“Chris Lattner spent a year and a half creating a new programming language — a new way of designing, building, and running computer software — and he didn’t mention it to anyone, not even his closest friends and colleagues,” Cade Metz reports for Wired.

“He started in the summer of 2010, working at night and on weekends, and by the end of the following year, he’d mapped out the basics of the new language. That’s when he revealed his secret to the top executives at his company, and they were impressed enough to put a few other seasoned engineers on the project,” Metz reports. “Then, after another eighteen months, it became a ‘major focus’ for the company, with a huge team of developers working alongside Lattner, and that meant the new language would soon change the world of computing. Lattner, you see, works for Apple.”

“Typically, when a new language appears like this — out of nowhere — it needs years to reach a mass audience. This is true even if it’s backed by a tech giant the size of Apple. Google unveiled a language called Go in 2009, and though it was designed by some of the biggest names in the history of software design — Ken Thompson and Rob Pike — it’s still struggling to gain a major following among the world’s coders,” Metz reports. “But Swift is a different animal. When it’s officially released this fall, it could achieve mass adoption with unprecedented speed, surpassing even the uptake of Sun Microsystems’ Java programming language and Microsoft’s C# in the late 1990s and early 2000s… Such is the leverage of all those iPhones, iPads, and Macs.”

Read more in the full article here.

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