Swift Functions

This tutorial belongs to the Swift series

Your program’s code is organized into functions.

A function is declared using the func keyword:

func bark() {
    print("woof!")
}

Functions can be assigned to structures, classes and enumerations, and in this case we call them methods.

A function is invoked using its name:

bark()

A function can return a value:

func bark() -> String {
    print("woof!")
	  return "barked successfully"
}

And you can assign it to a variable:

let result = bark()

A function can accept parameters. Each parameter has a name, and a type:

func bark(times: Int) {
    for index in 0..<times {
        print("woof!")
    }
}

The name of a parameter is internal to the function.

We use the name of the parameter when we call the function, to pass in its value:

bark(times: 3)

When we call the function we must pass all the parameters defined.

Here is a function that accepts multiple parameters:

func bark(times: Int, repeatBark: Bool) {
    for index in 0..<times {
        if repeatBark == true {
            print("woof woof!")
        } else {
            print("woof!")
        }            
    }
}

In this case you call it in this way:

bark(times: 3, repeat: true)

When we talk about this function, we don’t call it bark(). We call it bark(timesπŸ”).

This is because we can have multiple functions with the same name, but different set of parameters.

You can avoid using labels by using the _ keyword:

func bark(_ times: Int, repeatBark: Bool) {
    //...the function body
}

So you can invoke it in this way:

bark(3, repeat: true)

It’s common in Swift and iOS APIs to have the first parameter with no label, and the other parameters labeled.

It makes for a nice and expressive API, when you design the names of the function and the parameters nicely.

You can only return one value from a function. If you need to return multiple values, it’s common to return a tuple:

func bark() -> (String, Int) {
    print("woof!")
	  return ("barked successfully", 1)
}

And you can assign the result to a tuple:

let (result, num) = bark()

print(result) //"barked successfully"
print(num) //1

Functions can be nested inside other functions. When this happens, the inner function is invisible to outside the outer function.

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