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Re: Objective-C standard

From: Markus Hitter
Subject: Re: Objective-C standard
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2006 11:46:06 +0200

Am 02.06.2006 um 16:50 schrieb Adrian Robert:

I was recently refreshing my knowledge of C++ and found myself once again wondering at the tremendous disparity between market acceptance of one over the other -- even greater than the Wintel vs. Mac(tel) disparity.

I'd expect most of the people coding C++ on Mac OS X are trying to port some Wintel or Linux code. This doesn't help Obj-C and bending Obj-C towards the needs of these people won't help either.

The lack of a standard is surely part of the problem.

As Apple's Foundation and GNUstep base are similar enough to make a de-facto standard, I don't see a problem here. Neither there are competing libraries trying to "improve" something.

If you use Objective-C you basically lock yourself in to a particular compiler (bad) which could theoretically change its language definition (worse). (Of course Apple's not going to invalidate old code, but some of the alternatives might.)

As long as this compiler is open source and can be forked as soon as something is running havoc, I still don't see a problem here. One could even see this as an advantage: Once your app is building with the GNUstep/gcc combo, you pretty much solved your porting issues. Hard to imagine an alternative, similar well performing compiler could add substantial value to this situation.

now that OpenStep seems basically dead GNUstep becomes something like Mono, a more or less precarious clone of a proprietary API that is of use mainly for porting existing codebases.

This seems to be true.

I guess I'm wondering whether there's anything the open source community can do about these issues,

The purpose of standards is usually to avoid competitors drifting too far apart from each other. Since the current Obj-C situation is filled with more agreement than competition, I fail to see an urgent demand for a standard. And no, I wouldn't ask GNUstep to change things just to be different.

For how I could see Obj-C's (and above) market acceptance improved, see my answer to YL's post.


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Dipl. Ing. Markus Hitter

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