Like should we tag questions with the or the tag as well, or will Apple call their new OS's something else?


2 Answers 2


Swift can be used to develop for , , , , and possibly more platforms, since it is open source. Rather than "forcing" one OS that you develop for, we should leave it to the asker to decide on which OS he decides.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I see.... this was a bad question huh? \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Jun 18, 2014 at 17:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's a bad question @Malachi. I would just think you'd want to use the other appropriate tags in conjunction (if they apply) as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – RubberDuck
    Jun 18, 2014 at 18:18

The answer is:

It depends.

Honestly, I don't see how should be considered special here at all. It's certainly not any different from . And the only thing that perhaps separates these languages from other languages is that when you're writing code in these two languages, you're usually writing for a specific operating system (like you're almost always writing specifically for Windows when you're writing in or ) (and unlike say ), but also there are two very common operating systems that are used.

So, a question in doesn't typically need to specify an operating system, because it is rare that questions are doing something OS-specific, and when they are doing OS-specific things, it's usually , and gets tagged with that.

Meanwhile, up until recently, was enough to know that you were in the Windows environment. I don't know enough about it to know whether there are any real differences between developing for desktop or Windows phone... but there really aren't that many Windows phone specific questions anyway. When there are though, if there are real differences in development between the systems, an OS-specific tag should be used.

So, how about and (which again, should be treated identically here).

First, let's understand this aspect. Let's take a look at some stats... I'm not claiming these as perfectly accurate. I looked several places and they all report similar sorts of things... look at the popularity of various operating systems based on web traffic.

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Per these particular stats, iOS 8 is the 3rd most popular operating system, and OS X is the 5th most popular operating system. Both are more popular than any flavor of Linux. Additionally, iOS 8 has less than double that of OS X.

But perhaps most importantly, there are drastic differences between developing between the operating systems.

  • UIKit.framework, which is use extraordinarily extensively through almost any iOS application isn't available at all for OS X.
  • In iOS, you've got tons of restrictions on things like what part of the file system you have access to, which doesn't exist in OS X.
  • In OS X, you can launch child processes and execute terminal commands and such--things you simply cannot do in iOS.

There are real and distinct differences between the operating systems that warrant the tag to provide the distinction.


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