Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers

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Apple's new Swift programming language is growing rapidly in popularity according to RedMonk's latest Programming Language Rankings. The analysis ranks the future popularity of programming languages based on the amount of discussion on Stack Overflow and the usage on Github.

redmonk_languages_1q15
As expected, the top programming languages ranked by RedMonk include JavaScript, Java, and PHP in the top three slots with Objective-C rounding out the top ten.

Though it does not rank as high as its Objective-C counterpart, Swift was singled out by the researchers for growth that "is essentially unprecedented in the history of these rankings." In two calendar quarters, Swift has climbed from the 68th slot in Q3 2014 to the 22nd slot in Q1 2015, a jump of 46 slots. Given this meteoric rise, Swift is expected to become a Top 20 language sometime this year.

According to Chris Lattner, head of Apple's Developer Tools department, the Swift programming language was in development for four years before its official unveiling during WWDC 2014. From its conception, Swift was designed to be more approachable and fun, allowing developers to produce apps quickly and easily. Developers can use Swift code to build new apps or to add it alongside Objective-C into existing apps.

Tag: Swift

Top Rated Comments

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75 months ago
Swift is one of those things that makes Apple great.. and most of us don't even realize it. Swift has increased my development performance and quality. It's actually really amazing!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago

...Swift has climbed from the 68th slot in Q3 2014 to the 22nd slot in Q1 2105, a jump of 46 slots. Given this meteoric rise, Swift is expected to become a Top 20 language sometime this year.

46 slots in 91 years? Now that's what I call meteoric!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago

Stopping support for Objective-C is a terrible idea.

Apple will not 'stop support' for Swift anytime soon. However, WWDC 2015 will bring the introduction of the first Swift-only APIs as well as further Swift-only Xcode and compiler features. All WWDC 2015 sessions and sample code will be Swift. Developers will get the hint.

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Anyways, Swift was a contributor in my decision to stop developing native applications. Why go through the effort of learning as difficult a language as Swift (the language manual is hundreds of pages long. Not a manual that goes through the libraries - just the manual to explain the core language itself.)

Making bridged applications that mixed Obj-C and Swift looked like a massive PITA.

Wow, this is more than a little embarrassing. I'm an amateur developer with a full-time job in another field and had no difficulty reading the manual in two evenings and figuring out how to mix Swift code into my Obj-C app. That also took two evenings to learn and I can now convert files to Swift easily. Ultimately, if you don't want to make native apps that's up to you, but users certainly can tell the difference. They will notice the extra lag between when Apple releases new hardware and new APIs and when you are able to support them as well as the slower overall performance. Based on the level of understanding in your post, I wouldn't be surprised if Swift is the only thing you're having trouble with, so I agree that native app development isn't for you.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago

It will go even higher when (1) Apple rewrites all important system apps in Swift and (2) they announce a date of stopping the evolution/support of Objective-C.


I'd like to see how you justify that opinion.

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Anyways, Swift was a contributor in my decision to stop developing native applications. Why go through the effort of learning as difficult a language as Swift (the language manual is hundreds of pages long. Not a manual that goes through the libraries - just the manual to explain the core language itself.)


The language manual is _very_ verbose, compared for example to the C++ Standard. It could probably be written in a third of the space, but obviously would be a lot less readable.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
It will go even higher when (1) Apple rewrites all important system apps in Swift and (2) they announce a date of stopping the evolution/support of Objective-C.

Swift is really wonderful, I really hope Apple step ups with its development and open sources it eventually.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago

Plus, C (and by association supersets of C like C++ and ObjC) now have a terrible reputation for security. Swift is playing the security card hard.

Huh ? C or C++ or Obj-C are just tools to build things. Swift isn't any more secure than C if the developer using it has no idea of what to do security-wise.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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