If you try to read a value from a dictionary using a key that doesn’t exist, Swift will send you back
nil – nothing at all. While this might be what you want, there’s an alternative: we can provide the dictionary with a default value to use if we request a missing key.
To demonstrate this, let’s create a dictionary of favorite ice creams for two people:
let favoriteIceCream = [ "Paul": "Chocolate", "Sophie": "Vanilla" ]
We can read Paul’s favorite ice cream like this:
But if we tried reading the favorite ice cream for Charlotte, we’d get back nil, meaning that Swift doesn’t have a value for that key:
We can fix this by giving the dictionary a default value of “Unknown”, so that when no ice cream is found for Charlotte we get back “Unknown” rather than nil:
favoriteIceCream["Charlotte", default: "Unknown"]
Help support Hacking with Swift
This site is funded by Hacking with Swift supporters who buy my e-books. If you can, please support my work – it comes packed with bonus material!