Functional Swift Book Details
Title: Functional Swift
Author: By Chris Eidhof, Florian Kugler, and Florian Kugler
Subject: Swift / Computers & Technology / Programming / Apple Programming
No. of pages: 201
Format: PDF, EPUB, MOBILE, Source code
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Introduction Functional Swift Book
Why write this book? There’s plenty of documentation on Swift readily available from Apple, and there are many more books on the way. Why does the world need yet another book on yet another programming language?
This book tries to teach you to think functionally. We believe that Swift has the right language features to teach you how to write functional programs. But what makes a program functional? And why bother learning about this in the first place?
It’s hard to give a precise definition of functional programming — in the same way, it’s hard to give a precise definition of object-oriented programming, or any other programming paradigm for that matter. Instead, we’ll try to focus on some of the qualities that we believe well-designed functional programs in Swift should exhibit:
→ functional programmers emphasize that each program can be repeatedly broken into smaller and smaller pieces, and all these pieces can be assembled using function application to define a complete program. Of course, this decomposition of a large program into smaller pieces only works if we can avoid sharing state between the individual components. This brings us to our next point.
→ Value-oriented programming.’ Object-oriented programming focuses on the design of classes and objects, each with their own encapsulated state. Functional programming, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of programming with values, free of mutable state or other side effects. By avoiding mutable state, functional programs can be more easily combined than their imperative or object-oriented counterparts.
→ Types: More than anything else, a careful choice of the types of your data and functions will help structure your code. Swift has a powerful type system that, when used effectively, can make your code both safer and more robust.
We feel these are the key insights that Swift programmers may learn from the functional programming community. Throughout this book, we’ll illustrate each of these points with many examples and case studies.
In our experience, learning to think functionally isn’t easy. It challenges the way we’ve been trained to decompose problems. For programmers who are used to writing for
loops, recursion can be confusing; the lack of assignment statements and global state is crippling; and closures, generics, higher-order functions, and monads are just plain weird.
Throughout this Functional Swift book, we’ll assume that you have previous programming experience in Objective-C (or some other object-oriented language). We won’t cover Swift basics or teach you to set up your first Xcode project, but we will try to refer to existing Apple documentation when appropriate. You should be comfortable reading Swift programs and familiar with common programming concepts, such as classes, methods, and variables. If you’ve only just started to learn to program, this may not be the right book for you.
In this Functional Swift book, we want to demystify functional programming and dispel some of the prejudices people may have against it. You don’t need to have a PhD in mathematics to use these ideas to improve your code! Functional programming isn’t the only way to program in Swift. Instead, we believe that learning about functional programming adds an important new tool to your toolbox, which will make you a better developer in any language.