TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Swaine Manor: The Object of Our Affliction

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 07
Column Tag: Swaine Manor

Swaine Manor: The Object of Our Affliction

A few facts and non-facts about Objective-C

by Michael Swaine

Objective-C

As the center of the software development universe shifts from computers to mobile devices, many problems and challenges thought to be solved are with us again. As this new/old thing called iOS becomes the center of Apple's software universe, the problem list includes Objective-C. It's the preferred language of iOS app development, inherited from NEXTSTEP along with the NeXT operating system that became Mac OS X and the exile who became the CEO, now woven throughout the fabric of Apple's i-space like some fungal mycelium. Since most of the apps you use will soon be Objective-C-based, I thought I'd share with you a few little-known facts about the preferred language of iPhone development.

Did you know, for example, that its inventor doesn't use it any more? Brad Cox has moved on to XML, Java, Ruby, Python, and Perl (http://virtual-school.edu/cox/).

Did you know that Java was modeled after Objective-C? One of the creators of Java says so (http://web.archive.org/web/20071030010852/http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/seanl/stuff/java-objc.html).

Did you know that the Cocoa framework of 2002 was nearly identical to the NEXTSTEP APIs of 1992? (http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6009) Let's call that consistency, because it sounds so much nicer than stagnation.

Memes

But what really matters are the memes and jokes. One of the classic memes is, "If Xs were Ys, what kind of y would x be?" Like, "If programming languages were beers, what kind of beer would be language Y be?" OK, so if programming languages were beers, what beer would Objective-C be? The Internet provides an answer (http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/3133), as it does is to every question so long as you don't care about the quality of the answer. If Objective-C were a beer, it would be Pabst Blue Ribbon. I have no idea why.

There is an Objective-C version of the Shooting Yourself in the Foot joke (http://burks.bton.ac.uk/burks/language/shoot.htm). You know: "In C, you shoot yourself in the foot. In Concurrent Euclid, you shoot yourself in somebody else's foot. In Pascal, the compiler won't let you shoot yourself in the foot. In Java, you shoot yourself in the foot and everyone else who accesses your website leaves hobbling and cursing. In Forth, you yourself foot in shoot...." The Objective-C version? "In Objective C, you write a protocol for shooting yourself in the foot so that all people can get shot in their feet." You see the influence on Java, right?

Jozef Dransfield has posted an Objective C Joke of the Day. Apparently just one. Here it is: "Why do they need a garbage collector in Yorkshire? Because they keep calling 'init'!" I can see why the tradition only lasted one day.

There are Objective C versions of the "...is the new..." meme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_new_black). You know, "Pink is the new black," "Random is the new order (Apple)," "Black is the new President (Tracy Morgan)." Technically, this is a snowclone (http://en.wiki-pedia.org/wiki/Snowclone). A search on "Objective-C is the new..." yields:

Objective-C is the new Java

Objective-C is the new Ruby on Rails

Objective-C is the new HTML

I dutifully report these results, but I don't think any of these people know what "is the new" means.

But I keed. Objective-C is actually a pretty cool language, if a little old, inspired by an even cooler (and older) language, Smalltalk. Anyway, because you always want to leave 'em with something to hum on the way home, there an official Objective-C country song ("Retain My Heart/Or you might point to an invalid memory reference..."), inspired by the inimitable Erica Sadun. Follow the link (http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/21/rocking-the-objective-c-ountry/) to the audio and sing along.

All together now.


Michael Swaine is the former editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb's Journal (http://www.ddj.com) and current editor of PragPub (http:// www.pragprog.com/magazine), the electronic magazine for pragmatic programmers. You can reach him at mike@swaine.com.

 
AAPL
$93.94
Apple Inc.
-0.49
MSFT
$44.84
Microsoft Corpora
+0.15
GOOG
$589.47
Google Inc.
-5.61

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP4 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.6 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
SpiderOak 5.1.7 - Secure cloud backup, s...
SpiderOak is a multi-platform secure online backup, storage, access, and sharing solution engineered for the consumer and small businesses. You must first sign up to use SpiderOak. Running natively... Read more
Espionage 3.6 - Simple, state of the art...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
calibre 1.45.0 - Complete e-library mana...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
iFFmpeg 4.3.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does... Read more
Chromium 36.0.1985.125 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
pwSafe 3.0 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
Day One 1.9.6 - Maintain a daily journal...
Day One is the easiest and best-looking way to use a journal / diary / text-logging application for the Mac. Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more through... Read more
Google Chrome 36.0.1985.125 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

HELMUT Review
HELMUT Review By Andrew Fisher on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRUNDLE SIMULATOR 2014Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HELMUT is a fun, fleeting time-sink that offers a momentary distraction and nothing else.   | Read more »
Walkr Review
Walkr Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ORIGINAL WALKINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Walking is a bit more exciting thanks to this planet building/discovering sim reliant... | Read more »
Zombie Commando Review
Zombie Commando Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINDLESS SLAUGHTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Briefly fun but ultimately forgettable, Zombie Commando will scratch an itch then be... | Read more »
Swords & Poker Adventures Review
Swords & Poker Adventures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOULLESS POKER PLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swords & Poker Adventures is a mishmash of Poker and RPGing, but it lacks... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: The Horus Heresy: Drop...
Warhammer 40,000: The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault Coming Soon to iOS Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Coming soon to iOS will be an all-new Warhammer 40,000 tactical strategy game by the name of The Horus Heresy: Drop As | Read more »
A Life Worth Dying For Review
A Life Worth Dying For Review By Jordan Minor on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: A BEAUTIFUL MINDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A Life Worth Dying For is a fascinating portrait of a serious subject.   | Read more »
Zombie Puzzle Panic Review
Zombie Puzzle Panic Review By Jordan Minor on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: THE MATCHING DEADUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Zombie Puzzle Panic puts some pretty neat undead twists on Match-3 puzzling.   | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: July 14-18, 2014
Expert App Reviewers   So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just... | Read more »
Fallen Lords Review
Fallen Lords Review By Andrew Fisher on July 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FALLS SHORTiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Fallen Lords is a decent game, but its similarity and inferiority compared to Ghost Stories makes it ultimately... | Read more »
Real Boxing’s New Combo Update is a Knoc...
Real Boxing’s New Combo Update is a Knockout Posted by Blake Grundman on July 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Twelve South HiRise For MacBook – Height-Adju...
If you use your MacBook as a workhorse desktop substitute, as many of us do, a laptop stand combined with an external keyboard and pointing device are pretty much obligatory if you want to avoid... Read more
Why The Mac Was Not Included In The Apple/IBM...
TUAW’s Yoni Heisler cites Fredrick Paul of Network World whoi blogged last week that the Mac’s conspicuous absence from Apple and IBM’s landmark partnership agreement represents a huge squandered... Read more
Save $100 on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros, plu...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB MacBook Pro with Retina Display: $1199 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Blurr it 2.3 for iOS – Quickly Blurs Selected...
Hyderabad, India based TouchLabs has announced a new update of Blurr it 2.3, their photography app for iOS users. Blurr it allows you to blur part of the image to hide potentially sensitive or... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only... Read more
Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited...
Amazon.com has introduced Kindle Unlimited — a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to... Read more
New Linksys Wireless Range Extenders Boost Wi...
Linksys has announced its new lineup of Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extenders. Consumers often experience a weak wireless signal in some parts of their house or apartment caused by blocking elements such as... Read more
MacBook Airs available starting at $719
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 & 2012 MacBook Airs in stock today starting at $719. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: 2013... Read more
Get the best deals on iPad minis with Apple r...
The Apple Store has Certified Refurbished 2nd generation iPad minis with Retina Displays available for up to $130 off the cost of new models, starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included... Read more
Best Buy’s College Student Deals: $100 off Ma...
Take an additional $100 off all MacBooks and iMacs, $50 off iPad Airs and iPad minis, at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through July 25th. Anyone with a valid .EDU... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Computer Technician - Fairfield Coun...
Company DescriptionWe are an Apple Authorized Sales and Service Provider. We have been selling and servicing Apple computers in the Fairfield County area for over 20 Read more
*Apple* Computer Technician - Fairfield Coun...
Company DescriptionWe are an Apple Authorized Sales and Service Provider. We have been selling and servicing Apple computers in the Fairfield County area for over 20 Read more
Mac Expert - *Apple* Online Store Mexico -...
…MUST be fluent in English and Spanish to be considered for this position At Apple , we believe that hard work, a fun environment, creativity and innovation fuel the Read more
*Apple* Computer Technician - Fairfield Coun...
Company DescriptionWe are an Apple Authorized Sales and Service Provider. We have been selling and servicing Apple computers in the Fairfield County area for over 20 Read more
Mac Expert - *Apple* Online Store - Apple (...
**Job Summary** At Apple , we believe that hard work, a fun environment, creativity and innovation fuel the ultimate customer experience. We believe each customer Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.