December 03, 2015

"Apple is opening up the language, Swift, through a new website, Swift.org, and through GitHub."

The Verge Developers outside of Apple will now be able to look inside of Swift, contribute to its development, and bring it to new platforms. By Jacob Kastrenakes

'Apple is kicking that final item off today by releasing a version of Swift that works on Linux. This is likely meant for Apple's enterprise partners, like IBM, who will now be able to create the consumer-facing portion of apps in Swift and have them talk to Linux servers that speak Swift as well.

'While you shouldn't expect Apple to work on further ports of Swift itself, open sourcing its code means that other developers could choose to bring it to Windows and Android, too. Apple has said that it wants Swift to be one of the core programming languages of the next 20 years, and if it truly becomes that, having it work with all of the biggest desktop and mobile platforms will be a key component. It'll also benefit Apple; the more people using Swift, the more people who can code apps for its own devices.

'Though Apple being open about anything is a rarity, open sourcing developer-facing creations like this isn't quite as uncommon. iOS's ResearchKit was made open source earlier this year, and Safari's browser engine, WebKit, has long been open to developers.

'Going open source doesn't mean that Apple is passing Swift off for others to handle. Apple is still going to lead development on it, with its work on the project now being done out in the open. Outside developers will be able to come in and join Apple, helping to shape the direction that Swift goes and contribute to how it works and what it can do.

'The analyst firm RedMonk, which ranks the use of programming languages, wrote in July that "Swift is growing faster than anything else we track." RedMonk's Stephen O'Grady also added: "The forthcoming release of Swift as open source and availability of builds for Linux, as well, should theoretically provide even more momentum going forward."'

Swift from Apple here

Swift from GitHub here

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