I had a couple hours of driving to do today, had to take my busted computer in for repair. To while away the time on road trips I often listen to a podcast or two. Today’s selection was The Talk Show, Episode 75.
Messrs. Simmons and Gruber discussed scripting languages and asked if Apple needs to create a modern language for iOS and Mac development. The discussion was good, but I think there were a couple topics they could have touched on.
Every C, C++, and Objective-C developer has had to deal with them. With the introduction of ARC a few years back pointers are all but an afterthought in Objective-C. Sure, there are exceptions, but mostly we no longer have to worry about freeing memory and it’s taken care of by the compiler, not a garbage collector. We have the best of both worlds with Cocoa and Objective-C; Native speed and memory management.
Something they mentioned was Microsoft’s creation of a modern language based on a C lineage. It makes sense to do that because there is a big pool of developers that understand it, but I digress. I think the more important technology is Microsoft’s creating of the CLR and the .Net framework. One of the reasons these two items are so important is, they’re language agnostic. You don’t need to know C# to realize the full power of the CLR and the .Net frameworks. Take a look at CLI languages. It’s big. This gives developers the ability to use libraries from other developers and still work in their preferred language.
In the end I’m not so sure Apple needs to do anything. They’ve build, and continue to build, a great developer ecosystem. The Cocoa Framework is mature and is a huge benefit to iOS and Mac developers because we get a lot of shared code between the two.
Do we need scripting languages? Absolutely! Do we need them to build high performance native applications? Not really.
If you have some time to kill download the episode. I really enjoyed it.