Steffinator Steffinator - 5 months ago 167x
Swift Question

Swift: Asynchronous callback

How do I make asynchronous callbacks in swift? I'm writing a little Framework for my app because it's supposed to run on both, iOS und OS X. So I put the main code that is not device-specific into this framework that also handles requests to my online api. And obviously I also want the app's GUI and therefore my ViewControllers to react as soon as a api request has finished. In Objective-C I've done this by saving the view containing the function that had to be called in an id variable and the function itself in a selector variable. Then I invoked the function using the following code:

SEL selector = callbackMethod;
((void (*)(id, SEL))[callbackViewController methodForSelector:selector])(callbackViewController, selector);

How can I accomplish this in swift? Or is there a better way of doing this?

I really appreciate all your help!


I've shared the pattern that I use for this scenario in the following gist:

Basically, I create a singleton DataProvider.swift that setups an AFNetworking client. Then the View Controllers call methods on that DataProvider, each of which is terminated by a closure that I've defined as a typealias called ServiceResponse. This closure returns either a dictionary or an error.

It allows you to very cleanly (imo) call for an async data action from the VC's with a very clear indication of what you want performed when that async response returns.


typealias ServiceResponse = (NSDictionary?, NSError?) -> Void

class DataProvider: NSObject {

    var client:AFHTTPRequestOperationManager?
    let LOGIN_URL = "/api/v1/login"

    class var sharedInstance:DataProvider {
        struct Singleton {
            static let instance = DataProvider()
        return Singleton.instance

    func setupClientWithBaseURLString(urlString:String) {
        client = AFHTTPRequestOperationManager(baseURL: NSURL.URLWithString(urlString))
        client!.operationQueue = NSOperationQueue.mainQueue()
        client!.responseSerializer = AFJSONResponseSerializer()
        client!.requestSerializer = AFJSONRequestSerializer()

    func loginWithEmailPassword(email:String, password:String, onCompletion: ServiceResponse) -> Void {
        self.client!.POST(LOGIN_URL, parameters: ["email":email, "password":password] , success: {(operation:AFHTTPRequestOperation!, responseObject:AnyObject!) -> Void in


            let responseDict = responseObject as NSDictionary
                // Note: This is where you would serialize the nsdictionary in the responseObject into one of your own model classes (or core data classes)
                onCompletion(responseDict, nil)
            }, failure: {(operation: AFHTTPRequestOperation!, error:NSError!) -> Void  in
                onCompletion(nil, error)


import UIKit

class MyViewController: UIViewController {

    override func viewDidLoad() {

        // Do any additional setup after loading the view.

    override func viewWillAppear(animated: Bool)  {
        DataProvider.sharedInstance.loginWithEmailPassword(email:"", password:"somepassword") { (responseObject:NSDictionary?, error:NSError?) in

            if (error) {
                println("Error logging you in!")
            } else {
                println("Do something in the view controller in response to successful login!")