FREE TRIAL: Accelerate your app development career with Hacking with Swift+! >>

When should you use the ternary operator in Swift?

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

The ternary operator lets us choose from one of two results based on a condition, and does so in a really concise way:

let isAuthenticated = true
print(isAuthenticated ? "Welcome!" : "Who are you?")

Some people rely very heavily on the ternary operator because it makes for very short code, whereas some stay away from it as much as possible because it can make code harder to read.

I’m very much in the “avoid where possible” camp because even though this code is longer I do find it easier to follow:

if isAuthenticated {
} else {
    print("Who are you?")

Now, there is one time when the ternary operator gets a lot of use and that’s with SwiftUI. I don’t want to give code examples here because it can be a bit overwhelming, but you can really go to town with the ternary operator there if you want to. Even then, I prefer to remove them when possible, to make my code easier to read, but you should try it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

Hacking with Swift is sponsored by Essential Developer

SPONSORED Join a FREE crash course for iOS devs who want to become complete senior developers — from October 18th to 24th. Learn how to apply iOS app architecture patterns through a series of lectures and practical coding sessions.

Learn more

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

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!

Unknown user

You are not logged in

Log in or create account

Link copied to your pasteboard.