Time Traveling With Swift: Where We Started, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going

This talk will explore the complex roots of Swift, its current applications, and its future. The first “chapter” of the talk will rewind back to the initial development of Swift, and the transition from Objective-C. I will identify some of the “why would they design it like…” questions that plague Swift developers, and attempt to answer them by reflecting on the past. In many cases, the apparent redundancies in the Swift language and libraries stem from pre-existing structures, and its current state is a reflection of its history. These questions would serve as a segue into an exploration of the current state of the Swift language. The way Swift code is executed significantly influences the areas in which it is used. Once again, the historical development of Swift plays a role. Could the high complexity of the Swift compiler explain why Swift has remained a somewhat niche language? And why is the compiler so complex in the first place? Lastly, the talk will shift to the future, exploring how Swift may grow and evolve. Only by looking to the past, may we begin to see the future, and thus, deep within the history of Swift lies the key to understanding both its present and its future.