A simple observer pattern implemented in Swift.
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ObservableEvent is a simple observer pattern implemented in Swift. For more information on why ObservableEvent was created and thinking behind it, see the blog bost: Observable Events in Swift


The ObservableEvent framework can be installed using CocoaPods. Add the following line to your project pod file and the run "pod install".

	pod 'ObservableEvent', '~> 2.0.0'

Using ObservableEvent

Creating an ObservableEvent

To create an observable event create an instances of the ObservableEvent class. ObservableEvents are typed with the data type that is being observered. When notifiying oberservers a value of that type will be sent with the notification.

For example, a game might have an observable event that would notify observers whenever the score changes. Since the score is an Int type creating the ObservableEvent would look like:

let scoreChangedEvent = ObservableEvent<Int>()

It is possible to create an ObservableEvent that can notifiy observers with multiple values. Simply use a tuple for the generic type. For example:

let scoreChangedEvent = ObservableEvent<(score:Int, isHighScore:Bool)>()

It is even possible to create ObeservableEvents without any type. Simply use Void for the generic type:

let myEvent = ObservableEvent<Void>()

Notifying Observers

To notify all oberservers of the event call the event's notifyObservers method passing a value for the event. In our game score example we can notify all observers that the score changed and pass the new score to the observers as follows:


If you are using a tuple as the genric type:

scoreChangedEvent.notifyObservers((score:25, isHighScore:false))

Or with no generic type:


Adding an Observer

To add an observer for an event call the event's observe method, passing a closure that will be called when notifyObservers is called. The observe call returns a Disposable object that can be used to remove the observer (see below for more details).

In our game score event example, an observer might look like:

let scoreDisposable = scoreChangeEvent.observe { score in
    // process new score

Or if the event had a tuple type:

let scoreDisposable = scoreChangeEvent.observe { score, isHighScore in
    // process new score and isHighScore

Or if the event is using Void for the generic type:

let myEventDispsoable = myEvent.observe { 
    // event fired, do something

Removing an Observer

To remove an observer call the dispose method on the Disposable object that was returned by the observe method. For example:


If you are observing several events and have multiple Disoposable objects, it is more convient to use a DisposeBag to remove all the observers at once. First create an instance of DisposeBag. Then when adding an observer, add the returned disposble to the bag by calling the diposeWith(bag) method. For example:

let bag = DisposeBag()

scoreChangeEvent.observe { score, isHighScore in
    // process new score and isHighScore

myEvent.observe { 
    // event fired, do something

Now when the bag is deallocated all its contents will automatically be disposed causing all the observers to be removed. You can also explicitly call the dispose() method on the bag itself to dispose all of its contents.


ObservableEvents are often used to provide change notifications for when a specific variable changes. It would typically look something like:

var score: Int = 0 {
	didSet {
let scoreChangedEvent = ObservableEvent<Int>()

The Property class provides a convient way to implement this pattern by combining the variable instance and the observerable event into a single class.

Using Properties

To create a property, create an instance of the Property class, passing the properties initial value to the intialaizer. The above score example can be implementing using a Property as follows:

var score: Property(0)

To access the value of the Property use its value property:

let currentScore = score.value

You set the property's value by assigning to its value property. Whenever a property's value is set, it will automatically notify all observers.

score.value = currentScore + 100

To add an observer to a property call its observe method. It works identical to the observe method on ObservableEvent, passing in a closure and returning a Disposable:

score.observe { score in
	// process the score

An important note about properties... the observer closure will be called with the current value of the property as soon as the observe method is called. This means that property observers are called with the current value of the property and any future values.


Copyright 2017 Endless Wave Software LLC

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.