Kelvin Lau Kelvin Lau - 2 years ago 339
Swift Question

OptionSetType and enums

I have an enum named


enum ProgrammingLanguage {
case Swift, Haskell, Scala

Now I have a class named
with the following property:

let favouriteLanguages: ProgrammingLanguage = .Swift

Seeing how a programmer could have several favourite languages, I'd thought it'd be nice to write something like this:

let favouriteLanguages: ProgrammingLanguage = [.Swift, .Haskell]

After a bit of research, I realized that I need to conform to
, but in doing so, I've raise the following 3 errors:

ProgrammingLanguage does not conform to

  1. SetAlgebraType

  2. OptionSetType

  3. RawRepresentable

When I saw the Raw Representable error, I immediately thought of associated types for enums. I wanted to be able to print the enum value anyway, so I changed my enum signature to the following:

case ProgrammingLanguage: String, OptionSetType {
case Swift, Haskell, Scala

This silenced 2 of the warnings. But I'm still left with one which is that I don't conform to protocol

After a bit of trial and error, I found out having the associated type of the enum as
fixed it (which makes sense, since the
protocol requires you to implement an initializer of the signature
init(rawValue: Int)
). However, I'm unsatisfied with that; I want to be able to get the String representation of the enum easily.

Could someone advise me how I can do this easily, and why
requires an
associated type?


The following declaration compiles correctly, but errors at runtime:

enum ProgrammingLanguage: Int, OptionSetType {
case Swift, Scala, Haskell

extension ProgrammingLanguage {
init(rawValue: Int) {
self.init(rawValue: rawValue)

let programmingLanguages: ProgrammingLanguage = [.Swift, .Scala]

Answer Source

See the docs for OptionSetType:

Supplies convenient conformance to SetAlgebraType for any type whose RawValue is a BitwiseOperationsType.

In other words, you can declare OptionSetType conformance for any type that also adopts RawRepresentable. However, you gain the magic set-algebra syntax support (via operators and ArrayLiteralConvertible conformance) if and only if your associated raw value type is one that conforms to BitwiseOperationsType.

So, if your raw value type is String, you're out of luck — you don't gain the set algebra stuff because String doesn't support bitwise operations.

That your second syntax errors at runtime is probably a bug. Please file it. Enums probably shouldn't be able to declare OptionSetType conformance, because:

  1. The semantic contract of an enum is that it's a closed set. By declaring your ProgrammingLanguage enum you're saying that a value of type ProgrammingLanguage must be one of Swift, Scala, or Haskell, and not anything else. A value of "Swift and Scala" isn't in that set.

  2. The underlying implementation of an OptionSetType is based on integer bitfields. A "Swift and Haskell" value, ([.Swift, .Haskell]) is really just .Swift.rawValue | .Haskell.rawValue. This causes trouble if your set of raw values isn't bit-aligned. That is, if .Swift.rawValue == 1 == 0b01, and .Haskell.rawValue == 2 == 0b10, the bitwise-or of those is 0b11 == 3, which is the same as .Scala.rawValue.

TLDR: if you want OptionSetType conformance, declare a struct.

And use static let to declare members of your type.

And pick your raw values such that members you want to be distinct from possible (bitwise-or) combinations of other members actually are.

struct ProgrammingLanguage: OptionSetType {
    let rawValue: Int
    init(rawValue: Int) { self.rawValue = rawValue }

    static let Swift    = ProgrammingLanguage(rawValue: 0b001)
    static let Haskell  = ProgrammingLanguage(rawValue: 0b010)
    static let Scala    = ProgrammingLanguage(rawValue: 0b100)

Good ways to keep your values distinct: use binary-literal syntax as above, or declare your values with bit shifts of one, as below:

    static let Swift    = ProgrammingLanguage(rawValue: 1 << 0)
    static let Haskell  = ProgrammingLanguage(rawValue: 1 << 1)
    static let Scala    = ProgrammingLanguage(rawValue: 1 << 2)
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