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

L. Mihalkovic laurent.mihalkovic at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 01:19:05 CDT 2016

(From mobile)

> On Jul 6, 2016, at 8:28 PM, Ted F.A. van Gaalen via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> 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.

The fact that some people jumped early on a not yet finished language should not constitute a jail for everyone else. Swift3 is starting to make a lot more sense, but it is still IMHO far from polished. We will live with 3, but if i knew this was the end of the road, i'd immediately push every large corp project i know to c#/xamarin, or even phonegap/typescript.

> 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!

I had an interesting conversation with the manager of the java group at apple 7 years ago who equated this behavior with being attributes of a 'failed technology' (then equally applied to java and cobol).

> 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.
> thanks.
> Kind Regards from beautiful Speyer.de in Germany
> TedvG
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