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Apple Open Sources Swift

As promised earlier this year, Apple today officially open sourced Swift, its new programming language unveiled at WWDC 2014. The now open source Swift is available on Apple’s GitHub page for everyone to try:

Swift is a high performance systems programming language. It has a clean and modern syntax, and offers seamless access to existing C and Objective-C code and frameworks, and is memory safe (by default).

Although inspired by Objective-C and many other languages, Swift is not itself a C-derived language. As a complete and independent language, Swift packages core features like flow control, data structures, and functions, with high-level constructs like objects, protocols, closures, and generics. Swift embraces modules, eliminating the need for headers and the code duplication they entail.

This is big news for developers who have been looking forward to experimenting with Swift. Interestingly, Apple has also publicly posted a repository to track the ongoing evolution of Swift, which should reach version 2.2 by Spring 2016 and version 3.0 by Fall 2016.

This document describes goals for the Swift language on a per-release basis, usually listing minor releases adding to the currently shipping version and one major release out. Each release will have many smaller features or changes independent of these larger goals, and not all goals are reached for each release.

Clearly, open sourcing Swift has been a massive effort for Apple’s teams, and they’re committing to it.