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Mike Kreuzer

Swift no longer

5 February 2021

In the beginning (1972ish) there was C. C was a small programming language. So small in fact that people frequently hurt themselves on its sharp corners.

By the early 80s, so long ago that nobody even remembers exactly when in the 80s any more, Objective C fixed all of that. Well, some of it. Objective C was a superset of the C language that added a bunch of affordances to C to make it more useful. But it contained all of C's goodness (and badness) within it. It added stuff but took nothing away.

NeXT liked Objective C.

Apple liked NeXT. A lot.

Then Apple made a rather nice line of phones and suddenly Objective C was everywhere. But most people using Objective C were only using it because they wanted to make money out of the phones Apple made. This was the 2000s already and by then Objective C seemed pretty old, and a bit weird. It had lots of square brackets. Nobody liked the square bracket thing.

So in 2014 Apple announced Swift as Objective C's replacement in the making money out of their phones business. Swift started small. But it grew. And it grew, and it grew. A lot.

Swift became a big language. Hard to learn. Harder to use. Really hard to use well.

Swift's available on Linux and Windows now. But I don't know why you'd want to use it there. People using Swift are only really going to be using it because they want to make money out of the phones Apple make…