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Cupcake Corner: Wrap up

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Hopefully this project has shown you how to take the skills you know – SwiftUI’s forms, pickers, steppers, and navigation – and build them into an app that sends all the user’s data off to a server and processes the response.

You might not realize this yet, but the skills you learned in this project are the most important skills for the vast majority of iOS developers: take user data, send it to a server, and process the response probably accounts for half the non-trivial apps in existence. Yes, what data gets sent and how it’s used to update the UI varies massively, but the concepts are identical.

There’s one last thing before we move on: in this project you used DispatchQueue.main.async() to push work back to the main thread. This is part of Apple’s Grand Central Dispatch framework, which is a large and powerful framework for running work across multiple threads. I’m afraid we aren’t going to cover it more here, but I have already written about it extensively elsewhere – see project 9 of classic edition of Hacking with Swift for more.

Review what you learned

Anyone can sit through a tutorial, but it takes actual work to remember what was taught. It’s my job to make sure you take as much from these tutorials as possible, so I’ve prepared a short review to help you check your learning.

Click here to review what you learned in this project.

Challenge

One of the best ways to learn is to write your own code as often as possible, so here are three ways you should try extending this app to make sure you fully understand what’s going on.

  1. Our address fields are currently considered valid if they contain anything, even if it’s just only whitespace. Improve the validation to make sure a string of pure whitespace is invalid.
  2. If our call to placeOrder() fails – for example if there is no internet connection – show an informative alert for the user. To test this, just disable WiFi on your Mac so the simulator has no connection either.
  3. For a more challenging task, see if you can convert our data model from a class to a struct, then create an ObservableObject class wrapper around it that gets passed around. This will result in your class having one @Published property, which is the data struct inside it, and should make supporting Codable on the struct much easier.

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