Optimizing Collections - Write custom collections in Swift with a strong focus on performance - Objc books - Programming Ebook


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Friday, June 1, 2018

Optimizing Collections - Write custom collections in Swift with a strong focus on performance - Objc books

Optimizing Collections
Optimizing Collections

Book Details 
             TitleOptimizing Collections
         Author:  Károly Lőrentey
     Publisher: Objc.io
    Language: English
        SubjectSwift / Computers & Technology / Programming / Apple Programming
No. of pages: 152
         Format: PDF, Epub, full souce code

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On the surface level, this book is about making fast collection implementations. It presents many different solutions to the same simple problem, explaining each approach in detail and constantly trying to find new ways to push the performance of the next variation even higher than the last.

But secretly, this book is really just a joyful exploration of the many tools Swift gives us for expressing our ideas. This book won’t tell you how to ship a great iPhone app; rather it teaches you tools and techniques that will help you become better at expressing your ideas in the form of Swift code.

The book has grown out of notes and source code I made in preparation for a talk I gave at the dotSwift 2017 Conference. I ended up with so much interesting material I couldn’t possibly fit into a single talk, so I made a book out of it. (You don’t need to see the talk to understand the book, but the video is only 20 minutes or so, and dotSwift has done a great job with editing so that I almost pass for a decent presenter. Also, I’m sure you’ll love my charming Hungarian accent!)

Who Is This Book For?

At face value, this book is for people who want to implement their own collection types, but its contents are useful for anyone who wants to learn more about some of the idiosyncratic language facilities that make Swift special. Getting used to working with algebraic data types, or knowing how to create swifty value types with copy-on-write reference-counted storage, will help you become a better programmer for everyday tasks too.

This book assumes you’re a somewhat experienced Swift programmer. You don’t need to be an expert, though: if you’re familiar with the basic syntax of the language and you’ve written, say, a thousand lines of Swift code, you’ll be able to understand most of it just fine. If you need to get up to speed on Swift, I highly recommend another objc.io book, Advanced Swift by Chris Eidhof, Ole Begemann, and Airspeed Velocity. It picks up where Apple’s The Swift Programming Language left off, and it dives deeper into Swift’s features, explaining how to use them in an idiomatic (aka swifty) way.

Most of the code in this book will work on any platform that can run Swift code. In the couple of cases where I needed to use features that are currently available in neither the standard library nor the cross-platform Foundation framework, I included

platform-specific code supporting Apple platforms and GNU/Linux. The code was tested using the Swift 4 compiler that shipped in Xcode 9.

New Editions of This Book

From time to time, I may publish new editions of this book to fix bugs, to follow the evolution of the Swift language, or to add additional material. You’ll be able to download these updates from the book’s product page on Gumroad. You can also go there to download other variants of the book; the edition you’re currently reading is available in EPUB, PDF, and Xcode playground formats. (These are free to download as long as you’re logged in with the Gumroad account you used to purchase the book.)

Related Work

I’ve set up a GitHub repository where you can find the full source code of all the algorithms explained in the text. This code is simply extracted from the book itself, so there’s no extra information there, but it’s nice to have the source available in a standalone package in case you want to experiment with your own modifications.

You’re welcome to use any code from this repository in your own apps, although doing so wouldn’t necessarily be a good idea: the code is simplified to fit the book, so it’s not quite production quality. Instead, I recommend you take a look at BTree, my elaborate ordered collections package for Swift. It includes a production-quality implementation of the most advanced data structure described in this book. It also provides tree-based analogues of the standard library’s Array, Set, and Dictionary collections, along with a flexible BTree type for lower-level access to the underlying structure.

Attabench is my macOS benchmarking app for generating microbenchmark charts. The actual benchmarks from this book are included in the app by default. I highly recommend you check out the app and try repeating my measurements on your own computer. You may even get inspired to experiment with benchmarking your own algorithms. 

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