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ListDiff is a Swift port of IGListKit's IGListDiff. It is an implementation of an algorithm by Paul Heckel that calculates the diff between 2 arrays.


The motivation for this project came from the following challenge which I learnt about it from Ryan Nystrom's talk at iOSConf.SG.

Getting Started

swift package generate-xcodeproj


import ListDiff

extension Int : Diffable {
    public var diffIdentifier: AnyHashable {
        return self
let o = [0, 1, 2]
let n = [2, 1, 3]
let result = List.diffing(oldArray: o, newArray: n)
// result.hasChanges == true
// result.deletes == IndexSet(integer: 0)
// result.inserts == IndexSet(integer: 2)
// result.moves == [List.MoveIndex(from: 2, to: 0), List.MoveIndex(from: 1, to: 1)]
// result.changeCount == 4


During the port, I made several decisions which I would like to rationalize here.

  • Using caseless enum as namespace. See Erica Sadun's post here.
  • No support for index paths. Decided that this is out of the scope.
  • Stack vs Heap. AFAIK, Swift does not advocates thinking about stack vs heap allocation model, leaving the optimization decisions to compiler instead. Nevertheless, some of the guideline do favour struct more, so only List.Entry is a (final) class as we need reference to its instances.