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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  • fluxtatic - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    What happens if something happens to Apple? Don't me wrong, good on ya if you're actually making money developing on iOS, but Apple seems a little insane to me. You have to have a Mac to compile for OS X and iOS. Last I heard, you had to have a Mac to sell product on iTunes...wtf? Obviously it hasn't hurt Apple any, but I hate the mentality. At least some smart buggers thought to buy up a bunch of Mac hardware and rent out time on it so you're not forced to buy Apple's hardware to develop for iOS/OS X. Reply
  • ws3 - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    Do you really think it would be cheaper to rent time on a Mac than simply buy a Mac Mini outright? Reply
  • IanHagen - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    Well yes, but last time I checked I couldn't make native C# "modern" apps on OS X either. I could do some half backed work with mono, though. Isn't Microsoft's case exactly the same? Without Windows and Visual Studio you're out of luck for developing for the new Windows "universal" ecosystem. Only Google seems reasonable about supporting different development platforms, and that's probably because they don't own a healthy development-capable ecosystem. Reply
  • IanHagen - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    Oh, about being "forced" to buy Apple hardware, I did most of my development on a hackintosh before deciding to buy myself Apple branded hardware. Reply
  • Fleeb - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    Try breaking things in the enterprise and you would see where java is coming from. Reply
  • IanHagen - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    I'm not saying that Java's philosophy haven't a place. It's just a bloody shame to have to live with it in more vibrant and dynamic, less boring environments. Reply
  • BillBear - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    IBM has developed a system whereby the only thing you need to give Swift development a go is a web browser.

    Your code compiles and runs in a docker container containing the open source version of Swift on IBM's server.

    https://developer.ibm.com/swift/2015/12/03/introdu...
    Reply
  • IanHagen - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    As a developer I'm willing to put up with Swift breaking things up every new version in order to bring us meaningful changes. Loot at Java, for example. Always so obsessed with maintaining pristine backwards compatibility at the cost of new features being bland and half-backed. One particular case was when I got excited about Java finally getting lambdas just to discover that it's no more than syntactic sugar over anonymous functions, the culprit again being that implementing *actual* lambdas would break legacy code. Reply
  • val1984 - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    I remember a time, not so long ago, when .net was only available on Windows. Swift is really young compared to .net, Windows support is bound to happen, with or without Apple (like Mono pioneered non-Windows platforms for .net). Reply
  • eoakst - Friday, December 04, 2015 - link

    .Net was launched in 2002 and .Net Core was announced in 2014, it appears that not too much effort was put forth. Reply

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