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Is Flappy Bird the New Hello World?

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Is Flappy Bird the New Hello World?

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Last week, Apple released Swift, the new programming language for iOS, and one question became prominent: as Alex Curylo suggested in his collection of Swift resources, could Flappy Bird be the new Hello World?

After its release, a lot of Flappy Bird clones started popping up. I mean, really, a lot. It was kind of a phenomenon - the creator, Dong Nguyen, ended up in Rolling Stone - until the game was abruptly removed from app stores. But it seemed to be treated as a point of reference for a lot of things. Where you used to automate Mario with machine learning, you now automate Flappy Bird:

It's not too surprising, then, that the release of Swift was followed almost immediately by Flappy Bird clones. The author of the first notable clone, according to his comments on Hacker News, had only four hours of Swift experience. In other words, some developers started working on Flappy Bird clones immediately upon hearing the news about Swift.

You can find that first post-Swift Flappy Bird clone on GitHub, authored by Nate Murray and Ari Lerner, and it looks pretty put together for such a quick effort:

(Source: github.com/fullstackio/FlappySwift )

But that's not the only Flappy Bird clone to appear after the Swift announcement. Here's another on GitHub, and another, each within a day or so of the first.

It certainly doesn't apply to everything (not yet, at least) but there seems to be a trend here. I'm sure Hello World is still the first thing you do with a new technology - Nate Murray and Ari Lerner must have punched out a quick Hello World first thing with Swift - and as simple as Flappy Bird may be, let's be reasonable: it's not that simple. But what do you do after Hello World?

Build Flappy Bird, I guess.

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