Newbie: The C / C++ Issue

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Wed Nov 12 00:27:43 PST 2003

On Tue, Nov 11, 2003 at 10:00:33PM -0500, Lucas Holt wrote:

>                       I'm also starting to learn objective C (the 
> competitor to C++) so that I can utilize my Macintosh as a development 
> platform.  The reason apple used objective C was because Mac OS X is 
> really Nextstep which was written in like 1988 or so.

It was always said that if you knew C, you could learn Obj-C in a few
hours.  And in a legalistic sense, that is true: Obj-C is a superset
of C, and once you've got the method call syntax down:

    [anObject withAnArgument: foo andAnother: bar ];

and about 4 or 5 other things, you've got the whole language syntax

All that remains then is to become familiar with the whole panoply of
the AppKit which will take you of the order of Months to do.  Plus
learning about effective OO design -- the whole semantic structure of
the language.  Obj-C is really nice in that regard: like chess, you
can learn the rules very quickly, and start playing effectively
immediately.  And because playing is easy, it frees you to learn the

Once you've mastered Obj-C and if you then start looking at Java,
you'll find things seem eerily familiar -- although the Java syntax is
superficially more like C++, Java was based pretty closely on the
semantics of Obj-C.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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