I remember the first big lurching migrations in Developer’s Tools when the PowerPC came into view (CodeWarrior marked the move from Pascal to C), then subsequent to that OS 9 to OS X (moved from C to Objective-C) then the last big migration was from PowerPC to Intel. Now today we got Swift to mark the next migration from Objective-C to a faster language altogether.
At its WWDC developer event today, Apple surprised all of the developers in the audience by launching a new programming language called Swift. This new language seems to be poised to replace Objective-C as the main programming language on Apple’s platforms.
Swift will use the same LLVM compiler and runtime as Apple’s Objective-C implementation, so Swift and Objective-C code can live side-by-side in the same application. The language provides access to all of the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch features developers are currently used to from Objective-C.
It should feel familiar to those who are already used to Objective-C, Apple says, and is meant to “unify the procedural and object-oriented portions of the language.” It does diverge from Objective-C in more than just the syntax, though; it also features variable types like tuples and optional types. It also includes operators that aren’t found in Objective-C, which allow you to perform remainder operations on floating-point numbers…
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