Today I hang at this snippet:

let numbers: [String?] = ["1", "two", nil]
let mapped: [Int?] = numbers.compactMap { Int($0 ?? "0") }
// What's the value of mapped.count?

Correct answer is 3.

Reason is not in source array at all and not in coalescing inside of transform in compactMap as it might seem after first look.

It’s because of type annotation of mapped variable. [Int?] for result of compactMap which is returning non-nil results. Here what documentation says:

/// Returns an array containing the non-nil results of calling the given /// transformation with each element of this sequence. /// /// Use this method to receive an array of non-optional values when your /// transformation produces an optional value.

Ok, [Int?] for result of compactMap looks strange. But how is that influencing result? Here how compactMap is declared:

func compactMap<ElementOfResult>(_ transform: (Element) throws -> ElementOfResult?) rethrows -> [ElementOfResult]

And its implementation is dead simple:

return { $0 != nil }.map { $0! }

Attention to function declaration. compactMap is generic on type of element of returning array. compactMap returning [ElementOfResult] and its transform parameter is (Element) throws -> ElementOfResult?.

But what if we enforce ElementOfResult to be optional providing type annotation for mapped variable? Not a problem. Then transform will wrap all transformation results in optinal giving double optional. Then compactMap will get rid of wrapper optional because none of elemens could be nil. And now elements of array returned from compactMap is optional some of which might be nil. That what we have in our case. That why count of mapped is 3 but not 2. But if you make type annotation of mapped [Int] or get rid of it completely we get count 2 as expected.

Interesting example when explicite type annotation might play bad. If they are wrong.