How Do You Know Whether or Not SwiftUI Previews and Preview Content Are Excluded From App Store Builds?

I’ve found what I believe to be a bug, or at least deeply disappointing behavior, in Xcode’s treatment of SwiftUI previews. I’ll put an explanation together in the paragraphs that follow, but the TL;DR is: I think you’ll probably want to start wrapping all your SwiftUI Previews and Preview Content Swift source code in #if DEBUG active compilation condition checks.

Screenshot of an Archive action build failure.

SwiftUI previews are, if you consider it from a broader perspective, comprised of two kinds of source code:

The SwiftUI preview dream is supposed to be this:

The reality is less than that ideal:

There are several workarounds, none of which are spectacular:

That’s the long-winded explanation.

Until and unless Apple makes ergonomic improvements to align SwiftUI Preview and Development Asset conditional compilation techniques, I recommend wrapping both kinds of source code in #if DEBUG to prevent accidental slippage of test data and source into production code, as well as to prevent unexpected build failures on multitenant hardware (for teams that build for App Store in CI, these build failures often don’t appear except on unattended machines around the time a release is being cut, making them perniciously difficult to spot during day-to-day code review).

|  20 May 2024