Brad Cox, Creator of Objective-C, dies at 77

Objective-C is presumably the mainstream language with the most outsized influence. Along with Ruby and Squeak later on, it carried the values of Smalltalk into the modern programming era. Introspection and messages and dynamism, rather than C++ vtable optimization and trickery inventing seven kinds of memory management/ownership subtlety and delegating all to the programmer. Getting things to work together in a coherent and easy way that befits a small system, rather than spending 90% of your attention making sure no performance is untowardly spilled on the floor.

Brad Cox was a virtual unknown, and Objective-C's origins have been shrouded in mystery to me aside from the words "Brad Cox" and "Stepstone". I wish I'd known more. I hope there are enough people out there who knew more, and who talked to him and wrote it down, and who can tell the story of how he invented a gem that unlocked so much possibility and so much imagination over the years. I hope he got to do many other things (the obituary mentions lecturing about object-orientation and later work on neural networks). I hope he was happy.

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