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What would make Swift.org better?

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

You mentioned earlier that you'd like to see some sort of front page for Swift, because right now swift.org is pretty slim. What more should happen there?

Daniel Steinberg: One thing is the blog posts happen usually when Swift 5 dot whatever is released, and the engineers are resting, because you usually see three of them in a row, and then it'll go silent for three months. One thing an editor can do is hire writers who work with the engineers and you're having regular posts during it and you're helping them get it out.

“It would be nice to have an editor with a budget that can hire people to focus on what's happening with the server group, what's happening with Swift on Linux, Swift on Windows. What's happening in other areas, what's happening with third party editors, extensions, libraries.”

The other thing is “not invented here.” There's a lot of Swift happening elsewhere. And it would be nice to have an editor with a budget that can hire people to focus on what's happening with the server group, what's happening with Swift on Linux, Swift on Windows. What's happening in other areas, what's happening with third party editors, extensions, libraries. That's very challenging for Apple maybe but if Swift is going to be open-source, the world of Swift can be exposed on swift.org, not just what we're doing with Swift.

Paul Hudson: Right. But I'd like to see also more of Apple's stuff being discussed. Because there's still that invisible but definitely very there line between Swift and Apple. There's an open-source Swift logo and a Swift logo, that are two different things, for example. And for me, it would really to have “here's what's cool in SwiftUI right now,” “here's what's cool in Swift Argument Parser right now,” “here's what's cool in other things” – regular updates about other related projects. I think we've seen Argument Parser recently, but SwiftNIO, for example, just started working on Windows. That'd be a great post I'd like to see more about on a swift.org homepage that made me want to go back there every day – what's new in Swift today?

“And in addition, we would focus on here's a forum discussion that's really lively now that you might want to check out. So you're not waiting for a weekly update or something you're seeing every day, here's a discussion, in time for me to jump in and be part of the discussion while it's relevant.”

It's something I certainly can't do in What's new in Swift. That's literally language features as it evolves over the years, but I want to see what's alive in our community today, what's changing across the whole ecosystem of Swift today?

Daniel Steinberg: So that's what we used to do on the Java.net site. And in addition, we would focus on here's a forum discussion that's really lively now that you might want to check out. So you're not waiting for a weekly update or something you're seeing every day, here's a discussion, in time for me to jump in and be part of the discussion while it's relevant. Here's a new book on Swift by Paul or by somebody,

It's just there's so much happening in the Swift community and it's easy not to see it as it's live and vibrant and it shouldn't again, depend on people outside of that community taking care of that. Something like what David Pogue does and other people does, these are great resources but that doesn't mean Apple shouldn't be doing it too.

“Other things I'd like to see, a weekly podcast with discussion with engineers at Apple and with people around the world that are doing interesting things.”

Paul Hudson: Well, they keep us in jobs, right, Daniel? They keep my kids with food and in a house and so forth. So I quite like doing it to be honest with you.

Daniel Steinberg: So David Pogue talked about that, that when Apple stopped shipping manuals, it made him millions of dollars because he created the missing manual series. In some ways, we are the missing manual series for Apple’s Dev Pubs team.

Paul Hudson: Right. But I'm sure they're working on something and we'll find out I hope this Dub Dub because it's problematic, I'm not sure it's necessarily a good look for Swift, or Apple in general to have so many missing documentation pages or such static websites and similar. Hopefully we'll see real soon now.

Daniel Steinberg: So back to the swift.org front page, other things I'd like to see, a weekly podcast with discussion with engineers at Apple and with people around the world that are doing interesting things. I'd love to see... Dub Dub has so much content, it's hard for you to take it all in. But imagine there was a weekly three-minute video that talked about a single thing. You look at the session that Ben and Doug do every year. It's so full of things, imagine three minutes that then pointed you at the rest of it in their talk.

Those three minutes he said, “here's just one thing for you to think about in the Swift language." The stuff that was in Combine turned out, it was sprinkled on a lot of different things. The Core Data piece of Combine within the Core Data talk, the networking part Combine with some the networking talk. I wouldn't have known to look there. And so these little three-minute bits that then give you a link, if you're interested in Combine, maybe you wanted to see that part of the Core Data talk.

Paul Hudson: Definitely. I have seen them spinning up the developer app more in that direction. So they're moving shorter things on there, but individual topics. It's infrequent, I think it's going to be once a month right now and it's not like... I don't think it's Swift. It's more sort of like here's how haptics work or something like that. Some technology that was at Dub Dub, but now gives a small chunk of it. But yes, and more frequent would be amazing, I agree.

Daniel Steinberg: But imagine if something came up, and something on the swift.org site said you should go check it out!

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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