When comparing Swift vs Xtend, the Slant community recommends Swift for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” Swift is ranked 31st while Xtend is ranked 38th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Modern syntax
Pro Swift is closer to other platforms
Apple’s modern programming language is easier to understand for non-iOS developers and minimizes time for additional explanations and clarifications. Moreover, Swift can be used as a script language. It is an interesting solution for the iOS community to unify writing of build scripts. At the time being iOS developers are split up in regard to this activity. Some of them write build scripts in Bash, others use Ruby, Python, etc. Swift gives an amazing opportunity to be applied to all iOS programming needs.
More details can be found here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c
Pro Works with Apple's Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks
Pro Can be used as a Just-In-Time language
Pro Inherent parallelism
Pro Low memory footprint due to reference counting
Pro Backed by Apple
Pro Performance speed comparable to native C
Pro Swift has some clever tricks up its sleeve
Due to having elements of a functional programming language. Things like 'map' and 'filter' for example.
Pro Uses LLVM compiler and Obj-C runtime allowing C, Objective-C, Objective-C++ and Swift code to run side by side within a single program
Pro Ruby-like syntactic conveniences
Lambdas are written like Smalltalk's blocks. If it's the last argument, it can go after the parentheses like Ruby's blocks. Parentheses on method calls are optional.
Pro Type inference
It uses Java's static type system, but you don't have to declare the type of everything all the time, since the Xtend compiler can usually figure it out. This also dramatically cuts down on Java's infamous verbosity.
Pro Code runs just as fast as Java
Because Xtend relies heavily on JDK and Android classes, it runs just as fast as native Java code.
Pro Easy to switch back to Java
Xtend is a low-risk option. Because it compiles to human-readable Java, if you decide you don't like it for your project, you can just switch back to Java without losing your work.
Pro Extend even library classes with new methods
This is where it gets its name. You can open classes and add new methods, kind of like Ruby. (Of course this has to be compiled to Java, so really it lives in a kind of helper class.)
Uses functional features ,which are very concise and idiomatic. Plus it has annotations, which cuts down on the Java boilerplate.
Pro Better defaults than Java
Methods are public if you don't specify, and fields are private. Locals declared with
val in Xtend are
final in Java. This dramatically cuts down on Java's infamous verbosity.
Con Swift is a moving target
They've released 1.2 so far, and 2.0 is coming soon. Every small update brings adjustments to paradigms (such as how to do type casting) that can be a little frustrating to absorb. Objective C was also constantly updating, however, but not at the same rate these days.
Con Difficult to configure in Android Studio
Con Slower compilation
Unlike most JVM languages, Xtend compiles to Java rather than directly to JVM bytecode. So you have to compile everything four times for Android: from Xtend to Java, from Java to JVM bytecode (.class files), from .class to .dex bytecode, and then AOT compilation from .dex to native ARM upon installation. This can really slow down development and testing vs a more interactive language like Clojure.