Weekly Swift articles, podcasts and tips by John Sundell.

Recursively calling closures as inline functions

Published on 07 Aug 2017

Defining Swift closures as inline functions enables you to recursively call them, which is super useful for things like custom sequences.

class Database {
    func records(matching query: Query) -> AnySequence<Record> {
        var recordIterator = loadRecords().makeIterator()
        
        func iterate() -> Record? {
            guard let nextRecord = recordIterator.next() else {
                return nil
            }
            
            guard nextRecord.matches(query) else {
                // Since the closure is an inline function, it can be recursively called,
                // in this case in order to advance to the next item.
                return iterate()
            }
            
            return nextRecord
        }
        
        // AnySequence/AnyIterator are part of the standard library and provide an easy way
        // to define custom sequences using closures.
        return AnySequence { AnyIterator(iterate) }
    }
}