Swift - Apple’s Open Source Language

Why You Should Be Interested in Swift – Apple’s Open Source Language

Apple’s Objective C has got rather old now, after a run that spanned roughly 3 decades. The tech giant, a few years back, decided to change things for the better with a new programming language. The language got a major upgrade at WWDC 2015, and its version 2.2 was, surprisingly, made open source under the Apache License 2.0. Going by the name Swift, the language didn’t gain much momentum…till now.

Though it didn’t create much of a big impression at first, Swift did prove useful for macOS X and iOS application development. Its compatibility with existing Objective-C libraries is an added benefit, making it a great option for developers who already know their way around Objective-C.

That said, Swift is expected to make a major comeback soon with its clever features, design elements, and further upgrades. It could be the most wanted skill in software development soon, if Apple continues to improve it at a rapid pace.

Here’s why it’s time for iOS developers to start picking up Swift.
 

It’s easy to learn

 
Swift’s syntax is simple enough to rival Python, and the language was designed to be easy to use. Even while learning, developers would be able to build apps faster than they would be able to when learning a different platform. The short learning curve also seems to have got many developers interested in the language over the years.
 

It’s quite fast

 
There are claims that codes built with Swift is as fast as compiled C codes. The language facilitates a more responsive development environment with Apple claiming that Swift’s search algorithms is up to 2.6 times faster than Objective-C, and 8.4 times faster than Python 2.7. The language also provides real-time feedback and enables developers to seamlessly integrate it with existing Objective-C code.
 

Devs can tinker with it

 
In order to make the language approachable and more appealing to developers, Apple made available a lot of learning resources and a cool app called Swift Playgrounds. The developers can experiment with Swift and learn the concepts behind it quickly with the Playgrounds app.
 

It’s safe

 
Apple made no compromises when it comes to Swift’s security. When working with the language, unsafe code is less likely to present itself. The developers can ensure tight security in apps developed with Swift by using modern programming conventions.
 

It could be the go-to language of the near future for Apple development

 
Apple is successful, and one of the biggest companies in the world. The company has reportedly handed over more than $15 billion to developers in the US alone since the App Store was launched. For developers, this makes sense to support the platforms the company prefers, which include iOS, tvOS, macOS etc.

Swift would eventually be an important factor when it comes to application development for all these platforms, considering the effort Apple takes to improve and refine the language. Because of its open source nature, it’s also expected to contribute to the growth of open source development services sector.
 

Conclusion

 
It’s Apple’s commitment to Swift which makes it appealing. It’s reached version 4.1, and v.5 is already under development. Apple seems to be refining the language to make it even more impressive, despite its humble beginning. Swift has certainly become one of the most popular open source technologies today since its release in 2014. It could potentially change the face of iOS/macOS development, which is why developers shouldn’t turn a blind eye to Swift.

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Written by Ajeesh Azhakesan
Ajeesh leads Verbat's Open Source Practice. He helps clients with project inception, team establishment, devising software architecture and quality deliveries throughout the product life cycle on all software projects built using Open Source technology stack at Verbat.