I started work on the Swift Programming Language (wikipedia) in
July of 2010. I implemented much of the basic language structure,
with only a few people knowing of its existence. A few other
(amazing) people started contributing in earnest late in 2011, and
it became a major focus for the Apple Developer Tools group in
The Swift language is the product of tireless effort from a team
of language experts, documentation gurus, compiler optimization
ninjas, and an incredibly important internal dogfooding group who
provided feedback to help refine and battle-test ideas. Of
course, it also greatly benefited from the experiences hard-won
by many other languages in the field, drawing ideas from
Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU, and far too
many others to list.
The Xcode Playgrounds feature and REPL were a personal passion of
mine, to make programming more interactive and approachable. The
Xcode and LLDB teams have done a phenomenal job turning crazy
ideas into something truly great. Playgrounds were heavily
influenced by Bret Victor’s ideas, by Light Table and by many
other interactive systems. I hope that by making programming more
approachable and fun, we’ll appeal to the next generation of
programmers and to help redefine how Computer Science is taught.
Still amazed that Apple managed to keep Swift secret until its unveiling during Monday’s keynote.