A community-driven weekly newsletter about what's happening in the Swift open source projects at Swift.org. Curated by Kristaps Grinbergs. Started by Jesse Squires, continued by Bas Broek. Published for free every other Thursday.


Issue #87

Written by: Greg Heo

Foundation improvements, no longer a fable
Resilience and ownership, back on the table
   Swift 4 is now live
   Let’s look to Swift 5
The primary goal: get that ABI stable

It was iPhone hardware day this week, but don’t forget about the software side of things — iOS 11, Xcode 9, and Swift 4 GM releases all available on the developer portal.

But you’ve decided to stop refreshing the Apple Store web site and have found your way here…welcome! Let’s get into the Swift news.

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Issue #86

Written by: Roman Volkov

Welcome back to the weekly! The Swift project repos continue to delight with their usual activity. This week we have some new starter tasks, updates on proposals, and most excitingly, Chris Lattner’s appearance on Swift Unwrapped to talk about concurrency in Swift 5.

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Issue #85

Written by: Roman Volkov

Welcome to issue 85! This week was quieter than last, but various discussions on concurrency continued. Proposal SE-0184: Improved pointers was updated and is waiting to get merged back into the swift-evolution repository.

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Issue #84

Written by: Jesse Squires

What a surprisingly exciting week! Discussions on Swift’s concurrency story (for Swift 5) have started with a new manifesto and proposal for async / await, and the new refactoring tools were open sourced with a blog post explaining how do implement your own refactoring actions. There’s a lot of exciting work ahead!

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Issue #83

Written by: Roman Volkov

Things have been more quiet this week as everyone is excited about Swift 5 development beginning (announced last week). Bugs are being fixed, improvements are being made, and we finally found out where Chris Lattner is headed next!

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Issue #82

Written by: Jesse Squires

With Swift 4 development wrapping up, this week the goals for Swift 5 were announced! There are a lot of things to unpack in this announcement, but two main topics stand out — ABI stability and changes to the Swift Evolution process.

First, ABI stability is not merely a goal for Swift 5, but a requirement for the release. Notably, this is the first Swift release to have a hard requirement like this. As Ted discussed in the email, whatever ABI we have at the end of Swift 5, that’s what we’re stuck with! So there you have it, no more ABI stability delays! This likely means that iOS 12 could be the first release to ship with Swift, no longer requiring application developers to bundle the Swift runtime and standard library with their apps.

Secondly, the Swift Evolution process will see substantial changes. If you recall, the Swift 4 development cycle was split up into two “phases” in an attempt to address the somewhat chaotic churn of proposals that we saw during the development of Swift 3. The intent of Swift 4’s phases was to keep the release focused on meeting its goals, but this didn’t quite work out as expected. Thus, beginning with Swift 5 proposals are required to have an implementation before being officially reviewed by the Core Team.

There’s some concern in the community that this raises the bar too high for proposals and participation will decrease dramatically as a result. However, this new rule does not mean that the proposal author is required to implement the changes. It only specifies that an implementation must be available in order to be reviewed. Thus, multiple contributors can collaborate on writing and implementing. Despite the potential downsides, I’m in favor of this change. I expect it reduce much of the distraction and pure bikeshedding that happens sometimes on the mailing lists. And practically speaking, I honestly don’t see any other option given the importance of ABI stability — have you seen how much work is still left to do? 😅 Another benefit of this is that we could see the actual impact of the proposal on real-world code and include that as part of the review process. This will hopefully avoid another debacle like the access control controversy of Swift 3.

Start your engines! 🏎

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Issue #81

Written by: Jesse Squires

I can’t believe it’s already August! This means we are only one or two months away from a final release of Xcode 9, Swift 4, and all of the Apple OSes. We usually see a GM around late August or September. There are still a number of proposals that have not been implemented and I think it’s safe to say they will not be included in Swift 4. Anyway, this week there were some changes to SourceKit that will make SwiftLint users happy and an initial implementation of Swift bindings to libSyntax. On the mailing list, Jordan Rose discussed his 99 problems — spoiler, all of them are inheritance and initializers.

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Issue #80

Written by: Jesse Squires

The fourth beta of Xcode 9/Swift 4 was released this week, which included support for Swift static libraries. Proposals are winding down with only revisions to SE-0104 still in review. And everybody’s favorite topic — the Swift Evolution process — was discussed on the swift-evolution mailing lists. 😄

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Issue #79

Written by: Jesse Squires

This week two more outstanding proposals were formally accepted, including the much anticipated String Newline Escaping proposal, and there was a new, last minute string performance proposal from Ben Cohen. Even more, two non-Apple contributors have stepped up to implement two accepted-but-unimplemented proposals. Keep in mind, we’re already on beta 3 of Xcode 9 so the clock is ticking! Unfortunately, the time is up for some. Joe Groff confirmed that conditional conformances will not make the cut for Swift 4 (sad!), but he made up for the bad news by revealing how dogs wear pants. And yes, this means Joe is back from his Twitter hiatus!

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Issue #78

Written by: Jesse Squires

This week the third beta of Xcode 9 (and thus Swift 4) was released, there are a couple of new proposals in review, and the IBM Runtimes compiler team announced a prototype JIT compiler for server-side Swift, which will be open sourced in the near future. This is super cool, but if I’m being honest I’m more excited about the potential enhancements to multi-line string literals. 😄

In other news, there are currently 15 accepted proposals for Swift 4 that have not been implemented. I’m sure many are in-progress, but it looks likely that some of these will be pushed to a future release.

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Issue #77

Written by: Jesse Squires

After some time off and a break from the weekly, I’m back! Before we get started, I’d like to send a final massive thanks to the other Swift Weekly writers and contributors for doing such a great job the past few weeks. This team is great and they worked super hard to bring you the best Swift news, and even helped with this issue. Alright — let’s get to it!

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Issue #76

Written by: Garric Nahapetian

It was a busy week on the main apple/swift repo. Here are some stats from GitHub Insights:

Excluding merges, 39 authors have pushed 156 commits to master and 284 commits to all branches. On master, 401 files have changed and there have been 12,589 additions and 9,215 deletions..

It’s great to see so much work being done so soon after WWDC. The core team and other contributors are making significant progress on the road to the official Swift 4 launch.

iOS 11 beta 2, tvOS 11 beta 2, and Swift Playgrounds 2 beta 2 were all released. Download them here, and keep filing radars!

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Issue #75

Written by: Greg Heo

There once was a language called Swift
Proposals and fix-its caused drift
  to existing code bases,
  if statements, switch cases;
But newsletters help bridge the rift

I don’t know about you but I’m still recovering from all the WWDC excitement. 😓

Keeping us on our toes, the folks at Apple have released a second round of OS betas and Xcode seeds. Check out the developer portal and the Xcode 9 Beta 2 release notes in particular for the latest on improvements and known issues in the bundled Swift 4.

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Issue #74

Written by: Ben Asher

It has been a week since WWDC; have you had a chance to see what your Swift 4 upgrade path looks like yet? Mine started with an increase in redundant protocol conformance warnings, and I found one minor regression. That said, it has been pretty smooth so far, especially compared to the two weeks I spent on the Swift 3 upgrade last year!

Also, keep in mind that Swift 3.2 is the Swift 4 compiler running in Swift 3 compatibility mode (-swift-version 3, which clicked for me sometime during WWDC 😅). Understanding this can be really helpful when putting together a ticket for bugs.swift.org.

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Issue #72

Written by: Jesse Squires

We are only a few days away from WWDC 2017! This week the Swift repository saw its 10,000th pull request. Things have been more quiet than usual, but we did get a great update to the WWDC iOS app. 😅 I did not get a ticket, but I will be hanging out in San Jose for most of the week — if you are attending it would be great to meet in person! Aside from WWDC, there are a number of other events happening. For the Swift community, check out Realm’s WWDC Swift Panel and the SwiftCoders meet & greet at AltConf. See you next week!

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Issue #71

Written by: Jesse Squires

Things have certainly been more quiet than usual as we approach WWDC. Discussions on the mailing lists (and even Twitter!) have been sparse. Only two proposals are awaiting or actively in review and it’s unlikely we’ll see any more proposals for Swift 4.

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Issue #70

Written by: Jesse Squires

What’s better than one issue of Swift Weekly Brief? Two, of course! My apologies for the confusion and bugs with the mailing list this week! Things are back on track now. So enjoy this special Friday edition!

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Issue #69

Written by: Jesse Squires

We’re less than a month away from WWDC. While the swift-evolution proposal train seems to finally be slowing down, it seems like the Swift team is just as busy as ever as the end of the Swift 4 release cycle approaches.

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Issue #68

Written by: Bas Broek

Quite a lot of work has been done to implement recently accepted Swift Evolution proposals, as well as improving their diagnostics and error messages. Interestingly, some of this work has been done by first-time contributors, which is amazing to see!

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Issue #67

Written by: Bas Broek

A lot of proposals are being addressed this week, and Apple is working hard on an awesome Swift 4 release — and beyond. Also, it’s almost May which means we’re now just over a month away from WWDC! It will be here before you know it.

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Issue #66

Written by: Greg Heo

Saving you thousands of clicks
And finding the highlights and picks
  From the large convolution
  called Swift Evolution
It’s Swift Weekly Brief, sixty-six

The Swift community and core team are pressing on with proposals, pull requests, pitches, and of course posts to the mailing lists about everyone’s favorite topic: access control! 😳

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Issue #65

Written by: Jesse Squires

More proposals are making it through the review process this week as “phase 2” discussions of the Swift 4 development cycle come to a close, most notably SE-0168 and SE-0169. Proposal SE-0168 would add support for (highly desired!) multi-line String literals. No longer would we be forced to resort to string concatenation like animals. Proposal SE-0169 is a follow-up to the rejection of SE-0159 and seems to be our last hope for modifying access control in Swift, or repairing it depending on your perspective. There is a light at the end of the access control tunnel! Or maybe those are the headlights of an oncoming train, not sure. 😆

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Issue #64

Written by: Jesse Squires

The great access control battle debate is finally over! Just kidding. Of course, the holy war discussion is ongoing. While SE-0159 was rejected with much dismay, there are final talks on how to remedy the access control situation in Swift before its too late. Friction-driven development wins again! 😉 In other news, a number of new proposals are under review as we marinate in the Swift 4 phase 2 development cycle.

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Issue #63

Written by: Jesse Squires

The big news this week was that Swift 3.1 was officially released! Congratulations to the Core Team and open source contributors! This was a huge effort and aside from the notable features and proposals, there were dozens of bug fixes and other improvements. Be sure to report any bugs, regressions, or other issues that you run into.

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