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Swift’s Ascendance

Paul Krill, writing for InfoWorld:

Both the Tiobe and PyPL indexes already have plans to accommodate Swift. “A preview shows that its first rating will probably in the top 20 by [the July Tiobe index]. Swift is a natural and long-awaited next step of Apple,” this month’s Tiobe index description said. The monthly index, which gauges language popularity via a formula assessing searches on languages on sites like Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube, has shown Swift’s predecessor, the Objective-C language, ranking not far behind C and Java in language popularity in recent years.

If you went back in time to 2004 and told people that Objective-C would rank “not far behind C and Java in language popularity” in 2014, I don’t know that you’d find anyone who would believe you, even within Apple. iOS has proven to be almost unfathomably popular.

But the thing is, Objective-C’s popularity has nothing to do with Objective-C as a language, in and of itself. If anything, the nature of Objective-C has almost certainly hampered its popularity. It’s all about Apple’s platforms and frameworks, for which, until last week, Objective-C was the one true language. Now that Swift is here, and is a first-class peer to Objective-C for all of Apple’s frameworks and platforms, I think Swift will rise in popularity with amazing speed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Swift ahead of Objective-C on these indexes by this time next year.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014