From the personal computer to the smartphone, Apple has led the world in many technology revolutions. There is a new and very important revolution underway and that is the Swift programming language.
There are only a few programming languages that have impacted the world, COBOL, C/C++, and Java being the most important. There is also a special category of programing languages, Assembly Language. While Assembly is specific, the language is a key factor in what software does to marry hardware with higher level programing languages.
In its prime, COBOL was “the” language of early computing. Most software written in the early days was written in COBOL. Currently, C programming language is used to write the top three computer operating systems and one top mobile OS. Windows, Linux, MacOS, and iOS all are written in C/C++ at their core. C is an old language making those OSs so easy to hack. Java is the language for Android devices and it is used to build most of the software that runs in the cloud. Java doesn’t make a very good OS language, as it has trouble performing well for apps that need to utilize the power of the underlying hardware. Java’s runtime is a barrier to advance mobile computing. Because of the problems with C/C++ and Java, there is an opening for a new modern language to step in and become the language for future OSs as well as for applications. Swift is that language.
There are a number of reasons why Swift will become the future language of all domains of software development. Apple open sourced Swift and continues to support it. As Swift matures people will move it across the domains of software development. It will be used to build iOS, Android, and cloud apps. Those three domains are leading us into the future dominated by mobile and cloud solutions. Swift will be used as a system language. Apple will begin to use Swift in future versions of iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS over the next decade. Additionally, it is likely that Swift will be used on Android as an app and system language. Then there are system OSs for Internet of Things (IoTs).
Swift will shine in future implementations of OSs for IoTs because of the language's safety features as well as its runtime constructs that will thwart hackers attempts to infiltrate IoTs systems. Some of those key safety features include: uninitialized variables and unreachable code which become compiler errors and Swift’s implementation of bounds and overflow checks.
Swift has been ported to Linux. There is still much more to do to get the full Foundation Classes over to Linux, but the work is underway. Because it is a compiled language, Swift will become a cloud language that will be safe and highly performant. In the very near future, some very large cloud based systems will be built with Swift.
I believe that Swift is the greatest gift that Apple has given the modern world. A programing language that will be used long into the future by yet unborn developers to build yet unthought of advanced software systems.
We want to know, what future can you imagine? Let’s build it together with Swift.