Welcome to the Bleeding Edge: Web Development in Swift

While in Module Four, I set out to write an app using Vapor, a web framework exponentially growing in popularity. With the help of the amazing Vapor community, and a number of educational videos, I was able to learn the foundations of Swift and Vapor. That said, I also learned the cost of developing with something so new. This post will serve as an introduction to creating a Vapor project and a retrospective into the cost of developing with bleeding edge software. I’ll be discussing it from the viewpoint of a Ruby on Rails developer, but most of the takeaways should remain agnostic. What is Swift? Released in 2014, Swift was created as a solution to the antiquated Objective C language that powers the Apple platform. Its syntax and language style follow that of more modern languages like Ruby or Python, but under the hood, it’s an inherently compiled language like its older brother Objective C, making it blazingly fast. Within the year, the interest in Swift skyrocketed, reaching the Top 3 of Most Loved Languages on Stack Overflow in 2015 and in 2016. It began to dominate all mobile development, replacing Objective C as the primary language. Overall, it became a smash hit. So of course, people wanted to use it for Web Development. Meet Vapor Thankfully, Apple heard the pleas to make web development happen, and open sourced the entirety of the language in December of 2015. This allowed a number of open source projects to spring up that leveraged Swift to build web frameworks while running on a traditional Linux server node. Currently, at the forefront of this movement is a project called Vapor. Created by Tanner Nelson and Logan Wright, the project was launched in January of 2016 and just reached 1.0 as of September 15th,...
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