Mr Speaker

Selling Swift: what a fool believes

Ok, Apple comes out with a brand new programming language.

Creating a new programming language is the absolute surest way to invite a hurricane of internet pain from coders worried they've bet on the wrong horse. Generally they'll try to shout at the horse until it dies - mostly with nasty tweets.

Yet somehow Apple got away with it. The reaction was unreservedly, un-internet-ly positive; even the worst opinions around were like, "meh" with not a death-threat to be seen - an incredible achievement as anyone who has ever tried to release a new language or framework can attest!

How did they survive the terror of day zero, and thus giving Swift a fighting chance to flourish? The spark of evolutionary genius was to make the language (on a superficial level, at least) look exactly like all other languages at the same time! This familiarity translated in to superiority and pomp on the part of the coder, which let them consider the possibility of maybe possibly trying it out some time.

Swift looks pretty nice to me. I maybe possibly will try it out some time. But to paraphrase the internet, Is it just me, or do some of these comments seem familiar?

I've omitted the equally long list of combinatorial tweets ("X and Y had a baby!"), as well as the wall of "Lol at the idiots who think Swift looks like X!" tweets. For brevity... and in the interests of full disclosure: one of my own tweets in up there. Take it away Doobies!


  1. “Swifties! Did You Know These 50 Awesome Facts About Taylor Swift?”

    I spot the odd one out !!!

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  2. Great post. I’ve been sniggering to myself at all the “OMG! Swift is just like !!!” articles I’ve stumbled across around the web, since WWDC. But I never realised the affliction was this widespread, until I read your post here.

    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 3:24 am | Permalink
  3. It’s a shame that … ‘You cannot import C++ code directly into Swift. Instead, create an Objective-C or C wrapper for C++ code.’
    … It’s not so Swifty …

    Friday, September 26, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink
  4. I do believe M. Guilaume Groovy (@glaforge) was correct in identifying it as a cousin of his baby Groovy. It really occupies a quadrant spot in relation to Obj C very much like Groovy does vis a vis Java. This is what folks thought JavaScript was going to be before they took the blanky off the basket on the porch…

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 2:20 am | Permalink
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