A lightweight protocol for describing types that can provide samples of themselves.

What's New

Add parent `AbstractSampleable` protocol


A new parent protocol provides access to Sampleable from type-erased contexts.


A lightweight protocol for describing types that can provide samples of themselves.

Note that the intention of this protocol is not to dictate that samples are constant or random; they can be either depending on the use-case. It is very easy to combine use of this protocol with the use of something like SwiftCheck's Arbitrary to either pass arbitrary values as samples OR maintain both a small set of constant samples AND access to arbitrary randomly generated values.


Sampleable requires one static method of its conformers.

static var sample: Self { get }

This method simply returns a sample value of the conforming Type.

A Sampleable Type can then go on to provide any of the optional methods that otherwise have sensible default implementations.

static var successSample: Self? { get }

static var failureSample: Self? { get }

static var samples: [Self] { get }

The first two default to nil and the third defaults to an array containing only the value returned by Self.sample.

In addition to providing a standard way to provide samples, the Sampleable protocol provides a series of static functions that can be used to compose samples from other Sampleable Types via an extension. The real beauty of these functions is that they take a closure that constructs Self given samples of a number of other things and they pass it one sample of each input Type until input Type samples are exhausted. In turn, they produce an array of Self. This is hard to explain, but hopefully the following example will shed light on the operation. If it helps to think of it this way, the operation being performed is essentially zipWith where each input Type's samples are zipped with the constructor of Self.

Consider the following three Sampleable conformers.

extension Int: Sampleable {
  public static var sample: Int { return samples[0] }

  public static var samples: [Int] {
    return [1, 2, 3, 4]

extension String: Sampleable {
  public static var sample: String { return samples[0] }

  public static var samples: [String] {
    return ["A", "B"]

Note that String provides two samples whereas Int provides four samples. This is important because the following operation (much like zipWith) will stop when it reaches the end of the shortest array of samples.

let composedSamples = String.samples(using: String.self, Int.self) { string, int in
  return "\(string)\(int)"

This will produce the array of Strings ["A1", "B2"]. Notice that it took the first sample from each input Type and passed it to the closure, then it did the same with the second sample from each input Type, and then it was out of samples from the first input Type so it was done.

This type of composition can be done with up to 8 input types out-of-box (you can add more yourself, of course) and there is nothing special about the first input Type matching the result Type in the example, this is entirely incidental.


  • Swift Tools 5.0.0
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Last updated: Mon Jan 23 2023 12:16:22 GMT-0500 (GMT-05:00)