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11. Objective-C > Objective-C and Other Languages

Objective-C and Other Languages

Why did you extend an existing language instead of creating a new one?

Brad Cox: I was quite satisfied with C, apart from well-known but livable limitations. Reinventing the base language to do OOP would have been a waste of time.

Why did you choose C?

Brad: That’s what we had. Ada was unthinkable, Pascal was (regarded as) a toy for researchers. Which leaves COBOL and FORTRAN. Enough said. Oh, yes, there was Chill (a telephony language). The only plausible alternative to C was Smalltalk, and Xerox wouldn’t sell that.

Our goal was to move OOP from the research lab to the factory floor. C was the only credible option.

Why emulate Smalltalk?

Brad: It hit me as an epiphany over all of 15 minutes. Like a load of bricks. What had annoyed me so much about trying to build large projects in C was no encapsulation anywhere and wrapping data and procedures into what looked to me like methods—a ha. That’s it.


  

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