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A Swift framework to aid with routing
.package(url: "https://github.com/JosephDuffy/Shepherd.git", from: "v0.4.1")


Build Status codecov Documentation Compatible with macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux SwiftPM Compatible Carthage Compatible CocoaPods Compatible MIT License

Shepherd is a router implementation to help guide routes in your app.

let tabsRouter = Router()
let firstTabRouter = Router()
let secondTabRouter = Router()
tabsRouter.add(child: firstTabRouter)
tabsRouter.add(child: secondTabRouter)
tabsRouter.addHandlerForPaths(ofType: String.self) { path, completionHandler in
    if path == "show-about-screen" {
        // Select tab

secondTabRouter.addHandlerForPaths(ofType: String.self) { path, completionHandler in
    if path == "show-about-screen" {
        // Push about screen
    } else {

firstTabRouter.handle(path: "show-about-screen")


Shepherd is fully documented, with code-level documentation available online. The online documentation is generated from the source code with every release, so it is up-to-date with the latest release, but may be different to the code in master.

Usage overview

Shepherd has 2 primary types to aid with routing: Router and PathHandler. PathHandler is a protocol with a single requirement:

public protocol PathHandler: class {
    func handle<Path>(path: Path, completionHandler: ((PathHandler?) -> Void)?)

Router is an open class that enables the creation of a tree of path handlers, and implements the PathHandler protocol itself.

open class Router: PathHandler {

    public typealias CompletionHandler = (_ routeHandler: Router?) -> Void

    public internal(set) weak var parent: Router?

    public init()

    public func handle<Path>(path: Path, completionHandler: ((PathHandler?) -> Void)?)

    open func handle<Path>(path: Path, ignoring: [Router] = [], completionHandler: ((PathHandler?) -> Void)? = nil)

    open func add(child pathHandler: PathHandler, priority: Priority = .medium)

    open func remove(child pathHandler: PathHandler)

Routers will query children when the handle function is called in priority order. If no children handle the path it will be passed to the parent (if present).

Children can query their own children, allowing for a tree of handlers to be created. For example, with the following tree:

    /   \
   (B)  (C)
  / | \    \
(D)(E)(F)  (G)

If handler (B) is queried and (C) can handle the path the handlers would be called in the following order:

  • D
  • E
  • F
  • A
  • C

This would result in (C) being returned.

The path Parameter

The type of the path parameter is not restricted in any way. When using the convenience addHandlerForPaths(ofType:priority:pathHandler:) or addPathHandler(priority:pathHandler:) functions the provided closure will only be called when the path is the same type as the provided closure accepts, but the parent router will still attempt to handle all router.

This flexibility can make it hard to decide which types to use. While this is ultimately the developer's decision to make, some examples of useful types are:

  • URL
    • This can be make it easier to support universal links if a web version of the app exists.
  • NSUserActivity
    • This can help when supporting certain system features, e.g., handoff, Siri, and Spotlight.
  • Custom enums
    • Enums can make the handling of a route easier. For example, a SettingsRoute enum can aid with autocomplete and code safety.

Tests and CI

Shepherd has a full test suite, which is run as part of pull requests. All tests must pass for a pull request to be merged.

Code coverage is collected and reported to to Codecov. The codebase has 100% coverage. PRs will not be accepted that lower the coverage, unless the uncovered lines should never be hit but are required for type-safety, or are not tracked by Swift, e.g. deinit functions.



To install via SwiftPM add the package to the dependencies section and as the dependency of a target:

let package = Package(
    dependencies: [
        .package(url: "https://github.com/JosephDuffy/Shepherd.git", from: "0.1.0"),
    targets: [
        .target(name: "MyApp", dependencies: ["Shepherd"]),


To install via Carthage add to following to your Cartfile:

github "JosephDuffy/Shepherd"

Run carthage update Shepherd to build the framework and then drag the built framework file in to your Xcode project. Shepherd provides pre-compiled binaries, which can cause some issues with symbols. Use the --no-use-binaries flag if this is an issue.

Remember to add Shepherd to your Carthage build phase:





To install via CocoaPods add the following to your Podfile:

pod 'Shepherd'

and then run pod install.


The project is released under the MIT license. View the LICENSE file for the full license.


Stars: 2
Last commit: 2 weeks ago

Release Notes

1 year ago

Swiftpack is being maintained by Petr Pavlik | @ptrpavlik | @swiftpackco