Pre-Scrolling a Table to a specific cell at load

Although that’s something that appears fairly easy, the truth -for me at least-, is that scrolling a UITableView to a specific cell every time you load it may prove tricky. 

In the app I’m working on I implement it in the following way: every time a view appeared I assess if the top visible row is the one it should. If it is, no action is taken, else we’ll scroll to the right row. 

    override func viewDidAppear(_ animated: Bool) {


        //Check if we need to scroll to a specific cell

        if getTopVisibleRow() != getTableLastViewedTopPosition() {

            tableView.scrollToRow(at: IndexPath(row: getTableLastViewedTopPosition(), section: 0), at: .top, animated: false)




For reference here’s what I’m doing in the getTopVisibleRow(), note that is is important only if you’re using a translucid navbar:

    func getTopVisibleRow () -> Int {

        //We need this to accounts for the translucency below the nav bar

        let navBar = navigationController?.navigationBar

        let whereIsNavBarInTableView = tableView.convert(navBar!.bounds, from: navBar)

        let pointWhereNavBarEnds = CGPoint(x: 0, y: whereIsNavBarInTableView.origin.y + whereIsNavBarInTableView.size.height + 1)

        let accurateIndexPath = tableView.indexPathForRow(at: pointWhereNavBarEnds)

        return accurateIndexPath?.row ?? 0



For getTableLastViewedTopPosition() I’m simply fetching from the model what cell index should we be showing. 

Questions / comments? I’m at @MarcMasVi 


Find the right value in an Array, or in an Array of Dictionaries

From time to time I discover a new way of coding something that significantly improves readability & minimizes how much I need to code. 

Here’s one of such latest discoveries. Typically to find a value in an array (or in an array of dictionaries) with a specific condition I would do a for loop with an if statement checking for the right value. This works great of course, but its a lot of code to do something that simple. 

Here’s a simple way to find a value in an array of dictionaries:

let matchingArticle = arrayOfItems.first(where: {$0.exampleKey == 3843})


We ask the arrayOfItems to give us the first value where the dictionary key exampleKey takes the value 3843. 

And if it’s only an array of int or string, for example, is even easier:

 let matchingArticle = arrayOfItems.first(where: {$0 == 859})

We simply ask the arrayOfItems to give us the first value where the its value equals 859. 

Note, in this code example we assume you will always have only up to 1 match. 

I’ve come to love this function and I think you will too. 


Questions / comments / suggestions? I’m at @MarcMasVi 



Inserting cells at the top of a UITableView with no scrolling

If you would like your table to be refreshed “ala Twitter”, with new data being added on top, here’s a quick an easy way to do it for iOS: 

func updateTableViewAfterAdditionInNewArray(){

        //Get new feeds and check if counts are different

        let countOfAddedItems = oldArray.count – newArray.count


        //If we’re adding information

        if (oldArray) > 0 {

            if debugMode == true{

                print(“We have a difference in counts of \(oldArray)”)



            if oldArray.count != 0 {

                //Update data model

                oldArray = newArray


                var initialContentOffSet = tableView.contentOffset.y

                //If offset is less than 0 due to refresh up gesture, assume 0

                if initialContentOffSet < 0 {

                    initialContentOffSet = 0


                //Reload, scroll and offset


                tableView.scrollToRow(at: IndexPath(row: countOfAddedItems, section: 0), at: .top, animated: false)

                tableView.contentOffset.y = tableView.contentOffset.y  + initialContentOffSet


                if debugMode == true{

                    print(“There was no data in oldArray, avoid scrolling. “)


                //Update data model

                oldArray = newArray








Hope it helps! I’m really enjoying going back to iOS development, expect more iOS posts this next couple of months as I’m ramping up on my next project. 

Questions / comments / suggestions? I’m at @MarcMasVi 



Improve your ⌘ V efficiency

Want to improve your quality of life in 5 seconds?

1. Go to System Preferences

2. Keyboard

3. Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts

4. Click on add -> All Applications –> add “Paste and Match Style” for keyboard shortcut ⌘V

Thank you Ally


Multi Thread access to shared Variables – Swift 4 Concurrency

Working with background threads really helps improve the app responsiveness & the overall user experience. But, and it’s a big but, you have to be aware of multithread access conflicts. 

Screen Shot 2018 06 17 at 11 01 43 AM

If you access/modify the same variable from multiple threads you’re prone to non-reproducible -seemingly random- crashes.

How to Detect Conflicts?

To help you find where you may have this variable access conflicts you should enable Thread Sanitizer & Pause on issues in your Run Scheme settings. Xcode will highlight conflicts while the app runs, as it detects them. If you want to dig deeper in what the debugger can do for you there’s a great WWDC 2018 session worth watching

Screen Shot 2018 06 17 at 10 29 38 AM

Once we have detected the variables that are being accessed from different threads it’s time to strengthen them.

How to Address Multi-Thread Variable Access Conflicts?

We must protect the access to the variables so that no simultaneous read/write action can occur. The easiest way is to use accessors for the variable, accessors can be accessed from any thread but the value of the variable always will be fetched from one thread (that we create for this purpose). Here’s an example to illustrate:

    //Background queue to synchronize data access

    fileprivate let globalBackgroundSyncronizeDataQueue = DispatchQueue(

        label: globalBackgroundSyncronizeSharedData”)


    //Value variable (always accessed from created thread) 

    var arrayOfFeedItems_Value : [String] =  []


    //Variable accessor that can be accessed from anywhere (multithread-protected).

    var arrayOfFeedItems : [String] {



                self.arrayOfFeedItems_Value = newValue




            return globalBackgroundSyncronizeDataQueue.sync{






In this case I’m adding multi-thread protection to an array (arrayOfFeedItems), but you could do the same with any variable. 

This has been a fun learning experience for me, hope this post helps other with the same challenges.

Questions / comments? I’m at @MarcMasVi 



Some extra documentation if you want to dig deeper: Swift Access Races & Framework Dispatch.

Random numbers in Swift

Swift 4.2 has introduced a native random number API in the standard library, making it cross platform. 

Int.random(in: 1...1000) // → 691
Double.random(in: 0..<1) // → 0.8741555749903935
UInt32.random(in: 0xD800...0xDFFF) // → 55666

Read more in the great article from Ole Begemann, worth a read



Resize NSImage Proportionally (Swift)

I wanted a simple function to resize an image to a desired height, while keeping proportions. Here’s what I came up with (based on Marco implementation):

extension NSImage {


    func resizedImageTo(sourceImage: NSImage, newSize: NSSize) -> NSImage?{

        if sourceImage.isValid == false {

            return nil


        let representation = NSBitmapImageRep(bitmapDataPlanes: nil, pixelsWide: Int(newSize.width), pixelsHigh: Int(newSize.height), bitsPerSample: 8, samplesPerPixel: 4, hasAlpha: true, isPlanar: false, colorSpaceName: .calibratedRGB, bytesPerRow: 0, bitsPerPixel: 0)

        representation?.size = newSize



        NSGraphicsContext.current = NSGraphicsContext.init(bitmapImageRep: representation!)

        sourceImage.draw(in: NSRect(x: 0, y: 0, width: newSize.width, height: newSize.height), from: NSZeroRect, operation: .copy, fraction: 1.0)



        let newImage = NSImage(size: newSize)



        return newImage






Questions / comments / suggestions? I’m at @MarcMasVi 


Updated after I discovered the great implementation Marco Arment suggested. 

NSWindow min and max size (Swift 4)

You can force the views to keep a inferred min and max width/height by using AutoLayout, but what if you’re working with several views simultaneously? Wouldn’t it be simpler to have a window min and max width/height? 

Just add the following in your NSWindowController:

override func windowDidLoad() {


        window?.minSize = NSSize(width: 410, height: 600 )

        window?.manSize = NSSize(width: 600, height: 1200



Questions / comments? I’m at @MarcMasVi 


NSImageView Aspect Fill

Setting an image to use AspectFill in iOS is trivial, you can set it by code or directly in storyboard. 

But how do you do it in macOS? In Cocoa/App Kit there is no property for that, you may scale it , but there is no option for AspectFill (or AspectFit for that matter). So, how do we do it?

Once you find the way is quite easy actually. We’ll create a subclass of NSImageView and we’ll override the image property, then, we’ll place the image in a CALayer; and finally we’ll use this CALayer to resize it with the desired AspectFill. 

import Cocoa


class ImageAspectFillView: NSImageView {


    override var image: NSImage? {

        set {

            self.layer = CALayer()

            self.layer?.contentsGravity = kCAGravityResizeAspectFill

            self.layer?.contents = newValue

            self.wantsLayer = true


            super.image = newValue



        get {

            return super.image







And that’s it! I hope it helped, took me quite a while to find this solution but works like a charm. Questions, comments? I’m at @MarcMasVi