RemObjects has released a beta version of Silver, a complier based on its own interpretation of Apple’s Swift programming language, designed to help developers with a primarily Apple background start to develop for other platforms. Silver lets programs written in Swift run in .NET, Cocoa, and Java/Android.
The company promises that Silver will remain as close to Swift as possible, but there will be a few minor differences between the two. For example, Silver has extensions to make dealing with exceptions possible. It contains the most important new features introduced in Swift 1.2, and more are added with each new beta version.
Silver isn’t made for developers who’re solely working on or for Apple products. It’s made to help developers take their apps to new platforms, while still using some of the shared code, but the system discourages the creation of direct cross-platform apps. Instead, it pushes for a new design while incorporating underlying internal code to streamline the process. This is a similar method used by Xamarin, a competing product to RemObject’s Silver.
Prior to the release of Swift 1.2, data from Stack Overflow showed it had jumped in popularity, rising from number 68 in its charts to number 22 in just three months. The opportunity to use skills learned on Swift to produce software for alternative platforms is likely to be welcomed, particularly because Silver is free to use, and is expected to remain that way even when it exits the beta stage.
You can download the Silver beta version here.