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Re: Dr. Brad Cox, co-creator of Objective-C

From: H. Nikolaus Schaller
Subject: Re: Dr. Brad Cox, co-creator of Objective-C
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2021 23:38:43 +0100

> Am 23.01.2021 um 21:38 schrieb Josh Freeman <gnustep_lists@twilightedge.com>:
>   Dr. Brad Cox, who co-created the Objective-C language with business partner 
> Tom Love, has passed:
> https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/scnow/name/brad-cox-obituary?pid=197454225

How sad.

I still favour Objective-C (1.0) over all newer developments because Obj-C's 
design is straightforward and quite simple and I immediately recognised that it 
improves programmer's productivity significantly, when I first came into touch 
to Obj-C with Mac OS X 10.0 and switched from C++ immediately. I still admire 
that code is still readable after years. Even if someone else has written it. 
This is rarely the case with other languages if I scan through github projects. 
They seem to leave much more room to write unreadable code...

>   If you'd like to read about Objective-C's early history, Dr. Cox co-wrote 
> an article last year, titled, "The origins of Objective-C at PPI/Stepstone 
> and its evolution at NeXT":
> https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3386332  (Free online eReader, PDF download)

The key sentences for me in the article about the origins is: "When programmers 
saw brackets, they could instantly recognize that an object was being sent a 
message. Developers responsible for the larger design of an application would 
work mostly within the brackets".

After reading this sentence I now really understand why I dislike Obj-C 2.0 
which was so far only a gut feeling (I am not a programming language designer 
or software engineering researcher tinking about this all the day). It mixes 
C++/JAVA style messaging object.message(argument) with this simple "working 
inside brackets" principle and IMHO was a step backwards which makes code much 
less readable and reduces productivity.

Thanks to Brad Cox for your clear and simple approach.

And thanks, Josh for linking and letting us know.

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