Apple to open source Swift later this year with support for iOS, OS X, and Linux

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2015
Apple on Monday announced that it would make its popular new Swift programming language open source, releasing the language and toolchains for iOS, OS X, and Linux.




Apple software chief Craig Federighi made the announcement during Monday's keynote at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. It remains unclear how Apple will govern Swift development in the new open source model --?whether it will tend more toward the Darwin source or WebKit models -- though more details are likely to emerge as the release nears.

At the same time, Federighi announced Swift 2, with numerous new features. Developers will be able to use Markdown in comments, pattern matching in "if," and synthesized "headers" in Xcode alongside other improvements like a faster runtime and shorter compile times.




Swift has grown extremely popular since its release one year ago, with thousands of App Store apps taking advantage of the new language. In April, it took the crown as the most-loved language among developers -- some 78 percent of programmers currently working with Swift said they were eager to continue developing with it.

Swift 2 will be included in the iOS 9 beta, which will be available to registered developers later today.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member

    Holy Cow..iOS copies Android now. /s

  • Reply 2 of 73
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member

    Microsoft is working on their own Swift compiler for Visual Studio, so I expect it will come to Windows but not right away.

  • Reply 3 of 73
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,107member

    Just in time.

     

    Now when Oracle puts the ban hammer on Java in Android (forcing Google to make Android Java compatible with Java and causing a huge problem for developers), they'll now have an alternative they can switch to.

     

    Oh the irony if Android software was written using a language that Apple pioneered. I'm sure blood vessels would burst in countless haters brains.

  • Reply 4 of 73
    netroxnetrox Posts: 826member
    As a developer, I am creaming my pants!
  • Reply 5 of 73
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

    Now when Oracle puts the ban hammer on Java in Android (forcing Google to make Android Java compatible with Java and causing a huge problem for developers), they'll now have an alternative they can switch to.


     

    Google Go is older and and has much more cross-platform support at this point. Otherwise, they'd make their own language. Google loves developing nerdy backend stuff as much as Apple likes selling things. Swift is fundamentally designed to remain compatible with ObjC, Google would make something compatible with Java.

  • Reply 6 of 73
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

    Just in time.

     

    Now when Oracle puts the ban hammer on Java in Android (forcing Google to make Android Java compatible with Java and causing a huge problem for developers), they'll now have an alternative they can switch to.

     

    Oh the irony if Android software was written using a language that Apple pioneered. I'm sure blood vessels would burst in countless haters brains.


    LOL...and when a fandroid is yapping about their OS superiority, I'll ask: what's is your OS foundation built on? LOL.

  • Reply 7 of 73
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

     

    Google Go is older and and has much more cross-platform support at this point. Otherwise, they'd make their own language. Google loves developing nerdy backend stuff as much as Apple likes selling things. Swift is fundamentally designed to remain compatible with ObjC, Google would make something compatible with Java.


    I would say Samsung will jump on this to build Tizen.

  • Reply 8 of 73
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,323member
    konqerror wrote: »
    Google Go is older and and has much more cross-platform support at this point. Otherwise, they'd make their own language. Google loves developing nerdy backend stuff as much as Apple likes selling things. Swift is fundamentally designed to remain compatible with ObjC, Google would make something compatible with Java.

    Google Go: A Programming language that has never interested me, just like Java.
  • Reply 9 of 73
    esummersesummers Posts: 912member
    Based on comments at Microsoft's build conference when they announced Objective-C coming to Windows in the fall, Swift will probably be available in Visual Studio soon too.
  • Reply 10 of 73
    ds92jzds92jz Posts: 90member
    Swift is now open source.
    *DROPS MIC...EXITS STAGE RIGHT*
  • Reply 11 of 73
    esummersesummers Posts: 912member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Microsoft is working on their own Swift compiler for Visual Studio, so I expect it will come to Windows but not right away.


     

    Sometime next year at the latest.  They may need to port the Swift runtime, but they get the language for free since Visual Studio can replace LLVM as a backend.

  • Reply 12 of 73
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,074member

    There were all kinds of rumors of the next Nintendo platform using Android as the base OS.  Nintendo quickly addressed those rumors as being false.  I wonder if a move to Swift is in the works?  Nintendo is actively reinventing their mobile strategy...

  • Reply 13 of 73
    twiselltwisell Posts: 27member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esummers View Post



    Based on comments at Microsoft's build conference when they announced Objective-C coming to Windows in the fall, Swift will probably be available in Visual Studio soon too.



    Gosh! missed that announcement from Microsoft... what a remarkable turn of events for those who are apple users since the 90's :wow: 

  • Reply 14 of 73
    xactoxacto Posts: 7member
    How will this benefit Apple users in the long run? Isn't this usually a sign that Apple is not going expand upon the language anymore and let third parties take the lead?
  • Reply 15 of 73
    esummersesummers Posts: 912member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xacto View Post



    How will this benefit Apple users in the long run? Isn't this usually a sign that Apple is not going expand upon the language anymore and let third parties take the lead?

     

    No.  They do it so the language becomes ubiquitous yet they still maintain control over its development.  It is also the right thing to do for core technologies.  They language may be a good fit for other domains.  It will be interesting to see it used for web servers, etc.  It also allows Swift to be a language of choice for backend code.  It will certainly be available on Windows and Android devices.  It is Apple's advantage to allow Swift developers to have the same advantages that C# developers currently have.

  • Reply 16 of 73
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    I'm glad to see Apple is including Markdown in Swift. It's be great if they'd build support for Markdown into the text features of iOS and OS X too.

    That and:

    1. Allowing all text apps to benefit from many of the features of Pages, including styles. That'd make it easy to move documents around.

    2. Drastic improvements to OS X's spell checker.

    3. Make export to epub as easy as export to PDF has always been within OS X. That's important for mobile devices with varying screen sizes.
  • Reply 17 of 73
    rcfarcfa Posts: 786member
    xacto wrote: »
    How will this benefit Apple users in the long run? Isn't this usually a sign that Apple is not going expand upon the language anymore and let third parties take the lead?

    Swift is a very popular language; by becoming open source it can become a standard language, which is key for things like government and business contracts: nobody wants mission critical code to be based on a proprietary, single-source platform.
    The IBM-Apple partnership relies on acceptance in the business community.
    Swift becoming a standard could quickly do away with Java, C, C++ and bunch of other languages.

    Note: the language is not the same as the API, people will still have to clone the APIs, unless Apple throws in at least the FoundationKit into the open source bag.

    M$ is already cloning some of the libraries for the ObjC port, so adding Swift bindings will be relatively easy for them.
    The rest might have to build on GNUstep or similar projects, or start from scratch.
  • Reply 18 of 73
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,524member
    When they announced Swift, I posted on AI that they would open source it!

    So, you will be able to develop apps for:
    [LIST]
    [*] Mac
    [*] iPhone
    [*] iPad
    [*] Apple Watch
    [*] Apple TV
    [*]
    [/LIST]

    using a common language -- that is fast, safe and powerful!


    You will be able to develop apps for these popular and profitable devices (to developers as well as Apple) on any platform.

    The secret to writing apps for any target platform is that the libraries supporting that platform are available -- regardless of the platform you choose for development.

    The libraries for the Apple target(s) are available today ....

    This is a very big deal!

    Apple has at least a year lead before libraries targeting non-Apple platforms are available ...

    Just like the Roadrunner, Apple has left all those Wiley Coyotes in the dust, and never looked back!

    BeeBeep. BeeBeep ...
  • Reply 19 of 73
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,107member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

     

    Google Go is older and and has much more cross-platform support at this point. Otherwise, they'd make their own language. Google loves developing nerdy backend stuff as much as Apple likes selling things. Swift is fundamentally designed to remain compatible with ObjC, Google would make something compatible with Java.


     

    Sure. Like Google decided to write their own language for Android when they were deciding between C# or Java.

     

    Oh wait, they didn't create their own, and that's why they're in trouble with Oracle.

  • Reply 20 of 73
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    xacto wrote: »
    How will this benefit Apple users in the long run?

    Apple uses 3rd party unix software and their app store has cross-platform apps. Having a common language that eliminates frequent security problems and is a simpler language for new developers has a lot of benefits for them. It's as beneficial as Javascript, C++, Objective-C, C, Python etc being cross-platform.

    It also means that even if Apple doesn't make a compiler for iOS themselves, 3rd parties can make code editors for iOS and have some kind of testing system, maybe even remotely on a Linux server.

    They said they planned to use it all the way to system-level coding so they could be transitioning some parts of the operating systems over to Swift to improve security.

    Hopefully Unreal and Unity will pick this up as a language to use for games development so there's no cross-compilation needed and no need to learn another language.
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