[swift-evolution] Seriously! Freeze Swift For Two Years After Release 3.0 !

Ted F.A. van Gaalen tedvgiosdev at gmail.com
Wed Jul 6 13:28:04 CDT 2016

Hi there

From the perspective from many active programmers
that use Swift (not objective C anymore) I am  not
very happy by having to change
program source all the time:   
Therefore after Swift 3.0 is released I’d recommend kindly:

Freeze Swift For Some Time! 
Do Not Change AnyThing For At Least 2 Years.
(Yes you’ve read that correctly: two years.)

Still there? OK, read on:

In the mean time, you’ll have the great opportunity
to fine-tune compiler and run time systems, to eliminate
the few bugs there and make it blazingly fast!

In two (or more) years,  there are enough Real Users (programmers) 
that by then will have enough practical experience with Swift, which
might play a more solid role in improving Swift, and of course,
are extremely happy with Swift, and that it is not changed
all the time, So that they can concentrate on writing cool,
reliable and decent programs, instead of revising it all
the time! 

After such time, and much more intensive and practical usage, 
it becomes clear, what is good in Swift and what is not.  
What happens now, for instance, is that some base their “statistics” of which 
language elements etc. are frequently used or not, merely upon scanning 
a codebase of the relatively few (compared with e.g. ObjC, Java or C#) programmers
that use Swift now

Imho, Swift has not yet been in use long enough. It needs a prolonged time 
because now, most users have relatively little experience using Swift, 
thus the way they program now is not really representative with what one really can do
with this powerful language, compared to experienced (years, not months) 
programmers in other languages. 
Still a lot has to be discovered, has to settle and form good mental pictures in 
programmer’s minds. It is all going a bit too fast, I think.

Please (if you did’t already) realize that already many source
code all over the world is written in Swift therefore it is very, very
important that backwards compatibility should be preserved as much 
as possible. because  backwards-breaking-changes are a disaster
to companies/individuals that have already hundreds or thousands
of programs written in Swift.

For comparison, until recently I did also programming projects on IBM
mainframes for banks, insurance companies etc. The systems they use consists
(per company) of literally thousands of Cobol and/or PL/1 programs written
in all the years from ca 1970 until now. Still, one can take a program written
in 1970 which compiles and runs flawlessly without any modification!
All is backward compatible. If you would break backward
compatibility in this domain you would probably be kicked of the planet..

But even if we remain in macOS or iOS development, a huge amount of source
code has been written in Objective C. Everyone would scream hell if you took
out or change language elements.. 
So please don’t. (it’s unnecessary) 

When Swift arrived, to me, it had already everything I need, not really missing anything.
Of course, a programming language -like all things in life- is never perfect.

To me it was also perfectly OK that Swift wasn’t open source, because those that
have made Swift did a very good job. So one could even start thinking, why
open source Swift? Why not leave it to Apple? 
But I guess I won’t make many friends asking this..
And I also realize that many good ideas comes from open source.

To me, Swift 2.2 and also 3.0  is fine. 
so, after that:
you don’t have to change a thing.
it works and has everything I need
and is fast and stable. 
stop removing things.

Kind Regards from beautiful Speyer.de in Germany


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