Programming Languages: Their popularity Every passing year witnesses changes in the preferences of programming languages. Some of them get knocked off the perch, while others continue growing. In recent years, two programming languages stand out from the rest and are rapidly growing in popularity. Those two are Swift and Python. In this article, we will talk about the attributes of Swift and Python, their pros and cons and how they are similar to each other. Read along to know more. What they are Swift and Python. One is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, object-oriented, functional, imperative and block-structured language while the latter is a widely-used general-purpose, high-level programming language. Python was originally designed by Guido van Rossum in 1991 and further developed by Python Software Foundation. It was developed to stress code readability along with its syntax enables programmers to code less to express their concepts. It helps coders to speed up the workflow and integrate systems more efficiently. In a survey by Stack Overflow in 2017, Python was the fastest-growing programming language. This resulted in numerous companies prominently using Python as their programming language, the list including Quora, Netflix, Dropbox, Reddit, Facebook, Spotify, Instagram, etc. In terms of Python’s usability shown above, Data analysis goes first, followed by web development, machine learning, and DevOps. However, Python is less used for educational purposes, prototyping, and Quality Assurance Services. Now talking about Swift, it was designed and released in 2014 after conducting fresh research on programming languages and by using a modern approach to safety, software design patterns by Apple Inc. It is a completely new programming language for the iOS application, macOS application, watchOS application, tvOS application. Needless to say, it quickly grew to be one of the top 5 programming languages and became the most used programming language among the Apple developer community within a short span of than 5 years, also effectively replacing the previously used Objective C. Let us share an important piece of information with you. According to a survey done on the most popular programming languages, Python takes the first spot with overwhelming popularity with a share of 25.36%, whereas Swift is climbing up the ladder at the 9th spot with 2.69% share. The table is mentioned below:Advantages and disadvantages of using Python Advantages In this section, we will focus on the criteria that make Python a truly developer-friendly language. As we learnt that Python has its uses in numerous lines of work, we will find out how it ticks the checkboxes of the required criteria. Simplicity and readability One of the prime benefits of using Python is that it is simple to code and read. Of course, it is not a repetitive language to follow but is very similar to English and hence is easy to follow. Moreover, Python is a good choice for beginners in programming Multi-paradigm It is a programming language that is object-oriented as well as procedural. Its procedural paradigm allows reuse code and object-oriented methodology allows varied inheritances and summarising data and functions as one Open-source As Python is open source, you can download and modify its source code. This versatile feature led to the formation of a strong community that keeps growing stronger Integration with other languages Being an extensible and embeddable language, programmers can easily integrate Python to Java applications, C, and C++ Portability and compatibility Python is compatible with various platforms. If required, users do not require to change the code before moving the project. to be moved to another platform Vast collection of libraries Being in the game for a long time, Python boasts having a strong community with a vast range of libraries and frameworks for different purposes. providing programmers with a wide spectrum of opportunities. Additionally, libraries like Pandas, Plotly, NumPy, Pipenv, and others and are included as well. Django, Flask, CherryPy, and PyTorch are.among the most famous frameworks. Disadvantages With the pros come the cons. There is also the other side of a coin that needs attention. In spite of having a long history in the programming world, Python still has several weak sides. Not ideal for Mobile development Python is not a good solution for mobile developers. However, a come-around solution with a few challenges is Kivy - a cross-platform Python framework for developing mobile apps Design restrictions There are specific design limitations in Python. Being dynamically typed language using duck typing, Python automatically identifies a type of a variable and can cause runtime errors Although it is not frequent, it does make errors at times. Memory consumption Python consumes high memory and is definitely not a good option to run intensive memory tasks. Swift pros and cons Being a relatively new programming language, Swift was launched at the WWDC conference in 2014. According to Apple, the primary features of Swift is that it is fast, modern and interactive. Swift's creator Chris Lattner his creation was a result of ideas inspired by different languages such as C#, Ruby, and especially by Python. That's why we can easily find a couple of similarities between Swift and Python. Nevertheless, let’s see what the pros and cons of Swift are. Advantages Easy to read and maintain The Swift program codes are based on English as it acquired syntaxes from other programming languages, thus making the language more expressive Scalable More features to Swift, so it is a scalable programming language. Swift has already replaced Objective C and Swift is what Apple is relying on Concise Swift does not include long lines of code and that favours the developers who want a concise syntax, thus increasing the development and testing rate of the program Safety and improved performance Almost 40% better than the Objective-C, Swift is handier to tackle the bugs that lead to safer programming when speed and performance is concerned Cross-device support This language can handle a wide range of Apple platforms such as iOS, iOS X, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS Automatic Memory Management This feature prevents memory leaks and helps in optimising the application’s performance that is done by using Automatic Reference Counting. Disadvantages Compatibility issues The updated versions Swift is observed to be a bit unstable with the newer versions of Apple leading to a few issues. Switching to a newer version of Swift is the fix but that is costly Speed Issues This is relevant to the earlier versions of the Swift programming language Less in number: The number of Swift developers is limited as Swift is a new programming language Delay in uploading apps Developers will be facing delays over their apps written in Swift to be uploaded to the App Store only after iOS 8 and Xcode 6 are released. The estimated time for release is reported to be September-October, 2014. Common attributes of Swift and Python Swift and Python are predominantly contrasting languages. Despite that, the do possess some common traits. Let’s see what they are. Both Swift and Python have a distinct syntax and are very similar to the English language. Missing semicolons while coding in either Swift or Python will not result in errors. Both languages have a REPL environment that aids in detecting errors in code and debugging Both are multi-paradigm programming languages They have additional tools to facilitate learning. What makes Swift and Python different from each other? From the previous discussions in this article, it is crystal clear that Swift and Python are fundamentally different from each other. Apple’s Swift is ideal for developing software for the Apple ecosystem while Python can be utilised for use cases but is mainly applied in back-end development. Moreover, as Apple claims, Swift is 8.4x faster than Python in terms of performance. Choosing between Swift and Python depends on the intent of the programmer. If the purpose is developing mobile applications that need to work flawlessly in the Apple platforms, then Swift is the ultimate choice. However, if the intentions are to develop artificial intelligence, design a prototype or build the backend, then Python is the one. In the end, what matters is the intent So now we see that in fact choosing Python or Swift for coding mostly depends on your purpose. If you are fond of developing mobile applications that will work seamlessly on Apple operating systems, you should definitely choose Swift. Python is good in case you want to develop your own artificial intelligence, build the backend or create a prototype. There is no hiding the fact that both Swift and Python are good at what they do. While Python has been a game-changer for years, Swift has been rapidly rising up the ranks. Comparing the two directly is a bit unjust as each one of the two has their own uses. The best person to select the right programming language is you! So be the judge of your decision. Good luck!
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Xcode vs Swift
Xcode and Swift are two different products developed by Apple for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. While Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS containing a suite of software development tools to develop software for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS, Swift is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language developed iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, Linux, and z/OS. So it is clear that they can not be compared with each other. On the contrary, Swift is compatible with Xcode as Swift v 5.1, the default version of Swift is included in Xcode v 11. In this article, we will go through what Xcode and Swift are in general and cover their features strengths and weaknesses followed by how Swift is compatible with Xcode. XcodeIt was first released in 2003 as version 1 with the latest stable one being version 10.2.1 released on 17 April 2019. It can be downloaded from the Mac App Store and is free to use for macOS Mojave users. Registered developers may download the preview releases and previous versions of the suite using via the Apple Developer website. Overview of the major featuresSupport: Programming languages such as C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Java, AppleScript, Python, Ruby, ResEdit (Rez), and Swift are supported by Xcode with source code along with support for a variety of programming models including Cocoa, Carbo, and Java. Not only that, there is additional support via third parties for GNU Pascal, Free Pascal, Ada, C#, Perl, and D Capability: Xcode can build fat binary files that include the code for various architectures in the Mach-O executable format. Known as universal binary files, these allow the application to run on both PowerPC and Intel-based (x86) platforms including both 32-bit and 64-bit codes Compiling and debugging: Xcode uses the iOS SDK to compile and debug applications for iOS that run on ARM architecture processors GUI tool: Xcode comprises of the GUI tool, Instruments that runs dynamic tracing framework on the top of DTrace, a dynamic tracing framework designed by Sun Microsystems and released as a part of OpenSolaris. Advantages and disadvantages of Xcode: Xcode is designed by Apple and will only work with Apple operating systems: macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Since its release in 2003, Xcode has made significant improvements and the latest version, Xcode 10.2.1 has all the features that are needed to perform continuous integration. Let us have a look at the pros of using Xcode: Equipped with a well designed and easy to use UI creator Excellent for code completion Using Xcode, a developer can learn profiling and heap analysis in a natural way Xcode’s simulator lets you easily test your app while you build it in an environment that simulates your iPhone The app store has a wide range of audience who are willing to pay for apps. Now, the cons: Clunky and outdated Objective C makes it more frustrating if you are habituated to use a modern language No support for tabbed work environments makes it difficult to work with multiple windows Hardly any information can be found online to solve problems due to a previous Apple NDA on Xcode development It is a complicated process to export your app onto a device Will only work with Apple operating systems The App Store approval process can be annoyingly lengthy.SwiftSwift was launched at Apple's 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference as a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, Linux, and z/OS Being a new entry these operating systems, Swift accelerates on the best parts of C and Objective C without being held back by its compatibility. It utilises safe patterns for programming, adding more features to it, thus making programming easier and more flexible. By developing their existing debugger, compiler and framework infrastructure, it took quite some time to create the base for Swift. Furthermore, Automatic Reference Counting was used to simplify the memory management part. The framework stack which was once built upon a solid framework of Cocoa and Foundation has undergone significant changes and is now completely regulated and refurbished. Developers who have worked with Objective-C do find Swift quite similar. Objective-C’s dynamic object model and its comprehensively named parameters provide a lot of control to Swift. Developers can use Swift to have access to the existing Cocoa framework in addition to the mix and match interoperability with an objective C code. Swift uses this common rule to offer multiple new features in combination with object-oriented and procedural portions of the language. The idea is to create the best possible language for a wide range of uses, varying from desktop and mobile apps, systems programming, and scaling up to cloud services. The designing of Swift was done to make sure that developers find it easy to maintain and write correct programs. Coding done in Xcode is safe, fast and expressive. Swift offers a host of features that give developers the control needed to make the code easy to read and write. Furthermore, Apple made Swift to be easily understandable to help developers avoid making mistakes while coding and make the code look organised, along with the modules that give namespaces and eliminate headers. Since Swift uses some features present in other languages, one of them being named parameters written with clean syntax that makes the APIs much easier to maintain and read. Here are some of the additional features of Swift: Multiple return values and Tuples Generics Short and quick iterations over a collection or range Structs that support extensions, methods and protocols Functional programming patterns Advanced control flow Powerful error handling. These features are systematically designed to make them work together resulting in creating a powerful but fun-to-use language. Advantages and disadvantages of Swift: Pros of using the Swift Programming language: Easy to read and maintain: The Swift program codes are based on natural English as it has borrowed syntaxes from other programming languages. This makes the language more expressive Scalable: Users can add more features to Swift, making it a scalable programming language. In the future, Swift is what Apple is relying on and not Objective C Concise: Swift does not include long lines of code and that favours the developers who want a concise syntax, thus increasing the development and testing rate of the program Safety and improved performance: It is almost 40% better than the Objective-C when speed and performance are taken into consideration as it is easy to tackle the bugs which lead to safer programming Cross-device support: This language is capable of handling a wide range of Apple platforms such as iOS, iOS X, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Automatic Memory Management: This feature present in Swift prevents memory leaks and helps in optimizing the application’s performance that is done by using Automatic Reference Counting. Cons of Swift: Compatibility issues: The updated versions Swift is found to a bit unstable with the newer versions of Apple leading to a few issues. Switching to a newer version of Swift is the fix but that is costly Speed Issues: This is relevant to the earlier versions of the Swift programming language Less in number: The number of Swift developers is limited as Swift is a new programming language Delay in uploading apps: Developers will be facing delays over their apps written in Swift to be uploaded to the App Store only after iOS 8 and Xcode 6 are released. The estimated time for release is reported to be September-October, 2014. Conclusion So as we discussed both Xcode and Swift, it is clear that they cannot be compared to each other. In fact, they both complement each other to deliver impressive results without any headaches. Apple relies on both quite a lot and it is certain to have Swift and Xcode the perfect combination of a robust application and a user-friendly programming language.