Link: The Rise of Objective-C

Two indices of programming language use indicate — oh, that’s good, “indices indicate”: what else would they do? — that [Objective-C has overtaken C++][c]. The original poster on Slashdot [concludes][s] that:

> The reason is, of course, that Objective-C is the language you have to use to create iOS applications — and as iPads and iPhones have risen in popularity, so has Objective-C. If you look at the raw charts then you can see that C++ has been in decline since about 2005 and Objective-C has shot up to overtake it with amazing growth. But the two charts are on different scales: if you plot both on the same chart, you can see that rather than rocketing up, Objective-C has just crawled its way past, and it is as much to do with the decline of C++. It simply hasn’t reached the popularity of C++ in its heyday before 2005. However the real story is that C, a raw machine independent assembler-like language, with no pretense to be object oriented or sophisticated, has beaten all three of the object oriented heavy weights — Java, C++ and Objective C. Yes C is number one (and a close second in the transparent index).”

I can’t, and won’t, argue with any of that. What I find more interesting is the idea that Apple was playing the long game all along: by basing their iOS language on OS X, they have now created an incredibly large pool of developers who, in pursuing the market for iOS applications, now have the capability of further developing the market for OS X applications. For a long time now, observers have been focused on the transition of OS X development to iOS, though this shifted somewhat when Apple itself introduced Lion as “back to the Mac,” which many disparaged. Apple was surprisingly forthright in that moment, however, and it turns out they weren’t dumbing down the Mac, as many people worried, but were preparing for an onslaught of development that the rise of iOS made possible.