Objective-C’s 30 Year Birthday →

Graham Lee discussing the early days of Objective-C message sending:

Reading the OOPC paper, you can tell that this is the start of what became known as Objective-C. It has a special syntax for sending Smalltalk-style messages to objects identified by pointers to structures, though not the syntax you’ll be used to:

someObject = {|Object, "new"|};

{|myArray, "addObject:", someObject|};

The infix notation [myArray addObject:someObject]; came later, but by 1986 Cox had published the first edition of Object-Oriented Programming: An Evolutionary Approach and co-founded Productivity Products International (later Stepstone) to capitalise on the Objective-C language.

Objective-C has really changed a lot over its thirty year existence. I am glad that I get to use it in its current form.

(via Jonathan Penn at Cocoa Manifest)

Han Solo and Hoth

Since Disney announced that J.J. Abrams would be directing Star Wars VII, Wired has been going crazy posting Star Wars articles.

My favorite of the series explained how Han Solo could have made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs [1] and what the implications of that are. It combines physics and the best character in the Star Wars universe.

The other standout piece took a hard look at the Imperial invasion of Hoth at the beginning of Empire Strikes Back. It gives a full breakdown of why this invasion was a complete tactical failure on the part of the Empire.

Both are very nerdy and go way to deep overanalyzing the details of a fictional movie, but thats what makes them a fun read.

  1. For those unfamiliar, a parsec is a unit of distance, not time.  ↩

The Apple iWatch

The idea of a smart watch to mean always seemed like one of those things that made a great concept but would never really be a practical thing to have in everyday life. Products like the Lunatik looked cool but had major drawbacks like no wireless communication, not waterproof, poor battery life (compared to a traditional watch), and you had to press a button actually see the time.

Newer projects like the Pebble are interesting for nerds, but are still more like a proof-of-concept than an actual product. It is a cool idea that no one will actually want to integrate into their everyday lives.

This piece Bruce Tognazzini marks the first time I have ever really been excited about the idea of a smart watch. He outlines lots of things that will be useful for individual uses (my favorite being eliminating passwords), be he also presents some ideas on crowd sourcing data provided by millions of people wearing these watches could benefit the general population. Examples include improving mapping and providing data for numerical weather prediction.

It is a long article, but it is very interesting. I recommend checking it out.