3.0 may help Swift live up to its name

Swift is inches away from becoming the next major programming language

Gabriela Motroc
Swift 3.0

Swift flight image via Shutterstock

Swift is undoubtedly gaining momentum thanks to its upcoming 3.0 release, but some claim that the Oracle v. Google legal battle is partly responsible for putting the spotlight on this young programming language.

Before the Oracle v. Google legal battle escalated, JAXenter revealed that Swift could be the latter’s salvation. Oracle’s dispute forced the search giant to find a plan B and it seems that we may have a winner — The Next Web was first to reveal that Google may adopt Apple’s Swift programming language for Android and explained that discussions between a few renowned companies (including Uber and Facebook) started around the time Swift was going open source. Sources told The Next Web that “Google was considering making Swift a ‘first class’ language for Android” while the other two companies wanted to better incorporate Swift in their operations and services.

Swift is all grown up

It’s not like Swift needs the attention it received in the wake of the Oracle – Google legal battle. This programming language is constantly evolving and features are still being add and/or removed; but the upcoming 3.0 release could convince more developers to give it a try. According to the official website, Swift 3.0 is expected to be released in late 2016 —this will be the first release to include the Swift Package Manager (which supports the development and distribution of cross-platform Swift packages). Swift 3.0 will contain fundamental changes not only to the language, but also to the Swift Standard Library. In short, it will focus on getting the basics right for the long term.

SEE ALSO: Google might be changing Android’s mother tongue. Is Swift the answer to Google’s legal problems?

Swift 3.0 schedule

  • The first developer preview branch swift-3.0-preview-1-branch was created frommaster on May 12. “It will be released in the next 4-6 weeks,” Apple’s Ted Kremenek wrote in early May.

  • The date for creating the last developer preview branch — swift-3.0-branch — has not yet been established. When that date is determined the plan will be communicated on the website.

Can Swift be the next big thing?

There must be a reason why Apple chose to name its programming language Swift (which means “fast”). Many developers believe that Swift 3.0 could help this young language live up to its name, so maybe it’s time to listen to them. At first glance it looks “cleaner” than traditional code (there are no more nested brackets and semicolons), not to mention that new developers don’t have to learn the verbose syntaxes of Objective-C. Debugging time has been drastically reduced.

As the name implies —Swift is fast and supports “interactive playgrounds” that allow developers to see the codes as they apply changes and keep track of progress timelines.

All Swift needs now is developer buy-in and Cook’s words will come true in time for the grand 3.0 release.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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