When swift came out I was was one of the early adopters. It is a wonderful, simple and easy to use language with lots of great programmatic features and design patterns. And now, in a bid to play with the big boys of coding, such as .NET and Java, Apple have made the huge move of making it open source.
But what does this mean for us as a community? What will be the outcome of this move, and will it truly impact the lives of iOS developers everywhere? It’s hard to see what the end result of this will be, but we can make some guesses.
Now, developers can go deeper into its body, see what makes it tick and find out why Swift works the way it does. We can look at ways to improve the technology and feedback to the creators. Potentially new IDEs will be available as developers learn to work within the core of language. New frameworks and language spinoffs may appear that will base themselves on Swift, and we will find people making ‘better Swifts’ that will most likely die out as Apple takes this onboard and adapts the language based on how developers use it.
But what about technologies? Will we see a new server side Swift? I love the idea that one day, I will be able to write an app for iOS that makes calls to an API written in Swift and hosted on a server supporting Swift. Will it be possible to one day have a website driven by Swift or possibly even a CMS to compete with .NET CMSs like SiteCore, Kentico or Umbraco, or with the open source PHP equivalents such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal? Ahhh… what a wonderful world it would be.
Sure these are all pipe dreams at the minute, but the experience shows that when enough creativity is given to open source projects almost anything is possible. So for now, we have two choices: wait and see what comes,or put our thinking caps on and drive the projects that we are passionate about. If we shout about them and instil that passion in others, soon these dreams will become a reality.
I guess the old adage is true: if you love something, you should set it free. Fly Swift, be free and show the world how great you can be!