Can you help with the Swift portal on Devtalk?

Hi all, I hope it’s ok to post this here :-)

We’ve been running Devtalk in beta for the last three months now, slowly building out features and getting a feel for the direction of our community. We’ve just pushed our portal stewards (and core teams) feature and I’m reaching out to ask whether any of you would like to help steward our Swift portal - I am personally very excited about learning Swift and would love to see some of you on board :blush:

If you’re wondering what it might entail, we’re simply looking for people who can:

  • Represent the Swift community in the best possible light in the wider dev community
  • Help those interested in Swift (such as by recommending learning resources, etc)

It’s generally about being a good ambassador, and hopefully a way for you to get more people interested in Swift too. All on a platform with similarly high standards.

If you’re wondering what Devtalk is, we aim to help developers network and get up to speed with what's trending in tech. We do this via the activity on Devtalk as a whole, in our language and framework portals, and by the various types of development (frontend, backend, mobile, embedded, etc).

We do this in a number of ways:

  • We post updates about what’s trending on prominent dev sites (such as Hacker News, Lobsters, Tech Republic, Opensource(.com) as well as other well known tech sites and blogs) and we post these throughout the day in a special members-only section. If a member thinks any of the items included in those alerts are worth posting on Devtalk, they can do this simply by clicking on the item.
  • We post links to official language and framework news automatically - either via the language or framework’s GitHub release info (if they use them) or their blog’s RSS feeds.
  • Members post on the forum directly too. In fact if you are a blogger and you post a link to your blog post directly, we remove the ‘rel-nofollow’ attribute when these feature in the trending lists on our front-page (we love bloggers - and want to help them as much as possible!)

Once posted on Devtalk, everything gets ranked by activity (number of comments, likes, views, inbound links, etc) and we then present these in our trending lists. Eventually, we’ll offer daily, weekly or monthly snapshots of these by email. All this will (hopefully) make it easy for people to see what’s been hot not just in the dev arena as a whole, but in individual languages and frameworks too, making it easy for people to catch up or get up to speed with any tech that interests them.

Ok, but what’s in it for me?

Hopefully you’ll think Devtalk will add something of value for you too, but we also have:

  • A number of monthly giveaways where we give away 6 prizes a month - currently you can win books from the Pragmatic Bookshelf and Manning, or a video course from the Pragmatic Studio or a years with of AppSignal.
  • We have a monthly Members of the Month scheme, where each month we select 4 of our most popular/helpful members and give them a book as a thank you.
  • Discounts! We currently offer 35% off PragProg and Manning books as well as 25% off the Pragmatic Studio courses and 10% off AppSignal.

Even when you don’t win one of our 10 monthly prizes, you kindof win anyway, because other people winning books about tech will hopefully lead to better devs in the community, which in turn will hopefully lead to better docs/libraries/tools/workmates/friends/etc - that benefits all of us :D

There's lots more to Devtalk and we have lots of cool stuff planned, but I don’t want this to get any longer than it is (sorry for it being so long already!) however if you have any questions, or would like to become a steward, please let me know!

For those interested, here’s our Swift portal:

If you got this far, thanks for reading!

Aston

I took a casual look at the linked Swift portal, and noticed this:

Having Swift under the "iOS" category seems to me somewhat contradictory to this stated goal:

Represent the Swift community in the best possible light in the wider dev community

I think the current catergorisation only propagates the stigma of Swift being an iOS language, instead of showing what it really is: a multi-platform general-purpose programming language. Perhaps putting Swift under either "Cross Platform" or "General Dev" is a better choice?

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Hi @wowbagger, thanks for commenting :smiley:

We've actually had a similar discussion regarding other languages, and we came to the conclusion that many languages could be classed as multi-purpose or might fit into many paradigms. This left us with a bit of a conundrum because we want to set the forum up to make it easy for people to follow threads relating to specific areas of interest, eg, iOS, Android, Backend, Frontend etc, and so have opted to select the forum category based on the most prominent area for that language. (Swift frameworks are placed in the Backend category btw, since they are serverside frameworks.)

We have actually built in a feature for languages where we can add various attributes, such as object-oriented-programming, functional-programming, agent-oriented-programming, concurrent-computing, data-driven-programming, declarative-programming, imperative-programming, domain-specific-language, metaprogramming, parallel-computing, clientside, serverside, mobile, embedded, etc. These would give people more of an idea about each languages potential use-case, however we haven't made this live yet and I think for the most part people who are coming to Devtalk at this early stage will probably be familiar with many of these (particularly if they are already involved with the language).

We are also somewhat constrained by Discourse since we use it for our discussion threads, unfortunately it doesn't have multi-category posting which would make things like this easier for us. We are actually thinking about building the whole thing from scratch, which would mean less compromises like these.

Does that help explain why we've put it in iOS? Hopefully by putting things like the Vapor portal in Backend will help show those not already aware, that Swift can also be used on the serverside :smiley:

I have to agree, putting swift into the iOS category is wrong and needs to be changed. Swift is a multi-platform general-purpose programming language. iOS is a very small area of where Swift can be used. At the very least Swift needs to be moved into the backend category.

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I agree with the rest of the posters that it's very wrong to shoehorn Swift into the iOS space. While iOS is a prominent application of Swift, it is a historical coincidence. By putting Swift in that category, this only perpetuates wrong stereotypes and makes it more likely that people dismiss Swift as "Apple-only language".

What exact frameworks are you referring to here? While some frameworks can be used as server-side, this doesn't make them exclusive to that area. While Swift NIO is frequently used as a server-side framework, it can be used on iOS too. I personally use Vapor not for backends, but in a developer tool for Swift developers targeting WebAssembly, which is not directly related to either iOS or server-side development.

Swift can also be used in Android, Windows, and WebAssembly apps, and is not limited to any of these niches (swift-embedded comes to mind, as much as Swift for Raspberry Pi). You may argue that these are narrow niches, but they will stay narrow if the hard work of people maintaining Swift on other platforms continues to be ignored.

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