Yet Another Brief History

Back in the end of year 2014, I was trying to make transition into Swift, and started a project CompanySecrets with a shared library LSwift. The idea was to rewrite some of the features LFramework / LCategory provide (including convenient categoires, native reflection, etc.), as well as implementing some other features might or might not planned. It was used in 3 projects: CompanySecrets, FitFox, and iComplain. For some business reason CompanySecrets was not published eventually, but the other 2 were released mainly in Australia.

Back then cocoapods support for Swift was not great, so LSwift was released as source code. Unfortuantely when I started to work in AirService from August 2015, most of my code was done in Objective C (and some Java for Android development of course), and I didn’t have time to release LSwift as a Pod.

One year later, while I’m finishing off the main iOS app for Macca's Monopoly 2016 campaign, I decided to (finally) make LSwift a Pod, and I would also like to make an important change: renaming.

About Naming Convention

Renaming LSwift to SAKit

As I mentioned in some early post, I started LYKit from 2010, and made a compact version LFramework as Pod later. The idea was also making sub-pods like LCategory, LRestClient etc. and using LC, LR etc. as name space so that everything starts with L, my favorite letter. (Eventually only LCategory was released.)

But recently I realized that instead of doing things that makes sense, it’s actually better to go with some “standard” way. Firstly, standard way makes sense too, and secondly it reduces learning cost of users. Of course, it is not always possible to define “standard”, hence the quotation here, but it won’t be a bad idea to follow Apple’s standard.

In this case, using 2 capitalized letters as name space is more common, so I decided to rename LSwft to SAKit, with subspecs like SAKit/SAFoundation, SAKit/SAClient etc. SAFoundation will be the default spec of SAKit. My work was done in branch refactor/framework.

Making Componenets Public

Since LSwift was included as source, everything was internal by default. This caused a little bit trouble when it’s made as a Pod. I started with making classes and functions I used public, as well as writing Tests when I was progressing, but I’d also release it to public asap. In this case, I wrote a tool swift-make-all-public in Ruby, which obviously, helps me make everything public. I’m pretty sure some of the classes, functions, or properties should remain as internal or be made private, but at this stage making them public doesn’t hurt.

Underscore vs CamelCase

As a firmware developer, I always hated, and still hate CamelCase. C / C++ in Linux style, Ruby, Python, PHP etc. prefer underscore as I do. Unfortunately it’s not the case for NEXTSTEP and Java community, which is used in Android. I struggled for a long time, and I’m still not giving it up, but I also have to admit that Underscore is already the standard in iOS community.

I’ll still use underscore myself, but in the same time, I created a tool swift-wrap-underscore that creates files like SAFoundationWrapper.swift, SAClientWrapper etc., which wraps properties and functions as CamelCase. For example, you can use UIFont.printAll() instead of UIFont.print_all(). The tool swift-wrap-underscore is still under development, but I’ll keep it updated with SAKit.

About IBAction and IBInspectable

Some exceptions are IBAction and IBInspectable. Creating wrapper functions doesn’t make any sense, since duplicated functions would appear in Interface Builder and the same time, which would only cause confusion. In this case, they will be make CamelCase from the beginning.

IBInspectable will be named as textFontName, which is displayed as Text Font Name in Interface Builder. This is sort of fine because I still needs to write codes like button.textFontName = "Open Sans" sometimes, and from I see IBInspectable is not used in a lot of places yet.

However, IBAction will be named like sakitActionDismiss since IBActions are widely used in almost all apps, and it will be important to know some functions like dismiss and popToRoot come from SAKit. Previously they were started with lf_. You can override them to handle additional logic if you want.

About Previous Posts

Currently I have no plan to make changes to previous posts. The main reason here is that I believe not a lot of people were actually reading them. All codes in Example project and StackOverflow Documents however, will be released under new naming convention.

Conclusion

Currently I’m writing this post in an aircraft to China. Some of the features are not fully implemented while I’m writing, and SAKit still sits in the LSwift/refactor/framework branch at the moment. But it will be released really soon. The beauty of the changes mentioned in this post is that even not everything is made public or renamed properly, the Pod can still be used right away.

Of course, after renaming, source code will not be backward compatible anymore. So a new git repo SAKit will be created with all history carried from LSwift/refactor/framework; in the same time a temperorary pod LFramework2 will not be released: it once sit in refactor/framework and wasn’t made public ever anyway - it’s used in one of my open source app WeatherPOV, which switched to SAKit as I’m wring this post. So hopefully no damage will be done. LSwift itself will not be maintained after Swift 3 is released, which will certainly make it deprecated.