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Apple’s Swift announces version 5.2 release process

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Mano Kors

Are you a fan of Swift? Version 5.2 is on its way. Recently, Swift released a blog detailing its release process. The motivation and goals of Swift 5.2 include quality and performance improvements. Do you have an idea for a change? Make sure you are familiar with the process and the language’s philosophy, scope, and goals.

The Swift programming language moves towards version 5.2. Originally developed by Apple and released in 2014, Swift uses the Objective-C runtime library and is intended to be used as a replacement for C-based languages, such as C, C++, and Objective-C.

Version 5.2 aims to significantly improve the language’s quality and performance. Let’s take a look into the release process, what’s planned, what repositories will be impacted, and what the release managers are considering for inclusion.

Awaiting 5.2

Mark your calendars. According to the release process blog:

On November 5, 2019 the swift-5.2-branch branch will be cut, and this will contain the changes that will be released in Swift 5.2. After the branch is cut, changes can be landed on the branch via pull request if the meet the criteria for the release.

Cutoff dates for the indexstore-db, sourcekit-lsp, swift-llbuild, and swift-package-manager to be announced in the future. (They extend beyond November 5th.)

Keep track of the development’s build queue. Downloadable snapshots of the release branch will be posted regularly, and once 5.2 is released, the final builds will be posted along with the downloadable snapshots.

Making changes

Have an idea for a change? How do you go about making a proposal?

Don’t be too hasty. Before you submit a PR, view the commonly rejected changes and familiarize yourself with the list. These include commonly suggested changes that are unlikely to be accepted, along with an explanation of why/why not.

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You should also read about the evolution process, including the scope, direction, and future goals of the language.

Pull requests for the release branch must include some well-researched information including:

  • an explanation of the fix or ehnancement
  • assessment of the change’s impact or its importance
  • potential risks
  • SR issue if the change fixes an issue on
  • information regarding testing and if further testing needs to be done
  • technical code review by one or more code owner regarding the impacted components.

iOS growth

There’s some good news about the state of the language in the mobile realm. A recent blog post by macOS and iOS developer Alexandre Colucci/Timac examines Apple’s usage of Swift in iOS 13.

According to MacWorld, iOS 13.1 released to the public on September 19, 2019. It didn’t just release dark mode and fix the emoji octopus anatomy. It also included a number of binaries using Swift.

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According to Alexandre Colucci’s blog post, Apple’s use of Swift more than doubled from iOS 12. Compare this to iOS 9, which included only one binary using the language. Now it is used in familiar apps such as Health, Reminders, FindMy, and several more.

Colucci reports, “If we exclude the Swift libraries, iOS 13.1 contains 141 binaries using Swift, more than doubling the number from iOS 12”.

Congrats on the growth!

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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