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Prosumma/PredicateQI 1.0.9
DSL with type guidance for NSPredicate
⭐️ 0
🕓 42 weeks ago
iOS macOS watchOS tvOS
.package(url: "https://github.com/Prosumma/PredicateQI.git", from: "1.0.9")


PredicateQI (PQI) is a framework which provides a domain-specific language (DSL) for building NSPredicate instances in Swift.

Apple's predicate language is a small language used primarily for two purposes. First, to query local managed data stores like Core Data and Realm and second to query arrays of Objective-C objects.

To use PredicateQI with Core Data, see CoreDataQueryInterface, which builds on PQI to create a Swift DSL for Core Data.


PQI is straightforward (but be sure to read "Notes & Limitations" below). A simple example follows and many more can be found in the tests.

class Person: NSObject {
  let firstName: String
  let lastName: String

class House: NSObject {
  let address: String?
  let inhabitants: NSArray

let houses: [House] = …
let inhabitedHouses = houses.pqiFilter { $0.inhabitants.pqiCount > 0 }
let smithHouse = houses.pqiFilter { any($0.inhabitants[Person.self].lastName == "Smith" )}.first

Notes & Limitations

Mixed Support

NSPredicate is a high-level language that can be executed directly against Objective-C objects in memory or possibly compiled to a different language such as SQL, as is the case with Core Data. As a result, not every NSPredicate is valid in every circumstance. Sometimes, a predicate that works with Objective-C objects won't work with Core Data and vice versa, because of different underlying capabilities. The mere fact that a predicate can be produced does not mean that it will work. PQI gives excellent guidance on creating valid predicates, but just because something compiles does not mean it will work when fed to the predicate interpreter.


PQI makes heavy use of compiler magic involving KeyPaths and @dynamicMemberLookup, but it also needs to add methods, properties and type aliases to arbitrary existing user types. To avoid naming collisions, PQI uses the pqi prefix unless there is no possibility of confusion.

For example, to present the @count aggregate operator, the pqiCount property is provided. It's named this way to avoid any possibility of collision with an already existing property called count.

PQI also uses the pqi prefix for certain global constants such as pqiSelf and pqiCount.

Querying Objective-C Objects In Memory

NSPredicate understands almost any type which can be represented in Objective-C. Just use @objcMembers on your class or prefix your instance variables with @objc. If it can't be represented, the compiler will immediately complain.

Unfortunately, this means that the Swift collection types can't be used. Nor can scalar optionals such as Int? or Double? (but String? works).

PQI provides a feature called type subscripts which can help with this. In the example above, inhabitants cannot be of type [Person] because NSPredicate wouldn't like that. It must be an NSArray. Unfortunately, this means that the compiler can't see inside NSArray and tell us what type it contains, so we can't produce a keypath. Type subscripts fix this:

let smithHouse = houses.pqiFilter { any($0.inhabitants[Person.self].lastName == "Smith") }

Without a type subscript on inhabitants, the compiler could not see that lastName exists, and the code above would not compile.

Querying Core Data

Read the section on querying Objective-C objects in memory above. Much of what it says still applies to Core Data, but with a few happy exceptions. When used with Core Data, NSPredicate is first compiled to SQL and executed against the underlying SQLite store. This means that it has slightly different (and in most cases more powerful) capabilities. In addition, the list of types supported by @NSManaged is greater. @objc var strings: [String] will fail to build, but @NSManaged var strings: [String] will work.


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Last commit: 42 weeks ago
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Release Notes

1 year ago

Reduced minimum OS versions

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