Apple Opens Up With A New Blog About Swift, Its New Programming Language

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Times, they are a-changin’: Apple just launched a blog about Swift, its new programming language that makes it easier to build applications for iOS and Mac OS X.

This marks a new period of openness for the famously walled-in tech giant. While it’s certainly not the same as Apple showing off a product before it’s ready to come to market — a fairly standard practice at rival Google — it shows that Apple recognizes that it can’t keep developers, whose apps are one of the key differentiators in the smartphone and tablet markets, in the dark about what it’s doing until the last second.

In this case, it seems Apple has specifically chosen Swift as a topic where it’s acceptable to be a bit less secretive because A) it plans to eventually migrate developers from primarily using Objective-C to using Swift to develop apps for its platforms and B) the language is technically still in development, so being open lets them get more feedback on its design.

Developers are openly showing their surprise at the change in behavior on Twitter:

As for the content of the blog itself, there’s only one post at the moment. It has to do with a concern some iOS and Mac OS X developers had with using Swift in actual production code: if the language is still under development, does that mean our apps might break in the future?

Apparently, that’s not an issue. From Apple’s post:

Simply put, if you write a Swift app today and submit it to the App Store this Fall when iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are released, you can trust that your app will work well into the future. In fact, you can target back to OS X Mavericks or iOS 7 with that same app. This is possible because Xcode embeds a small Swift runtime library within your app’s bundle. Because the library is embedded, your app uses a consistent version of Swift that runs on past, present, and future OS releases.