Apple’s new Swift programming language takes flight

“Apple’s new Swift programming language has only been available for a few months, but iOS and OS X developers from American Airlines, Getty Images, LinkedIn and Duolingo are reporting favorable impressions — ranging from increased productivity to fewer bugs in their shipping apps — as interest in the new language rapidly accelerates,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“As reported by RedMonk in mid January, adoption of Apple’s Swift has been ‘essentially unprecedented,’ entering the top 25 popular programming languages in just five months, a feat that Google’s Go language took closer to five years to achieve,” Dilger reports. “Boosting Swift’s popularity going forward is the fact that a variety of international universities and technical schools are already incorporating Swift into their courses, from Germany’s Technical University of Munich to Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, Ingésup in France, Aberystwyth University and Plymouth University in Great Britain and RMIT University in Australia.”

Dilger reports, “In addition to Stanford University in Apple’s backyard, a series of other American campuses are also teaching Swift including California Polytechnic Institute, Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, University of California at Santa Cruz, Drexel University in Philadelphia, Full Sail University near Orlando, Northwest Kansas Technical College, the University of Missouri and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.”

Read more – including how Getty Images, American Airlines, LinkedIn, and Duolingo are using Swift – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Swift on the uptake.

19 Comments

  1. Swift is just as much a new and disruptive product as was the iPhone and iPad. Because it’s software, and has a smaller user base, it doesn’t get as much public attention. However, you can bet that Apple didn’t develop a whole new programing language just because they had some spare programmers sitting around with nothing to do. It is part of a larger strategy, which no other company can envision, let alone come close to matching.

    Whatever Apple is up to, it will be years before we see it all.

  2. I wonder if any of these “Journalists” praising Swift have taken the time to look at Apple’s Swift forum on their developer site? (Surely someone writing an article about Apple development would have access to the developers forums, right?)

    A consistent tone across the forum is that “Swift is not ready for prime time.” and “It’s not recommended for real projects yet.”

    For all but tiny projects (under 10K LOC) the compiler is uber slow. The library is pitiful (don’t talk to be about string capabilities). It doesn’t support exception handling. The compiler’s optimization capabilities are rather poor (compared, say, to Obj-C). The list goes on and on. The language just isn’t mature enough to trust on large projects at this point.

    Maybe in a couple of years. However, given Apple’s experience with developing new languages (Dylan, anyone?), I wouldn’t be surprised to find Apple abandon Swift sometime down the road.

    1. Has it occurred to you that the support forums are where people go when they need help?

      As for exceptions, swift doesn’t support them because Apple doesn’t want the obnoxious C++ habit of using exceptions for ordinary control flow to take root in this new language.

      -jcr

    2. “Has it occurred to you that the support forums are where people go when they need help?”

      Yes, let us add “poor documentation” to the other problems with Swift.

      “As for exceptions, swift doesn’t support them because Apple doesn’t want the obnoxious C++ habit of using exceptions for ordinary control flow to take root in this new language.”

      Just because some idiots out there can make a mess of a language construct doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t exist. Apple’s conviction is that you have to manually catch and pass *all* error conditions up through the call sequence to the point you can handle the problem, assuming you are even able to catch it (they Apple approach is to abort the program where the problem occurs). This is insane for large projects. The fact that Apple’s language developers haven’t been able to provide a good underlying mechanism for processing exceptions is not an excuse for not providing exception handling.

    3. You’re a clueless dolt if you think Swift is going the way of Dylan, a language created (and never managed) to run the Newton. You’re equally clueless if you think ANYONE would base a large scale project on a new, untested platform.

        1. Silly statements deserve silly responses. This article was about Swift vis a vis other programming languages. Since Samsung doesn’t offer a programming language (either does McDonalds) I fell the response was fitting. So yes, it was a trick question.

  3. I would STILL like to see Apple include basic programming, with the computer. In fact a SuperBASIC.
    There was a company called FuttureBasic, and it was working on a GREAT product. The Basic it was working on worked like this:
    You type in a Basic program.
    FutureBasic would convert it to C, PLUS all the COCOA API etc.
    You program changed FROM Basic to C, would run exactly AS IF you wrote it in C, Cocoa,Objective, in the first place.
    It WOULD run at the SAME speed as C, BECAUSE it would BE C, Objective C, Cocoa….AFTER the translation.
    Don’t believe it? Too hard to Believe? Then check out “FutureBasic to C”, in a seach. I know it’s real because I was a customer. FutureBasic gave up, when Apple dropped Carbon.

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