alamofire
import Cartography
import SwiftyJSON
import Foundation
import Alamofire
import SwiftyJSON
import UIKit
import Cartography

Rationale: Reduce merge conflicts when dependencies change between branches.

Declaration Order

All type declarations such as class, struct, enum, extension, and protocols, should be marked with // MARK: - <name of declaration> (with hyphen)

OKNG
// MARK: - Icon
class Icon {
// MARK: - CornerType

enum CornerType {

    case Square
    case Rounded
}
// ...

}
// Icon
class Icon {
// MARK: CornerType

enum CornerType {

    case Square
    case Rounded
}
// ...

}

Rationale: Makes it easy to jump to specific types when using Xcode's Source Navigator.

All properties and methods should be grouped into the superclass/protocol they implement and should be tagged with // MARK: <superclass/protocol name>. The rest should be marked as either // MARK: Public, // MARK: Internal, or // MARK: Private.

OK
// MARK: - BaseViewController
class BaseViewController: UIViewController, UIScrollViewDelegate {
// MARK: Internal

weak var scrollView: UIScrollView?


// MARK: UIViewController

override func viewDidLoad() {
    // ...
}

override func viewWillAppear(animated: Bool) {
    // ...
}


// MARK: UIScrollViewDelegate

@objc dynamic func scrollViewDidScroll(scrollView: UIScrollView) {
    // ...
}


// MARK: Private

private var lastOffset = CGPoint.zero

}

Rationale: Makes it easy to locate where in the source code certain properties and functions are declared.

All // MARK: tags should have two empty lines above and one empty line below.

OKNG
import UIKit
// MARK: - BaseViewController
class BaseViewController: UIViewController {
// MARK: Internal

weak var scrollView: UIScrollView?


// MARK: UIViewController

override func viewDidLoad() {
    // ...
}

override func viewWillAppear(animated: Bool) {
    // ...
}


// MARK: Private

private var lastOffset = CGPoint.zero

}
import UIKit
// MARK: - BaseViewController
class BaseViewController: UIViewController {
// MARK: Internal
weak var scrollView: UIScrollView?

// MARK: UIViewController
override func viewDidLoad() {
    // ...
}

override func viewWillAppear(animated: Bool) {
    // ...
}

// MARK: Private
private var lastOffset = CGPoint.zero

}

Rationale: Aesthetic. Gives breathing room between type declarations and function groups.

The groupings for // MARK: tags should be ordered as follows:

  • // MARK: Public
  • // MARK: Internal
  • Class Inheritance (parent-most to child-most)
    • // MARK: NSObject
    • // MARK: UIResponder
    • // MARK: UIViewController
  • Protocol Inheritance (parent-most to child-most)
    • // MARK: UITableViewDataSource
    • // MARK: UIScrollViewDelegate
    • // MARK: UITableViewDelegate
  • // MARK: Private

Rationale: Makes it easy to locate where in the source code certain implementations are declared. public and internal declarations are more likely to be referred to by API consumers, so are declared at the top.

Under each grouping above, declarations should be ordered as follows:

  • @ properties (@NSManaged, @IBOutlet, @IBInspectable, @objc, @nonobjc, etc.)
  • lazy var properties
  • computed var properties
  • other var properties
  • let properties
  • @ functions (@NSManaged, @IBAction, @objc, @nonobjc, etc.)
  • other functions

Rationale: @ properties and functions are more likely to be referred to (such as when checking KVC keys or Selector strings, or when cross-referencing with Interface Builder) so are declared higher.

Best Practices

In general, all Xcode warnings should not be ignored. These include things like using let instead of var when possible, using _ in place of unused variables, etc.

Comments

Comments should be answering some form of "why?" question. Anything else should be explainable by the code itself, or not written at all.

OKNG
let leftMargin: CGFloat = 20
view.frame.x = leftMargin
view.frame.x = 20 // left margin
@objc dynamic func tableView(tableView: UITableView,
 heightForHeaderInSection section: Int) -> CGFloat {
return 0.01 // tableView ignores 0

}
@objc dynamic func tableView(tableView: UITableView,
 heightForHeaderInSection section: Int) -> CGFloat {
return 0.01 // return small number

}

Rationale: The best comment is the ones you don't need. If you have to write one be sure to explain the rationale behind the code, not just to simply state the obvious.

All temporary, unlocalized strings should be marked with // TODO: localize

OKNG
self.titleLabel.text = "Date Today:" // TODO: localize
self.titleLabel.text = "Date Today:"

Rationale: Features are usually debugged and tested in the native language and translated strings are usually tested separately. This guarantees that all unlocalized texts are accounted for and easy to find later on.

Protection from Dynamism

All Objective-C protocol implementations, whether properties or methods, should be prefixed with @objc dynamic

OKNG
@objc dynamic func scrollViewDidScroll(scrollView: UIScrollView) {
    // ...
}
func scrollViewDidScroll(scrollView: UIScrollView) {
    // ...
}

Rationale: Prevents horrible compiler optimization bugs. Trust us.

All IBActions and IBOutlets should be declared dynamic

OK
@IBOutlet private dynamic weak var closeButton: UIButton?
@IBAction private dynamic func closeButtonTouchUpInside(sender: UIButton) {
// ...
}

Rationale: The Swift compiler sometimes mangle these. Writing dynamic guarantees safety, even when we declare them as private.

All properties used for KVC/KVO and all functions used as Selectors should be marked dynamic

OK
override func viewDidLoad() {
super.viewDidLoad()
let gesture = UITapGestureRecognizer(target: self, action: "tapGestureRecognized:")
self.view.addGestureRecognizer(gesture)

}
private dynamic func tapGestureRecognized(sender: UITapGestureRecognizer) {
// ...
}

Rationale: Same reason as the preceding rule, the Swift compiler sometimes mangle these. Writing dynamic guarantees safety, even when we declare them as private.

All @IBOutlets should be declared weak. They should also be wrapped as Optional, not ImplicitlyUnwrappedOptional.

OKNG
@IBOutlet dynamic weak var profileIcon: UIImageView?
@IBOutlet var profileIcon: UIImageView!

Rationale: This guarantees safety even if subclasses opt to not create the view for the @IBOutlet. This also protects against crashes caused by properties being accessed before viewDidLoad(_:).

Access Modifiers

Design declarations as private by default and only expose as internal or public as the needs arise.

Rationale: This helps prevent pollution of XCode's auto-completion. In theory this should also help the compiler make better optimizations and build faster.

For library modules: all declarations should explicitly specify either public, internal, or private.

OKNG
private let defaultTimeout: NSTimeInterval = 30
internal class NetworkRequest {
// ...
}
let defaultTimeout: NSTimeInterval = 30
class NetworkRequest {
// ...
}

Rationale: Makes the intent clear for API consumers.

For application modules: public access is prohibited unless required by a protocol. The internal keyword may or may not be written, but the private keyword is required.

OKNG
private let someGlobal = "someValue"
class AppDelegate {
// ...
private var isForeground = false
}
public let someGlobal = "someValue"
public class AppDelegate {
// ...
var isForeground = false
}

Rationale: A public declaration in an app bundle does not make sense. In effect, declarations are assumed to be either internal or private, in which case it is sufficient to just require private explicitly.

Access modifiers should be written before all other non-@ modifiers.

OKNG
@objc internal class User: NSManagedObject {
    // ...
    @NSManaged internal dynamic var identifier: Int
    // ...
    @NSManaged private dynamic var internalCache: NSData?
}
internal @objc class User: NSManagedObject {
    // ...
    @NSManaged dynamic internal var identifier: Int
    // ...
    private @NSManaged dynamic var internalCache: NSData?
}

Rationale: Combined with the rules on declaration order, this improves readability when scanning code vertically.

Type Inference

Unless required, a variable/property declaration's type should be inferred from either the left or right side of the statement, but not both.

OKNG
var backgroundColor = UIColor.whiteColor()
var iconView = UIImageView(image)
var backgroundColor: UIColor = UIColor.whiteColor()
var iconView: UIImageView = UIImageView(image)
var lineBreakMode = NSLineBreakMode.ByWordWrapping
// or
var lineBreakMode: NSLineBreakMode = .ByWordWrapping
var lineBreakMode: NSLineBreakMode = NSLineBreakMode.ByWordWrapping

Rationale: Prevent redundancy. This also reduces ambiguity when binding to generic types.

When literal types are involved (StringLiteralConvertible, NilLiteralConvertible, etc), it is encouraged to specify the type explicitly and is preferrable over casting with as directly.

OKNG
var radius: CGFloat = 0
var length = CGFloat(0)
var radius: CGFloat = CGFloat(0)
var length = 0 as CGFloat // prefer initializer to casts

Rationale: Prevent redundancy. This also reduces ambiguity when binding to generic types.

Collections / SequenceTypes

.count should only be used when the count value itself is needed

OK
let badgeNumber = unreadItems.count

Checking if empty or not:

OKNG
if sequence.isEmpty {
// ...
if sequence.count <= 0 {
// ...

Getting the first or last item:

OKNG
let first = sequence.first
let last = sequence.last
let first = sequence[0]
let last = sequence[sequence.count - 1]

Removing the first or last item:

OKNG
sequence.removeFirst()
sequence.removeLast()
sequence.removeAtIndex(0)
sequence.removeAtIndex(sequence.count - 1)

Iterating all indexes:

OKNG
for i in sequence.indices {
    // ...
}
for i in 0 ..< sequence.count {
    // ...
}

Getting the first or last index:

OKNG
let first = sequence.indices.first
let last = sequence.indices.last
let first = 0
let last = sequence.count - 1

Iterating all indexes except the last n indexes:

OKNG
for i in sequence.indices.dropLast(n) {
    // ...
}
for i in 0 ..< (sequence.count - n) {
    // ...
}

Iterating all indexes except the first n indexes:

OKNG
for i in sequence.indices.dropFirst(n) {
    // ...
}
for i in n ..< sequence.count {
    // ...
}

In general, if you have to add or subtract to count, there is probably a better, Swift-y way to do it.

Rationale: Clarity of intent, which in turn reduces programming mistakes (esp. off-by-one calculation errors).

Protection from Retain Cycles

In particular, this will cover the ever-debatable usage/non-usage of self.

All instance properties and functions should be fully-qualified with self, including within closures.

(See next rule for implications)

OKNG
self.animatableViews.forEach { view in
self.animateView(view)

}
animatableViews.forEach { view in
animateView(view)

}

Rationale: We found that we made less mistakes when we just required self all the time than if we have to decide wether to write it or not. That said, we are aware of the implications of this to retain cycles. See rule below.

For all non-@noescape and non-animation closures, accessing self within the closure requires a [weak self] declaration.

OKNG
self.request.downloadImage(
    url,
    completion: { [weak self] image in
    self?.didDownloadImage(image)
}

)
self.request.downloadImage(
    url,
    completion: { image in
    self.didDownloadImage(image) // hello retain cycle
}

)

Rationale: Combined with the self-requirement rule above, retain cycle candidates are very easy to spot. Just look for closures that access self and check for the missing [weak self].

Never use unowned to capture references in closures.

OKNG
self.request.downloadImage(
    url,
    completion: { [weak self] image in
    self?.didDownloadImage(image)
}

)
self.request.downloadImage(
    url,
    completion: { [unowned self] image in
    self.didDownloadImage(image)
}

)

Rationale: While unowned is more convenient (you don't need to work with an Optional) than weak, it is also more prone to crashes. Nobody likes zombies.

If the validity of the weak self in the closure is needed, bind using the variable `self` to shadow the original.

OKNG
self.request.downloadImage(
    url,
    completion: { [weak self] image in
    guard let `self` = self else { 
    
        return
    }
    self.didDownloadImage(image)
    self.reloadData()
    self.doSomethingElse()
}

)
self.request.downloadImage(
    url,
    completion: { [weak self] image in
    guard let strongSelf = self else { 
    
        return
    }
    strongSelf.didDownloadImage(image)
    strongSelf.reloadData()
    strongSelf.doSomethingElse()
}

)

Rationale: Keep the syntax highlighting ;)


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