Swift vs Objective-C

Our staff has been getting “up to speed” with Cocoa, so we can build the Macintosh GUI (graphic user interface) for Goldenseal Pro.  It will probably be another week or two before we are ready to start writing code.

Swift is a new programming language that Apple introduced in 2014.  It is designed for rapid GUI development, and we are finding that it definitely works well for that.  It’s possible to create fairly complex apps with just 20 or 30 lines of code.

Swift is a young language, and still evolving. We are writing practice apps using a book from The Big Nerd Ranch dated April 2015, and about 25% of the code in the book has changed since then. They put updated code on their website, but some of that has changed since it was posted. There are even more changes coming when version 3.0 comes out this winter. Using Swift for development will definitely be “bleeding edge” technology for a while longer.

On the other hand, the Objective-C language is old (first developed in the early 1980s) and ugly. Nobody uses it except for Cocoa developers, so it is doomed to fade away, as Swift takes over.

We have been working with both, and will use Swift for Goldenseal Pro.  Better stabbing pains for a while, than a dull ache that goes on forever!

The good news is that once we have mastered it, we can also use it to develop apps for iPhone and iPad.  Our original plan was to subcontract that work, but we can probably design and build apps in about the same time it would take to write specs, supervise and test someone else’s code.  Annoying to have to learn new stuff, but worthwhile in the end.

Dennis Kolva
Programming Director

Author: Dennis Kolva

Programming Director for Turtle Creek Software. Design & planning of accounting and estimating software.