[swift-evolution] Two-for-Tuesday: Resettable Properties

Patterson, Jason jason.patterson at wsj.com
Tue Mar 15 12:28:22 CDT 2016

Indeed. I actually mention that in my proposal draft. The core problem
that I believe should be addressed is the mechanism that the Swift
importer applies to `null_resettable` Objective-C properties. Whether
or not Swift should support the feature is separate, but related,
which is why I drafted two proposals.

SE-0030 initially included "out-of-band operations" (such as reset
methods with syntax like `foo.name.[resettable].reset()`) but
ultimately removed them due to complexities involved:

> It is useful to add out-of-band operations to a property that aren't normal members of its formal type, for instance, to cleara lazy property to be recomputed later, or to reset a property to an implementation-defined default value. This is useful, but it complicates the design of the feature.

I agree that the use case of resettable properties is somewhat
orthogonal to the goals of Property Behaviors (which, from what I
understand, was originated to subsume lazy, atomicity,
mutable-until-frozen, and other "member access" concerns into the
standard library) since it by nature requires an operation to reset
it. In other words, I feel these proposals are independent of
re-review of Property Behaviors.

The two proposals are to generate discussion on whether:

1. Is it a problem the way that `null_resettable` properties are
currently imported?
2. Are resettable properties a useful feature to bring to Swift?



On Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 12:01 PM, Félix Cloutier <felixcca at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> Resettable properties are one of the use cases for property behaviors  There
> was still dissent the last time it was brought to review, so a new version
> is expected in the Swift 3 window.
> Félix
> Le 15 mars 2016 à 09:49:21, Patterson, Jason via swift-evolution
> <swift-evolution at swift.org> a écrit :
> Hi all,
> Recently I noticed how `null_resettable` Objective-C properties were
> imported into Swift. To recap, a `null_resettable` property in
> Objective-C indicates that the getter returns a nonnull value, while
> the setter is nullable:
> @property (nonatomic, nonnull, null_resettable) NSString *name;
> foo.name = @"Bar";
> foo.name = nil; // "resets" the property
> Currently these are imported as implicitly unwrapped optionals (var
> name: String!), which is the same as if they were `null_unspecified`.
> I believe this can be improved.
> I've drafted a proposal that would improve how these are imported. In
> a nutshell, Swift would add an extra "reset" method to the imported
> interface which would allow users to explicitly reset the property by
> name. (The above example would be imported as `var name: String; func
> resetName()`.) This would improve readability and allow the getter to
> return a non-optional value.
> That proposal is here:
> https://github.com/patters/swift-evolution/blob/master/proposals/0000-importing-null_resettable.md
> However, I then wondered if this feature of Objective-C would be
> advantageous to bring to Swift. The thought there is to allow Swift to
> declare a property getter as a non-optional type, while allowing the
> setter to take an optional type. While a syntactical change has more
> cost to Swift, the benefit may outweigh that.
> There were a few ideas here but I ultimately settled on a new `set?`
> operator. The proposal then details the usage and ramifications of
> such a change. For example, the getter would continue to return `T`
> while the type of `newValue` available in the setter becomes a `T?`.
> There's a corresponding change to willSet clauses.
> That proposal is here:
> https://github.com/patters/swift-evolution/blob/master/proposals/0000-resettable-properties.md
> I think that both of these solve the problem in two different ways and
> submit both for your discussion and consideration.
> Thanks!
> Jason Patterson
> @patters
> _______________________________________________
> swift-evolution mailing list
> swift-evolution at swift.org
> https://lists.swift.org/mailman/listinfo/swift-evolution

More information about the swift-evolution mailing list