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Swift Programming Language

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 23 Jan, 2023
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Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, object-oriented, functional, imperative, and block-structured language. Swift is the result of the latest research on programming languages and is built using a modern approach to safety, and software design patterns by Apple Inc. for iOS applications, macOS applications, watchOS applications, tvOS applications. 

Swift is easy to learn, easy to implement, safe, fast, and expressive. Developing Swift in the open has its exciting aspects as it is now free to be ported across a wide range of platforms, devices, and use cases.

The features of Swift are designed to work together to create a powerful language. Additional features of Swift include: 
 

  • Closures (similar to lambda functions in other languages) unified with function pointers
  • Tuples and multiple return values
  • Concise and fast iteration over a range or collection
  • Structs and Classes that support methods, extensions, and protocols
  • Functional programming patterns, e.g., map and filter
  • Powerful error handling built-in
  • Advanced control flow with do, guard, defer, and repeat keywords
  • Optionals and force-unwrap
  • Type Inference and type annotation

Memory Management: Automatic reference counting is a system which tracks the number of references to an object in memory. When an object is no longer needed in the future , ARC automatically deallocates the memory used by that object. This helps to prevent memory leaks, which can occur when an object is no longer needed but its memory is not released, and can help to improve the  performance of the program.
Swift is managed as a collection of projects, each with its repositories. The current list of projects include: 

  • The Swift compiler command-line tool
  • The Standard library bundled as part of the language
  • Core libraries that provide higher-level functionality
  • The Swift REPL included LLDB debugger
  • Xcode playground support to enable playgrounds in Xcode.
  • The Swift package manager for distributing and building Swift source code

Example:  

Swift




// Basic Swift Program
import Foundation // This functionality provides basic functionality to apps
 
var str1 = "Hello geeks!"
let str2 = "How are you?"
print (str1)
print (str2)

Output: 
 

Hello geeks!
How are you?

Run: Code can be tested on Online IDE for Swift 

Note: Import statement is used to import any objective-C framework or library directly into Swift program. 
var keyword is used for variable and let keyword is used for constant. There is no need for”;” for termination, in case the programmer uses it compiler won’t show an error. 

Advantages – 

  • Swift is open-sourced and easy to learn as it has a very simple and easy syntax
  • Swift is approachable and familiar. It is Interoperable with objective-C as well which means that developers can use Swift and Objective-C together in the same project, and can even call Swift code from Objective-C and vice versa
  • Swift is a statically typed language, which means that the type of each variable is checked at compile-time rather than at runtime. This can help to improve the performance of Swift code, as the compiler can optimize the code more effectively. Additionally, Swift uses modern optimization techniques, such as automatic reference counting and protocol-oriented programming, to help improve the efficiency of the code.
  • Swift is enterprise-ready.

Disadvantages:

  • The language is still quite young and the talent pool is limited : Swift is considered a “moving target” as it is a new language and the number of swift programmers is few.
  • Poor interoperability with third-party tools and IDEs : There are very less tools and IDEs that can support Swift and  the language is proprietary to Apple and is primarily used on Apple platforms. Example : Xcode
  • Lack of support for earlier iOS versions : One of the main disadvantages of Swift is that it is not backwards compatible with earlier versions. This means that if you are using an older version of Swift and want to update to a newer version, you may have to rewrite some of your code to make it compatible with the new version.
  • Steep Learning curve : Despite the fact that Swift has a relatively easier syntax , there are a number of advanced concepts and features that take time to learn.
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