try! Swift NYC 2017

I wasn’t able to make it to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year. But I was lucky enough to attend try! Swift NYC last week. This was my first time attending the conference.

The conference was two days long and was packed full of speakers from all over. There were a few talks that have stuck with me since leaving the conference. That doesn’t mean there were only four good talks, there were plenty. These have just stuck with me the most.

Driving view state through data for fun and/or debugging

Matt Gallagher had an interesting idea about view states. We often drive everything in our apps through data. Matt suggests that we also treat an app’s view state as data.

If you treat the view state as data you can do some pretty neat things. You can record view state changes, version it and even play through the changes forward and backward (like time travel).

In Matt’s example project (available here), view state and data are both recorded so that you can time travel with either data or the view state. He stated that this can be used to help recreate issues that someone experiences with your app. It may only happen when they are in a certain state and by recording the view state and data, it may make defects more easily reproducible.

This is an interesting idea. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m interested in seeing out it works in a little app that I’ve been thinking about.

Improving Swift Tools with libSyntax

Harlan Haskins introduced me (and others) to libSyntax. I didn’t even know this was a thing. libSyntax allows developers to parse and analyze the Swift language and syntax.

Harlan showed us how libSyntax works. He also had a really neat demo that parsed a Swift file and format it better (correctly). I couldn’t find a link for his demo code, but just trust me, it was cool.

This was a neat presentation. I doubt I’ll ever use libSyntax, but it was nice to see this.

Exploring Natural Language Processing

This presentation by Paola Mata was extremely interesting. I’m not a big language enthusiast. I have the slimmest grasp on English (as my first language). But Paola did a great job of breaking down how Natural Language Processing works and how we can use it in our own apps. She’s clearly spent a bit of time figuring out how this works and has some nice lessons learned from all of this.

I’m currently trying to see if I can add some sort of Natural Language Processing to one of my personal apps (existing or new).

Check out Paola’s demo code (app and Playground) to see how powerful Natural Language Processing is for yourself.

Error handling made easy

I was a little wary of the approach Helen Papanikolopoulou & Kostas Kremizas took to error handling. They started with an approach to error handling that I might take without much thought. But they kept going down this path and I realized that their solution to this problem was a novel one. So much so that I may start looking at their Swift Error Handling Library.

In a previous position/job/life, I did a lot of work on iOS error handling and logging. Looking at the library they’ve developed for Workable, I was kicking myself. I should have taken a similar approach. I try to make myself feel better by saying Swift wasn’t available when I did my work there.

They did a nice job with the presentation and library.

The Conference Overall

I really enjoyed try! Swift. Having only ever been to WWDC and Google I/O, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This was an independent developer conference. But the conference was well organized and very well run.

The bowling party was even a really good time. There was plenty of food, beer and lanes. Everyone I talked to there was having a good time.

If I don’t make it to WWDC next year, I’m going to request to go to try! Swift (NYC) again.

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