Apple creates Swift programming language, has “none of the baggage of C”

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There was no doubt some people disappointed that they did not announce any new hardware at WWDC, but it has certainly excited developers with its latest announcement. Announced earlier today, Apple has created a brand new programming language for designing apps to run on iOS and its Mac computers to replace Objective-C.

Called Swift, the new language is said to be similar to Objective-C without the baggage of C. According to Apple, it is also designed to be simple and easy-to-use like popular interpreted languages (e.g. Python), while maintaining the flexibility and efficiency of compiled languages (e.g. Java and C++). It also includes modern programming constructs such as generics, closures, type inferences, namespaces and multiple return types.

Apple is also touting its safety and reliability, saying it has removed “entire categories of common programming errors”. For instance, variables¬†must be initialised with some value before use, and memory is managed automatically.

In order to make the transition easier for developers, Swift code will be able to run alongside Objective-C and C code in applications. It will also update its Xcode IDE to include Playground, which lets the developer see the output immediately after they typed in something (which is all possible because Swift can be read line-by-line like interpreted languages).

Those interested in learning the programming language can download the free iBook on its syntax, and try it out using the Xcode 6 beta from its Developer website.