Four horsemen ride as Apple open sources something

four horsemenIn a sign that either we woke up in the wrong parallel universe, or the world is coming to an end, the paranoidly proprietary Apple actually open sourced some of its code.

Jobs’ Mob announced that Swift 2 is on its way and the whole codebase—the compiler and standard libraries—will be open sourced. Code that even works on Linux will be released later this year.

Apple VP Craig Federighi dropped the bombshell about Swift following a long description of how wonderful, super and cool the MacOS and iOS features and enhancements were.

Then he said that Apple would be “stepping on the gas this year with Swift 2,” which sort of implies that Apple feels that open sourcing code could speed things up.

Most of the details came from a single slide, which showed the Swift’s new error handling system. Developers will also appreciate much shorter compile times. But there were few other details – something Apple is going to have to change if it is going to outsource anything.

Of course it will be open sourced in Apple’s way and not in anything that Richard Stallman would think was super, cool or brilliant.

Normally such code would be placed on GitHub, issues would be talked about in public, and accepting community pull requests. Hell even Microsoft took a while before it realised that sort of thing was in its best interests.

Swift source code will be released under an OSI-approved permissive license.