ResilientDecoding 1.1.0

ResilientDecoding 1.1.0

Maintained by Dan Federman, Francisco Diaz, George, Michael Bachand.

  • By
  • George Leontiev

Resilient Decoding

Swift Package Manager compatible Carthage compatible Version License Platform


This package defines mechanisms to partially recover from errors when decoding Decodable types. It also aims to provide an ergonomic API for inspecting decoding errors during development and reporting them in production.

More details follow, but here is a glimpse of what this package enables:

struct Foo: Decodable {
  @Resilient var array: [Int]
  @Resilient var value: Int?
let foo = try JSONDecoder().decode(Foo.self, from: """
    "array": [1, "2", 3],
    "value": "invalid",
  """.data(using: .utf8)!)

After running this code, foo will be a Foo where foo.array == [1, 3] and foo.value == nil. In DEBUG, foo.$array.results will be [.success(1), .failure(DecodingError.dataCorrupted(…), .success(3)] and foo.$value.error will be DecodingError.dataCorrupted(…). This functionality is DEBUG-only so that we can maintain no overhead in release builds.


Swift Package Manager

In your Package.swift:

  dependencies: [
    .package(name: "ResilientDecoding", url: "", from: "1.0.0"),


In your Podfile:

platform :ios, '12.0'
pod 'ResilientDecoding', '~> 1.0'


The main interface to this package is the @Resilient property wrapper. It can be applied to four kinds of properties: Optional, Array, Dictionary, and custom types conforming to the ResilientRawRepresentable protocol that this package provides.


Optionals are the simplest type of property that can be made Resilient. A property written as @Resilient var foo: Int? will be initialized as nil and not throw an error if one is encountered during decoding (for instance, if the value for the foo key was a String).


Resilient can also be applied to an array or an optional array ([T]?). A property written as @Resilient var foo: [Int] will be initialized with an empty array if the foo key is missing or if the value is something unexpected, like String. Likewise, if any element of this array fails to decode, that element will be omitted. The optional array variant of this will set the value to nil if the key is missing or has a null value, and an empty array otherwise.


Resilient can also be applied to a (string-keyed) dictionary or an optional dictionary ([String: T]?). A property written as @Resilient var foo: [String: Int] will be initialized with an empty dictionary if the foo key is missing or if the value is something unexpected, like String. Likewise, if any value in the dictionary fails to decode, that value will be omitted. The optional dictionary variant of this will set the value to nil if the key is missing or has a null value, and an empty array otherwise.


Custom types can conform to the ResilientRawRepresentable protocol which allows them to customize their behavior when being decoded as a Resilient property (it has no affect otherwise). ResilientRawRepresentable inherits from RawRepresentable and is meant to be conformed to primarily by enums with a raw value. ResilientRawRepresentable has two static properties: decodingFallback and isFrozen.


A ResilientRawRepresentable type can optionally define a decodingFallback, which allows it to be resiliently decoded without being wrapped in an optional. For instance, the following enum can be used in a property written @Resilient var myEnum: MyEnum:

enum MyEnum: String, ResilientRawRepresentable {
  case existing
  case unknown
  static var decodingFallback: Self { .unknown }

Note: Arrays and Dictionarys of ResilientRawRepresentables always omit elements instead of using the decodingFallback.


isFrozen controls whether new RawValues will report errors to ResilientDecodingErrorReporter. By default, isFrozen is false, which means that a RawValue for which init(rawValue:) returns nil will not report an error. This is useful when you want older versions of your code to support new enum cases without reporting errors, for instance when evolving a backend API used by an iOS application. In this way, the property is analogous to Swift's @frozen attribute, though they achieve different goals. isFrozen has no effect on property-level errors.

Inspecting Errors

Resilient provides two mechanisms for inspecting errors, one designed for use during development and another designed for reporting unexpected errors in production.

Property-Level Errors

In DEBUG builds, Resilient properties provide a projectedValue with information about errors encountered during decoding. This information can be inspected using the $property.outcome property, which is an enum with cases including keyNotFound and valueWasNil. This is different from errors since the aformentioned two cases are actually not errors when the property value is Optional, for instance. Scalar types, such as Optional and ResilientRawRepresentable, also provide an error property. Developers can determine if an error ocurred during decoding by accessing $foo.error for a property written @Resilient var foo: Int?. @Resilient array properties provide two additional fields: errors and results. errors is the list of all errors that were recovered from when decoding the array. results interleaves these errors with elements of the array that were successfully decoded. For instance, the results for a property written @Resilient var baz: [Int] when decoding the JSON snippet [1, 2, "3"] would be two .success values followed by a .failure.


In production, ResilientDecodingErrorReporter can be used to collate all errors encountered when decoding a type with Resilient properties. JSONDecoder provides a convenient decode(_:from:reportResilientDecodingErrors:) API which returns both the decoded value and the error digest if errors were encountered. More complex use cases require adding a ResilientDecodingErrorReporter to your Decoder's userInfo as the value for the .resilientDecodingErrorReporter user info key. After decoding a type, you can call flushReportedErrors which will return an ErrorDigest if any errors are encountered. The digest can be used to access the underlying errors (errorDigest.errors) or be pretty-printed in DEBUG (debugPrint(errorDigest)).

The pretty-printed digest looks something like this:

  Index 1
    - Could not decode as `Int`
  Index 3
    - Could not decode as `Int`
  - Unknown novel value "novel" (this error is not reported by default)

Note: One difference the errors available on the property wrapper and those reported to the ResilientDecodingErrorReporter, is the latter does not report UnknownNovelValueErrors by default (UnknownNovelValueError is thrown when a non-frozen ResilientRawRepresentable's init(rawValue:) returns nil). You can alter this behavior by calling errors(includeUnknownNovelValueErrors: true) on the error digest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Resilient work as expected when the wrapped type is a generic argument?

No. If you have a type that is generic over <T> and specify @Resilient var someResilient: T it will not matter if T is an array or dictionary, it will be treated as a single value.

More Details

For more information about what how exactly a particular Resilient field will behave when it encounters a particular error, I recommend consulting the unit tests.