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Using didSet and private(set) on Swift Array

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I’m working on a swift project and I have a couple of arrays. In one of my arrays, I do not want the client to be able to mutate it without using one of my specially-defined methods. I do, on the other hand, want the getter to be accessible. My questions comes up regarding append and setting properties.

Question 1: Does private(set) stop clients from calling array.append?

On another array I want to see if it has been changed.

Question 2: If I give the array a didSet property, then is it called when the array is appended to?

Answers:

Question 1: Does private(set) stop clients from calling array.append?

Yes it does.

Question 2: If I use give the array a didSet property, then is it called when the array is appended to?

Yes, didSet is called when append() is called on it.

Questions:
Answers:

The answers to your questions are easy to understand when you realize that arrays in Swift are effectively passed by value. I say effectively because they behave as though they are copied when they are passed, but there is some clever magic under the hood to optimize things and avoid actually needlessly duplicating elements.

The didSet handler is called when a property value changes, which in Swift includes arrays. So append()ing to an array in Swift is actually analogous to a += on an integer: the array is first read, then a new array is created with the appended value, and then that new array is written back to the property. So you can see it will definitely call didSet if you call append() on an array property, and similarly, by making set private, external users won’t be able to call append() as they won’t be able to write the new value back to the array.