Weekly Swift articles, podcasts and tips by John Sundell.

Extending optionals

Published on 05 Dec 2017
Basics article available: Optionals

I love the fact that optionals are enums in Swift - it makes it so easy to extend them with convenience APIs for certain types. Especially useful when doing things like data validation on optional values.

func validateTextFields() -> Bool {
    guard !usernameTextField.text.isNilOrEmpty else {
        return false
    }

    ...

    return true
}

// Since all optionals are actual enum values in Swift, we can easily
// extend them for certain types, to add our own convenience APIs

extension Optional where Wrapped == String {
    var isNilOrEmpty: Bool {
        switch self {
        case let string?:
            return string.isEmpty
        case nil:
            return true
        }
    }
}

// Since strings are now Collections in Swift 4, you can even
// add this property to all optional collections:

extension Optional where Wrapped: Collection {
    var isNilOrEmpty: Bool {
        switch self {
        case let collection?:
            return collection.isEmpty
        case nil:
            return true
        }
    }
}

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