How to distribute Swift Library without exposing the source code? How to distribute Swift Library without exposing the source code? ios ios

How to distribute Swift Library without exposing the source code?


Swift is beta now, and even for 1.0 Apple has been pretty clear they're after a restricted feature set -- better to do a small number of things well than to try to do everything.

So for now, there's no way to distribute binary static libraries. Presumably that'll change sometime after Swift 1.0. For now, you can:

  • Distribute source
  • Ship a binary framework (instead of a library) if you're okay with the ABI being fragile
  • Use ObjC for library code

You can always combine approaches, too: e.g., implement the critical (secret) details of your library in ObjC, and ship Swift source that wraps it in a nice Swift API.

Obfuscating code written in a language that's very much subject to change sounds like a recipe for a maintenance nightmare.


I believe the whole approach is wrong. You cannot do something that is not (yet) doable by the technology you are trying to use.

Rationale: Swift is a new language, currently in Beta, and therefore changing. As I see it, this fact means not only that you are not able to ship static libraries, but that (real) developers will not be actually use third-party static libraries. What's the actual use of a library that may not work in the next release of the compiler? The issue gets bigger if you whant to use more than one library, because they might not be compatible! Therefore, even if you would be able to ship static libraries, they wouldn't be actually useful for production environment. So, what's the point?

Suggestion: write your static libraries in Objective-C (or C or whatever "non-beta"). Developers who need third-party libraries (e.g. yours) shouldn't expect them to be written in Swift until Swift is stable. You don't use experimental materials to build real bridges, right? You use well-tested, predictable ones.


From Xcode 9 beta 4, Xcode supports static library with Swift sources.


matomo