Friday, 26 November 2010

Sony snaps GNUStep and Objective-C

Again, I want to excuse me if I didn't write some news yesterday. Unluckly, there were some hard tasks to complete at work.

Are you serious?!
 A great news from Sony: its new project SNAP is launched and it will be based on the GNUStep framework. GNUStep is the free reimplementation of NeXTStep/OpenStep, a set of classes written in Objective-C back in the '90 by NeXT (Jobs's company which was later absorbed by Apple).
Why I'm so excited? Because Objective-C is a great language (I like it much than C/C++); OpenStep is a great framework (take a look to NSString; to NSArray and NSMutableArray. You'll like them); and because OpenStep is Cocoa's father... and Cocoa is Mac OS X's and iOS' base.

On SNAP's Manifesto I read that is focused to «modernize the framework and optimize it to target modern consumer electronic (CE) devices». But Sony says also

«These modern conveniences include such features as touch displays and 3D graphics»

This could means Sony will allow Objective-C/GNUStep also on their consoles, making easy to port a game from iPhone/iPad/Mac to PS3/PSP. Because, remember, bot PS3 and iOS use OpenGL EM as graphic library. It's a interesting prospective.
What will be the benefits of using Objective-C + GNUStep instead of C++?

  1. GNUStep is a wider standard library than C++
  2. Objective-C supports reflection
  3. Objective-C has a more elegant syntax
  4. Objective-C 2.0 has a garbage collector... if you want and where you want ;)

Obviously, there's also drawbacks:

  1. Objective-C is slower than C++ (just a bit, but it's slower)
  2. Many libraries are written in C++
  3. C++ has a better known syntax

Anyway it's another important step: Objective-C has a completely different way to think OOP (message passing, reflection) which is different (and more advanced) than C++. GNUStep is a big framework. I will be surprised if the Big Next Step (bad word joke ;)) in programming will be made by the "old" Objective-C instead than Java, C# or something else.

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