Luke Luke - 4 months ago 8
iOS Question

Practical application of backticks in Swift

From this document:


To use a reserved word as an identifier, put a backtick (`) before and after it.


I'm curious about the practical application of this. When would you actually want to name something
`class`
,
`self`
, etc.?

Or, relatedly, why did the designers of Swift allow this, rather than just forbidding us from using reserved words as identifiers?

Answer

The most important usage is the interaction with other languages that have different keywords.

From Swift you can call C and Obj-C functions.

Now, consider for example that you need to call a C function called guard. However, that's a keyword in Swift, therefore you have to tell the compiler that you don't want to use it as a keyword but as an identifier, e.g.:

`guard`()

There are multiple keywords in Swift that are widely used as method/function names, e.g. get and set.