Yesterday Apple announced a new programming language called Swift. It seems to be a replacement for Objective-C. For OS X and iOS programmers this is momentous.
Every time I’ve tried to do some Objective-C programming, I’ve given up before too long, asking myself, “why am I using this type of language today?” Objective-C is powerful but it is an amalgam of C, C++, and SmallTalk. It uses antiquated notions and is generally painful to work with compared to other modern programming languages. It is a language oriented towards system programming, but is mostly used for application programming.
The feeling I get from looking into this language is the same I felt when first looking into Java in the mid 90’s: “Here’s a language that will make programming easier.” I’m looking forward to writing a sample application in Swift in the days ahead.
Best of all: no pointers!