The Season of Swift

Some would be surprised to find that here at Buccaneer, we’re a pretty conservative lot as far as pirates go; that’s why we’ve thus far been slow to adopt Swift. However, you can’t fight the tide or technological progress and we are adopting Swift for all greenfield native iOS development projects going forward, because the language has matured, is now open-source, and offers some advantages over Objective-C.

While impressive at its launch, Swift wasn’t exactly stable. In fact, updates to the language could and often would break between releases. That’s not a recipe for success let alone shipping at all, so we took a pretty cautious approach to the language. Version 2.0, however, is stable and there should be no breaking changes for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the time that has passed since Apple released the first version of the language has allowed the community to develop replaces for many important open-source iOS development libraries and projects. Without many of these libraries developing a project in Swift tended to be a bit more time-consuming and therefore costly than in Objective-C.

In today’s tech world, open-source is basically eating the software world — this is doubly true as far as programming languages go. Apple releasing Swift as open-source means that the language is here to stay and possibly can evolve beyond the limits of iOS and Mac OS development. Being open-source also ensures that the development of the language continues in a way that’s not only in the interests of Apple but is beneficial for the development community in general.

For as long as iOS has been open to third party developers, Objective-C has been the go to language for app development on the platform. It was effective and powerful but not exactly a modern language and had a few issues (memory management and pointers for example) that made it a bit of an oddball when compared to more modern languages on other platforms. Swift should be easier for developers coming over to iOS from other platforms to learn.

The outlook Swift is pretty bright and we’re excited to get working on it with the rest of the community. If you’re interested in having an iOS app developed, please use the contact form on this page to reach out to us!