I’ve been a developer most of my career, and I’ve worked with a number of different programming languages. I spent most of the 90’s and early 00’s working in PowerBuilder. I still think it’s one of the cleanest, easiest to understand Object-Oriented programming environments available today. (And, yes, it’s still available and has a bright future with Appeon.)
But with all of PowerBuilder’s strengths, it never really did mobile all that well, and it remains a Windows-only IDE to this day. That rules it out for Mac or iOS development. If you’re targeting those platforms, there’s really only one game in town, and it comes from Apple. The IDE is called Xcode, and (until recently), you programmed in a language called Objective-C.
In my opinion, Objective-C is just about the exact opposite of the PowerScript language. It’s a variant of the C language (which I never used all that much), so I find it extremely difficult to read and even more challenging to learn. But, if you wanted to write iOS apps, this was a hill you had to climb…
In 2014, Apple introduced the Swift programming language as a second option for development in Xcode, and believe me, it’s a VAST improvement. Simpler syntax rules, cleaner code structures, and much easier to read and understand.
So I thought I’d start a quick series of blog posts that compare and contrast Xcode and Swift with PowerBuilder and PowerScript. We’ll start with the basics, like variable and function declarations, and work our way up to the more complex topics like delegates, protocols, and closures.