Confused by communication around Swift 6

Apple developer communications and some pages on have started talking about a Swift 6 mode, which would seem to require a Swift 6 toolchain. But the home page lists the latest version as 5.10.1. Is Swift 6 yet to be released, is it Apple-exclusive, is it a feature of Swift 5.10, is it available for download somewhere else, or is Swift 6 a marketing name for Swift 5.10?

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Swift 6 is not released yet


This is how it works every year, but it definitely can seem a bit odd.

TLDR, Swift 6.0 is pre-release and will be likely be released in the same time-frame as it's typical bi-annual release this fall. Apple's using the pre-release versions of Swift in their Betas, which will be updated with the latest as development for 6.0 is finalized.

To elaborate: Apple's platform changes are generally announced in June and released in September. Generally they build their new features against the Swift features expected in the next version of Swift, along with any unreleased or Apple-specific features they have chosen to add.

In this case, their next versions of OSes and Xcode will include the next Swift version/toolchain which is Swift 6. We don't have visibility into exactly what Apple uses for their implementation, but it's likely base off either the 6.0 branch or a development snapshot.



I understand the Swift community is not responsible for communication by Apple, but I feel like posts like - Iterate Over Parameter Packs in Swift 6.0 on could improve clarity on this by adding something like this:

Swift 6 is in active development and is expected to release this fall. In the meantime, you can try out the pre-release from the downloads page.


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