What's your objective in learning Objective-C? Is it the medium or the [message]?

By Andy Oram
June 18, 2009 | Comments: 1

It's no news anymore that Objective-C, the language that programming history seemed to have passed by, suddenly became hot with the release of the iPhone. We've had books on Cocoa and related topics at O'Reilly Media for some time, but we're looking for reader reactions to help guide our new books, workshops, conference sessions, etc.

If you're learning Objective-C, do you view it just a hurdle you have to leap in order to do what you really need to do? (For most programmers, it's Mac or iPhone programming.) Does this mean you'll probably just port your former programming style to the new syntax?

Or are you fascinated with the possibilities of the language and want to learn its potential and quirks in depth?

If you learned Objective-C long ago enough to have had some time to grow into its use, has your opinion of it changed? Do you chafe and wish you could program in something else? On the other hand, have you come to find subtleties that you missed before and to emerge with an enhanced appreciation for Objective-C?

+ (Shameless plug) An interview with Objective-C creators Brad Cox and Tom Love appears in our book Masterminds of Programming. It goes way beyond language, talking about economic models for software adoption and the level of code reuse that allows effective software engineering.

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1 Comment

While the initial motivation to learn Objective C is iPhone dev, the experience has opened me to want to learn more about how Objective C can be applied outside of the Cocoa framework. I guess that is my 'next' GNUstep. I'm compiling under cygwin but I'm probably in the minority.
Nevertheless, as a rank dabbler of scripting languages eg shell, sed, awk, perl, python, ruby, it would be great to see a 'Learning Objective C' or Objective C cookbook covered in the familiar O'Reilly style.

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