Apple has announced at todays World Developer Conference that it will be launching version 2.0 of its Swift programing language, as well as the huge announcement that Apple will be making Swift open source.
Apple launched Swift, a programming language of its own design, at the 2014 World Wide Developers Conference as a proprietary language for mobile app development on both the iOS and OS X platforms. Swift was designed to be a next step and an improvement upon ‘Objective C’ and provide a programming language that was more resistant to error.
Swift was built at Apple borrowing ideas “from Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU, and far too many others to list.” It was originally available only for development use on Apple’s Cocao and Cocoa Touch API’s. Now however with Apple making Swift open source, developers will have the brand new opportunity to develop applications on Linux based operating systems outside of Apple’s product lineup.
More importantly than non-Apple development, Swift being made open source will drastically speed up its development. The goal of Swift was to provide an easier, quicker, and more intuitive programming language not only to iOS and OS X developers, but to the world. “We think Swift is the next big programming language,” said Apple’s Craig Federighi, “We think Swift should be everywhere and used by everyone.”
This marks an important step forward in the developer community as it signals a strong message to developers that Apple is invested in growth of the language and the support of their work.