Learn Courses My Dashboard

Swift excessive method-overloading & how to get along with it?

Is it only my personal impression or does Swift method-overloading in an exaggerated way?
As an example for what I mean: Creating an URL-object can be done at least two ways.

let url = URL(filePath: pathString!)
let url2 = URL(fileURLWithPath: pathString!)

Both constructor-methods have worked for me. Although I’m not sure yet, what’s the difference. But stuff like that you got in the language all over.

What’s the reason for the excessive usage of method-overloading?

How do you get along with it?

Are there any tricks? Or is it just staying with coding until it all sinks in and you can differentiate the whole variations by heart?

Method “overloading” is quite normal. It just means that the method has the same name but has different arguments.

A classic example in UIKit is the tableView methods.

func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {


func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {


func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, didSelectRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) {


You’ll get used to it over time.

1 Like

Hi @mzech

Method overloading in Swift, where multiple methods have the same name but different parameters, can seem excessive at times. The reason for this is that it allows for more flexibility and convenience when creating objects or calling methods. In the example you provided, the two different constructors for creating an URL object serve different purposes. The URL(filePath:) constructor is used to create a file URL from a file system path string, while the URL(fileURLWithPath:) constructor is used to create a file URL from a file system path string. Both constructors do the same thing in the end, but they approach it in a different way and may have different behaviors under certain conditions.

In order to get along with method overloading, it’s important to read the documentation and understand the different variations of a method and when to use each one. You can also use Xcode’s autocomplete feature to see the different options available for a method. As you code more and more with Swift, it will become more natural to differentiate between the variations and know which one to use in different situations.

One trick you can use is to use the shift+click on the method name, it will show you a pop-up with the different variations of the same method. Additionally, it’s generally a good practice to add comments to your code explaining why you chose a specific variation of a method, so that others (or yourself in the future) can understand the reasoning behind the choice.

In summary, method overloading in Swift can seem excessive at first, but it provides more flexibility and convenience when creating objects or calling methods. It’s important to read the documentation, understand the different variations, and get used to it by coding more with Swift.