OT! Python vs... Objective-C!

S

Stephen Hansen

This is sort of OT. Okay, I consider it completely OT, because I hate
these threads.

But this isn't that sort of thread. I'm not going to tell you how Python
is perfect -- it is, obviously. I'm not going to tell you how
Objective-C is horrible -- its not, really. I'm not interested in
debating the merits of one language over the other: every language has
its place.

I'm just learning Objective-C on my spare time, and am having these
entirely disturbing feelings of familiarity, where strange swirling
thoughts enter my head that sound oddly like, "This feels sorta Pythony,
how oddly pleasant." With, of course, a bad smell from the syntax at the
same time.

So this is more just a quick ramble to a group of folk I respect: any of
you used Objective-C in any capacity beyond looking at it and going
'OMG, shoot whoever did that'? Am I completely off my rocker?

I tumbled-ish of it on mine tumblelogblogwhateveryoucallit:

"""I’m just barely starting to learn Objective-C; I’ve only had the
first few sessions from iTunes U of the iPhone app development class
that Stanford publishes, and a few tutorials (and over the years, a few
aborted attempts to vaguely learn that never went anywhere).

But this time, I have an idea of something to develop in some spare time
over the next, oh, year.

And so, I’m learning. Its interesting. The most startling thing about it
is how *Pythonic* it feels. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why:
its not the syntax, surely. Somehow the language has taken something
perfectly repulsive on its own (Hi, C, I’m looking at you!) and turned
it into a shrine to perversity. And yet, after a day or two in it, it
doesn’t really bother me so much anymore.

Oh, I still can’t ever remember to prepend my Objective-C strings with a
@, but XCode is nice about erroring out properly. And I never remember
to end my NSDictionary and NSArray initializers with a nil, but XCode is
nice about that too (You left off the sentinel again, you idiot, it says
to me. Minus idiot, but I swear I hear that tone of its voice. Text.
Whatever).

I don’t know. There’s something about it. Perhaps its its dynamic
nature. Perhaps its the rich base library that seems to have a tool for
most things I want to do. Perhaps its because it is the only C-derived
language I’ve ever gone near which didn’t seem intent on making me go
out of my way to program a hundred lines when only ten (okay, maybe 20—
it isn’t /that/ Pythonic) will do.

Also strange: its as force-OOP-down-your-throat as Java, and yet I don’t
feel a gag reflex. Can’t explain it."""

Anyways. Just curious. Ya'll are all the Python-people I know.

--

Stephen Hansen
... Also: Ixokai
... Mail: me+list/python (AT) ixokai (DOT) io
... Blog: http://meh.ixokai.io/

P.S. And no, I'm actually also not pimping my baby-blog-thing that no
one is of yet following: that's why I pasted the contents here, so no
one needs to go poke it.



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G

Grant Edwards

[...]
I'm just learning Objective-C on my spare time, and am having these
entirely disturbing feelings of familiarity, where strange swirling
thoughts enter my head that sound oddly like, "This feels sorta
Pythony, how oddly pleasant." With, of course, a bad smell from the
syntax at the same time.

Both drew a great deal of inspiration from Smalltalk. It's much more
obvious in O-C's syntax than in Python's.
And so, I’m learning. Its interesting. The most startling thing
about it is how *Pythonic* it feels. I can’t quite put my finger
on exactly why: its not the syntax, surely. Somehow the language has
taken something perfectly repulsive on its own (Hi, C, I’m looking
at you!) and turned it into a shrine to perversity.

It's just Smalltalk.
And yet, after a day or two in it, it doesn’t really bother me so
much anymore.

Sort of like significant whitespace? At first I thought it a horrible
idea.
 
S

Stephen Hansen

[...]
I'm just learning Objective-C on my spare time, and am having these
entirely disturbing feelings of familiarity, where strange swirling
thoughts enter my head that sound oddly like, "This feels sorta
Pythony, how oddly pleasant." With, of course, a bad smell from the
syntax at the same time.

Both drew a great deal of inspiration from Smalltalk. It's much more
obvious in O-C's syntax than in Python's.

Oh, that somehow skipped my mind. I knew the Objective part came from
Smalltalk, but knowing that in the back of my head didn't get over to my
emotional side of my brain which was finding it all comfortable after I
learned it.

Yeah, I think you've pegged it.
Sort of like significant whitespace? At first I thought it a horrible
idea.

Oh, we all did. Its more the symbols, I usually get annoyed by symbols
in every language and don't quite get past it. Objective-C has a lot of
them; from - instance methods to + class methods to @everything to the
^{ blocks } and such.

But its less offensive to my eye and brain then say, Perl or even Ruby.
They never quite stopped jarring when I learned those languages.

Anyhoo. Appreciate the insight. :)

--

Stephen Hansen
... Also: Ixokai
... Mail: me+list/python (AT) ixokai (DOT) io
... Blog: http://meh.ixokai.io/


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