Apples Swift Goes Open Source

Apple-HQ-logo-IRL.jpgApple has made its Swift coding language for apps freely available for the public, meaning that developers will be able to make use of the programming tool as they see fit, creating and sharing software freely.

As an open source language, the development community will be able to contribute to new Swift features and optimisations, and help bring Swift to new computing platforms. The second iteration of of Swift was revealed in June at Apples WWDC developer conference, and a third version has been announced alongside the open source news.

The third version will include source compatibility, enabling code to compile even if the language changes in the future, which will aid in maintaining it as an open source tool. However, Apple has warned developers that they should expect hiccups when the initial move from 2.0 to 3.0 happens.

Apple has also launched a new website to aid the languages transition to free availability, giving users a place to report bugs and build mailing lists, as well as providing tutorials, API guidelines and hosting an engineering blog.

“By making Swift open source the entire developer community can contribute to the programming language and help bring it to even more platforms,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple. “Swifts power and ease of use will inspire a new generation to get into coding, and with todays announcement theyll be able to take their ideas anywhere, from mobile devices to the cloud.”

While Swift is primarily used to develop apps for iOS, it is also compatible with Apples desktop system, OS X, along with watchOS for the Apple Watch and tvOS for the Apple TV, along with Linux.