At about 10am (PST) today we had a bit of an unusual traffic spike here at SitePoint HQ. A 2002 article about Swift 3D v3 quickly became our most popular article, and as I write this about six hours later it remains in the second-most clicked article today.
Those of you who have kept up with the announcements coming out of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will have probably worked out why: one of the biggest things Apple announced this morning was a new programming language, Swift.
Recruiters: Now looking for engineers with 5 years of Swift experience!
— I Am Devloper (@iamdevloper) June 2, 2014
After 20 years of favoring Objective-C, Apple is now striking out on its own with a language apparently years in the making. The new language emphasizes speed (hence the name), safety and an interactive approach to development. But devs nervous about having to move wholesale into a new language can be reassured that Swift code can work alongside the old Objective-C in the same app.
I have 24 years of Swift experience.
— InfoSec Taylor Swift (@SwiftOnSecurity) June 2, 2014
A brief list of features, from Apple’s introduction to the language:
- Swift pairs increased type safety with type inference, restricts direct access to pointers, and automatically manages memory—making it easy to create secure, stable software.
- Swift includes optionals, generics, tuples, and other modern language features. Inspired by and improving upon Objective-C, Swift code feels natural to read and write.
- Take advantage of powerful pattern matching in Swift to write simple, expressive code. Format strings naturally with string interpolation. Use frameworks like Foundation and UIKit directly from Swift.
- Use playgrounds to experiment with new technologies, analyze problems, and prototype user interfaces.
- The Swift compiler applies advanced code analysis to tune your code for performance, letting you focus on writing great apps instead of on implementing complex optimizations.
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What do you think of Swift? Let us know in the comments below.
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