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Mon 29 Nov 2004

May a Thousand Applications Bloom

Category : Technology

"Deeds, like grains of sand spilt into the sea, disappear, leaving only an empty hand."

- Han Suyin

It's really quick, how time flies. Especially when you're doing something engrossing.

I've finished the Objective-C version of Postfix Enabler and it works exactly the same way as the current AppleScript Studio version, which shouldn't be surprising because they're both calling the same Cocoa framework underneath.

But what was surprising to me was that it didn't take that much more code to do it - almost the same number of lines of code in Objective-C as compared to the AppleScript code, or maybe just a bit more.

And I've reached this conclusion - if you're building applications in Real Basic or 4th Dimension, you really ought to take a look at building them directly in Cocoa using Objective-C.

You'll be surprised at how much faster and more productive you can be. You'll be coding closer to the metal, so to speak, and so your applications will run faster. But it's not necessarily harder - in fact, the opposite may be true. I can't praise the Cocoa framework enough - or rather, the thought that went into its design. So many things would have made their way in there simply because a programmer would have needed it - to work faster.

And I believe now that there's a way to get going on Cocoa quickly - where you can do a lot of productive things right from the start, and where you won't be daunted by how thick the Cocoa API reference guides are. In fact, if you find a way to understand the key concepts and learn how to look for what you want, you'll start to feel reassured whenever you go through a long list of API's - because that will mean that you're that much more likely to find just the right piece of code to help you do what you want to do.

And that has been my experience so far. I've been able to find almost all the things I need - or at least enough to think that I'd be able build quite a wide range of stuff with it.

Computers become useful because of the applications that run on them. I go the retail stores that sell Macs here and they don't give enough reasons for anyone to buy a Mac - they're always opening and closing windows, showing the genie effect, and showing iTunes, iMovies, and all that old stuff. They're preaching to the converted (or to the ignorant).

But we should use the Mac simply because there are so many productive things we can do with it - things limited only by our imagination.

So, may a thousand Mac applications bloom, with Objective-C and Cocoa.

Posted at 7:07PM SGT | permalink


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