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Destructuring Tuples in Swift

In Swift, destructuring means pulling a tuple apart into multiple variables with a single assignment call.

For instance, let’s create a simple function that returns a tuple:

func getInfo() -> (name: String, email: String) {
     return (name: "Matt", email: "matt@example.com")
}

Now, this is one way for accessing the tuple (this is likely what you’ve seen and used before):

let info = getInfo()

print(info.name) // prints "Matt"
print(info.email) // prints "matt@example.com"

But did you know that you can also do it like this, by utilizing destructuring to tear the tuple apart into separate variables:

let (name, email) = getInfo()

print(name) // prints "Matt"
print(email) // prints "matt@example.com"

Cool, now you know what destructuring is. Next, let’s see how to apply it in solving one of the classic coding interview problems.

Swap Two Variables without a Third

This is a classic interview question that can be solved by applying what you just learned about destructuring tuples in Swift.

In Swift, you can use tuple destructuring to swap two variables without a third helper variable:

var a = 1
var b = 2

(a, b) = (b, a) // Now b = 2 and a = 1

Pretty cool, right?

Thanks for reading. I hope you find it useful. Feel free to share this article if you think others can find it useful too!

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Artturi Jalli

Technical Writer

Entrepreneur, Software Engineer, Mobile App Dev, MSc Physics Student, And Tech Enthusiast from Finland

artturi@codingem.com

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