[swift-users] "business applications market" flame
dru at druware.com
Wed Jan 6 18:27:48 CST 2016
Pretty sure that we aren’t far apart here, but it is more a matter of perspective. I should preface this next bit by the statement that I was heavily invested in personally in getting Mono running on OS X, and today, I consider it a steaming pile of dung for OS X development because somewhere along the way, many of the business development things that needed to happen slipped by the way side.
The thing that I see about Swift is that right now, today, on Linux or OS X, if Swift is installed, I can open a terminal:
And it runs, and behaves exactly like php, perl, ruby, etc. This makes it approachable like a scripting language. REPL and Playgrounds give it an interactivity that is reminiscent of Visual Basic, which sucked as language at it’s inception, but a very good case can be made, that Windows ascended to dominance over GEM, Mac and later the Amiga, entirely on the shoulders of Visual Basic and the Hobby Developers with it’s low barrier of entry. They cut their teeth on BASIC, and graduated to the GUI with VB.
From a technical perspective, Swift is much more C like, but at the same time, yes, it is a strongly typed language, but for the casual user, my example above:
let hello = "Hello Swift";
Works exactly the same as:
let hello : String = "Hello Swift";
Removing that typing and the language is indistinguishable from many of the modern scripting languages.
From: Jens Alfke <jens at mooseyard.com<mailto:jens at mooseyard.com>>
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 6:37 PM
To: Andy Satori <dru at druware.com<mailto:dru at druware.com>>
Cc: Don Wills <don.wills at portablesoftware.com<mailto:don.wills at portablesoftware.com>>, Donald Pinckney <djpinckney at ucdavis.edu<mailto:djpinckney at ucdavis.edu>>, "swift-users at swift.org<mailto:swift-users at swift.org>" <swift-users at swift.org<mailto:swift-users at swift.org>>
Subject: Re: [swift-users] "business applications market" flame
On Jan 6, 2016, at 2:49 PM, Dru Satori <dru at druware.com<mailto:dru at druware.com>> wrote:
It may use LLVM, but it is not a “C” style language, in fact, it feels more like a scripting language than many languages at this level.
I disagree. Scripting languages are pretty universally dynamically-typed, interpreted, and have no visible compile/link stage. Swift isn’t like that at all. The clear ancestors are the C family (including Obj-C), Haskell (IIRC), and to a lesser degree Rust and Go. I don’t see any resemblance to Perl, Ruby, Python, etc.
I agree with the rest of what you’re saying, but it’s pretty obvious. The kinds of business you’re describing are conservative and just use what everyone else uses, and what every developer learns in school. 20 years ago they were probably using C or Pascal, 30 years ago it was probably COBOL. These are not early adopters.
Newer languages tend to fly under the radar for a while. There’s a growing use of Go, for example. (My employer, Couchbase, is using it in several shipping products.) Inside big tech companies like Facebook and Twitter there are all sorts of interesting languages being used internally, from Scala to Haskell. (Go is of course an obvious case of that.)
At this point Swift doesn’t even have a robust cross-platform standard library, so it’s way too early to start trying to sell it as a replacement for Java to enterprise coders. Right now Swift’s practical uses are for building iOS and Mac applications, period. But that’s going to change.
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