[swift-evolution] Remove prefixes from all Apple frameworks

Louis D'hauwe louisdhauwe at silverfox.be
Thu Mar 30 16:03:37 CDT 2017

Apple frameworks contain prefixes, carried over from Objective-C.
These exist to prevent class and method name collisions.

Mattt Thompson has a great article about this, containing the following brilliant excerpt:
"Namespacing is the preeminent bugbear of Objective-C. A cosmetic quirk with global implications, the language’s lack of identifier containers remains a source of prodigious quantities of caremad for armchair language critics." (http://nshipster.com/namespacing/ <http://nshipster.com/namespacing/>)

Since Swift can handle with these naming conflicts, wouldn't it make sense to drop all framework prefixes in a Swift environment?

A classic example is UIKit, where all classes are prefixed with "UI". 
Code example:

    import UIKit

    class FooViewController: UIViewController {

Dropping the prefix would simply lead to the following:

    import UIKit

    class FooViewController: ViewController {

Since conflicts need to be handled by specifying the module name, the following could be used if "ViewController" was also used by either some, other than UIKit, imported framework or by a user defined class:

    import UIKit

    class FooViewController: UIKit.ViewController {

"UIKit.ViewController" is of course quite longer than the current "UIViewController".
An improvement could be to allow frameworks to specify an abbreviated form.
UIKit could define "UI" as its abbreviation, making the following code valid:

    import UI

    class FooViewController: UI.ViewController {

This all seems to me like a natural continuation of SE-0086 <https://github.com/apple/swift-evolution/blob/9cf2685293108ea3efcbebb7ee6a8618b83d4a90/proposals/0086-drop-foundation-ns.md>.
I do realise this would be a major change, breaking pretty much every Swift iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS project.
But in the long term, I think it's worth it.

– Louis D'hauwe

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