One of Apple’s biggest announcements at WWDC 2014 was their new programming language called Swift. At the time, Apple marvelled over this as a new idea for programmers, but the new language has been in development for four years and has become a major project at Apple since 2013.
Chris Lattner, the lead developer of Swift, has said it has been a long journey and one that he glad to see finally available. The Head of Apple’s Developer Tools department wanted Swift to be concise, easy-to-learn, visually interactive and acceptable for future generations of coders.
Lattner began working on Swift in mid-2010 and grabbed a team of coders at Apple in late 2011 to help him work on the project. In July 2013, Swift was promoted to a high-level at Apple and Lattner’s team grew, as they worked on beefing the programming language to offer more solutions for developers.
Swift takes a lot from other development language and in Apple’s natural way, it simplifies them down to the basics. This allows iOS developers on xCode to work more efficiently and will allow budding new coders a more interactive experience on their application.
The work on Swift has been long according to Lattner and went through many battle-tests and iterations. Languages like Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU and different programming platforms helped immensely in the design and development of Swift.
Objective-C is a huge factor of Swift, allowing developers to program and reconfigure their Objective-C apps onto Swift without an issue. Essentially Apple wants their own programming language on iOS and OS X, so they don’t have to create workarounds and watch developers struggle on their platform.
Apple will be unleashing coders on Swift in the coming months and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a ton of new apps get designed with the new language. Swift will come alongside a ton of new content for developers, like CloudKit, HomeKit, HealthKit and other “kit” APIs.