Apple has launched Swift.org to announce that the Swift language, debugger, supporting libraries, and package manager have been published under the Apache 2.0 license with a Runtime Library Exception. This means the source code is freely available on GitHub for anyone to build themselves, and developers can contribute to the project. Since its initial release in mid-2014, Apple has intended for Swift to become an open source programming language.
According to Apple, Swift is one of the fastest growing programming languages in history. While Swift was initially released for iOS and OS X development, now that it's open source Apple expects the language to be ported to a wide range of different platforms and devices. Current Swift language projects with their own repositories include:
- The Swift compiler command line tool
- The standard library bundled as part of the language
- Core libraries that provide higher-level functionality
- The LLDB debugger which includes the Swift REPL
- The Swift package manager for distributing and building Swift source code
The Swift programming language is described as safe, fast, and expressive. Apple designed Swift to make reading and writing code easier for developers. The language is also billed as an excellent introduction to modern programming concepts and best practices. The goal of the Swift project is to "create the best available language" for mobile and desktop apps, systems programming, and even cloud services.When it comes to iOS and OS X development, Swift includes complete support for the Xcode build system, editor, and integrated debugging. Look for Swift to spread even faster now that the resources and documentation at Swift.org are officially open source.