Working paper
Open access

A Formal Definition of Swift's Value Semantics

ContributorsRacordon, Dimitri
Publication date2020

Swift is a general-purpose programming language designed as a modern substitute for C-based languages, such as C/C++ and Objective-C. As such, its semantics departs from that of most alternative based on a virtual machine. Specifically, Swift distinguishes between reference and value semantics. The former corresponds to the way most objects in Java-like languages behave, whereas the latter relates more to passive data structures in C/C++. The support of value semantics in concert with common object-orientation patterns gives rise to a number of subtleties with which inexperienced developers may not be familiar. In this work in progress, I attempt to shed light on these aspects with a formal description of Swift's value semantics.

  • Swift
  • Value semantics
  • Reference semantics
  • Formal languages
Citation (ISO format)
RACORDON, Dimitri. A Formal Definition of Swift’s Value Semantics. 2020
Main files (1)
Working paper
  • PID : unige:145490

Technical informations

Creation11/24/2020 5:57:00 PM
First validation11/24/2020 5:57:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 11:36:14 PM
Status update03/15/2023 11:36:13 PM
Last indexation02/12/2024 11:59:20 AM
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