Swift chapter 2 2018-12-19T13:04:08+00:00


Topics:(Optionals, Nil, Forced Unwrapping,Implicitly Unwrapped Optionals, Enforcing Preconditions,Basic Operators, Range Operators, Logical Operators )


You use optionals in situations where a value may be absent. An optional represents two possibilities: Either there is a value, and you can unwrap the optional to access that value, or there isn’t a value at all. Swift’s Int type has an initializer which tries to convert a String value into an Int value. However, not every string can be converted into an integer. The string “123” can be converted into the numeric value 123, but the string “hello, world” doesn’t have an obvious numeric value to convert to.

The example below uses the initializer to try to convert a String into an Int:

let possibleNumber = “123”

let convertedNumber = Int(possibleNumber)

// convertedNumber is inferred to be of type “Int?”, or “optional Int”

Because the initializer might fail, it returns an optional Int, rather than an Int. An optional Int is written as Int?, not Int. The question mark indicates that the value it contains is optional, meaning that it might contain some Int value, or it might contain no value at all. (It can’t contain anything else, such as a Bool value or a String value. It’s either an Int, or it’s nothing at all.)


You set an optional variable to a valueless state by assigning it the special value nil:

var serverResponseCode: ? = 404

// serverResponseCode contains an actual Int value of 404

serverResponseCode = nil

// serverResponseCode now contains no value

If you define an optional variable without providing a default value, the variable is automatically set to nil for you:

Forced Unwrapping

You can use an if statement to find out whether an optional contains a value by comparing the optional against nil. You perform this comparison with the “equal to” operator (==) or the “not equal to” operator (!=).

If an optional has a value, it’s considered to be “not equal to” nil:

if convertedNumber != nil {

    print(“convertedNumber contains some integer value.”)


// Prints “convertedNumber contains some integer value.”

Once you’re sure that the optional does contain a value, you can access its underlying value by adding an exclamation mark (!) to the end of the optional’s name. The exclamation mark effectively says, “I know that this optional definitely has a value; please use it.” This is known as forced unwrapping of the optional’s value:

if convertedNumber != nil {

    print(“convertedNumber has an integer value of \(convertedNumber!).”)


// Prints “convertedNumber has an integer value of 123.”

Optional Binding

You use optional binding to find out whether an optional contains a value, and if so, to make that value available as a temporary constant or variable. Optional binding can be used with if and while statements to check for a value inside an optional, and to extract that value into a constant or variable, as part of a single action. Write an optional binding for an if statement as follows:

if let constantName = someOptional {



You can rewrite the possibleNumber example  use optional binding rather than forced unwrapping:

if let actualNumber = Int(possibleNumber) {

    print(“\”\(possibleNumber)\” has an integer value of \(actualNumber))

} else {

    print(“\”\(possibleNumber)\” could not be converted to an integer”)


// Prints “”123″ has an integer value of 123”

This code can be read as:

“If the optional Int returned by Int(possibleNumber) contains a value, set a new constant called actualNumber to the value contained in the optional.” If the conversion is successful, the actualNumber constant becomes available for use within the first branch of the if statement.

You can include as many optional bindings and Boolean conditions in a single if statement as you need to, separated by commas. If any of the values in the optional bindings are nil or any Boolean condition evaluates to false, the whole if statement’s condition is considered to be false. As following :

if let firstNumber = Int(“4”), let secondNumber = Int(“42”), firstNumber < secondNumber && secondNumber < 100 {

    print(\(firstNumber) < \(secondNumber) < 100″)


// Prints “4 < 42 < 100”

Implicitly Unwrapped Optionals

Sometimes it’s clear from a program’s structure that an optional will always have a value, after that value is first set. In these cases, it’s useful to remove the need to check and unwrap the optional’s value every time it’s accessed, because it can be safely assumed to have a value all of the time.

These kinds of optionals are defined as implicitly unwrapped optionals. You write an implicitly unwrapped optional by placing an exclamation mark (String!) rather than a question mark (String?) after the type that you want to make optional.

Implicitly unwrapped optionals are useful when an optional’s value is confirmed to exist immediately after the optional is first defined and can definitely be assumed to exist at every point thereafter. The primary use of implicitly unwrapped optionals in Swift is during class initialisation,

An implicitly unwrapped optional is a normal optional behind the scenes, but can also be used like a non-optional value, without the need to unwrap the optional value each time it’s accessed. The following example shows the difference in behaviour between an optional string and an implicitly unwrapped optional string when accessing their wrapped value as an explicit String:

let possibleString: ? = “An optional string.”

let forcedString:  = possibleString! // requires an exclamation mark

let assumedString: ! = “An implicitly unwrapped optional string.”

let implicitString:  = assumedString // no need for an exclamation mark

You can think of an implicitly unwrapped optional as giving permission for the optional to be unwrapped automatically whenever it’s used. Rather than placing an exclamation mark after the optional’s name each time you use it, you place an exclamation mark after the optional’s type when you declare it.

You can still treat an implicitly unwrapped optional like a normal optional, to check if it contains a value:You can also use an implicitly unwrapped optional with optional binding, to check and unwrap its value in a single statement.Don’t use an implicitly unwrapped optional when there’s a possibility of a variable becoming nil at a later point. Always use a normal optional type if you need to check for a nil value during the lifetime of a variable.

Enforcing Preconditions

Use a precondition whenever a condition has the potential to be false, but must definitely be true for your code to continue execution. For example, use a precondition to check that a subscript is not out of bounds, or to check that a function has been passed a valid value.

You write a precondition by calling the  function. You pass this function an expression that evaluates to true or false and a message to display if the result of the condition is false. For example:

// In the implementation of a subscript…

precondition(index > 0, “Index must be greater than zero.”)

You can also call the  function to indicate that a failure has occurred—for example, if the default case of a switch was taken, but all valid input data should have been handled by one of the switch’s other cases.

Basic Operators

An operator is a special symbol or phrase that you use to check, change, or combine values. For example, the addition operator (+) adds two numbers, as in let i = 1 + 2, and the logical AND operator (&&) combines two Boolean values, as in if enteredDoorCode && passedRetinaScan.

Swift supports most standard C operators and improves several capabilities to eliminate common coding errors. The assignment operator (=) doesn’t return a value, to prevent it from being mistakenly used when the equal to operator (==) is intended. Arithmetic operators (+, , *, /, % and so forth) detect and disallow value overflow, to avoid unexpected results when working with numbers that become larger or smaller than the allowed value range of the type that stores them.

Swift also provides range operators that aren’t found in C, such as a..<b and a…b, as a shortcut for expressing a range of values.



Operators are unary, binary, or ternary:

Unary operators operate on a single target (such as -a). Unary prefix operators appear immediately before their target (such as !b), and unary postfix operators appear immediately after their target (such as c!).

Binary operators operate on two targets (such as 2 + 3) and are infix because they appear in between their two targets.

Ternary operators operate on three targets. Like C, Swift has only one ternary operator, the ternary conditional operator (a ? b : c).The values that operators affect are operands. In the expression 1 + 2, the + symbol is a binary operator and its two operands are the values 1 and 2.

 Assignment Operator

The assignment operator (a = b) initializes or updates the value of a with the value of b:

let b = 10

var a = 5

a = b

// a is now equal to 10

Unlike the assignment operator in C and Objective-C, the assignment operator in Swift does not itself return a value. The following statement is not valid:

if x = y {

    // This is not valid, because x = y does not return a value.


This feature prevents the assignment operator (=) from being used by accident when the equal to operator (==) is actually intended. By making if x = y invalid, Swift helps you to avoid these kinds of errors in your code.

Arithmetic Operators

Swift supports the four standard arithmetic operators for all number types:

Addition (+)

Subtraction ()

Multiplication (*)

Division (/)

The addition operator is also supported for String concatenation:

“hello, “ + “world”  // equals “hello, world”

Remainder Operator

The remainder operator (a % b) works out how many multiples of b will fit inside a and returns the value that is left over (known as the remainder).

In Swift, this would be written as:

9 % 4    // equals 1

To determine the answer for a % b, the % operator calculates the following equation and returns remainder as its output:

a = (b x some multiplier) + remainder

The same method is applied when calculating the remainder for a negative value of a:

-9 % 4   // equals -1

Unary Minus Operator

The sign of a numeric value can be toggled using a prefixed , known as the unary minus operator:

let three = 3

let minusThree = –three       // minusThree equals -3

The unary minus operator () is prepended directly before the value it operates on, without any white space.

Unary Plus Operator

The unary plus operator (+) simply returns the value it operates on, without any change:

let minusSix = -6

let alsoMinusSix = +minusSix  // alsoMinusSix equals -6

Although the unary plus operator doesn’t actually do anything, you can use it to provide symmetry in your code for positive numbers when also using the unary minus operator for negative numbers.

Compound Assignment Operators

Like C, Swift provides compound assignment operators that combine assignment (=) with another operation. One example is the addition assignment operator (+=):

var a = 1

a += 2   // a is now equal to 3

The expression a += 2 is shorthand for a = a + 2. Effectively, the addition and the assignment are combined into one operator that performs both tasks at the same time.

Comparison Operators

Swift supports all standard C comparison operators:

Equal to (a == b)

Not equal to (a != b)

Greater than (a > b)

Less than (a < b)

Greater than or equal to (a >= b)

Less than or equal to (a <= b)

Swift also provides two identity operators (=== and !==), which you use to test whether two object references both refer to the same object instance. Each of the comparison operators returns a Bool value to indicate whether or not the statement is true:

Comparison operators are often used in conditional statements, such as the if statement:

let name = “world”

if name == “world” {

    print(“hello, world”)

} else {

    print(“I’m sorry \(name), but I don’t recognize you”)

}    // Prints “hello, world”, because name is indeed equal to “world”.

You can compare two tuples if they have the same type and the same number of values. Tuples are compared from left to right, one value at a time, until the comparison finds two values that aren’t equal. Those two values are compared, and the result of that comparison determines the overall result of the tuple comparison. If all the elements are equal, then the tuples themselves are equal. For example:

(1, “zebra”) < (2, “apple”)   // true because 1 is less than 2; “zebra” and “apple” are not compared

(3, “apple”) < (3, “bird”)    // true because 3 is equal to 3, and “apple” is less than “bird”

(4, “dog”) == (4, “dog”)      // true because 4 is equal to 4, and “dog” is equal to “dog”

In the example above, you can see the left-to-right comparison behavior on the first line. Because 1 is less than 2, (1, “zebra”) is considered less than (2, “apple”), regardless of any other values in the tuples. It doesn’t matter that “zebra” isn’t less than “apple”, because the comparison is already determined by the tuples’ first elements. However, when the tuples’ first elements are the same, their second elements are compared—this is what happens on the second and third line.

Tuples can be compared with a given operator only if the operator can be applied to each value in the respective tuples. For example, as demonstrated in the code below, you can compare two tuples of type (String, Int) because both String and Int values can be compared using the < operator. In contrast, two tuples of type (String, Bool) can’t be compared with the < operator because the < operator can’t be applied to Bool values.

(“blue”, -1) < (“purple”, 1)        // OK, evaluates to true

(“blue”, false) < (“purple”, true)  // Error because < can’t compare Boolean values

Ternary Conditional Operator

The ternary conditional operator is a special operator with three parts, which takes the form question ? answer1 : answer2. It’s a shortcut for evaluating one of two expressions based on whether question is true or false. If question is true, it evaluates answer1 and returns its value; otherwise, it evaluates answer2 and returns its value.The ternary conditional operator is shorthand for the code below:

if question {


} else {



Here’s an example, which calculates the height for a table row. The row height should be 50 points taller than the content height if the row has a header, and 20 points taller if the row doesn’t have a header:

let contentHeight = 40

let hasHeader = true

let rowHeight = contentHeight + (hasHeader ? 50 : 20)

// rowHeight is equal to 90

The preceding example is shorthand for the code below:

let contentHeight = 40

let hasHeader = true

let rowHeight:

if hasHeader {

    rowHeight = contentHeight + 50

} else {

    rowHeight = contentHeight + 20

} . .   // rowHeight is equal to 90

The ternary conditional operator provides an efficient shorthand for deciding which of two expressions to consider. Use the ternary conditional operator with care, however. Its conciseness can lead to hard-to-read code if overused. Avoid combining multiple instances of the ternary conditional operator into one compound statement.

Nil-Coalescing Operator

The nil-coalescing operator (a ?? b) unwraps an optional a if it contains a value, or returns a default value b if a is nil. The expression a is always of an optional type. The expression b must match the type that is stored inside a.The nil-coalescing operator is shorthand for the code below:

a != nil ? a! : b

The code above uses the ternary conditional operator and forced unwrapping (a!) to access the value wrapped inside a when a is not nil, and to return b otherwise. The nil-coalescing operator provides a more elegant way to encapsulate this conditional checking and unwrapping in a concise and readable form.The example below uses the nil-coalescing operator to choose between a default color name and an optional user-defined colour name:

let defaultColorName = “red”

var userDefinedColorName: ?   // defaults to nil

var colorNameToUse = userDefinedColorName ?? defaultColorName

// userDefinedColorName is nil, so colorNameToUse is set to the default of “red”

The userDefinedColorName variable is defined as an optional String, with a default value of nil. Because userDefinedColorName is of an optional type, you can use the nil-coalescing operator to consider its value. In the example above, the operator is used to determine an initial value for a String variable called colorNameToUse. Because userDefinedColorName is nil, the expression userDefinedColorName ?? defaultColorName returns the value of defaultColorName, or “red”.If you assign a non-nil value to userDefinedColorName and perform the nil-coalescing operator check again, the value wrapped inside userDefinedColorName is used instead of the default.

Range Operators

Swift includes several range operators, which are shortcuts for expressing a range of values.

Closed Range Operator

The closed range operator (a…b) defines a range that runs from a to b, and includes the values a and b. The value of a must not be greater than b.The closed range operator is useful when iterating over a range in which you want all of the values to be used, such as with a forin loop:

for index in 15 {

    print(\(index) times 5 is \(index * 5))


// 1 times 5 is 5

// 2 times 5 is 10

// 3 times 5 is 15

// 4 times 5 is 20

// 5 times 5 is 25

Half-Open Range Operator

The half-open range operator (a..<b) defines a range that runs from a to b, but doesn’t include b. It’s said to be half-open because it contains its first value, but not its final value. As with the closed range operator, the value of a must not be greater than b. If the value of a is equal to b, then the resulting range will be empty.Half-open ranges are particularly useful when you work with zero-based lists such as arrays, where it’s useful to count up to (but not including) the length of the list:

let names = [“Anna”, “Alex”, “Brian”, “Jack”]

let count = names.count

for i in 0..<count {

    print(“Person \(i + 1) is called \(names[i]))


// Person 1 is called Anna

// Person 2 is called Alex

// Person 3 is called Brian

// Person 4 is called Jack

Note that the array contains four items, but 0..<count only counts as far as 3 (the index of the last item in the array), because it’s a half-open range.

One-Sided Ranges

The closed range operator has an alternative form for ranges that continue as far as possible in one direction—for example, a range that includes all the elements of an array from index 2 to the end of the array. In these cases, you can omit the value from one side of the range operator. This kind of range is called a one-sided range because the operator has a value on only one side. For example:

for name in names[2…] {



// Brian

// Jack

for name in names[…2] {



// Anna

// Alex

// Brian

Logical Operators

Logical operators modify or combine the Boolean logic values true and false. Swift supports the three standard logical operators found in C-based languages:

Logical NOT (!a)

Logical AND (a && b)

Logical OR (a || b)

Logical NOT Operator

The logical NOT operator (!a) inverts a Boolean value so that true becomes false, and false becomes true.The logical NOT operator is a prefix operator, and appears immediately before the value it operates on, without any white space. It can be read as “not a”, as seen in the following example:

let allowedEntry = false

if !allowedEntry {

    print(“ACCESS DENIED”)



The phrase if !allowedEntry can be read as “if not allowed entry.” The subsequent line is only executed if “not allowed entry” is true; that is, if allowedEntry is false.As in this example, careful choice of Boolean constant and variable names can help to keep code readable and concise, while avoiding double negatives or confusing logic statements.

Logical AND Operator

The logical AND operator (a && b) creates logical expressions where both values must be true for the overall expression to also be true.If either value is false, the overall expression will also be false. In fact, if the first value is false, the second value won’t even be evaluated, because it can’t possibly make the overall expression equate to true. This is known as short-circuit evaluation.This example considers two Bool values and only allows access if both values are true:

let enteredDoorCode = true

let passedRetinaScan = false

if enteredDoorCode && passedRetinaScan {


} else {

    print(“ACCESS DENIED”)



Logical OR Operator

The logical OR operator (a || b) is an infix operator made from two adjacent pipe characters. You use it to create logical expressions in which only one of the two values has to be true for the overall expression to be true.Like the Logical AND operator above, the Logical OR operator uses short-circuit evaluation to consider its expressions. If the left side of a Logical OR expression is true, the right side is not evaluated, because it can’t change the outcome of the overall expression.In the example below, the first Bool value (hasDoorKey) is false, but the second value (knowsOverridePassword) is true. Because one value is true, the overall expression also evaluates to true, and access is allowed:

let hasDoorKey = false

let knowsOverridePassword = true

if hasDoorKey || knowsOverridePassword {


} else {

    print(“ACCESS DENIED”)


// Prints “Welcome!”

Combining Logical Operators

You can combine multiple logical operators to create longer compound expressions:

if enteredDoorCode && passedRetinaScan || hasDoorKey || knowsOverridePassword {


} else {

    print(“ACCESS DENIED”)


// Prints “Welcome!”

This example uses multiple && and || operators to create a longer compound expression. However, the && and || operators still operate on only two values, so this is actually three smaller expressions chained together. The example can be read as:If we’ve entered the correct door code and passed the retina scan, or if we have a valid door key, or if we know the emergency override password, then allow access.

Explicit Parentheses

It’s sometimes useful to include parentheses when they’re not strictly needed, to make the intention of a complex expression easier to read. In the door access example above, it’s useful to add parentheses around the first part of the compound expression to make its intent explicit:

if (enteredDoorCode && passedRetinaScan) || hasDoorKey || knowsOverridePassword {


} else {

    print(“ACCESS DENIED”)


// Prints “Welcome!”

The parentheses make it clear that the first two values are considered as part of a separate possible state in the overall logic. The output of the compound expression doesn’t change, but the overall intention is clearer to the reader. Readability is always preferred over brevity; use parentheses where they help to make your intentions clear.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.