First Impressions of Swift

This morning I began working through the swift tutorial.

The playground is neat.

The synatx is familiar. The let and var keywords are comfortable coming from ES6. Built in optionals are nice. The weirdest thing so far is the optional binding in if statements. For example:

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

I guess it saves you the unboxing shuffle you’d otherwise do, e.g in Java:

if (optionalName.isPresent()) {
  String name = optionalName.get();
  greeting = "Hello, " + name;

It’s interesting how Swift differentiates between structs and classes by how they are passed as arguments. Structs are pass by value and classes/objects are pass by value. Structs can have functions and initializers, just like normal classes. However, structs aren’t compatible with inheritance or type casting. Here’s an example struct in Swift.

struct Card {
    var rank: Rank
    var suit: Suit
    func simpleDescription() -> String {
        return "The \(rank.simpleDescription()) of \(suit.simpleDescription())"
let threeOfSpades = Card(rank: .Three, suit: .Spades)
let threeOfSpadesDescription = threeOfSpades.simpleDescription()