The Swift 4 release process targets Fall 2017:
Swift 4 is a major release that is intended to be completed in the fall of 2017. It pivots around providing source stability for Swift 3 code while implementing essential feature work needed to achieve binary stability in the language. It will contain significant enhancements to the core language and Standard Library, especially in the generics system and a revamp of the
Stringtype. More details can be found on the Swift Evolution page.
Swift 4 Phase 2
The Swift 4 two-stage release plan was established in July 2016: focusing on essentials and ABI stability. Swift 4 only focuses on Phase 1 at this time. Stage 2 starts now.
All design work and discussion for stage 2 extends to April 1, 2017. The intent is to timebox discussion to provide adequate time for the actual implementation of accepted proposals.
Deferred ABI and Status Updates
Ted Kremenek writes,
Since July, we now have a much better understanding now of how to achieve ABI stability, with an ABI Manifesto https://github.com/apple/swift/blob/master/docs/ABIStabilityManifesto.md detailing the list of all language/implementation work that is needed to achieve ABI stability. We have made substantial progress in that work during stage 1, but much remains to be done. Once Swift achieves ABI stability the ABI can be extended, but not changed. Thus the cost of locking down an ABI too early is quite high.
Deferring ABI stability enables Swift to focus on language fundamentals. An ABI dashboard will be wired up from the Swift Evolution Github repository. This will present a table of remaining ABI tasks and display their status.
Swift Foundation API improvements are folded under the phase 2 umbrella, “to continue the goal of making the Cocoa SDK work seamlessly in Swift. Details on the specific goals will be provided as we get started on Swift 4 stage 2.”
The following accepted proposals are rolled forward into Swift 4 Stage 2:
- SE-0104 “Protocol-oriented Integers”: This proposal requires revision and another round of review based on other changes that have been made to the language and standard library since acceptance.
- SE-0075 “Adding a Build Configuration Import Test”: This is (still) an additive proposal and no other changes affect this proposal. It will be carried forward and considered accepted for Swift 4.
- SE-0042 “Flattening the function type of unapplied method references”: This proposal requires another round of review. This is a significant source-breaking change, and the bar for such source-breaking changes is considerably higher in Swift 4 than it was in Swift 3.
- SE-0068 “Expanding Swift Self to class members and value types”: This is (still) an additive proposal and no other changes affect this proposal. It will be carried forward and considered accepted for Swift 4.
- Swift 4 Release Process Blog post at Swift.org
- “Swift 4, stage 2 starts now” Swift Evolution Post
- Apple Swift team undergoes reorganization
- Swift 3.0 is released
- Winding down Swift 3.0; ABI Stability Deferred
- Swift ABI Postponement
- Wrapping up Swift 3
- Swift 3 Endgame and Swift 4 Kickoff
- End of Source Breaking Changes for Swift 3
- Swift 2.2, Swift 3.0, ABIs, etc.