01 Nov
3 min
Software Migration

The Interoperability – Swift and Objective-C

Objective-C was created and tuned for IOS development from birth. Swift on the other hand came into existence to replace an aging programming language with a modern technology platform. Can they be switched completely in a GO?

It’s no question — swift is the new toy and marked as the future. Objective-C is showing its age and will, eventually, be much less prevalent. But in the here and the now, the two must learn to coexist peacefully.

Jordan Morgan @ Medium.com

The swift design allows it to be interoperable with Objective-C. They are not mutually exclusive but the intuitive design of Swift allows Objective-C to co-exist along with it. That said, there are multiple approaches to how they can co-exist and how the developers can take advantage of this coexistence. Slowly put in new Swift code into the existing Objective-C Project. Or start using Objective-C routines in new Swift Projects. Either way is fine and permissible.

So, they both are compatible and can be used side by side, as of now at least. This primarily is advantageous for the big Objective-C applications which cannot be re-coded into Swift but would like to make a switch gradually. They can start upgrading and enhancing to the newer platform, taking advantage of the existing Objective-C sections, and can then move slowly towards Swift in due course.

Apple also understands the importance of Objective-C and believes that a shift to Swift cannot be done overnight. And this Apple will still continue support to Objective-C and is not planning to pull the plug anytime in the near future.

People here are idealistic yet really pragmatic, and I think you see that as an Apple characteristic in many, many elements of what we do.

Craig Federighi , Apple VP of Software Engineering

How it affects you as an application owner – The Benefits

Rapid Development

Swift needs lesser code to Lesser code develop the same functionality, as compared to Objective-C. This means lesser manpower is needed to develop the same amount of functionality or app. This also means reduced duration needed to complete the job.

Over the years, the original version of Lyft had ballooned to 75,000 lines of code. By the time the company was done recreating it in Swift, they had something that performed the same tasks in less than a third of that.

By the time we were working on this Swift project, we were also working in parallel on revamping the entire onboarding flow of the app. On the old [version], that was a project that took more than a month, with multiple engineers. And with Swift, that was a project that took a week for one engineer.

Chris Lambert, LYFT CTO

Moreover, the app now featured a new onboarding process: While the old one took more than a month and multiple engineers to implement, the new onboarding with Swift was completed within a week with only one engineer.

Quality Product

Swift cannot make a bad coder a good one but is built as a safe language. It enforces a level of quality check by preventing the coder from making unwanted mistakes. This helps the apps made in Swift to be more stable and reliable, as most of the crashes and unexpected situations can be identified and rectified at compile time itself. Swift ensures that the quality of the apps built is a level above the usual apps, thus giving you more quality with lesser dependency on coders’ skillset.

Product Safety

Swift has removed a lot of constructs like POINTERS from its structure. Such structures were responsible to make the application more exposed to vulnerability. Its strong typing system and error handling prevent code crashes and errors in production. Thus, Swift applications are safer than their predecessor without compromising on their flexibility and resourcefulness.

Additional Read from CodeEpsilon Tech Dais

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