Next week’s issue of Swift Weekly Brief will be its 100th and final issue. I started this newsletter a little over two years ago, covering the initial open sourcing of Swift, the 3.0 release, the 4.0 release, and many significant milestones in-between for the language and the community. With few exceptions, there was a new issue every week thanks to the other amazing writers and contributors. The newsletter quickly became an important resource for the Swift community. Because of this, I’m sure many of you will be saddened to hear that the 100th issue will be the last. At least, Issue #100 will be the last issue for me, for now — but if someone from the community is willing to take over this project, it can continue.
I’m ready to move on and focus on other projects and priorities, similar to other projects I’ve stopped maintaining. The 100th issue is a notable milestone, and it happened to arrive at a great time — the first (and now last) issue of the new year. The flow of Swift evolution proposals has stabilized to a reasonable number, and the new forums are coming soon. It feels like the right time and place for me to stop — or hand over the reins to someone else.
The majority of issues were a blast to write. It was an incredibly fun project to run, and I learned a ton. However, at times it was stressful and felt like a burden. There was (admittedly self-imposed) pressure to publish every single week, and I was not always prepared or enthusiastic. There was definitely burnout. After taking breaks while other contributors wrote issues, I was always excited to return and write the next one.
Finally, as mentioned in the newsletter, the new Swift.org forums will be fully functional soon. When the forums are rolled out at the beginning of the new year, I think it will be easier for the community to stay abreast on Swift evolution news. One of primary reasons I started the newsletter two years ago was because there was so much activity on the mailing lists. The flood of discussions and proposals was overwhelming for everyone, not to mention the mailing lists were not very user-friendly. Many people did not bother signing up, and those that did quickly drowned in their inbox. Since then, the volume of emails has decreased and the number of proposals has become more manageable. My hope is that the forums will only improve this aspect of the community by making it easier to get involved, easier to digest, and easier to follow what’s happening and what’s coming up.
The good news, or maybe you can help
I have always viewed the newsletter just like any other open source project. There is a GitHub organization, code of conduct, and contributing guide. The good news is that this project is very healthy. We have established a simple and painless process for contributing and publishing new issues. We have great docs, tweets to the official Twitter account are automated, and we are setup on Travis CI so you can be sure that you will not accidentally break anything. Anyone from the community could take over this project. You only need some motivation, a passion for Swift, some free time, and the ability to write markdown. 😄
Transitioning to a new owner
First and foremost, I am more than happy to help onboard any newcomers — whatever that takes. Also, I am more than happy to continue helping with general GitHub project maintenance — website code, fixing CI, managing GitHub issues, proofreading newsletter issues, etc. I just won’t be writing the newsletter. Further, the other contributors help collect links and news throughout the week to make composing an issue easier. Don’t worry, you won’t be left in the dark if you want to help. The newsletter could even move to bi-weekly or monthly issues to reduce the stress of publishing. I will continue to maintain the Twitter account, but I will likely stop the mailing list since I pay for that myself. But if you’re interested in continuing the emails, let’s chat.
The newsletter is definitely a valuable resource for the community, and if you want to help it live on, it will have a huge impact. There are thousands of followers and subscribers.
If you are interested in taking over, please get in touch!
My original goal with the newsletter was to be completely open and community-driven. I wanted to take the model of iOS Dev Weekly and transform it into something that was curated and delivered entirely by the community for the community. I think that mostly worked, and it would not have been possible without the other writers. Over the years, the subscribers and followers continued to grow. At conferences, at least a couple of people would thank me for the newsletter.
The Swift Unwrapped podcast, which I co-host with JP, started as a spin-off of the newsletter. Don’t worry — we are both still committed to the podcast! So you can still get some Swift news from us each week. 😄
Perhaps what I’m most excited about is that Swift Weekly Brief served as a model and foundation for Colin Eberhardt to start his own newsletter, WebAssembly Weekly. I never would have expected a big ‘thank you’ from Colin! While this newsletter may be ending, it’s comforting to know that it helped another begin.
Overall, this has been an absolutely rewarding experience.
I’d like to sincerely thank each of you for reading the newsletter each week, as well as everyone who sponsored an issue of the newsletter. And of course, a huge thanks to the contributors that helped get a new issue published every week:
- Brian Gesiak, @modocache
- JP Simard, @simjp
- Bas Broek, @BasThomas
- Greg Heo, @gregheo
- Ben Asher, @benasher44
- Garric Nahapetian, @garricn
- Roman Volkov, @volkovre
Again, if you are interested in taking over, let me know.