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Apple: Xcode 12.5 supports a concurrency model with Swift 5.4

Apple has released the new version 12.5 of its Xcode development environment and not only packaged innovations for Mac developers. Apple also claims to have fixed a vulnerability that, in connection with the Git implementation under macOS Big Sur 11, allowed any code to be executed.

Swift 5.4 and more developer support

Xcode enjoys new functions from year to year, and as the beta versions had already indicated, the current release brings up a number of innovations that go beyond mere bug fixes and stability improvements. The current version 5.4 of Apple's Swift programming language stands out in particular, which scores with compiler improvements and, in this context, a new model for concurrency. The type checker and auto-completion should also work more reliably in the current release and, among other things, save Mac developers unnecessary timeouts that could occur with chained expressions.

New features in the Clang compiler and in the build system

Under the hood, Apple has continued to customize the Clang compiler and expand the build system. The latter knows, for example, the new flag, which enables developers to use an abbreviated notation for creating an XC framework from one or more archives. The LLDB debugger also offers new features, here for the evaluation of expressions in STL containers and algorithms.

Apart from that, the enhancements in the device simulator of the development environment are more visible than the many detailed improvements that Apple describes in more detail in the release notes for Xcode 12.5. Developers can now make video recordings there from their apps and, if desired, create animated GIFs from the recordings. Readers will find further clues in the linked Mac & i article on how to exploit the full potential of the development environment.

Security update and further information

As far as the security update (CVE-2021-21300) is concerned, the company is keeping a low profile as usual, but assures that the problem has now been resolved with improved checks of repositories. In fact, the Git project had already presented a solution at the beginning of May, and Apple is now following suit with Xcode.

Xcode 12.5 contains the SDKs for the operating system versions iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, tvOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 and macOS Big Sur 11.3. The minimum requirement is a Mac with the macOS Big Sur operating system version 11 or higher. The development environment can be downloaded from Apple's developer portal and the Mac App Store. Readers can refer to the Swift 5.4 announcement for details on aspects of the release that affect Swift.

(sih)

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