Swift Questions

Over the last week since Remko announced Swift, people have shown far more interest than we’d been expecting, and have mostly been asking the same questions. While Remko and I haven’t got answers to all the questions ourselves yet, here’s a preliminary effort to share our thoughts as they currently are.

What’s your release schedule?

We’re working to a monthly internal release schedule, but we don’t have a date set for a public release. There are plenty of good XMPP clients already, and we don’t see any value in adding to this until Swift can distinguish itself.

What toolkit are you using?

We’re writing all logic and protocol code in a toolkit-agnostic way. We’re currently working on a Qt-based GUI layer, and others are on the cards.

What license will it be released under?

We honestly don’t have an answer to this yet. We want Swift to be free, and we want the source to be free. We also want to investigate options for supplying Swift and its library commercially. Until we know the best way to do this, there’s an open question here.

Does this mean Psi is dead?

Not at all. While we’ve both been a core part of Psi for more years than we can count, Psi’s future is looking bright, and I’m sure that’ll continue.

Will it be multi-protocol?

We have no plans for Swift to speak any protocols other than XMPP.

Why start another client?

A bunch of reasons. We could have forked Psi, but Psi was always designed with different goals in mind than Swift’s. Psi’s had to make lots of decisions over the last 8 years, and some of them we’ll make differently for Swift’s different aims. Plus we’ve both been working on Psi for a long time; it’s good to try something new.

Will it have the same features as all the other clients?

No. At least, not initially. Our focus is on adding only the core functions to Swift, and getting those “just so” before we move on to adding a new feature.

Will it be cross-platform?

Yes, we’re targeting Windows, Mac OS X and Linux with our first GUI layer. We may add to this later.