Friday, June 06, 2014

GNUstep's position on Swift

I wanted to make this post to make it clear to the community regarding GNUstep's position on the new Swift language.    If the language is released as open source then GNUstep will fully support it.  If it is, however, not released as open source then we will either take steps to create an implementation ourselves or provide any assistance needed to a group of people other than ourselves who are willing to take that on.

I believe that the language itself is a good one and that it represents an opportunity for more people to take part in the OSX, iOS and GNUstep communities if it's properly done.

My previous post was to illustrate the dangers of lock-in if that is, indeed, Apple's intention.  Those warnings should not be construed as any condemnation of the language itself.  This post is not backpedaling, only a clarification of my previous position (see the comments in the previous post).

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Swift is a new programming language developed by Apple as a replacement for Objective-C.   I've had some time to review the language by reading the iBook which Apple made available on it for free.   It seems to me that the language is very javascript  like in it's design and is a clear concession to those who don't like Objective-C's syntax.   The real purpose behind this language, however, is a little darker.  I believe that it's ultimate purpose is lock-in.   The more developers start using Swift the less they are going to be able to move to other platforms (such as Android).   

Please be cautious when using it and make sure that the only platform you wish to release on is iOS because that is very likely the decision you ARE making if you choose swift.

The language itself is a very nice language, the implications of it are what concern me.  Anything which impacts user/developer freedoms makes me concerned.