[swift-users] Reason for Swift not having readwrite reflection

Gergely Orosz gergely.orosz at gmail.com
Thu Dec 17 12:54:06 CST 2015

As a user of swift, building projects on top of it, the single biggest
limitation I've come across is that *all *my unit tests are significantly
more bloated compared to Objective C... because mocking & stubbing is not
possible due to the static nature of the language and that readwrite
reflection is not supported.

I did some research and apart from C++ and C I couldn't find any other
popular language that does not support readwrite reflection (here's a post
I wrote on the topic: http://bit.ly/1PbgSys ).

Not having readwrite reflection makes it impossible to create any mocking
frameworks for unit testing, which is a very common tool in the testing
world. Without this we're left with using dummies and fakes - for now
creating them manually, in the future I'm sure there will be plugins that
support generating these from e.g. protocols.

The iOS community seems to be somewhat behind when it comes to automation
compared to other languages and platforms - and in its current version
Swift seems to make the barrier to entry even higher compared to Objective
C, where mocking and stubbing is a possibility due to the dynamic nature of
the language.

Could anyone shed some light on why the decision was made to leave this
feature out? Is it just a feature that due to complexity will be pushed for
later? Or is it a security consideration?


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