Swift Overview

Swift is a new programming language for IOS and OS X application platforms that are developed based on the structure of C and Objective-C, without the constraints of C compatibility. Swift is simple and adopts safe programming patterns and adds modern features of programming to make programming easier, flexible for programmers with better and upgraded features that are provided by other object-oriented programming languages. Swift's clean slate, backed by the mature Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, is an opportunity to re-imagine how software development industry works.

Swift is Apple's new language for developing apps for IOS and Mac OS, and it is destined to become the foremost computer language in the mobile and desktop space. As a new computer language, Swift has the charm of a shiny new car — everybody wants to see it up close and learn about it in details.

More About Swift

Apple laid the foundation for Swift by advancing our existing compiler, debugger, and framework infrastructure. Swift developer simplified the memory management with Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) which you will study in details later. The framework on which Swift is based is built on a solid base of foundation and has been modernized and standardized. Swift is familiar to Objective-C developers and adopts the readability of Objective-C's named parameter and the power of DOM (Dynamic Object Model) of Objective-C. Building from this common ground, Swift brings in many new features and unifies the procedural and object-oriented concepts of the language. This new programming language was released in the year 2010. Chris Lattner took almost fourteen years to come up with the first official version of Swift. Later, it was supported by many other contributions. Swift has been included in Xcode 6 beta.

Characteristics of Swift

  • It provides modern programming features
  • It gives the formation of C and syntax of Objective-C
  • Its code is simple to read and understand
  • It provides a fantastic way to code IOS and OS X apps
  • It makes use of safer programming patterns
  • Swift comes with a playground feature where Swift programmers can write their code and execute it to see the results immediately.

Swift combines the best in modern language thinking with wisdom from the wider Apple engineering culture. The compiler is optimized for performance, and the language is optimized for development, without compromising on either.

A Tour with Swift Language

Tradition suggests that the first program for any language should have to be a "Hello World" program. The first program using this new language should print the words 'Hello' and 'World' which can be written is Swift in a single line like this:

println("Hello  World!")
Hello  World!

In swift, this line of code is a simple program and programmers do not need to add a separate library for functionality like input/output or string handling.

What is Xcode?

Xcode is Apple's foremost environment for writing apps which includes an editor, debugger, project manager, and the compiler toolchain needed to take Swift code and turn it into the runnable code for IOS or Mac OS.