Meeting Notes for May: Swift

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 17:10 -- JackC

Room 300, Rockefeller Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Lightning Talks:

LT1: Mathias Johnson - FreeCAD

Matthias presented FreeCAD - a drawing program differentiated from things like Blender, in that it provides precision as a drawing tool useful for things that require more than just a general shape of an object. CAD in general gives you precise measurements, and FreeCAD also gives you precise 3D modeling. Matthias quickly gave an illustration by constructing a plane, giving that plane some thickness and then adding raised lettering to the plane. He then was able to remove the lettering from the plane leaving a hole, creating an efffective stencil. Matthias also described how he was able to use FreeCAD to create a 3D printed endcap for one of his lighting units.

Main Talk: Christopher Garrett - Swift

Swift is Apple's new development language replacing Objective c. It embodies elegance, coherence and extensibility, as well as several other advantages.over the earlier language.

Swift arrived in 2014 and was open-sourced in 2015. It has been updated reasonably regularly and runs on IOS, Mac, WatchOS, TVOS, Linux and Windows. There are several Sandbox utilities that allow the user to experience code results immediately.

Chris started up a virtual session, loaded the Swift system and opened up a Sandbox to illustrate some of the code concepts. He illustrated many of the language elements, including the strong typing and how the system understands, without specific casting, what things should be.

It looks to be a fascinating, rather easy language that protects the users from most common programming erros, such as failing to use all items in a specified list of items in every case.



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