[swift-evolution] SE-0066 Reaction

Ryan Lovelett swift-dev at ryan.lovelett.me
Wed Apr 27 08:05:51 CDT 2016

> SE-0066 is a very narrow proposal - it only affects syntax, not
> semantics.  The type system semantics that you seem interested in are
> unlikely to happen regardless of the syntax changes SE-0066 imply, and
> SE-0066 doesn’t have anything to do with that.
It is most disappointing to read these sorts of statements.
One of the things that I have noticed over the last year or so of
working with Swift is a trend in the community of libriaries being
written for Swift towards some of these "system semantics" (i.e.,
functional paradigms) like applicatives and such.
Granted I may have a selection bias towards these sorts of libraries.
That is, I tried one library that did some of this stuff so then I
tried more. Eventually stumbling into an enclave of functional
practioners of Swift. I'm willing to admit that I have not conducted a
scientific survey.
But from my vantage we have a minority of Swift users participating in
these evolution discussions. Albeit, judging from the e-mail volume,
an extremely _vocal_ minority. I worry that these things become an
echo chamber and those not involved will look at some of the "writing
on the wall" and think differently about Swift going forward. Indeed
for those people they may look at Swift 3 and say "I did not leave
Swift; Swift left me."
What is more is that those not participating in these discussions now
may leave them with no recourse to be heard. Because apparently Swift 3
is a do-or-die release (or as the author of this evolution put it: "It
is now or never."). I wonder what portion of Swift developers, the ones
who want to see Swift be their go-to language for the forseable future,
understand the implications or justifications for a Swift 3 release.
All that having been said, I get it, decisions are made by those who
show up. Roger that. I also understand and agree with the desire to make
Swift its own language. To show restraint at the urge to turn the
language into a hodge podge of the "greatest hits" of language
paradigms. I sincerely appreciate the difficulty of the task for the
Swift core team.
I realized at the end that I do not really have a point. Apparently I'm
feeling philosphical this Wednesday morning.
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