Notice: Undefined index: understanding-swift in /var/sites/hackingwithswift.com/site/src/Controller/NewBooksReadController.php on line 89
How is protocol-oriented programming different from object-oriented programming? - a free tutorial

NEW: Subscribe to Hacking with Swift+ and accelerate your learning! >>

How is protocol-oriented programming different from object-oriented programming?

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Many Swift developers describe the language as being protocol-oriented, but what does that really mean? In particular, how is it different from the older object-oriented paradigm?

Getting down to the raw facts, there is no practical difference between the two: both can place functionality into objects, use access control to limit where that functionality can be called, make one class inherit from another, and more.

Some might say that the only real difference between the two is that in protocol-oriented programming (POP) we prefer to build functionality by composing protocols (“this new struct conforms to protocols X, Y, and Z”), whereas in object-oriented programming (OOP) we prefer to build functionality through class inheritance. However, even that is dubious because OOP developers also usually prefer composing functionality to inheriting it – it’s just easier to maintain.

In fact, the only important difference between the two is one of mindset: POP developers lean heavily on the protocol extension functionality of Swift to build types that get a lot of their behavior from protocols. This makes it easier to share functionality across many types, which in turn lets us build bigger, more powerful software without having to write so much code.

For more information about protocol-oriented programming, you should watch Dave Abraham’s talk at WWDC that introduced the topic: https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2015/408/

Hacking with Swift is sponsored by Instabug

SPONSORED Are you tired of wasting time debugging your Swift app? Instabug’s SDK is here to help you minimize debugging time by providing you with complete device details, network logs, and reproduction steps with every bug report. All data is attached automatically, and it only takes a line of code to setup. Start your free trial now and get 3 months off exclusively for the Hacking with Swift Community.

Start your free trial!

Sponsor Hacking with Swift and reach the world's largest Swift community!

BUY OUR BOOKS
Buy Pro Swift Buy Swift Design Patterns Buy Testing Swift Buy Hacking with iOS Buy Swift Coding Challenges Buy Swift on Sundays Volume One Buy Server-Side Swift (Vapor Edition) Buy Advanced iOS Volume One Buy Advanced iOS Volume Two Buy Advanced iOS Volume Three Buy Hacking with watchOS Buy Hacking with tvOS Buy Hacking with macOS Buy Dive Into SpriteKit Buy Swift in Sixty Seconds Buy Objective-C for Swift Developers Buy Server-Side Swift (Kitura Edition) Buy Beyond Code

Was this page useful? Let us know!

Link copied to your pasteboard.