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Like Marco Eidinger, I was also reminded of the Swift Snippets feature in Swift Package Manager as I read the post on VS Code that I linked to last week.

He has a good write-up of what it does but concludes that the outlook for the feature is pessimistic due to low adoption rates within Apple-authored packages.

I have a different view, and I believe this feature has a bright future! Even though it technically shipped with Swift 5.7, you need to enable it with an environment variable, and I’m not sure that counts as “shipped”, does it? I certainly think it’s too early to judge it.

There was a time when we’d not know about upcoming features of Xcode until Craig Federighi stepped on stage at WWDC and unveiled the beta of a new major version. However, since the Swift language, Swift Package Manager, and other core tools such as DocC are open-source, we get glimpses into potential enhancements to Xcode that would have been secret before.

Even when swift package learn no longer needs enabling with an environment variable, it will be too early to judge the feature. I can’t wait to see the integration with DocC work inside Xcode (or on the web? 🤯) or how it will fit into Swift Playgrounds. It could even be that Xcode 15 or 16 might open a “Package Playground” instead of the current “Add Package” window that lets you search for and then experiment with a package before hitting that “Add Dependency” button.

I also see loads of potential for community tools, like the VS Code integration mentioned in Adam’s post or the Swift Package Index’s “Try in a Playground” feature.

Most importantly, the concept of including snippets of code that demonstrate what a package does is really powerful, and being able to guarantee those snippets always work with continuous integration will be transformative. Get ready to say goodbye to README files that include code snippets that may or may not work.

I can’t wait to see what features Apple is working on behind the scenes that leverage package snippets.

Dave Verwer

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And finally...

Some singers can smash glass with their voices, and some singers can… 💥