'Silver' lets you compile Swift for Android and Windows

(Image Credit: ElementsCompiler)

Last year, Apple introduced a new programming language called 'Swift' which is getting a fair amount of praise from developers. Now the clever guys and girls over at RemObjects have released a new compiler called 'Silver' which allows Swift programs to be run in the .NET and Java runtimes –making them compatible with Windows and Android.

Swift has been soaring in popularity, and has leapt up RedMonk's programming language table

Much like Xamarin, another cross-platform compiler, the team behind Silver are pushing for developers to use each platform's native libraries when building interfaces. This ensures applications fit-in with the design of other applications and provide a consistent experience for users. This is considered good practice, but is often ignored for a fast deploy.

For Swift developers on Windows, Silver will integrate with Visual Studio 2013. For developers on Mac, RemObjects has released its own IDE for Silver called Fire. The company is no stranger to development environments and has compilers for C# and its own language called 'Oxygene' (which was derived from Delphi.)

RemObjects' current products are paid releases, but Silver will be available for free even after it leaves its beta stage. The company is moving towards a stable release, but are having to add extensions to Swift to deal with things unsupported by the language such as exceptions which are available with both .NET and Java.

Apple also announced Swift 1.2 earlier today – with a whole bunch of new features – which has therefore added to the list of work RemObjects' will have on their plate.

Swift has been soaring in popularity, and has leapt up RedMonk's programming language league table from 68th place to 22nd. A blog post on the RedMonk website by Stephen O'Grady said: "The growth that Swift experienced is essentially unprecedented in the history of these rankings."

He continues, "When we see dramatic growth from a language it typically has jumped somewhere between 5 and 10 spots, and the closer the language gets to the Top 20 or within it, the more difficult growth is to come by. And yet Swift has gone from our 68th ranked language during Q3 to number 22 this quarter, a jump of 46 spots.”

Support for Windows and Android will not have been Apple's intention, but it's great to see opportunities for deployment on those platforms opened-up for developers who have decided to choose Swift for their future applications.

Will you be using Silver to compile for Android and Windows? Let us know in the comments.

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