Over the past few days, Google has been taking hits for ‘forking’ the new open-source programing language by Apple, Swift. There have been speculations on whether or not; Google will make its special version of the language. All that can now be put to rest after the creator of the programming language, Chris Lattner (he works at Google now) came out and made some clarifications.
Swift at Google has enough folks working on it that we need a staging ground/integration point, and we decided it should be public. https://t.co/hyphe0KrU0
— Chris Lattner (@clattner_llvm) November 15, 2017
Apparently, Google had no intentions of doing some ‘monkey-business.’ The company just wants to make a working copy of the code then it will contribute it ‘upstream’ to the Swift repository. Already, one of Google alteration has gotten a pull request from the Swift repository: Fuchsia support.
Zac Bowling, a Google dev. who was very instrumental in the porting of Objective-C to Android some few years ago, also shared the news as a reply to a tweet by Lattner.
And my team is adding support to Swift to target Fuchsia. https://t.co/ziGwc11yih
— Zac Bowling (@zbowling) November 16, 2017
Fuchsia is Google secret, but-no-longer-that-secret, operating system being developed as open source but with zero official communication about what it is meant for, what if Google wants it to replace something else. Speculators are torn between if it will replace Android, Chrome OS, or it will be a hybrid of both.
The core codes of Fuchsia is written in C and C++, and Dart for the default ‘Flutter’ UI. It also has a mix of other programming languages including Python, Rust, Go, and now Swift becomes the latest.
Since Fuchsia is using Apple’s open source programming language, Swift, does it mean at one point you could port iOS apps to the new Google OS, if(or when the OS starts shipping)? Well, yes and no. While Apple has made Swift language open source, virtually all of the iOS platform (like the UI among others) are closed source. So if the iOS app you are working on relies on the closed Apple libraries, it will not be portable. If not, then yes, you could port that iOS app to the new Fuchsia OS.