Apple makes Swift open source, hopes to spread influence more swiftly

Cupertino's intuitive programming language is now available to all

iOS 9

Apple has announced that Swift, the programming language for its various iOS devices and Mac apps, is now open source.

In other words, the entire thing is open to any developer, with the full source code available via GitHub including the Swift compiler, debugger, standard library and foundation libraries, with support across all Apple platforms – iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS – as well as Linux.

Apple says that Swift is the fastest growing programming language ever seen throughout computing history – meaning it's appropriately named – and by opening it to all and sundry, Cupertino hopes that development will be speeded up further, and the language can be introduced to new platforms.

Easy to use

The company describes Swift as a powerful and intuitive programming language which is easy to use even for those with no coding experience.

It's also providing guidance on the freshly launched Swift.org website, which carries instructions and technical documents, various other community resources and links to download the source code itself.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior VP of Software Engineering, commented: "By making Swift open source the entire developer community can contribute to the programming language and help bring it to even more platforms.

"Swift's power and ease of use will inspire a new generation to get into coding, and with today's announcement they'll be able to take their ideas anywhere, from mobile devices to the cloud."

Indeed, the more widespread Apple can get Swift, the better for the company when it comes to the long-term development of its software.

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