Swift: Apple's programming language
Swift: Apple's popular programming language is now open sourceApple/Swift

Swift, Apple's popular programming language for iOS and OS X, has now embraced the open source system, following the recent announcement from the Swift team on its official blog. The team recently posted the Swift compiler including the standard library and functions to enable third-party app developers to adopt its source code for future development of open source apps.

Here is what the Swift team had to say on its latest venture on open source:

We are excited by this new chapter in the story of Swift. After Apple unveiled the Swift programming language, it quickly became one of the fastest growing languages in history. Swift makes it easy to write software that is incredibly fast and safe by design. Now that Swift is open source, you can help make the best general purpose programming language available everywhere.

For students, learning Swift has been a great introduction to modern programming concepts and best practices. And because it is now open, their Swift skills will be able to be applied to an even broader range of platforms, from mobile devices to the desktop to the cloud.

With constant feedback and contribution from third party developers around the globe, the Swift team plans to introduce small, incremental updates for further development of its open source language. It is ascertained that some parts of the source code functionality such as UIKit and AppKit are still limited to iOS and Mac platforms.

However, the forthcoming Swift 3 update will reportedly introduce new changes that will unlock these special tools for further open source development.

Swift language officially ported to Linux

Following the launch of the open source Swift project, Apple has also announced a new port of Swift language to Linux. Interested open source developers can now build the Linux version of Apple's programming language, using the original source code or download pre-built binaries for Ubuntu to serve the purpose.

Here is what Apple said in its recent announcement about releasing a port of Swift that works with Linux OS:

With the launch of the open source Swift project, we are also releasing a port that works with the Linux operating system! You can build it from the Swift sources or download pre-built binaries for Ubuntu. The port is still a work in progress but we're happy to say that it is usable today for experimentation. Currently x86_64 is the only supported architecture on Linux.

Working features

Some of the noteworthy features that are confirmed to work in the ported version of Linux are listed below:

  • Swift without the Objective-C Runtime
  • The core Swift Language and Standard Library
  • The Glibc Module
  • Swift Core Libraries
  • LLDB Swift debugging and the REPL
  • The Swift Package Manager

Features not working

    • Libdispatch
    • Some C APIs
    • SomeStringAPIs
    • Runtime Introspection
    • Some casting containers: Array as? Array

For further details, head over to the official developer portal for the Swift open source project.