The Foundation framework defines a base layer of functionality that is required for almost all applications. It provides primitive classes and introduces several paradigms that define functionality not provided by either the Objective-C runtime and language or Swift standard library and language.
It is designed with these goals in mind:
There is more information on the Foundation framework here.
swift-corelibs-foundation, provides an implementation of the Foundation API for platforms where there is no Objective-C runtime. On macOS, iOS, and other Apple platforms, apps should use the Foundation that comes with the operating system. Our goal is for the API in this project to match the OS-provided Foundation and abstract away the exact underlying platform as much as possible.
Our primary goal is to achieve implementation parity with Foundation on Apple platforms. This will help to enable the overall Swift goal of portability.
Therefore, we are not looking to make major API changes to the library that do not correspond with changes made to Foundation on Apple platforms. However, there are some areas where API changes are unavoidable. In these cases, documentation on the method will provide additional detail of the reason for the difference.
For more information on those APIs and the overall design of Foundation, please see our design document.
See our status page for a detailed list of what features are currently implemented.
Here is a simple
main.swift file which uses Foundation. This guide assumes you have already installed a version of the latest Swift binary distribution.
import Foundation // Make an URLComponents instance let swifty = NSURLComponents(string: "https://swift.org")! // Print something useful about the URL print("\(swifty.host!)") // Output: "swift.org"
You will want to use the Swift Package Manager to build your Swift apps.
For information on how to build Foundation, please see Getting Started. If you would like, please consult our status page to see where you can make the biggest impact, and once you're ready to make changes of your own, check out our information on contributing.
We believe that the Swift standard library should remain small and laser-focused on providing support for language primitives. The Foundation framework has the flexibility to include higher-level concepts and to build on top of the standard library, much in the same way that it builds upon the C standard library and Objective-C runtime on Darwin platforms.
There are several reasons why these types are useful in Swift as distinct types from the ones in the standard library:
In general, the dividing line should be drawn in overlapping area of what people consider the language and what people consider to be a library feature.
For example, Optional is a type provided by the standard library. However, the compiler understands the concept to provide support for things like optional-chaining syntax. The compiler also has syntax for creating Arrays and Dictionaries.
On the other hand, the compiler has no built-in support for types like
URL also ties into more complex functionality like basic networking support. Therefore this type is more appropriate for Foundation.
Foundation on Darwin is written primarily in Objective-C, and the Objective-C runtime is not part of the Swift open source project. CoreFoundation, however, is a portable C library and does not require the Objective-C runtime. It contains much of the behavior that is exposed via the Foundation API. Therefore, it is used on all platforms including Linux.
We welcome contributions to Foundation! Please see the known issues page if you are looking for an area where we need help. We are also standing by on the mailing lists to answer questions about what is most important to do and what we will accept into the project.