Swift on the Server continues to evolve.

Swift@IBMSince the launch of Swift@IBM in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the Swift language. As part of our collaboration with the server-side Swift community, we created tools like Swift Sandbox, enabling hundreds of thousands of developers to experiment with Swift on Linux. We also built the Swift Package Catalog, a centralized location to discover packages while exploring the Swift ecosystem.

Today, Swift on the server is thriving. Community driven Swift events around the world are growing with record attendance while newsletters and online courses devoted to Swift on the server abound. The strength of our community is seen in the standardization being done in the Server workgroup, and the advancements in frameworks such as Kitura, Perfect, Vapor, and newcomer Tris. Thanks in large part to Foundation completeness and commercial support, including IBM Swift on Linux, Swift on Linux is ready! Production systems leveraging cloud technology are available, including Swift on Docker, IBM Cloud, and Vapor Cloud.

Swift Sandbox & Swift Package Catalog

Today, we announce the deprecation of Swift Sandbox and Swift Package Catalog, to take place in January of 2018. While both bolstered server-side Swift adoption and experimentation, previewing Swift on the server in this fashion is no longer required. Given the pervasiveness of cloud computing, it is now easier than ever to experiment directly in these environments. IBM’s App Service console will create and deploy a server-side Swift application in less than five minutes. Kitura Init and IBM Cloud Developer Tools quickly create and run a Kitura application in a local sandbox. As well, any Kitura, Vapor, or Perfect app that runs Docker can be easily deployed to IBM Cloud. The package ecosystem has also matured, thanks in part to the Swift 4 enhancements of Swift Package Manager, and the growing number of Swift packages on Github which can be explored using other Swift package discovery tools like Swift Modules.

Continue to learn and explore Swift on the Server

Kitura CLI, the IBM Cloud App Service, and the IBM Container Service are all excellent places to continue learning server-side Swift, and get hands-on experience with a robust cloud landscape. For those new to Swift, please consider Swift Modules and We Heart Swift sandbox as reasonable alternatives to Package Catalog and Swift Sandbox. We thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm.

Our Swift@IBM team continues our collaboration with the Swift community. Be sure to check back often at our devCenter (developer.ibm.com/Swift) as you explore Swift for full stack development.

Join the discussion on Slack Learn more at kitura.io Star Kitura on GitHub

18 comments on"Swift Package Catalog and Swift Sandbox Deprecation"

  1. Sad to see it go, I use the sandbox at least twice a day. Thanks for all your work

  2. Does “deprecate” mean end? If so, that’s really disappointing. As someone brand new to Swift — and to lingo like “deprecating” — I love using Swift Sandbox to learn on. The other options given for n00bs like me aren’t nearly as nice or accessible.

    • Christian Compton December 14, 2017

      Yes, by ‘deprecate’ we mean that both services will be taken offline in January. Both Kitura Init and IBM Cloud Developer Tools will both allow you to continue experimenting with server-side Swift, in a local sandbox for development. If you already have a Swift project, use the enable command from IBM Cloud Developer Tools to get started with this local sandbox.

      We are committed to growing the Swift on the server community, and encourage you to reach out with any questions via Slack. This community is a great place for beginners and experts alike. We believe in this programming language, and want to help you succeed as you learn more about its powerful capabilities.

  3. Hensen Kristophersen December 15, 2017

    Does this mean IBM is backing off Kitura as well? Was this too big of a challenge to take on by a single organization? I hope not, I actually bet on these when you starting backing them.

    What are the further implications of IBM taking down the package catalog? Is this a part of a broader plan?

    • LeslieSKChau December 18, 2017

      We have no intention of deprecating Kitura at this time. We recently just release Kitura 2.0 with tooling that lets you run a Swift sandbox locally in a docker Container. We think you’ll find that’s much more compelling than a web sandbox.

  4. I have saved some code on playground, Will they available after deprecated or how can i access them after that?

    • LeslieSKChau December 18, 2017

      Hi Zubair, thanks for you continued interest! You should retrieve your code now while the Sandbox is still online. Your code should run without change in the local sandbox offered by our IBM Developer Tools CLI.

  5. Do you have an exact date for shutdown? I am teaching a Swift course in early January and most of the students will be using Windows. Last year they were able to learn using your wonderful Sandbox.

    • LeslieSKChau December 19, 2017

      Hi Sarah, we don’t have an exact date yet, but we anticipate taking it offline some time in January. Our local docker container sandbox delivered via the IBM Developer Tools CLI works on Windows.

  6. “While both bolstered server-side Swift adoption and experimentation, previewing Swift on the server in this fashion is no longer required.”

    It’s always disappointing when some piece of technology makes a task easy, and then goes away and it’s hard again. The online Swift Sandbox was never /required/, but it made experimentation 100 times easier.

    “IBM’s App Service console will create and deploy a server-side Swift application in less than five minutes.”

    That’s an unusual claim to make here. Anyone could paste a line of Swift code into the IBM Swift Sandbox, and see a result in about 3 seconds. This is essentially saying “We’ve made it 100 times harder.” That does not feel like progress to me.

    The IBM Swift Sandbox was one of the things that made it practical for lots of us to experiment with Swift. I also used it to test bugs on different versions of the Swift compiler. Now I suppose I’m supposed to learn Docker and the IBM App Service console, but realistically I don’t have time for that (I tried!), so I’m probably going to just give up on Swift for Linux. It’s still going strong on (Apple) clients, but there’s other server-side languages that are much easier to set up, and more mature.

    This looks like another case of a company not realizing the tremendous value in a technology they created. I hope Apple or repl.it or someone can pick up the mantle. Unfortunately, none of them seems to care much about Swift on Linux, so I’m not optimistic.

    Goodbye, IBM Swift Sandbox. You are already missed.

  7. Ibrahim Akar December 28, 2017

    I tried to login to the site and I am getting errors. My concern is that I have a lot of code saved on the site (well documented too) during the times I was learning swift. And in there are a lot of templates that I was going to use in future development. How do I get this code?

    • Ibrahim Akar December 28, 2017

      This is the error I am receiving.. “Unknown server error. Login and snapshot management are inaccessible at this time.”

    • LeslieSKChau January 03, 2018

      Please try again! We just resolved the issue. The Sandbox should be fully functional again for you to retrieve your saved code snippets.

  8. Is there a way to reference the save snippets? I would like to download some of the code snippets I have saved.

  9. Filemon Salas January 02, 2018

    Will there be an opportunity to log in? I would like to reference some of the code I have saved.

    • LeslieSKChau January 03, 2018

      Please try again! We just resolved the issue. The Sandbox should be fully functional again for you to retrieve your saved code snippets.

  10. AlexMarrujo January 04, 2018

    This is definitely more of a money move than anything. Being able to run that in the browser from anywhere was a great solution, and taking it away to promote Kitura discourages the use of wanting to create a local sandbox in that way. Why do that when I can just use my own local cli to build the code I wrote? It’s obvious that by your user base, you’re doing this to just catch up to Vapor’s install rate.

  11. For those looking for an alternative to the Sandbox I’d like to point you toward the excellent Online Swift Playground (https://swiftplayground.run/) developed by Marcin Krzyżanowski.

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