When Apple announced its new programming language Swift, a instantly jumped up my chair and applauded. After all I am a fan of delicious languages and I always enjoy discussions about language design and implementations. Also the Apple team took some ideas of former Apple employee Bret Victor quite seriously. They integrated a playground, which is an exact copy of the demo Bret Victor has shown in its famous inventing on principle talk.
Now I don't want to talk about the specific syntax of Swift, or any of the framework's integrated function. I am still convinced, that Swift fulfills a lot of its promises. I don't know how it can be that much faster than Objective-C, however, it might due to the lack of pointers and therefore much more streamlined optimization capability.
So should we all learn Swift? If it overcomes its potential problems? In my opinion. Not at all! Why? While Microsoft is trying to convince developers about its programming language and tools (and does a pretty good job there), Apple still tries to capture developers in their eco system. A smart dev would not make a bet on this. On the PC market Linux / Windows is much more flexible and bigger. On the Smartphone / tablet market Android is also in a better shape.
What could be a winning move? Finally freeing Swift from the Apple platform. But this is unlikely to happen. While Microsoft is already changing its course, Apple is currently stuck in invincibility mode. This is a dangerous time, as no real innovations can be found. Dictionary enhanced keyboard? 4 years too late. Swipe keyboard? Also too late. Widgets? Come on. A better programming language than Objective-C? Why did anyone learn Objective-C anyway?
Let's see how Swift develops. I would really love to learn this, but I feel like I do not want to place such a bet.