# [swift-evolution] [Idea] Passing an Array to Variadic Functions

Justin Jia justin.jia.developer at gmail.com
Sun Apr 17 12:12:13 CDT 2016

```Hi!

Currently, we can’t call a variadic function with an array of arguments.

Reference:
1. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/24024376/passing-an-array-to-a-function-with-variable-number-of-args-in-swift <http://stackoverflow.com/questions/24024376/passing-an-array-to-a-function-with-variable-number-of-args-in-swift>
2. https://www.drivenbycode.com/the-missing-apply-function-in-swift/ <https://www.drivenbycode.com/the-missing-apply-function-in-swift/>

Consider the following use case:

```
func average(numbers: Double…) -> Double {
return sum(numbers) / numbers.count // Error: Cannot convert value of type ‘[Double]’ to expected argument type ‘Double'
}

func sum(numbers: Double...) -> Double { … }
```

Right now, there are two ways to fix it:

1. Add another function that accept `[Double]` as input.

```
func average(numbers: Double…) -> Double {
return sum(numbers) / numbers.count
}

func sum(numbers: Double...) -> Double {
return sum(numbers)
}

func sum(numbers: [Double]) -> Double { … }
```

2. Implement an `apply()` function using `unsafeBitCast`.

```
func average(numbers: Double…) -> Double {
return sum(apply(numbers)) / numbers.count
}

func sum(numbers: [Double]) -> Double { … }

func apply<T, U>(fn: (T...) -> U, args: [T]) -> U {
typealias FunctionType = [T] -> U
return unsafeBitCast(fn, FunctionType.self)(args)
}
```

However, both solutions are not very elegant. The first solution requires the library author to implement both functions, and the second solution breaks the guarantees of Swift’s type system.

Swift should allow passing an array to variadic functions, or we should somehow implement a type-safe `apply()` function in the standard library.

Justin
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