A lot of developers were shocked when Apple unveiled a brand new programming language at its WWDC conference in 2014. And while it hasn’t (and will likely never fully) supplanted Objective-C, Swift’s “clean and modern syntax,” according to Apple’s GitHub page, is attracting a lot of fans.
Now, Swift has gone open-sourced, which means that anyone can see the base code and commit changes. It also opens Swift up to more platforms, though it’s unlikely that it will be used to create Android or Windows apps anytime soon. Swift is being released under the Apache 2.0 license, which allows it to be “freely used, reproduced, modified, distributed or sold,” but may not be “redistributed without attribution.”
Swift’s development happened behind the scenes at Apple for years, and with open-sourcing the company has committed to keeping its future iteration completely public, and open to discourse. For a company traditionally so careful with its intellectual property, this move seems like a welcome and refreshing change.