Back in June at WWDC 2015 Apple surprised a number of people by announcing that they would be making their Swift programming language open source in the near future. Swift is, in a way, a successor to Apple's Objective-C programming language. It opens up development for iOS and OS X to developers that may have struggled with some of the idiosyncrasies of Objective-C, while also including a number of features that have become common among modern programming languages.

Today it appears that everything relating to licensing has been sorted out, and with version 2.2 the Swift programming language will now be made available under the Apache License 2.0, which is the same open source license used by the Android operating system. With Swift going open source, any member of the community can now propose additions to the language. The project is now available on the Apple Github account, along with some other repositories that are home to supporting tools like versions of the LLVM compiler and LLDB debugger for Swift.

Along with today's announcement of Swift going open source, there are some notices regarding the development of Swift 3. With Swift still being very much in development, Apple is giving developers a heads up that anything they write now is liable to break with future updates and will need to be fixed to support new coding styles, syntax, etc. There are some other announcements as well, such as a new package manager for sharing and distributing Swift code which would be great to see integrated into OS X in the future. Developers who are interested in some of today's Swift-related developments can get more info from the official Swift website.

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  • IanHagen - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    As far as I remember I had to pay several other companies to develop for them in the past. Heck, Microsoft even used to charge the price of a satisfactory second hand car for Visual Studio not so long ago. And even the "new" Microsoft under Nadella was more than happy to take me 50 bucks for the privilege of publishing apps on the Windows store.
  • name99 - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    I'm sorry. Big kids you said?
    What was the income of Apple last year? And Microsoft? And Google? Uh, OK...

    There were people who said Apple had no chance of competing with "serious" cellphone manufacturers.
    There were people who said Apple was being stupid imagining they could design a CPU competitive with ARM, or Qualcomm, or Intel.
    You want to go for the trifecta and claim that Apple don't have a hope of designing a language that will work better than our current offerings for the domain of general UI-heavy applications?

    "Apple is the only company you have yto pay to develop products for lol."
    You clearly understand fsckall about this space. Consoles, for example, have extremely onerous dev payments. MS charges developers for a one-time registration. Apple offers free developer accounts. etc etc
    It's all in the details, and the details have changed and will doubtless change again.
  • dsumanik - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    apple charges a 100 bucks a year, just so you can write programs that make money for them.

    Thats all i know, LOL
  • easp - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    You know less than you think. LOL

    XCode is free, or more precisely, its free if you've got a Mac. That's all you need to write Mac apps. The fees basically come when you want to sign your apps. Signing is required for even side-loaded iOS apps (unless you want to jailbreak, optional for MacOS apps, and required for distribution through either the Mac or iOS app store.

    The revenue from developers fees probably isn't material to Apple on its own, but it is important for another reason: It discourages developers with bad intentions, while being almost inconsequential to most others. Paying the fee imposes a cost on spammy/abusive developers, and also helps pin down their identity so it is harder for them to hide behind a new developer account.

    I realize that there are edge cases. Among them, I suspect there are more who have a "principled" objection to the fee than their are who simply can't afford it.
  • chaynes89 - Thursday, December 3, 2015 - link

    "Apple only looks out for itself"

    Last year they paid out over $25B to iOS devs
  • solipsism - Thursday, December 3, 2015 - link

    If they didn't pay out what they are contracted to pay there would be lawsuits, developers would leave, and of course bad press as a result. None of those things are good for Apple's bottom-line, especially when taken as a whole.
  • jasonelmore - Thursday, December 3, 2015 - link

    no, consumers paid out over 25B to iOS dev's.. Apple took 30% of it
  • IanHagen - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    My wife is an doll artisan and every online platform she uses to sell her work do charge a healthy percentage on it. I'm a "software artisan", if you'll allow me to call me that, and Apple, Microsoft and Google, all of them, do the same when I sell my software in their platforms. I see absolutely no problem with it.
  • easp - Monday, December 7, 2015 - link

    Yeah, when people first started bitching about Apple's cut, back in the iTunes Music Store days, I didn't get it, I figured the people doing the complaining were either disingenuous, or stupid, because I'm sure that traditional resale and wholesale markups worked out to 50-60% of the actual selling price.

    Plus, the credit card companies/banks always get their due, and that's coming out of Apple's 30%.
  • BurntMyBacon - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    @jasonelmore: "no, consumers paid out over 25B to iOS dev's.. Apple took 30% of it."

    If I recall correctly consumers paid out over 35.5B of which 25B went to devs and over 10.5B went to Apple. Pretty sure that was a profitable arrangement for Apple all things considered.

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