As I mentioned last week, coding-tutorial maestro Ray Wenderlich has been moving, uh, swiftly to put out information about Apple’s newest programming language, Swift. After diving into his tutorials and playing with the new language myself, I have a few thoughts:
1. Apple is still stabilizing the language. With the Beta 3 release earlier this week, Apple is still making changes to the language (visit 9to5 Mac for a quick summary). Why is this move important? It simply reminds us that Swift is very, very new, and it will take some time for it to settle into its final form. In fact, one of Wenderlich’s Swift tutorials (How to Make a Game Like Candy Crush in Swift) was broken by Apple’s Beta 3 release because of the newest tweaks.
2. Swift has the potential to increase productivity. Developers can write more – and better – code with Swift. Let me get techy on you for a moment: Swift has a number of language constructs that make things even more bulletproof from the developer’s perspective, including strong typing, generics, containers, and more. And, because it’s strongly typed, Swift code should be faster, because there is less guess work about how the compiler can optimize. What’s that all mean for non-tech folks? Hopefully, better apps and more of them to choose from.
3. Swift will make it easier to learn. One of the key concepts of Swift is the playground – a console within Xcode where you can try out snippets of code. It’s a great way to experiment and try things before code gets popped into an app. Even more importantly, you can share playgrounds, making it easy to toy around with and share ideas. It’s a concept guaranteed to help new developers learn and push experienced coders into new realms of innovation and creativity.
Conclusions? Use Swift, keep an eye out for changes, and, most importantly, have fun.