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Programmer who spearheaded Swift to exit Apple [u]

Apple's director in charge of Xcode, Swift, and other development tools — Chris Lattner — will be leaving the company later in January, according to an announcement through the official Swift mailing list.

Ted Kremenek will be taking over as the project lead on Swift, Lattner wrote in a message spotted by MacStories. Lattner nevertheless said that he will "remain an active member of the Swift Core Team."

The director didn't say who would be taking over his broader duties, but did note that his departure involves "an opportunity in another space."

He also suggested that the move shouldn't impact day-to-day matters with the Swift Core Team, and that Swift 4 should be a "really strong release" with Kremenek at the helm. The team will be shifting its focus to Swift 4 after primary 3.1 development concludes on Jan. 16.

Lattner is perhaps best known as the main figure behind LLVM, a set of modular compiler and toolchain technologies he worked on as a graduate student. After joining Apple in 2005, LLVM was intregrated into Apple's own toolset.

Indeed Lattner is responsible for a good deal of Swift as well. Work on the programming language began in 2010, though it was only launched four years later.

Swift is meant mostly to simplify development for Apple platforms, addressing a number of common complaints while performing faster. The language can also be used with Linux.

Update: Lattner has left Apple for Tesla where he will serve as Vice President of Autopilot Software, the company said in a statement today.