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Computers Speak English? Chinese Swift on the Rise

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china-programming-own-languageNote: Hacked has discovered since publishing this article that the original reporting from Bloomberg was inaccurate. The Swift documentation was translated, not the programming language. A blunder to be sure. Due to the oversight, John O’Mara will be following up in detail, to include attempting to acquiring an official statement from Apple. -Editor

Just as Arabic numerals became the de facto standard in the modern world, English has been the primary language of computer programming since its popularization. Now Apple’s newest programming language Swift has been translated to Mandarin Chinese in an open source project to help Mandarin speakers program applications for Mac OS and iOS. Will this set a new precedent for native language programming?

Throughout the history of high-level programming languages, English has been used to simplify the task of creating software by abstracting the machine code (the native language of the computers) with increasing complexity. While many programming languages share simple terminology such as ‘while’, ‘if’ and ‘else’, as programming languages and their associated frameworks have evolved with the increasing capabilities of the hardware they’re instructing that English vocabulary has expanded considerably. If we take a quick look at an example of Swift code it shows just how helpful knowledge of the English language would be for a programmer using it:

Swift Programming Language

Swift in English

All the non-teal colored text in that code is part of Swift and its Sprite Kit framework. Clearly the terminology lends a great deal from English. Even without knowledge of software development, English speakers will be able to see at a glance what parts of the code is doing. In general, software for Apple’s ecosystem is programmed in their development app Xcode. With use of features such as auto-complete, knowledge of English is doubly useful. You can scroll through huge lists of functions some of which are named after their obvious purposes, or read built in documentation in Xcode.

Also read: First “Unmanned” Factory Now Operating in China

Will Chinese Swift See Popular Adoption?

Translating Swift in to Mandarin is a great first step in making it easier for millions of people to program for Apple platforms… But this isn’t the first time a language has been translated for Chinese. AppleSoft BASIC was translated for Apple II clones, and Python has been translated in to Chinese, although an English speaking Chinese friend tells me it doesn’t read too easily, as a result of the translation, and ChinesePython is not 100% compatible with regular Python distributions, though English Python code will run on an installation of ChinesePython.

It remains to be seen whether Apple will include support for the project in Xcode, but given that Apple’s operating systems are closed source it should be protected to some extent from a degree of that fracturing of support. Swift programmed in Chinese still has to compile using Apple’s software development kit. But it would fracture developers, to some extent, who are aided greatly by the open source software available on the internet. I’ve personally read examples of English Swift and other programming languages surrounded by Chinese text of which I have no understanding, but been able to see where I’ve been going wrong from the code.

Only time will tell whether high-level programming will see widespread adoption in non-English languages. Given popular programming languages originating in non-English speaking nations have used English terminology (such as Python and Ruby) and that North Korea uses a modified distribution of Linux which relies heavily on English language codebases such as Firefox, Wine and KDE 3, we can at least say it’s not an easy task to accomplish on a budget or without popular support. However, Apple and China both have significant resources to work with, so I’ll be watching with great interest to see whether Chinese Swift gains traction.

Images from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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John O'Mara is a writer of code and prose from London, UK




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  1. spin6lock

    August 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Programming language in Chinese attract few people in China. It does help beginner to understand simple program, but all the other API is in English. And almost all the program except the experiment one needs interact with other English SDK, framework etc. To me, shift the source code from English to Chinese, is much harder than Python2 to Python3 XD

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Altcoins

Crypto Market Development: South Korea’s National Policy Committee Chair Calls For ICO Legalization

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  • A member of South Korea’s governing Democratic party and the chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee, Min Byung-Doo, is urging to ease the current regulations on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
  • Min Byung-Doo wants to introduce necessary regulatory framework, allowing ICOs in the country.

Allow ICOs In South Korea

The South Korean National Policy Committee Chief, Min Byung-Doo, is calling for a regulatory framework to be explored. This would be to allow for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to take place within the country. He stated that the current prohibiting of ICOs weakens the industry’s competitiveness appeal with foreign markets. Further boldly adding, this would be preventing growth.

In his statement at to lawmakers, Byung-Doo said, “We can see that the flow of investment is clearly changing compared to ICO and angel fundraising. The ICO has raised $1.7 billion for Telegram and $4 billion for Block.One, it is getting bigger and bigger.”

Further in the statement, Min Byung-Doo said, “Let the government, the National Assembly and the blockchain association quickly create a working group to block fraud, speculation, money laundering and develop the block-chain industry,”. However, he acknowledged the government’s reluctance to create the needed framework.

In September 2017, the Financial Services Commission in South Korea announced a ban on ICOs. The law has not yet been enacted.

Crypto Market Reaction

A lack of reaction has been observed for now, despite this determination to help further legitimize the digital currency market in South Korea. Crypto market developments in the country are always watched very carefully. This is given their large crypto market participation. It was reported in December 2017 that South Korea accounted for as much as 17% of all Ethereum trades occurring in cryptocurrency markets.

Market Reactions To South Korean Related News

Ripple (XRP) crashed in January, following CoinMarketCap’s decision to remove XRP price data from Korean exchange desks. This as a result largely brought down the total average.

XRP/USD Coinmarketcap update triggered drop

On 11th January, Korean crypto exchange Coinrail was hacked, and over $40 million in tokens were stolen. Bitcoin initially dropped over 11% on this.

BTC/USD Coinrail hack triggered drop

One final example, UPbit, a South Korean exchange, was investigated by authorities for illicitly moving customer funds to the account of its executives. Bitcoin initially dropped over 7% on the news.

BTC/USD UPbit investigation triggered drop

Given the above mentioned, one should keep an eye on any developments coming out of South Korea, for the foreseeable future.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 33 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Altcoins

Crypto Market Update: Japan’s Self-Regulatory Group (JVCEA) Readying Tighter Rules on Digital Assets

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  • A group of cryptocurrency exchange operators in Japan is readying to tighten up measures following recent cyber breach.
  • Action follows reported hack earlier in the month; cryptocurrency exchange Zaif lost an estimated $59.67 million.

Self-Regulatory Group Set To Tighten Rules

The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) is exploring new rules to safeguard against cyber theft, including setting a cap on the amount of digital currencies managed online. This is citing informed sources, being reported by local news outlet, the Japan Times.

Informed sources detailed that the cap will likely to be around 10 – 20% of customer deposits. The JVCEA are said to be soon revising its rules, which were originally drawn up in June following multiple cyber attacks. These will be implemented once all has been approved by the Financial Services Agency. This is as part of the payment services law process in the country.

The move likely received large motive due to the reported hack earlier in September. The Japanese start-up Tech Bureau said that its cryptocurrency exchange, known as Zaif, had been hacked. Losses were estimated around $59.67 million of Bitcoin and two other digital currencies -Bitcoin Cash and Monacoin.

Market Reaction

No initial reaction was observed across the cryptocurrency market on this latest update, coming out of Japan as of Sunday 30th September. Despite this, however, Japan and crypto sell-off are not uncommon to have been used in the same sentence over the past years and even months. This means volatility could be in store for digital assets in the short term.

Back in January of this year, the largest reported hack on a Japanese exchange took place with Coincheck losing $530 million worth of NEM in a coordinated attack. This incident massively spooked the market, and was  a heavy contributor to the large sell-off in January. As we’ve observed over the past eight months, the market has yet to reclaim January’s peak (although this can’t be solely attributed to the theft). At the time, South Korea’s Attorney General had already spooked investors with FUD related to the possible banning of digital currencies in the country.

Against this backdrop, investors are advised to pay attention to Japan-related volatility.

BTC/USD weekly chart

Most recently, looking in the month of June, another sell-off was seen. This one came after Japan’s financial regulator ordered several cryptocurrency exchanges to improve their practices against money laundering. The action led bitFlyer — the country’s largest crypto exchange — to suspend new account creation. This was initiated to improve internal processes in order to curb money laundering and terrorist financing.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 33 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Hacking Matter

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Vindicates Radical Visions of Molecular Nanotechnology

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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 was awarded jointly to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.” The award vindicates the dreams of nanotechnology enthusiasts, and points the way to the molecular nanotechnology proposed by Drexler in the eighties.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.




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