Notice: Undefined index: understanding-swift in /var/sites/hackingwithswift.com/site/src/Controller/NewBooksReadController.php on line 89
Why does Swift need enums? - a free tutorial

NEW: Start my new Ultimate Portfolio App course with a free Hacking with Swift+ trial! >>

Why does Swift need enums?

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Enums are an extraordinarily powerful feature of Swift, and you’ll see them used in a great many ways and places. Many languages don’t have enums and get by just fine, so you might wonder why Swift needs enums at all!

Well, at their simplest an enum is simply a nice name for a value. We can make an enum called Direction with cases for north, south, east, and west, and refer to those in our code. Sure, we could have used an integer instead, in which case we’d refer to 1, 2, 3, and 4, but could you really remember what 3 meant? And what if you typed 5 by mistake?

So, enums are a way of us saying Direction.north to mean something specific and safe. If we had written Direction.thatWay and no such case existed, Swift would simply refuse to build our code – it doesn’t understand the enum case. Behind the scenes, Swift can store its enum values very simply, so they are much faster to create and store than something like a string.

As you progress, you’ll learn how Swift lets us add more functionality to enums – they are more powerful in Swift than in any other language I have seen.

Hacking with Swift is sponsored by ViRE

SPONSORED ViRE offers discoverable way of working with regex. It provides really readable regex experience, code complete & cheat sheet, unit tests, powerful replace system, step-by-step search & replace, regex visual scheme, regex history & playground. ViRE is available on Mac & iPad.

Download on the App Store

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!

 
Unknown user

You are not logged in

Log in or create account
 

Link copied to your pasteboard.