It’s not every day that you get to hear Apple engineers openly talk about their day jobs, but episode 50 of the Swift Unwrapped podcast is an exception to that. Apple engineers Ben Cohen and Doug Gregor who both work on Apple’s Swift development language joined the latest episode of the Swift development podcast to discuss the upcoming release of Swift 4.1 and more.

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Apple detailed release plans for Swift 4.1 last October:

Swift 4.1 is a source compatible update to Swift 4.0. It will contain a few additive enhancements to the core language as well as improvements to the Swift Package Manager, Swift on Linux, and general quality improvements to the compiler and Standard Library.

Swift 4.1 is not binary compatible with 4.0. It contains a variety of under-the-hood changes that are part of the effort to stabilize the Swift ABI in Swift 5.

Swift 4.1 is intended to be released in the first half of 2018.

Part of the focus of the conversation centers around changes in Swift 4.1 that will allow developers to reduce code size — something that has been a criticism of Swift code bases to date — which Apple detailed earlier this month. As the duo discusses on the episode, developers will actually be able to delete code when Swift 4.1 is introduced.

You can hear the first half of the episode with Swift engineers discussing Apple’s programming language on Apple Podcasts or Overcast.


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