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Swift Tuple Examples

Use tuples to combine values together. Tuples can be returned from funcs.

Tuples. An Int is an Int. A String is a String. Values are separate units. But with tuples, we can combine these units into groups.

Uses. Tuples have many uses in programs. When looping over a dictionary, we access the data as tuples. To return multiple values in a method, we return a tuple.

First example. Here we create a tuple with a String and an Int. We access the first item in the tuple with the expression entry.0. And the second item is at index 1.

Note: To create a tuple, we use a comma-separated list of the values in parentheses.

Further: A tuple can contain more than two elements. But be careful with large tuples—an array may be a better option.

Swift program that uses tuple // Create a tuple with two items. let entry = ("cat", 100) // Access item 0 and item 1. let name = entry.0 let number = entry.1 // Display name, number and entire tuple. print(name) print(number) print(entry) Output cat 100 (cat, 100)

Decompose. A tuple is a "composition" of multiple values. So when we decompose a tuple, we break it apart (unpack it) into its smallest parts.

Underscore: This is a special variable name in Swift. It indicates a variable we will not need to access.

Swift program that unpacks three-item tuple let color = ("Green", 822, 0) // Decompose the tuple to unpack its items into variables. // ... An underscore means no variable. let (name, code, _) = color print(name) print(code) Output Green 822

Named tuple. Indexes are fine for some tuples. But for more complex ones, we can provide names for the items in a tuple upon creation. We can then reference those names.
Swift program that uses named items // Use named items in tuple. let language = (name: "Ruby", speed: 0, usability: 10) // Access named items in tuple. print("\(language.name) has speed of \(language.speed)") print("\(language.name) has usability of \(language.usability)") Output Ruby has speed of 0 Ruby has usability of 10

Multiple return values. To return many values at once, a method can return a tuple. Here we return two Ints from a func. No inout parameters are needed.
Swift program that returns tuple from func func computeData(x: Int) -> (Int, Int) { // This func returns a tuple. return (x * 2, x * 100) } // Get tuple from method. let result = computeData(3) print(result) Output (6, 300)

Switch. A tuple can be switched upon. We specify all the elements in each case in the switch statement. Here is the simplest syntax form.Switch

Tip: Each case in a tuple switch must have the correct "tuple pattern" with a matching number of elements.

Swift program that switches on tuple let value = ("bird", 100) // Switch on the tuple. switch (value) { case ("bird", 100): print("Bird 100") default: print("Unknown") } Output Bird 100

Let, switch. This example uses the "let" keyword to capture a value in a tuple switch. The "let animal" value is the first item in a tuple. The second item must be 100 to match.
Swift program that uses let, tuple switch let value = ("elephant", 100) // Use let to capture a variable in a tuple. switch (value) { case (let animal, 100): print("\(animal) has value 100") default: print("Default") } Output elephant has value 100

Switch, underscore. This is another tuple switch feature. We can use the underscore to match any value in a tuple's item. We switch on the third item in a tuple in this example.
Swift program that switches on tuple, underscore let elements = ("aa", "bb", 2) // Match complete tuple values. switch (elements) { case (_, _, 1): print("Third value is 1") case (_, _, 2): print("Third value is 2") default: print("Error") } Output Third value is 2

A review. Tuples are a core part of the Swift language. They are used throughout code. They reduce complexity by composing multiple items into one.
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