Yesterday during the WWDC keynote Apple announced Swift, a new programming language squarely targeted at the Apple platform. The original designer of Rust put together a great summary of Swift’s language features, and I was glad to see that it draws heavily from C# and Rust.
Swift is an exciting new technology, but for me at least, the technical merits of the language are a secondary consideration. Like many other modern emergant languages, Swift is an opportunity to foster a new development community that has solid technological foundation, but unlike many of those other languages, it’s also built on top of thriving economic forces that can help drive it forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more Swift adoption in its first four weeks than Go had in its first four years (the same could be said for many new language projects kicked off in the last few years).
I’m still hoping to see an ecosystem emerge that’s a little like the middle days of C# — consistently exciting language and platform developments, backing by major industrial players, awesome tools, and great people and events, all conspiring to produce amazing products. With Swift now in play, that time may be coming soon.