IBM Ratchets Up its Focus on the Swift Programming Language
Apple’s Swift programming language, which has been steadily used by both OS X and iOS developers, went open source under an Apache licencse. The source code has launched along with a port that works with Linux. You can, for example, build it from the Swift sources or download pre-built binaries for Ubuntu. Apple has also unveiled further plans for the language on their new site, swift.org.
Now, in conjunction with Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), IBM has announced new tools and support for Swift that could be impactful.
iIBM's Swift Sandbox, is a website where developers can load their code and work with Swift running on a server. It effectively lets you try Swift before you necessarily fully commit to it.
IBM also announced the following:
"From IBM’s perspective, Swift on the server is already a global phenomenon. This month, the number of code runs in the popular IBM Swift Sandbox topped 1.5 million. If you are not familiar with the Sandbox, it’s a cloud environment IBM made public last December with the Swift.org launch; at that time, we declared we’d be participating in the new project specifically to help extend Swift to the server. We used the Sandbox to test our code and, thinking others might benefit as well, we shared access. This enabled developers, regardless of OS, who were interested in server-side Swift to give it a try without needing to stand up their own server."
"We launched the IBM Swift Package Catalog in February this year, and since then, it’s grown in both in features and content. It now highlights over 1,500 packages at the fingertips of today’s Swift developers. What’s more, these are packages that are Swift Package Manager compliant."
"The Swift Package Manager is a tool for managing the distribution of Swift code, and it will be released with Swift 3. This tool will be integrated with the Swift build system to automate the process of downloading, compiling and linking dependencies. When we think about there being over 1,500 packages that are compliant with a capability that is still “beta,” we gain a sense of just how eager this community is to move forward, fast."
If you're interested in getting started with Swift, here are some a few key links:
- The Swift mailing lists are how to interact
- The Getting Started pages can help you setup a Swift development environment
- The Download page includes pre-built binaries for the supported platforms
- The Swift Evolution Process describes how new features are proposed
- The Apple home on GitHub hosts all the Swift source code