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How to conform to the Equatable protocol

Swift version: 5.1

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

The Equatable protocol is what allows two objects to be compared using ==, and it’s surprisingly easy to implement because Swift does most of the work for you by default.

First, here’s a struct we can work with:

struct Person {
    var name: String
    var age: String
}

To make that Equatable you need to add the Equatable conformance like this:

struct Person: Equatable {
    var name: String
    var age: String
}

If you don’t want to check all properties for equality, or if any of your properties are not also Equatable, then you need to write your own == function like this:

static func ==(lhs: Person, rhs: Person) -> Bool {
    return lhs.name == rhs.name && lhs.age == rhs.age
}

Put that inside the Person struct. Because that’s your own function you can make it do any comparisons you like. Swift’s default Equatable implementation will check all properties for equality, so if you have one property that is guaranteed to be unique adding your own Equatable implementation is a good idea.

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Available from iOS 8.0 – learn more in my book Pro Swift

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