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List of Names
- Language type:
Objective-C is an object-oriented language
based on C; its object support is based
on a dynamic message-passing model.
provides a range of OOP features:
inheritance, dynamic method invocation,
and dynamic object creation, a form of
garbage collection, simple persistence,
and a kind of polymorphism.
Objective-C does not support multiple
inheritance, and concurrency is not
part of the language.
The syntax of Objective-C is very similar
to C, but with additions. Unlike
C++, Objective-C does not add OOP semantics
to traditional C syntax; instead, new
syntax specifically for message passing
and class definition provide OOP support.
Objective-C offers the same data types
as C: integers and floats, arrays, structures,
unions, and pointers. Objects are a new
type; Objective-C uses a rooted class
hierarchy: all classes inherit from a root
Object class. This fact is heavily
employed by the Objective-C standard
Brad Cox invented Objective-C in the
mid-1980s as an OO
extension to C, intended to bring C
programmers some of the benefits offered
by Smalltalk. The language was
used by NeXT in the 1989-94 timeframe as
the application and library
programming language for
the NeXTSTEP and OpenStep operating systems.
Objective-C has been implemented as a C
preprocessor and as a native compiler.
At least one commercial and one free
compiler are available. Information on
Objective-C exists on the Internet but
is not easy to find.
- See Also:
Objective-C is a very clean and simple
OOP extension to C. It is far more
dynamic than C++, allowing the easier
construction of class libraries, GUI
interfaces, and event-driven systems.
However, a free compiler for Objective-C
was not generally available until 1992,
by which time C++ had begun to dominate
The set of Objective-C class libraries
offered with the NeXT machine in 1990 was
very powerful and comprehensive;
a testament of Objective-C's expressive
power and convenience.
Objective-C is the primary programming
language for Apple's new NeXT-based OS,
- Sample code:
Descriptions in this dictionary are ©1997-99 Neal Ziring. Some
examples copyright of their respective authors. Some
technologies and languages are trademarked. Permission to
copy descriptions is granted as long as authorship credit is preserved.
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Dictionary and script maintained by Neal Ziring, last major modifications 3/18/98. Most recent
additions to dictionary and master list, 1/00.