Now you can tailor Swift – on Ubuntu

Swift has landed on Linux. Repeat: Swift has landed on Linux

The latest iteration of Apple's open-source programming language Swift has taken its first major step towards Linux support.

The release of Swift 2.2 landed on March 21, and includes its first Linux port in the form of binaries for Ubuntu 14.04 and 15.10.

As Neowin notes, now that there's a Linux build, "it won't be long before it unofficially arrives" on other distributions.

"The Linux port is still relatively new and in this release does not include the Swift Core Libraries (which will appear in Swift 3). The port does, however, include LLDB and the REPL," the release post states.

LLDB is the LLVM project's debugger, and is also used in Apple's Xcode; REPL is read–eval–print loop, the language shell.

Apple's decision to open-source Swift made it easier for the outside world to take part in the language's evolution, so it's no surprise that there's a slew of bug fixes in version 2.2.

Better natural language programming is the aim of this change, with the rather dull label "Allow (most) keywords as argument labels." With this fix, only a handful of labels are excluded – inout, var and let.

Tuple comparison operators have been added, AnySequence.init gets a fix, and the typealias keyword has been replaced with associatedtype as part of a move to deprecate typealias in Swift 3.

Version 2.2 also adds argument labels to naming functions, and there's a new Objective-C referencing initialisation syntax.

Finally, Swift builds get version configuration. This is designed to let developers track syntax changes across Swift versions without having to maintain separate source trees. ®

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