Apple open sources the Swift programming language.

Eighteen months ago at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) Apple announced Swift, a modern programming language intended to power the next generation of OS X and iOS software. Six months ago, at WWDC 2015, Apple announced Swift 2.0 would go open source. Today, Apple makes good on that promise with Swift.org and GitHub/Apple.

Swift, the fastest-growing programming language in the history according to RedMonk, seeks not only to make existing programmers more efficient, but thanks to technologies like playgrounds and REPL, to make programming itself more accessible.

By open-sourcing Swift under the Apache 2.0 license, Apple hopes to make it even more available, to more people, on more platforms. Conversely, the open source community will be able to contribute back to Swift, creating a better, more robust language for everyone.

Existing OS X, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS developers, programmers who've always wanted to work on Apple's platforms, programmers who've always wanted to use their knowledge of Swift on other platforms, people new to programming in general, and kids in classrooms in specific, can all benefit.

At swift.org, developers will find:

  • Bug reporting and tracking
  • Documentation
  • API design guidelines
  • Community guidelines, instructions, and tutorials
  • Mailing lists
  • The Swift blog

In addition, Apple is offering:

  • A public source code repository at github.com/apple
  • A new Swift package manager project to more easily share and build code
  • A native Swift core libraries project for higher level functionality.
  • Support for OS X, iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux.

GitHub will house:

  • The Swift compiler
  • LLDB debugger
  • REPL
  • Standard and core libraries
  • The Package manager
  • Supporting projects

Apple has achieved enormous success with past open source projects including the Darwin kernel and the WebKit rendering engine. They're examples of using open source where it makes the most sense and can be of the greatest benefit to everyone. Swift shows every indication of being the similar—a foundation upon which Apple and developers can grow.

And now everyone can invest in making it so.