Code Smell 220 - Return Tuple

Photo by Edgar Soto on Unsplash

Code Smell 220 - Return Tuple

You need to return more than one object

TL;DR: Don't return multiple values.


  • Coupling

  • Missing Abstraction

  • Readability

  • Extensibility


  1. Create a return object grouping the tuple

  2. Reify it into an object with cohesion and behavior (not a DTO or Dictionary)

  3. Look for the object in the real world using the MAPPER

  4. try to return void and delegate the solution to the modified object avoiding accidental mutations


A function returning multiple values in languages that allow it is a problem.

Developers can use this hack to avoid reifying concepts.

Some languages are: Javascript, Go, Lua, Matlab, PHP, Python, Rust, and Swift

Sample Code


func getNameAndAge() -> (String, Int) {
    let name = "John"
    let age = 30
    return (name, age)


struct PeopleProfile {
    let name: String
    let age: Int

// We reify the PeopleProfile object
func getNameAndAge() -> PeopleProfile {
    let name = "John"
    let age = 30
    let profile = PeopleProfile(name: name, age: age)
    return profile


[X] Automatic

This is a language smell.

We can tell our linters to warn us.


  • Coupling


This is yet another language feature that hinders clean code and blinds us from seeing missing abstractions in the Bijection.


More Info


Code Smells are my opinion.


Photo by Edgar Soto on Unsplash

By relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and in effect increases the mental power of the race. Before the introduction of the Arabic notation, multiplication was difficult, and division even of integers called into play the highest mathematical faculties. Our modern power of easy reckoning with decimal fractions is the almost miraculous result of the gradual discovery of a perfect notation.

Alfred North Whitehead

This article is part of the CodeSmell Series.