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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Swift on Linux

I was one of many who downloaded and ran Swift on Linux.

It’s spiffy.

But…. (you knew that was coming)

I like Swift. I’ve written what I call a “stupid parser” in Swift that performs quite admirably. But there isn’t an editor for Linux that has all the nice little bits that exist in Xcode.

That’s problem 1.

Then there is the fact that you have basically the language running in a command shell.

That’s problem 2.

I have no doubt that there are people working tirelessly (or tiredly) to get a GUI up and running that is Swift compatible. Unfortunately, those people were not Apple.

What Apple Did Correctly

If you have ever dealt with the GNUstep project (and I have on many occasions) you will discover that the applications it generates look like directories. That’s because they try to emulate what was done on NeXTSTEP – except it doesn’t quite work. Applications look like directories. Ick. The only way to make them look like applications is to run something that is (from Linux users view) nonstandard.

More ick.

Instead, Apple makes applications look like applications. Well, for the moment, they look like applications you run from the command line. That will change.

What to Expect in 2016

By the end of the year I expect there will be projects that allow you to build GUI programs. That will be spiffy.

There will be editors, probably even a playground.

What to Expect RIGHT NOW

You can build programs in Linux for x86 that run in the console. Yes, I ran a “Hello World”. Woo hoo.

And, of course, they did delegates correctly.

Microsoft has already said that they plan on supporting Swift in Windows (hopefully it won’t be a mangled version).

Swift is a nice, clean language. If you are used to C# or Objective C, then I would seriously suggest you look into it. I can easily see it surpassing both of them.

This could be the one language that rules them all.