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Apple project lead Ted Kremenek discusses Swift 5 & how it is used internally

Apple’s head of Swift development Ted Kremenek has provided insight into the development of Swift 5.0, the upcoming major milestone release for the programming language, with a podcast interview revealing not only what coders should expect, but also how Apple works out what new features to add to future versions.

Named the project lead of Swift development within Apple two years ago, Kremenek is the current manager of the Languages and Runtimes team, which handles Swift’s refinement among other tasks. While Swift is being developed relatively openly, complete with its own dedicated website, Kremenek took time to discuss its development further in a podcast published on Tuesday. 

Speaking on John Sundell’s Swift by Sundellpodcast, Kremenek discusses on ABI stability, referring to the application binary interface that works between program modules, with a stable ABI allowing for apps that are build with one compiler will be able to communicate effectively with those produced on another, for example. Kremenek explains the changes that had to be made to Swift to make it be ABI stable, and how the programming language stands to benefit from its implementation. 

The podcast also covers how String has been improved in Swift 5.0, as well as how Apple uses Swift internally. 

Swift is a core component of Apple’s app ecosystem, and the company has been keen to teach others how to use the programming language as part of its Everyone Can Code sessions and larger software development curriculum in schools. Apple also teaches younger users how to code in Swift via the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad.

Pyramids of Giza

The last remaining wonder of the ancient world; for nearly 4000 years, the extraordinary shape, impeccable geometry and sheer bulk of the Giza Pyramids have invited the obvious questions: ‘How were we built, and why?’. Centuries of research have given us parts of the answer. Built as massive tombs on the orders of the pharaohs, they were constructed by teams of workers tens-of-thousands strong. Today they stand as an awe-inspiring tribute to the might, organisation and achievements of ancient Egypt.

Ongoing excavations on the Giza Plateau, along with the discovery of a pyramid-builders’ settlement, complete with areas for large-scale food production and medical facilities, have provided more evidence that the workers were not the slaves of Hollywood tradition, but an organised workforce of Egyptian farmers. During the flood season, when the Nile covered their fields, the same farmers could have been redeployed by the highly structured bureaucracy to work on the pharaoh’s tomb. In this way, the Pyramids can almost be seen as an ancient job-creation scheme. And the flood waters made it easier to transport building stone to the site.

But despite the evidence, some still won’t accept that the ancient Egyptians were capable of such achievements. So-called pyramidologists point to the carving and placement of the stones, precise to the millimetre, and argue the numerological significance of the structures’ dimensions as evidence that the Pyramids were constructed by angels or aliens. It’s easy to laugh at these out-there ideas, but when you see the monuments up close, especially inside, you’ll better understand why so many people believe such awesome structures must have unearthly origins.

Most visitors will make a beeline straight to the four most famous sights; the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Sphinx. But for those who want to explore further, the desert plateau surrounding the pyramids is littered with tombs, temple ruins and smaller satellite pyramids.