Swift: Apple's new language
Apple just announced a new language called Swift. I took a look at the language manual, here is a quick overview:
- Statically typed with type inference.
- No exceptions.
- Extension methods.
- Properties (syntax similar to C#), including lazy properties with the "@lazy" annotation.
- Functions, methods and type (static) methods.
- Support for observers (with "willSet" and "didSet"). Interesting to see the observer pattern baked in a language although I’m more partial to event buses for this kind of thing.
- Classes and structures (structures have restrictions regarding inheritance and other things).
- For and while loops (statements, not expressions).
- "mutating" keyword.
- Named parameters.
- Deinitializers (finalizers).
- Protocols (interfaces).
- Optional chaining with "a?.b?.c" and forced dereference with "!."“.
- Convenient “assign and test”: "if let person = findPerson() ...".
- Type casting with "is", down casting with "as?" (combines nicely with the "let" syntax. Ceylon does it right too).
Very interesting overall, and a clear step up from Objective C. From the feature set, I would say the language that Swift has the most overlap with is Kotlin, which is great news for Apple developers.