Skip to main content

Sharing code across manifests

One of the inconveniences of Xcode when we use it with large projects is that it doesn't allow reusing elements of the projects other than the build settings through .xcconfig files. Being able to reuse project definitions is useful for the following reasons:

  • It eases the maintenance because changes can be applied in one place and all the projects get the changes automatically.
  • It makes it possible to define conventions that new projects can conform to.
  • Projects are more consistent and therefore the likelihood of broken builds due inconsistencies is significantly less.
  • Adding a new projects becomes an easy task because we can reuse the existing logic.

Reusing code across manifest files is possible in Tuist thanks to the concept of project description helpers.


Project description helpers are Swift files that get compiled into a framework, ProjectDescriptionHelpers, that manifest files can import.


Tuist is not opinionated about the files structure and the content in them so it's up to you to give them a structure that makes sense for your project.

You can import them into your manifest file by adding an import statement at the top of the file:

// Project.swiftimport ProjectDescriptionimport ProjectDescriptionHelpers


Tuist traverses up the directory hierarchy until it finds a Tuist directory. Then it builds the helpers module including all the files under the ProjectDescriptionHelpers directory in the Tuist directory.


The snippets below contain an example of how we extend the Project model to add static constructors and how we use them from a Project.swift file:


import ProjectDescription
extension Project {  public static func featureFramework(name: String, dependencies: [TargetDependency] = []) -> Project {    return Project(        name: name,        targets: [            Target(                name: name,                platform: .iOS,                product: .framework,                bundleId: "io.tuist.\(name)",                infoPlist: "\(name).plist",                sources: ["Sources/\(name)/**"],                resources: ["Resources/\(name)/**",],                dependencies: dependencies            ),            Target(                name: "\(name)Tests",                platform: .iOS,                product: .unitTests,                bundleId: "io.tuist.\(name)Tests",                infoPlist: "\(name)Tests.plist",                sources: ["Sources/\(name)Tests/**"],                resources: ["Resources/\(name)Tests/**",],                dependencies: [.target(name: name)]            )        ]    )  }}


import ProjectDescriptionimport ProjectDescriptionHelpers
let project = Project.featureFramework(name: "MyFeature")

Note how through the function we are defining conventions about the name of the targets, the bundle identifier, and the folders structure.