Thursday, June 5, 2014

Apple’s Brand New Xcode Programming Language

Apple recently unveiled Swift, a brand new Xcode programming language which is said to be superior to Objective C, considering it to be fast, modern and interactive. With plans to gradually retire the long used Objective C, Apple will be introducing the programming language known as Swift for designing apps and application to run on Apple iOS devices as well as Apple Macintosh computers.

Apple demonstrated the Swift playground where developers could write code with display of results shown as soon as the code was written. Apple states that Swift was designed from ground up for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.

Swift was designed to be intuitive and easy to use as popular interpreted language like Python and JavaScript keeping in mind the speed and the flexibility of compiled languages like C++. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who introduced the language to the surprised audience at the company’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, held in San Francisco recently, he stated that besides being fast and modern it is also designed for safety enabling a level of interactive development one may not have envisaged before on the platform.

Swift for Basic Apps – Social Networking/Advanced 3D Games

Swift could be used for basic apps such as social networking or even advanced 3D games with the new `Metal’, graphics optimization since it can be operated with Objective C enabling developers to seamlessly interchange languages. Cook also stated that Swift was designed to do away with entire categories of common programming errors.

Swift includes generics enabling developers to get more done with less code written wherein an entire list of images was loaded with a simple line of code. Besides generics, it also includes modern constructs like closure, type inference, multiple return types, operator overloads as well as other time saving capabilities which the developers may want to see in their language.

Moreover it also enables developers to see the whole history of a value over time while the application runs. Swift has full control of time where the developer has the capabilities to fast forward or backward and see how their app might react in some situations.

Swift has Power of Objective C

Swift will have complete Xcode support when shipped while a language guide is already made available on the iBookstore to developers, where they can submit apps written in Swift to the App Store when iOS 8 will be launched later this year. Several Apple developers were thrilled with the Swift news and applauded Cook on the introduction to the language.

Though Apple has done a good job of maintaining the language and its developer ecosystem, Objective C tends to suffer from undue complexity in several ways according to program director for software development research at IDC, Al Hilwa. A programming language, Objective C, was based on C, which on its own is difficult to master.

 Moreover, the approach which Objective C takes in passing messages within an application or between applications is also difficult to learn. Cook also informed the audience that Swift has the power of Objective C without the burden of C and also compared some benchmarks which portrayed Swift code running much faster than Python and as quickly as Objective C.

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