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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:16 PM   #1
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'Swift' Programming Language in Development for Four Years, "Major Focus" Since 2013




The Swift programming language was as close to a "One More Thing" as there was at the WWDC Keynote this week, debuting to significant cheers from the developers in the audience. Immediate reaction after the keynote suggested Swift was "huge news" and the future of development on Apple products.

Apple says Swift code is "concise yet expressive", interactive and fun. For coders, the introduction to Swift is available on the iBooks Store but Chris Lattner, head of Apple's Developer Tools department, shared additional information on Swift on his personal webpage (via TechCrunch).

Now that Swift is public, Lattner revealed that he began working on Swift in mid-2010, with a team of coders "contributing in earnest" late in 2011. Last July, Swift finally became the major focus of Lattner's Developer Tools Group.
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The Swift language is the product of tireless effort from a team of language experts, documentation gurus, compiler optimization ninjas, and an incredibly important internal dogfooding group who provided feedback to help refine and battle-test ideas. Of course, it also greatly benefited from the experiences hard-won by many other languages in the field, drawing ideas from Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU, and far too many others to list.

The Xcode Playgrounds feature and REPL were a personal passion of mine, to make programming more interactive and approachable. The Xcode and LLDB teams have done a phenomenal job turning crazy ideas into something truly great. Playgrounds were heavily influenced by Bret Victor's ideas, by Light Table and by many other interactive systems.
Lattner says that he hopes to make programming "more approachable and fun" with Swift, getting rid of extraneous materials to make programming easier to learn.

"We'll appeal to the next generation of programmers and to help redefine how Computer Science is taught," Lattner writes.

Article Link: 'Swift' Programming Language in Development for Four Years, "Major Focus" Since 2013
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:17 PM   #2
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This changes everything. Again.

Predicting Mac OS XI and iOS X to be built from the ground up using Swift.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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Its seems to be revolutionary so its worth the wait
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:18 PM   #4
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I can't wait to start working with this. Objective C is archaic to say the least
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:18 PM   #5
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Has anyone else been trying to pick this up? I'm finding the lack of any real documentation a bit of an issue.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:19 PM   #6
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Has anyone else been trying to pick this up? I'm finding the lack of any real documentation a bit of an issue.
The difficulty of getting Xcode 6 and Playground only makes it worse -_-
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:19 PM   #7
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Will the Stanford course on iTunes University for iOS 8 programming be updated to use Swift?
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:19 PM   #8
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maybe my uni should pick this over java as i still have to pass that one ... uhm 7 semesters later sigh lol
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:20 PM   #9
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Almost through reading the iBook. It's wonderful.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:20 PM   #10
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Swift looks pretty cool, and I'm excited to start learning it at some point.....

.....but the visual part of me wishes that the white bird in the icon were flying upwards towards the top right corner instead downwards towards the bottom right corner. I guess I just have to deal with it!
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:20 PM   #11
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Haven't looked at a piece of code in 6 years (took C++ and C in college), but this almost makes me want to learn another programing language. It would be pretty cool to a) learn something that seems so fun/simple b) be at the beginning of the learning curve c) actually try and make some fun apps for my iPhone as a hobby
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieegan3 View Post
Has anyone else been trying to pick this up? I'm finding the lack of any real documentation a bit of an issue.
Where you see issue, I see opportunity. I'm picking this up as quickly as possible and hoping to whip off a much more friendly book. The book Apple offers starts off with a well organized tutorial for people who already know 5+ languages, but then it goes into the nitty gritties in an almost random order. At no point is the book suitable for someone who doesn't know at least one programming language, and rarely is it suitable for people who don't know several programming languages.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:20 PM   #13
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The difficulty of getting Xcode 6 and Playground only makes it worse -_-
I'm enrolled as a developer so that luckily wasn't problem
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:20 PM   #14
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How can I learn the language without having any other programming experience? Is there a class I can take in university?
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by charlieegan3 View Post
Has anyone else been trying to pick this up? I'm finding the lack of any real documentation a bit of an issue.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/swi...81256329?mt=11
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
Where you see issue, I see opportunity. I'm picking this up as quickly as possible and hoping to whip off a much more friendly book. The book Apple offers starts off with a well organized tutorial for people who already know 5+ languages, but then it goes into the nitty gritties in an almost random order.
That's a good point. Stackoverflow is starting to pick up a little which is helping a lot. I've watched the first WWDC video and that was good, I'm hoping the next ones will be a little more hands on.

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Have you read it?
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:24 PM   #17
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Swift

I can't wait to start. Swift is a loosely typed programming language, which makes it easier for us to declare constants and variables without specifying the type. The problem is just getting used to the changes and using .swift and .h and .m files together with mix and match. And then not being able to release apps if you downloaded Xcode 6 or Yosemite -_-
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:24 PM   #18
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I think it's amazing. Apple should be extremely proud of their work.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by appleguy123 View Post
How can I learn the language without having any other programming experience? Is there a class I can take in university?
This isn't really a good one to pick up as a first language yet, and it likely won't be in uni courses for quite a while.

If you've never programmed a scripting language like Ruby or Python is a good starting point.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:24 PM   #20
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How can I learn the language without having any other programming experience? Is there a class I can take in university?
I'm curious about this too. Will doing some of the older iTunes University Stanford iOS help. Or is Swift completely different?
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:25 PM   #21
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Today's programmers have it easy.

We programmers from the 80s used to have to build linked lists from dirt and bits of string we found on the ground.

The programmers from the 70s had to punch their code out on cards and feed the cards into the machine.

Inferred variable types...pshaw.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:26 PM   #22
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Almost through reading the iBook. It's wonderful.
The language? Maybe. The book? Not so much...

Sure it's fine, but it's hardly documentation.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:26 PM   #23
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The Swift programming language was as close to a "One More Thing" as there was at the WWDC Keynote this week, debuting to significant cheers from the developers in the audience. Immediate reaction after the keynote suggested Swift was "huge news" and the future of development on Apple products.
Absolutely! There wasn't a murmur of this leading up to WWDC. I watched the keynote, and my jaw just about hit the floor when they announced Swift. Yes, definitely could have been a 'one more thing' if Jobs had been around to deliver the keynote. And it's interesting to know that this was started under his watch.

John Siracusa at Ars Technica has been talking for years about Objective-C becoming obsolete and Apple's dilemma in transitioning to something new. I guess a lot of us hoped that might be MacRuby, until Apple ditched it in 2011. Now we know why.

Last edited by kalsta; Jun 4, 2014 at 05:32 PM.
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by charlieegan3 View Post
Have you read it?
I've had a brief glance but have to admit I've not had the time to go into any detail with it yet... it seems to be the main information source that Apple are pushing people towards other than the documentation in the (very crashy) Xcode 6 beta which again I've sadly not had the time to look at in any real depth.

I'm currently downloading session 402 Introduction to Swift video in the WWDC app - is that the video you were referring to?
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:29 PM   #25
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Absolutely! There wasn't a murmur of this leading up to WWDC. I watched the keynote, and my jaw just about hit the floor when they announced Swift. Yes, definitely could have been a 'one more thing' if Jobs had been around to deliver the keynote. And it's interesting to know that this was started under his watch.
No overseas partners to leak it to sites like this one.
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