Apple has launched a blog on its official developer website to promote the new Swift programming language. Swift, which was announced at WWDC 2014, is a successor to the Objective-C programming language for iOS and OS X, and it provides new, cleaner, and more robust tools for developing applications. The blog will be dedicated to Apple engineers working on Swift sharing tidbits behind the language’s development as well as hints. Here’s the first Swift blog post:
Welcome to Swift Blog
This new blog will bring you a behind-the-scenes look into the design of the Swift language by the engineers who created it, in addition to the latest news and hints to turn you into a productive Swift programmer.
Get started with Swift by downloading Xcode 6 beta, now available to all Registered Apple Developers for free. The Swift Resources tab has a ton of great links to videos, documentation, books, and sample code to help you become one of the world’s first Swift experts. There’s never been a better time to get coding!
- The Swift Team
Additionally, the blog now discusses Swift and its compatibility with current and future versions of Apple software. You can read those details below:
One of the most common questions we heard at WWDC was, “What is the compatibility story for Swift?”. This seems like a great first topic.
Simply put, if you write a Swift app today and submit it to the App Store this Fall when iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are released, you can trust that your app will work well into the future. In fact, you can target back to OS X Mavericks or iOS 7 with that same app. This is possible because Xcode embeds a small Swift runtime library within your app’s bundle. Because the library is embedded, your app uses a consistent version of Swift that runs on past, present, and future OS releases.
Binary Compatibility and Frameworks
While your app’s runtime compatibility is ensured, the Swift language itself will continue to evolve, and the binary interface will also change. To be safe, all components of your app should be built with the same version of Xcode and the Swift compiler to ensure that they work together.
This means that frameworks need to be managed carefully. For instance, if your project uses frameworks to share code with an embedded extension, you will want to build the frameworks, app, and extensions together. It would be dangerous to rely upon binary frameworks that use Swift — especially from third parties. As Swift changes, those frameworks will be incompatible with the rest of your app. When the binary interface stabilizes in a year or two, the Swift runtime will become part of the host OS and this limitation will no longer exist.
Swift is ready to use today, in brand new apps or alongside your proven Objective-C code. We have big plans for the Swift language, including improvements to syntax, and powerful new features. And as Swift evolves, we will provide tools in Xcode to help you migrate your source code forward.
We can’t wait to see what you build!
Apple engineers have also been especially talkative on Apple’s developer discussion forums and via Twitter regarding Swift. Chris Lattner, lead developer of Swift, even published a short blog post on the day of the WWDC keynote about Swift. This new Swift blog is also interesting as it is Apple’s first blog on its official website. This represents Apple opening up to both developers and consumers.