Chris Lattner Talks Swift, WWDC and More on This Week's ATP Podcast

Chris Lattner, known for his work on Xcode and Swift during his time at Apple, this week joined the Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP) hosted by Marco Arment, Casey Liss, and John Siracusa.

In a two hour and thirty minute long conversation, Lattner and the ATP team talked about Swift, the work that went into preparing for WWDC while he was at Apple, Apple's 2020 digital WWDC event, and more.

Lattner said that he's very interested to see how Apple handles the online version of WWDC, which is set to take place sometime in June.

Apple's a very strategic and very smart company and has a lot of very smart people. I'm sure they're looking at how to turn this into a new opportunity and what new things they can do with the format and how they can delight people in new ways.

As to whether the virtual WWDC event might result in physical WWDC events canceled in future years, Lattner speculated that it was a wait and see kind of situation.

I think that if they do WWDC virtually this year and it sucks then it's probably going to go physical again. I don't know. I would wager that it doesn't return to its original format. If it does, if there is an in-person event, I think it will be significantly different than what the historical events have been.

Chris Lattner was at Apple for 11 years before he left in 2017, and he also spent time at Tesla working on autopilot software and at Google working on TensorFlow. He's now the SVP of Platform Engineering at SiFive.

Lattner's full discussion about WWDC, TensorFlow, SiFive, Swift, and more can be listened to on the web.

Tag: Swift

Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
I think during this insane situation we are all in, which is affecting our purchasing power, Apple should bring back the 6% cash back on Apple Card purchases from Apple that they ran during the holidays
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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8 months ago


Chris did some insane work at Apple, especially with SWIFT (think that was his baby). I'm not sure how good he is or if the reason he left Apple was no elevation for his career yet I suspect that maybe the case. Good spirited person and a brilliant mind. Hoping he can return to Apple in some capacity.

Chris Lattner’s baby is the LLVM compiler. He was on the panel for the development of Swift and helped steer some of the internal design decisions.

He left Apple because the company couldn’t challenge him anymore.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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8 months ago
Decidedly one of the most brilliant minds in his field.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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8 months ago

~ since RISC-V does not use royalties for Arm Holdings, INC I'm curious if Apple still does with their A series chips?

Chris mentions in the podcast that Apple still uses ARM instruction set and then goes on to talk about why they might one day ditch it and make their own for the future A chips. The podcast is over 2.5 hours long but it has tons of interesting insight into many low level stuff.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Chris did some insane work at Apple, especially with SWIFT (think that was his baby). I'm not sure how good he is or if the reason he left Apple was no elevation for his career yet I suspect that maybe the case. Good spirited person and a brilliant mind. Hoping he can return to Apple in some capacity.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Yep apple has lost a lot of good people lately.
No wonder the quality had seemed to gone down hill (mostly in buggy software)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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