Apple's Senior Vice President of Software, Craig Federighi, sat down for a couple of interviews today to discuss the company's decision to open source the Swift programming language, how it will support developers, and the fate of Objective-C. Speaking with The Next Web, Federighi explained that Apple sees Swift as "the next major programming language", with a long and bright future:
It's the perfect programming language for anyone who is learning to program all the way to writing systems. We want everyone to learn Swift as their primary language, and we want — when developers invest in Swift — to be able to use it everywhere from scripting to apps for mobile down to writing code in the cloud.
The decision to open source Swift was also a bet for the enterprise market, says Federighi:
As people become invested in Swift and train their enterprise developers in building the client-side mobile apps in Swift, the developers love it and want to take those skills and even share some of the model-level code from their applications and run it in the cloud — and they want to do it in Swift. They're seeing the advantages of the language.
In speaking with Ars Technica, Federighi says that Apple's embracing of Swift in no way dooms Objective-C, and it's still an important language for Apple:
"Objective-C is not going away. We still love Objective-C as a language; we still very much depend on Objective-C and do a tremendous amount of work in Objective-C here internally at Apple," Federighi told Ars. "We'll be supporting Objective-C and continuing to evolve it as necessary to fit into this evolving world. We do think that Swift is the language that we recommend for new developers to our platform who are investing for the future and building new apps. We think Swift is absolutely the right place to start. But we'll continue to maintain, advance, and support Objective-C for as far as we can see."
Both interviews are well worth a read if you're interested in the future of Swift and the impact of the language going open source, so be sure to check them out at the links below.