Last year, Apple unveiled an all new programming language at WWDC 2014. This new language is called Swift, and it’s designed to be a “powerful and intuitive programming language”. Since the initial release, the language has gone through some growing pains, but it has also made a lot of progress. Today, Apple made of the biggest changes to the new language by making it completely open source.
The code behind Swift is now under an Apache 2.0 license and can be found on GitHub. Needless to say, this is a game changer for the relatively young language. Since the project is hosted on a GitHub repository, it is very easy for anyone to submit pull requests and report bugs. Making such a large project open source has a lot of benefits, but one of the biggest effects this will have is an increase in development rate. This boost will likely help Apple accomplish their ultimate goal of getting Swift to become the new Objective-C.
A faster growth rate is just one of the many positive effects going open source can have on a project. If you look at other open projects, like the Linux kernel, it is clear that amazing things can be accomplished when a community has the ability to work together. Having Swift open source will allow developers to make the language what they want it to be. Having the code publicly available will make the language easier to learn and understand and will hopefully turn it into a very streamlined paradigm.
As of now, Swift is only supported on Apple and Linux-based operating systems. Others operating systems, like Windows, aren’t officially supported, but Apple is hoping that members of the community will be able to make Swift on Windows a reality. If you are interested in checking out the project, you can view the official website at Swift.org.
Thank you Tag 7s for suggesting this topic!