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David @ buzztouch
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09/23/15 09:05 PM (6 years ago)

BT Core for iOS in Swift

Hi gang, Looking for some input here. I've been putting out iOS 9 / Xcode 7 fires over the last few days and haven't spent much time on anything else. THANKS Susan (and others) for helping with the spammer madness earlier. While working out some iOS 9 issues (errors and warnings in the BT core) it occurred to me that it may be a good time to make the big jump from Objective - C to Swift. Of course this won't be "today" but more like in the next BT release. I've been working on 4.0 for EVER and porting it all to Swift may be the best decision. Please add some remarks to this thread so I can prioritize accordingly. Are you working with Swift already? Would you rather continue down the Objective - C road? Do you think it makes sense to port it "all at once" or file by file? Whatever other considerations you can think of. I've spent some time in Swift this year and I can say matter of factly that it's the way to go, moving forward, with iOS. For sure. This is uncontested (generally speaking). There's no reason to debate the pluses and minues of the two languages, thats not the point. Rather, determining the best way to move ahead. Like when! In case you're wondering... YES: Plugins written in Obj. C will work in a Swift BT Core YES: Objective - C continues to work just fine. YES: Switching to Swift officially will cause some stress. YES: Switching to Swift officially will remove some stress. [your two cents go here]
 
mrDavid
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09/23/15 09:37 PM (6 years ago)
I haven't done much with Swift, kind of going towards the "I finally got comfortable with basic Objective-C, so I'm going to wait for Apple to force me to use and learn Swift before I move on". If the BT Core can run both, why not? Sounds like a good plan. **I** wouldn't do it now through. BT Development is slow (for mostly good reasons we know of course) but like you mentioned, you've been working on 4.0 and the new self-hosted for (I think?) over a year now, so porting it all over to a new language will probably set it back even longer, realistically. My "ideal fairytale world" would have you finish the 4.0 core, have a few folks beta test it (both the core and self hosted) and send you bugs/reports, finalize the live package, and launch it. Then finally port over file by file like you mentioned as you see fit based on needs/time/efficiency. But that's just me... lol! I know there are TONS of other to-do's for buzztouch, like the plugin market, BT Go, so on and so on, my biggest fear is that if you take the time to port 4.0 over completely to Swift, it'll be a while before we get to see 4.0 roll out along with the new self hosted, and whatever other BT updates or goodies that you're working on behind the scenes. Then again... you are the equivalent to a greek god when it comes to coding, and it might take you a day to do it all, which in that case... GO FOR IT. LOL!!! Man, pretty stoked about that BT Webinar on Friday... can't wait! mrDavid
 
CMCOFFEE
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09/23/15 09:41 PM (6 years ago)
I havent done much with swift either but I ready for it.
 
SmugWimp
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09/23/15 09:42 PM (6 years ago)
Swift? Great... Another freakin' language. ;) It may be the way to go, but ever since I bought a Commodore Amiga with ROM version 1.0, I've learned my lesson and have never been an early adopter of anything again. Cheers! -- Smug
 
Absentia
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09/23/15 09:46 PM (6 years ago)
Don't know the first thing about Swift, but if you think it's the way to go then I'm sure it is
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/23/15 10:01 PM (6 years ago)
Responses so far make perfect sense aren't surprising. @MrDavid: 4.0 is the priority, has been for a hundred years or so. Ha. As you know, it's been a major struggle for a zillion reasons. Swift may or may not be a good idea now but the thoughts from the gang are important none the less. The fact is, Swift is far more "like" the rest of the programming world than Objective-C has even been. It's alarmingly "standard" in so many ways. Think of all the things Java, Javascript, .PHP, Perl, Python, and a few others share with each other. Specifically the syntax. Swift fits nicely in those families of languages. Dots and curly braces are far more understandable than brackets and spaces. Who ever thought of that approach anyway...sigh. Objective-C, um, never has been anything other than CRYPTIC and difficult for loads of folks. With that said, most of which I've been working on isn't at all something you've heard about. Some of it is, and the fundamental approach to BT isn't changing. But, in a more literal way it's changing lots. This is true whether you know what I'm referring to or not. Hint, most of you don't know what's up my sleeve but most of you will smile and understand immediatley why I've delayed this next phase so long. The Plugin Market, BtGo, BtCentral, Self Hosted and few other concepts have gotten entirely out of control, dated, and frankly need a big red reset-button pressed. Yeah, they work well for those that "get it" but that's a very small percentage of us. There's so many BETTER ways to do thing now that of course could only have been discovered after all the effort and time spent so far. The price of progress. We'll see how others weigh in on this topic before I do anything drastic :-)
 
Uelsimon
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09/23/15 10:09 PM (6 years ago)
My only feedback is that whatever you do... Be swift about it! :) see what I did there? yeah!! You should have seen that coming. but i have been wanting to switch over to swift and been waiting for a forcing function (besides not having as much time...due to other matters. One of which is www.grsp.com. Man! I'm overdue for an update.
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/23/15 11:07 PM (6 years ago)
"forcing function" - love it. BTW. Best domain ever award to @Uelsimon. Good stuff from a good dude.
 
Craig Conover
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09/23/15 11:17 PM (6 years ago)
Hey, Emmanuel! How goes it. Long time since App Code.
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/23/15 11:20 PM (6 years ago)
Heavy eyes after Korean death posts (did you see it all?) .... but .... gotta love the App Code reunion. Smile.
 
Craig Conover
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09/23/15 11:50 PM (6 years ago)
What?! Never heard of this. Please do tell.
 
chris1
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09/24/15 01:16 AM (6 years ago)
I'd be in favor of it - i haven't taken the time to dig into Swift yet (been too stuck in the Java world), but it would fast track learning the language to see a complete Buzztouch project written in it.
 
AlanMac
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09/24/15 02:41 AM (6 years ago)
I personally don't know enough about Swift to know how it would affect me. I barely know enough about objective C or java, but I am able to make apps, and even a couple of plugins, thanks to Buzztouch and the great community we have. I am really happy with Buzztouch, most idea's I have to improve it are evolutionary, nor revolutionary. When I first started working in IT, a wise product manager at a development conference once stood up and said if an upgrade takes longer than 6 months to develop, test and release, there is something seriously wrong. And that was before the internet age! So what I would say, is that if version 4 has been in development for 12 months, maybe there is something there that needs to be discussed? Is there too much to do? Can we help? David, could you confirm if the goals for version 4.0 are still these http://www.buzztouch.com/blog/2014/06/btgo-btcore-btcentral-and-a-new-btwebsite/ Alan
 
AlanMac
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09/24/15 03:09 AM (6 years ago)
PS - could you expand on "The Plugin Market, BtGo, BtCentral, Self Hosted and few other concepts have gotten entirely out of control, dated, and frankly need a big red reset-button pressed." IMHO, Plugin market needs a bit more management, my biggest gripe here is that that there we could do with some kind of workable strategy to deal with plugins in the market that go un-supported. I don't know of any issues with Self Hosted and if I'm honest, I don't really get BtGo. Alan
 
Dusko
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09/24/15 03:17 AM (6 years ago)
YES, Swift all the way! I have a practical proposition. Let us, coders, in this forum help David by creating one of the core BT plugins in Swift. Then let David inspect it, mend it and so on, until final completion. So we learn about Swift the first hand, also learn about creating a BT plugin in Swift as well, David gets a boost and we all get rid of Objective C as fast as possible. >David, could you share with us what the goals are for version 4.0 and we could comment? I second that.
 
LA
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09/24/15 07:10 AM (6 years ago)
It be great to have a buzztouch learning path in buzztouch U on Swift David @buzztouch! LA
 
fusionsch
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09/24/15 08:17 AM (6 years ago)
Hi everybody, I could have posted this in the 'Is the community fading?' thread, but why not here? Yes, the community is fading, and yes, changes are needed. Swift is the future, ok. But what about priorities? In my eyes, BT is not only a community of future and actual developers, it's also a community of people who just wish to create apps with the help of an efficient tool. Simple apps, complicated apps, any kind of apps. Without BT, I wouldn't have developed any app. BT is for me, above all, a powerful tool and a friendly and helpful community. But not a university. I'm not really interested in learning code, I'm only deeply interested in creating apps (but I'm not afraid to dig into code to tweak it). Some say 'code is art', I'd rather say 'building a beautiful app is art'. I'm just a DJ (Digital Jockey), not an MC (Master of Code). IMO, the BT community has 3 different faces: Beginners/Users, Advanced Users, Developers/Plugin Developers. Beginners/Users: I'm afraid they are a little lost when they discover that projects have to be tweaked, that many plugins are on sale but not updated or even not supported anymore, that Buzztouch U is sleeping, and so on. Let's think about them, they are the future! Once upon a time, BT was simple and easy, and creating your first app was exhilarating. Maybe now beginners find it just exhausting. Advanced Users: most of the time, they know how to tweak things, but not always. They can help in the forum (but not so much), but they spend a lot of time tweaking their own projects. And as they can usually manage things without calling for help, maybe they don't check the forum every day. Some of them will some day be developers, others won't. Developers/Plugin Developers: one day or another, their skills open doors and they disappear, or their private life or job takes more time, or they don't need BT anymore, or whatever. That's life. Now that iOS and BT have become more and more complicated, everybody in the community has less and less time. There are so many pending issues, and workarounds take more and more time! Plain facts. Decisions to make. Priorities to set. Swift? Good idea. But... I think (and it's just my opinion) that there are more pressing priorities. Except of course if it can be achieved without pushing the rest in the background... A big cleanup and reorganization of the Plugin Market. Responses to Android Studio pending issues. New version of self-hosted server. Updated and expanded tutorials. Updated and expanded BTU. Design/Live issues. Definition of a politic about non-maintained-anymore plugins. More frequent news from the wizard who dances on top of the iceberg. Labours of Hercules, and Swift to top it all? Why not? As a non-developer, I can't give any advice or opinion. But honestly, I'd prefer to get answers to some Android Studio questions I posted some 6 months ago in the forum... Anyway... keep on rockin', David and all of you! Cheers Jack
 
Annonymous
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09/24/15 09:28 AM (6 years ago)
Swift = Yes When = as a Core plugin needs updating Urgency = When those damn Optionals get less messy to code. Ball is in Apple's court on that one. Who = current plugin developers can rewrite their plugins into Swift ... Today! How = After one of David's famous live tutorials ... Best Software Development teacher everrrrrr! Me = just as it was with ObjC, I need time and immersion to grok the Swift syntax. It is normal and strange syntax all in a single line. At times when reading Swift blogs, I get flashes of Perl, look Ma, what I can do in three lines of code. Bring on Swift. Start with a famous Book tutorial and then convert a plugin. -- Niraj
 
nadthevlad
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09/24/15 12:46 PM (6 years ago)
I am ready to move to swift. I did some tutorials on swift 1.2, liked the language but did not like the IDE support. I put swift aside for a later date. Now that Swift is at 2.0 and xcode 7 is out of beta I am ready to jump back into swift. I would be willing to help with porting in exchange for a bullet on my resume.
 
Jake Chasan
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09/24/15 03:25 PM (6 years ago)
@David @ Buzztouch: I would also be willing to help rewrite the core in Swift. I have been doing a sizable amount of work with the language, and now have two apps in the App Store built on it. Please let me know. Here is an app that I recently wrote completely in Swift: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-bishops-school/id528986341?mt=8 And here is one of my apps that is a hybrid that I am converting to Swift one screen at a time: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/path-to-eagle-scout/id656979577?mt=8 Jake
 
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09/24/15 03:43 PM (6 years ago)
I say jump right into swift. Heck, I didn't know a thing about objective-c or coding for that matter when I joined Buzztouch 3 years ago. As a matter of fact, that IS why I joined Buzztouch 3 years ago. I'm not sure that I can say that I know a whole lot about obj-c now. I've got 4 or 5 apps published in both iOS and Android and I can honostly say that without getting out a manual on Xcode, that I could even be able to create the basic Hello World app. I don't need to know it because you David wrapped it all up nice and neat for me into Buzztouch. I thought that was the true purpose of Buzztouch. ---- so non coders and build apps. --- In my opinion and with respect and much gratitude to all of you who helped me get through building my apps and learning how to use Buzztouch, We did it once and we can do it again....... Unless something has changed, isn't Buzztouch mostly for those who can't code that well like me and possibly turn us into those that can like Smug, Cris1 and the rest of you guys and gals that have been here forever? I say just do it and go straight to Swift. Sure we'll all moan and groan for awhile but we'll get over it. Dave
 
Tony @ Buzztouch
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09/24/15 03:47 PM (6 years ago)
Hello all! Thanks for your positive feedback! Swift is the way to go, the future of iOS, and important to learn. David is working hard at the BT headquarters so be patient, but stay hungry for a bigger and better Buzztouch! Tony Buzztouch
 
AppOne
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09/24/15 03:47 PM (6 years ago)
Suggested priorities: 1) Making BT Users awesome at making apps. This includes a) helping them make their first apps, b) for those who want to advance technically, helping them understand how developing with the BT Project fits in with learning Swift and the various Apple SDKs, and c) a refresh of the BT documentation 2) Plugins that take advantage of new SDKs and frameworks like HealthKit, watchOS, Game Kit, APIs etc 3) Updating popular plugins that no longer work (even if this is packaged as a new plugin that has to be paid for) 4) A monthly release cycle for new features and plugins. That is, taking advantage of the community of users at all levels who want to test and help inform BT development instead of having long gaps between feature releases and new plugins 5) New code where appropriate done in Swift 6) Port of core project to Swift as a documented community learning project I recently came back to apps after a year or more and a lot has changed, including BT and the App Store. So I feel part-newbie, part-experienced ;) - Stephen
 
mrDavid
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09/24/15 03:55 PM (6 years ago)
I like. I like. Niraj, you've been anonymized! mrDavid
 
yourtownapps
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09/24/15 05:28 PM (6 years ago)
David: I would urge you to try to go full bore in making the platform Swift-compliant. In my view, it is only a matter of a short while before Apple will require all apps to be in Swift rather than Objective C. Tis better to be ahead of the curve than behind it.
 
Crown Solutions
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09/24/15 06:39 PM (6 years ago)
My vote is for Swift. Like has been mentioned before it is the future and it should put off the depreciated code for a little bit longer. One thing that I know helps me a ton is all the comments in the code you have written. A port to Swift with more / new comments would be helpful to all us hacking up your beautiful code ;) File by file or all at once really depends on how far you are with 4.0. If you are close to having it where you want it. Push it out "as is" and then port it as you can. Otherwise spend the time to release it all as Swift. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it" - Yogi Jim
 
Niraj Shah
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09/24/15 06:59 PM (6 years ago)
One more thing ... A set of goals as a triumvirate, convert a Core plugin to have these capabilities: - Auto Layout - Storyboards - Swift A multi-part web conference tutorial on that would be awesome! -- Niraj
 
Uelsimon
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09/24/15 09:19 PM (6 years ago)
Is there a more cost effective way to convert the core files than David doing it? While He is most familiar with it and all...can we find a few swift devs to pay to convert them a file at a time over a period of time or something? And in that question is the obvious implications on funding the process... but if considered as an investment in the platform (assumptions on priority understood), Then the bear of the work could be done and the blessing can be done by David instead. just thinking aloud. @Craig - Dude how you been. @David - Ya..grsp had to work since we couldn't afford the vowel yet. however..its been the butt of a LOT of sophomoric jokes. for instance... we have a feature that allows users to ask the Grsp team any product questions. but the button 'Ask Grsp' .... well just say that fast 5 times. @all - check it out (http://geni.us/Grsp or http://www.grsp.com (smart banner should appear), and lemme know what you think. we're doing a big demo day presentation infant of about 700 investors on Oct 6th. http://www.eranyc.com. Exciting!!
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/24/15 09:53 PM (6 years ago)
@fusionsch / Jack: "Once upon a time, BT was simple and easy, and creating your first app was exhilarating" Boy do I remember those days. Boy do I wish we had a simple iPhone 2 to play with. Ha. Amazing changes in this ever-changing eco-system. BTW: Paige says "Hi" and can't wait to see her favorite hosts in Europe again. She talks and talks about that visit! All of the comments / remarks here are valid. All of them illustrate the complexity we're all dealing with in this crazy world of mobile. We all remember lots of different ideas, promises, attempts, and mis-cues from me. @AlanMac's link to that old blog post is a perfect example. So many of the ideas / promises in that post never panned out. Some did but almost none of where my time has gone this last year is visible or useful to you guys, at all. Some of it is but mostly it's not. This of course is a serious issue. As you all know, the biggest challenge today is prioritizing. Some of you've pointed that out. BTU and teaching? Plugins and features? No-warnings-or-errors in the core for iOS and Android? Self Hosted? Sales / marketing / business developerment to pay the bills? And on and on. The bottom-line goals have not changed (I should probably schedule another hang out to clarify some things) and I'm still trying to offer the same magicness. I'm hell bent on... a) Helping would-be app developers get started in the world of mobile. b) Building the best app making and managing platform on earth. c) Providing opportunities for all of us to find professional opportunities and earn as little or as much $ as we want "in mobile." Of course the way to do these things has both remained the same and changed a great deal, all at the same time. I'm leading a hang out tomorrow night (Friday, PST) focussed on some BT plugin basics and surely lots of the ideas we're discussing in this thread will be discussed then too. FYI: https://www.buzztouch.com/forum/thread.php?tid=DD78C8A0DE9ACD959D1B5B9 After seeing all the remarks here I've already come to some conclusions and made some decisions. After I get through tommorrow's plugin hang-out and decompress a bit I'll post another thread with a date / time to get together (first 25 in a GoToMeeting) so we can disucess lots of these details. If you're interested of course. Keep the comments coming....VERY VERY HELPFUL
 
fusionsch
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09/25/15 12:38 AM (6 years ago)
@David: say 'Hi' to Paige, she'll be welcome when she comes back in Europe!
 
mysps
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09/25/15 07:42 PM (6 years ago)
Did I miss the webinar id? or the webinar in general? thanks people
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/25/15 07:44 PM (6 years ago)
@mysps: Nope: I'll be posting it here an about :30 minutes. Not quite to the rig-interwebs-network-plugin-land-computer yet. Can't do this from the current location far away in hiding land. Almost there...I'll setup a GoToMeeting, post the ID here, and see who shows up :-)
 
mysps
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09/25/15 07:47 PM (6 years ago)
Lol. thanks, i might have to put on an alarm. east coast zzzzz..
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/25/15 08:47 PM (6 years ago)
OK Guys. Meeting running...Starts at 9:00, if you don't see me now you'll see me then. 1. Go to JoinGoToMeeting.com 2. Enter this meeting ID: 813-458-429
 
GoNorthWest
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09/25/15 09:32 PM (6 years ago)
My vote is for whatever makes BT play with iOS9 as best as possible be first on the list. An eventual migration to Swift is for sure the way to go, but I'd hate to delay solid iOS9 support for Swift, which can be worked on in the background. Many of us have apps in the store now that we'd love to be able to seamlessly update. Ultimately, the course that continues BT as a super amazing platform with an even more super amazing community gets my vote! Just my two cents! Mark
 
freesoftwarewiz
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09/26/15 08:43 AM (6 years ago)
As you say David, it is about priority. NO argument swift is important, and will be even more so as time goes on. But the priority? To those of us self-hosting... 1) BT 4.0 (self-hosting - that is all you) 2) No-warnings-or-errors in the core for iOS and Android? ( EVERY time in EVERY App these are there! doesn't necessarily mean just you can fix this) 3) Plugins and features? (that could involve lots of people not just you) 4) BTU and teaching? (again, everyone can help there) 5) Sales / marketing / business development to pay the bills? (personally, I farm that out :) Items 1 & 2 are things we pretty much need you for David. The others, don't have to be. In my business, I try to but MY priorities on the things only I can do well and quickly - though fighting the impulse to want to do it all yourself, so it "gets done right" is sometimes a HUGE challenge. :-) Joe C.
 
Craig Conover
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09/26/15 10:54 AM (6 years ago)
My request/suggestion: BTU Webinars Have regular live webinars for different levels. Here's some ideas: 1) Creating Apps with BuzzTouch for Non-Developers (once a month or every other month) 2) Advanced BuzzTouch App Creation for iOS Developers (once a quarter twice a year) 3) Advanced BuzzTouch App Creation for Android Developers (once a quarter or twice a year) 4) Basic BuzzTouch Plugin Development (twice a year) 5) Advanced BuzzTouch Plugin Development (once or twice a year) 6) All About BuzzTouch Self-Hosting (once a year) 7) BuzzTouch Architecture - The Engine Under the Plugins (once a year) 8) New & Featured Plugin Overview (once a quarter) At my company, we have various webinars that we deliver on a monthly schedule and it has really increased the trials of our services leading to paying customers. Some that have been idle for months (created free account, did nothing for months and suddenly are generating traffic - which statistically leads to more paying customers). * Suggested frequency can be tweaked based on attendance * All webinars are recorded for anyone to view at any time * Make slides and other course resources available via Google Docs (read only) Eventhough the recording are viewable at any time by anyone, live webinars draw new members, allow new questions to be asked/answered, and forces new material to be covered so the recordings do not get stale and obsolete. Offer discount code to webinar attendees (for new members only) that is good for 48 hours for 20% off membership fee (or more or less, whatever makes sense).
 
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09/26/15 01:38 PM (6 years ago)
Good to see everyone again! David if this is where the future is brining us than I say yes make the switch. Where can we find some good swift tutorials to start learning???
 
NCbuzz
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09/27/15 06:59 AM (6 years ago)
I have been away from the forum over the summer, and just now starting back... So missed the notice of the GoTo meeting Friday. However I really appreciate you putting the Swift question out here to the community. David- BT4 is by far the biggest change and impact to existing BT developers and even more important the new wave of app creators that will be attracted (note: didn't use the term "developers"). My suggestion is for now not to be distracted by Swift, and finish what you have expressed is your goal. As far as recoding the BT Core in Swift goes- I look forward to the benefits that this language will provide in the future. However IMHO spending the time now to make the switch should not be a priority. Why.. 1) Will have no impact on the goal of delivering a new development experience to attract new BT users. These initial users will not be looking under the hood ;) 2) Will delay BT4 - (I think all would agree to this one) 3) There is not a deadline for converting to Swift only by Apple When I look back at major business and personal decisions made because of what I "thought" was a looming deadline. The urge to get a jump on the competition (think bleeding edge ;) in fact accomplished the opposite. Focusing on switching takes away valuable resources. Examples: a) Healthcare IT - Think ICD 10 (there were deadlines, but look at how many years) b) International Governing body was proposing major changes in supported equipment. In fact it was years before the U.S.adopted the rule changes. David- Thanks again for your future thinking, and I am looking forward to the ride. Enough rambling for now- it quit raining so it's time to run!
 
Craig Conover
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09/27/15 11:57 PM (6 years ago)
+1 to putting off a switch to Swift for now. Our company just rewrote our iOS SDK from scratch in recent months and we didn't even think twice about Swift. We have a former Apple engineer working for us and it was his recommendation not to jump on Swift just yet. We do have Swift bridge docs so that all works with no issue. Perhaps this is all BT needs for the short to medium term? Not enough of an expert on the BT or Swift to add anymore than what our experts have decided where I work.
 
Moto110
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09/28/15 06:17 PM (6 years ago)
I'm personally all for switching to Swift. I have spent some time trying to learn it and I can say I was able to grasp and understand Swift much better than I ever was able to understand Objective C. It's much more forgiving and the playground feature is awesome for debugging your code live while creating it.
 
ictguy
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09/29/15 05:57 PM (6 years ago)
I agree with @AlanMac that I don't know enough about Swift to know how it would affect me!!! However, I do know that without BT I wouldn't be making mobile apps, tweaking plugins, playing with code etc etc etc. So I'll leave it up to David to make the call on swift. Regardless of what the language is, the biggest asset for me is the community - I read almost every post even if I don't post that often. I also agree with @GoNorthWest ... "whatever makes BT play with iOS9" and BT with Android Studio for that matter. So whatever will make BT the best app building platform for novices and developers. Just my 2 cents Cheers Darrel
 
Arubaman
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10/06/15 11:54 AM (6 years ago)
Never knew a lot of ojb c but I'm finding swift easier for me to learn, would love to see it here in the future.
 
Tyroner
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10/20/15 11:07 PM (6 years ago)
New developers coming to Buzztouch will come from Swift background. So that is certainly the way to go. I have stopped learning Objective -C in favour of Swift. Much easier to learn.
 

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