Apple has announced its programming language Swift is now open source. The programming language, unveiled last June, is designed to provide all the benefits of Objective-C without the baggage of C, said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, at the time. Apple noted that while Swift was inspired by Objective-C, it is not itself a C-derived language.
Open-sourcing Swift enables developers to include it on other platforms such as Android and Windows. While Apple will continue to take the lead on Swift development, it will work with the community to find and fix bugs, and to add enhancements.
(Related: Swift gets a major release)
“Swift makes it easy to write software that is incredibly fast and safe by design,” the Swift team wrote in a blog post. “Now that Swift is open source, you can help make the best general-purpose programming language available everywhere.”
The source code is now available on GitHub, and features the compiler and standard library, core libraries, the package manager, and cloned repositories. (Since Swift builds on other open-source projects, Apple has cloned the repositories to contain Swift-specific changes.)
In addition, the company announced a new port to allow the programming language to work with the Linux operating system. The Swift Linux Port features Swift without the Objective-C runtime, the core language and standard library, core libraries, and the Swift Package manager.
“The goal of the Swift project is to create the best available language for uses ranging from systems programming, to mobile and desktop apps, scaling up to cloud services. Most importantly, Swift is designed to make writing and maintaining correct programs easier for the developer,” according to the language’s website.