Is Objective C Dead

Other Programming Languages

As a developer with years of experience, I have witnessed the rise and fall of various programming languages. One language that has been the subject of much debate and speculation is Objective-C. Once the primary language for developing iOS and macOS applications, Objective-C has undeniably lost some of its popularity in recent years. In this article, I will explore whether Objective-C is truly dead or if it still has a place in the ever-evolving world of software development.

Before we delve into the current state of Objective-C, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Objective-C was created in the early 1980s and gained prominence when Apple adopted it as the main language for its Cocoa frameworks. For decades, developers used Objective-C to build robust and feature-rich iOS and macOS applications.

However, in 2014, Apple introduced Swift, a modern and more expressive programming language, as the successor to Objective-C. Swift was designed to be more user-friendly and efficient, addressing many pain points of Objective-C. This led to a decline in Objective-C usage, as developers flocked to the new language.

Fast forward to today, and we can see that Objective-C is no longer the language of choice for iOS and macOS development. Many developers, including myself, have transitioned to Swift due to its enhanced performance, safety features, and better integration with Apple’s latest frameworks and technologies.

While Objective-C may have lost its prominence, it would be unfair to declare it completely dead. There are still projects and legacy codebases that rely on Objective-C, and it continues to be maintained and supported by Apple. Objective-C remains an integral part of the Apple ecosystem, and it would be unwise to dismiss its relevance entirely.

One aspect that keeps Objective-C alive is its compatibility with C and C++. This allows Objective-C developers to leverage existing C and C++ libraries seamlessly. Additionally, Objective-C’s runtime, with features like dynamic method resolution and message passing, offers flexibility and power that might not be achievable with other languages.

Furthermore, Objective-C is deeply ingrained in the history and culture of iOS and macOS development. Many developers, particularly those who have been in the industry for a long time, have extensive knowledge and expertise in Objective-C. This expertise can be invaluable when maintaining or working on legacy codebases.

That being said, it is clear that the future lies with Swift. Apple has been actively encouraging developers to adopt Swift and has made significant investments in its development, providing robust tooling and resources. Swift’s popularity has skyrocketed, and it has become the go-to language for new iOS and macOS projects.

In conclusion, while Objective-C may no longer be the dominant language in iOS and macOS development, it is far from dead. It still serves a purpose in maintaining existing codebases and leveraging C/C++ compatibility. However, for developers looking to embark on new projects or stay up to date with the latest advancements, Swift is undoubtedly the language of choice. As the software industry evolves, it is essential for developers to adapt and embrace new technologies, and Swift represents the future of Apple’s ecosystem.