Decision at Uber Technologies about RIBs, Swift, Objective-C

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Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber ·

Excerpts from how we developed (and subsequently open sourced) Uber's cross-platform mobile architecture framework, RIBs , going from Objective-C to Swift in the process for iOS:

Uber’s new application architecture (RIBs) extensively uses protocols to keep its various components decoupled and testable. We used this architecture for the first time in our new rider application and moved our primary language from Objective-C to Swift. Since Swift is a very static language, unit testing became problematic. Dynamic languages have good frameworks to build test mocks, stubs, or stand-ins by dynamically creating or modifying existing concrete classes.

Needless to say, we were not very excited about the additional complexity of manually writing and maintaining mock implementations for each of our thousands of protocols.

The information required to generate mock classes already exists in the Swift protocol. For Uber’s use case, we set out to create tooling that would let engineers automatically generate test mocks for any protocol they wanted by simply annotating them.

The iOS codebase for our rider application alone incorporates around 1,500 of these generated mocks. Without our code generation tool, all of these would have to be written and maintained by hand, which would have made testing much more time-intensive. Auto-generated mocks have contributed a lot to the unit test coverage that we have today.

We built these code generation tools ourselves for a number of reasons, including that there weren’t many open source tools available at the time we started our effort. Today, there are some great open source tools to generate resource accessors, like SwiftGen. And Sourcery can help you with generic code generation needs:

(GitHub : )

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Avatar of Conor Myhrvold

Conor Myhrvold

Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber