Last year, during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company unveiled a new programming language – Swift. The “powerful and intuitive” programming language was designed for iOS, OS X and Watch OS, and this year Apple is taking it a step further.
During this year's WWDC, the company announced Swift 2.0, the second version of the programming language.
It features many improvements, aimed to deliver better performance from the apps that developers write. The new version also includes a suite of important new improvements, like more comprehensive error handling and better warnings for such things as variable mutability.
But perhaps the biggest change with Swift 2.0 is the fact that Apple has made it open-source. Developers will now be able to look under the hood of the programming language. This also means that we might see Swift apps running on non-Apple operating systems, but it's still too early to tell.
The big move was announced by Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi.
“We think Swift is the next big programming language, the one that we’ll all be doing application and system programming on for 20 years to come,” Venture Beat quotes Federighi saying. “We think Swift should be everywhere and used by everyone.”
Apple describes Swift as “a successor” to C and Objective-C on its website, with its support for object-oriented programming and whole module optimization.
Apple has not had a big open-source reputation over the years, but with Google Go, and Mozilla advocating Rust, Apple doesn’t want to be left behind.