Apple Design Award Winner Chris Liscio explores the limits of Swift

Posted on March 10th, 2015.

Chris Liscio is one of the most talented iOS developers in Canada. We are lucky that Chris calls Kitchener / Waterloo home. Those of you that made it out to iOSKW last week at Communitech’s space in downtown Kitchener got a chance to meet Chris, and learn about his decade-long experience as a Mac and iOS developer, including creating Capo, an application that helps you learn to play the music in your iTunes library. Chris received a prestegious Apple Design Award for Capo in 2011.

Chris Liscio at iOSKW

Chris gave us some serious code to look at, using Swift to do vector math with the Accelerate framework. He explained the following: Accelerate is a C library which means that dealing with multiple types can result in an ever growing number of extremely similar functions. For example, suppose you want to take the average of a Swift array [Float]. That’s one C function. If you want to add support for Swift subarrays (without copy) you additionally need to handle Slice, adding another C function. Chris presented a way to DRY your code by using withUnsafeBufferPointer. He also posted some of the details on his blog but you had to be there to get the entertaining stories and photos about his experience baffling Apple engineers at the last WWDC.

Thanks again to Chris and everyone that attended iOSK last Thursday night. We tested a new interactive segment called “Open Mic, which saw members of the audience take over the role of presenter to discuss things they had learned and current projects. The response was positive so we will continue to include time for audience participation in future Meetups.

More information about iOSKW can be found on our Meetup page, and by following @iOSKW on Twitter.

The next iOSKW will be April 16.

Simon & Matt