Protocol requirements co/contra variance

In the following example:

class Base {}
class Derived: Base {}

class C {
    func foo(_ v: Base) {}
    func bar() -> Derived { Derived() }

I can call C's foo with instances of Derived:

let c = C()

and I can treat C's bar as returning instances of Base:

let v: Base =

yet if I try to formally expressed these abilities in a form of protocol:

protocol P: AnyObject {
    func foo(_ v: Derived)
    func bar() -> Base

I can't conform C to this protocol:

extension C: P {} // πŸ›‘ Type 'C' does not conform to protocol 'P'

apparently because protocol conformance requires exact type matching (unlike the co/contra variance flexibility allowed in subclass methods overrides).

The question is: shouldn't swift allow it?

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Old (but relevant) thread from a couple years back:

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This reminded me it would be good to revive it again (seems like my PR got closed bc I had to recreate the fork) and hopefully get it merged.


Any news on this? :slight_smile:

Yes I created a new thread here a while back - Protocol Witness Matching Roadmap