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School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | Information Systems Science | 2016
Thesis number: 14685
Open sourcing programming language - Case Apple Swift
Author: Halmetoja, Eero
Title: Open sourcing programming language - Case Apple Swift
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: Information Systems Science
Index terms: tietojärjestelmät; information systems; ohjelmistot; software; yritykset; companies
Pages: 51
Full text:
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Key terms: open source; open sourcing; open sourcing programming language; Apple; Swift
Companies, that are formerly considered to be closed and leaning towards proprietary software solutions, are increasingly more involved in open source software projects, and introducing more open source projects as part of their business. The open source paradigm is widely researched topic but the increasing involvement of some of these major technology companies has happened in the very recent history, and therefore deserves attention.

This thesis will aim to answer the question: why did Apple open the source code of their programming language Swift? In order to answer this question a case study was conducted, in which earlier literature and publicly available data was used to create a conversation, with a goal to reveal the underlying aspects of the phenomena. The literature review goes from historical evolution of open source software to more recent research and compares it to the steps that Apple has taken in its process of open sourcing programming language Swift.

Apple's statements for open sourcing decision argue the improvements in software development, and the importance of third-party software developers for the company. The earlier literature both supports and disagrees with some of the aspects of Apple's open sourcing decision. Furthermore, the company is able to utilize some of the tools that the earlier literature points out to be beneficial for the success of an open source project. Lastly, the company's history in OSS usage give arguably some indicators for the strategic approach that the company will aim to maintain with its OSS projects.
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