At the WWDC 2014 keynote, Apple announced a new programming language called Swift that is said to replace the long-used Objective-C and Python languages. Swift makes coding for iOS and OS X easier. Programmers will be able to see the results of their coding in real time as they develop the code, and it should be definitely faster than the long-used Objective-C as well.
Apple Vice President Craig Federighi says the following about the release of the Swift:
Swift is a powerful new programming language for iOS and OS X® that makes it easier than ever for developers to create incredible apps. Designed for Cocoa® and Cocoa Touch®, Swift combines the performance and efficiency of compiled languages with the simplicity and interactivity of popular scripting languages. By design, Swift helps developers write safer and more reliable code by eliminating entire categories of common programming errors, and coexists with Objective-C® code, so developers can easily integrate Swift into their existing apps. Xcode® Playgrounds make writing Swift code incredibly interactive by instantly displaying the output of Swift code.
CEO Tim Cook said that this new programming language helps developers by eliminating catastrophic errors and make coding easier.
On Twitter, one programmer tweeted that Swift could treat emojis- electronic smileys formatted in Unicode- as variables. Another posted a picture of a ‘Objective-C programming guide that had been trashed.
Swift has all the power of Objective-C, but without the “baggage of C,” Cook told the audience. He compared some benchmarks that showed Swift code running faster than Python and just as quickly as Objective C.
Although developers find Swift easy to work with, they still need some time to switch from Objective-C, said Apple in a press release. Developers who have written a part of the program in Objective-C can write the remaining part in Swift and it works fine according to Apple.
Swift has nothing to do with another language with the same name, designed for use in parallel computing applications.
For those who would like to know more about the new programming language, Apple has released an e-book, The Swift Programming Language, that’s a free download from the iTunes Store.