A blog exploring functional programming and Swift.

Overture 0.3.0: Now with Zip

Friday Aug 17, 2018

Today we are releasing Overture 0.3.0 with a bunch of useful zip functions.

Last week we concluded our 3-part introductory series on the zip function (part 1, part 2, part 3). In that series we showed that zip goes far beyond what the Swift standard library gives us on sequences, and in fact it generalizes the notion of map on N-ary functions. This means we can feel empowered to define zip on our own types, even though we don’t typically think of our types in that way, and it allows reuse to use the same “shapes” in our code across wildly different contexts.

To celebrate the completion of that somewhat intense series of episodes, we are happy to release version 0.3.0 of our Swift Overture library, now with a whole bunch of zips!

N-ary zip for Sequences

The Swift standard library defines zip to take a pair of sequences. While the Swift “Generics Manifesto” shows an example of how Swift may support a zip of any number of sequences, why wait?

Overture 0.3.0 defines zip to zip up to ten sequences at once! This means supporting the ability to easily combine related sequences that may have come from different sources.

let ids = [1, 2, 3]
let emails = ["blob@pointfree.co", "blob.jr@pointfree.co", "blob.sr@pointfree.co"]
let names = ["Blob", "Blob Junior", "Blob Senior"]

zip(ids, emails, names)
// [
//   (1, "blob@pointfree.co", "Blob"),
//   (2, "blob.jr@pointfree.co", "Blob Junior"),
//   (3, "blob.sr@pointfree.co", "Blob Senior")
// ]

When combined with map, we have a succinct way of transforming tuples into other values!

struct User {
  let id: Int
  let email: String
  let name: String

zip(ids, emails, names).map(User.init)
// [
//   User(id: 1, email: "blob@pointfree.co", name: "Blob"),
//   User(id: 2, email: "blob.jr@pointfree.co", name: "Blob Junior"),
//   User(id: 3, email: "blob.sr@pointfree.co", name: "Blob Senior")
// ]

Overture also provides a zip(with:) function, for ergonomics and composition.

zip(with: User.init)(ids, emails, names)
// [
//   User(id: 1, email: "blob@pointfree.co", name: "Blob"),
//   User(id: 2, email: "blob.jr@pointfree.co", name: "Blob Junior"),
//   User(id: 3, email: "blob.sr@pointfree.co", name: "Blob Senior")
// ]

Zip for Optionals

Overture also defines zip for optional values. This is an expressive way of unwrapping a bunch of values at once, much like multiple if/guardlet binding.

let optionalId: Int? = 1
let optionalEmail: String? = "blob@pointfree.co"
let optionalName: String? = "Blob"

zip(optionalId, optionalEmail, optionalName)
// Optional<(Int, String, String)>.some((1, "blob@pointfree.co", "Blob"))

As we saw with Sequence, zip pairs well with map, and we already have map on Optional!

zip(optionalId, optionalEmail, optionalName).map(User.init)
// Optional<User>.some(User(id: 1, email: "blob@pointfree.co", name: "Blob"))

We once again have zip(with:) at our disposal, for ergonomics and composition.

zip(with: User.init)(optionalId, optionalEmail, optionalName)
// Optional<User>.some(User(id: 1, email: "blob@pointfree.co", name: "Blob"))

Using zip can be an expressive alternative to let-unwrapping!

let optionalUser = zip(with: User.init)(optionalId, optionalEmail, optionalName)

// vs.

let optionalUser: User?
if let id = optionalId, let email = optionalEmail, let name = optionalName {
  optionalUser = User(id: id, email: email, name: name)
} else {
  optionalUser = nil


That’s it for this release! Ready to add more zip to your code bases? Upgrade to Overture 0.3.0 today!

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