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Wrap up

You've made it this far, so your Swift learning really is starting to come together, and I hope this project has shown you that you can make some pretty advanced things with your knowledge.

In this project, you learned a little bit more about UITableView: how to reload their data and how to insert rows. You also learned how to add text fields to UIAlertController so that you can accept user input. But you also learned some serious core stuff: more about Swift strings, closures, NSRange, and more. These are things you're going to use in dozens of projects over your Swift coding career, and things we'll be returning to again and again in this series.

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 project 5.

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. Disallow answers that are shorter than three letters or are just our start word. For the three-letter check, the easiest thing to do is put a check into isReal() that returns false if the word length is under three letters. For the second part, just compare the start word against their input word and return false if they are the same.
  2. Refactor all the else statements we just added so that they call a new method called showErrorMessage(). This should accept an error message and a title, and do all the UIAlertController work from there.
  3. Add a left bar button item that calls startGame(), so users can restart with a new word whenever they want to.

Bonus: Once you’ve done those three, there’s a really subtle bug in our game and I’d like you to try finding and fixing it.

To trigger the bug, look for a three-letter word in your starting word, and enter it with an uppercase letter. Once it appears in the table, try entering it again all lowercase – you’ll see it gets entered. Can you figure out what causes this and how to fix it?

Hints

It is vital to your learning that you try the challenges above yourself, and not just for a handful of minutes before you give up.

Every time you try something wrong, you learn that it’s wrong and you’ll remember that it’s wrong. By the time you find the correct solution, you’ll remember it much more thoroughly, while also remembering a lot of the wrong turns you took.

This is what I mean by “there is no learning without struggle”: if something comes easily to you, it can go just as easily. But when you have to really mentally fight for something, it will stick much longer.

But if you’ve already worked hard at the challenges above and are still struggling to implement them, I’m going to write some hints below that should guide you to the correct answer.

If you ignore me and read these hints without having spent at least 30 minutes trying the challenges above, the only person you’re cheating is yourself.

 

Still here? OK. If you’re stuck on the bug finding bonus challenge, take a look at this line of code:

usedWords.insert(answer, at: 0)

Is that what it should be?

Share your success!

One of the most effective motivators of success is sharing your progress with other people – when you tell folks what you're doing and what you've learned, it encourages you to come back for more, which in turn will help you reach your app development goals faster.

So, now that you've done all the hard work it's time to share your success: tell folks that you've completed this project, either by clicking the button below to start composing a tweet, or by writing your own message from scratch. This will definitely encourage you to keep learning, but it will also help other folks discover my work – thank you!

 

About the author

Paul Hudson is the creator of Hacking with Swift, the most comprehensive series of Swift books in the world. He's also the editor of Swift Developer News, the maintainer of the Swift Knowledge Base, and Mario Kart world champion. OK, so that last part isn't true. If you're curious you can learn more here.

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