Swift Evolution Monthly — First Issue

Summary of interesting developments on Swift Evolution — Update from 03/2022 + some background history (1st issue!)

Cihat Gündüz

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Recap of Swift Evolution History

Since the day Apple open-sourced Swift in December 2015 it was possible to follow and even participate in the future of Swift. At the beginning the discussions were hard to explore & a mess to follow due to their mailing list nature. Thankfully, more than a year after the first suggestion to migrate over to a proper forum software and dozens of participators backing the idea, the Core Team had decided to do the migration. It took nearly another year until the Swift Forums officially opened in January 2018.

In the 4 years since then ~17k developers discussed Swift topics in ~27k threads with ~245k posts overall as of March 2022 (source). Even more developers (probably ~100k) have at least viewed and read some portion of them. A whole 9 new Swift versions were released since migrating to the forum, each accompanied by an official announcement blog article which lists all Swift Evolution proposals that went through the Swift Evolution Process and informed the changes: 4.1, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6.

The road to Swift 6 is outlined since January 2020 and is the most-viewed thread in the forum for a reason. It summarizes the Swift 6 focus in 3 areas:

First, “the Swift software ecosystem” to broaden Swifts usefulness outside of Apple app development. Second, “a fantastic development experience” like faster builds & more accurate error messages. And third, “user-empowering language directions” such as improvements to concurrency, generics, DSLs, memory-ownership and low-level programming. All these areas have seen large steps forward since the announcement with the changes in Swift 5.2 and later, Swift Concurrency being a large recent focus. But there’s still much work to be done in all of them, so Swift 6 release is not a topic for this year and we can expect at least Swift 5.7 and 5.8 before that.

Why a “Swift Evolution Monthly”?

My main takeaway from the recap of the Swift Evolution history above is that the future development of Swift

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Cihat Gündüz

📱Indie iOS Developer, 🎬Content Creator for 👨🏻‍💻Developers. Apps: RemafoX, Twoot it!. More in the works.