Although I’m 100% sure, based on experience, that Aaron’s talk is a pure delight to watch, I also appreciate that I could jump right in and read a transcript of the talk until I get a chance to watch it. Aaron gives a thought-provoking “eulogy” for Objective-C, in which he celebrates its parentage and its life thus far.
When a guy like Aaron Hillegass gives a history of Objective-C, and speaks to its strengths and weaknesses, you should hang on every word. He covers many of the features that distinguish the language, provides a context for when they were added, and gives examples of key technologies that are enabled by them. He is also aware of the tradeoffs some of these features demand:
Loose typing made a lot of things that were difficult in other languages much easier, or possible. It also made bugs that didnâ€™t exist in other languages possible as well. And you embrace that as an Objective-C programmer. Youâ€™re like, â€œThis is a language for smart, pedantic, uptight people, Iâ€™m going to be very careful and do the right thing when Iâ€™m typing in names.â€
I love his hypothetical quote, and think it condenses the feeling a lot of us long-time Objective-C programmers have about the language. We welcome Swift in many respects, but it’s hard to let go of a language whose idiosyncrasies we’ve grown to love, hate, and ultimately make peace with.