Objective-C vs Swift

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Objective-C vs Swift: What are the differences?

Developers describe Objective-C as "The primary programming language you use when writing software for OS X and iOS". Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language and provides object-oriented capabilities and a dynamic runtime. Objective-C inherits the syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements of C and adds syntax for defining classes and methods. It also adds language-level support for object graph management and object literals while providing dynamic typing and binding, deferring many responsibilities until runtime. On the other hand, Swift is detailed as "An innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch". Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

Objective-C and Swift belong to "Languages" category of the tech stack.

"Ios", "Xcode" and "Backed by apple" are the key factors why developers consider Objective-C; whereas "Ios", "Elegant" and "Not Objective-C" are the primary reasons why Swift is favored.

Swift is an open source tool with 48.4K GitHub stars and 7.76K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Swift's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, 9GAG, and Asana are some of the popular companies that use Swift, whereas Objective-C is used by Uber Technologies, Instagram, and Pinterest. Swift has a broader approval, being mentioned in 993 company stacks & 541 developers stacks; compared to Objective-C, which is listed in 851 company stacks and 363 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Objective-C?

Objective-C is a superset of the C programming language and provides object-oriented capabilities and a dynamic runtime. Objective-C inherits the syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements of C and adds syntax for defining classes and methods. It also adds language-level support for object graph management and object literals while providing dynamic typing and binding, deferring many responsibilities until runtime.

What is Swift?

Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.
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    What are some alternatives to Objective-C and Swift?
    Java
    Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
    PHP
    Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.
    JavaScript
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    Python
    Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
    HTML5
    HTML5 is a core technology markup language of the Internet used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. As of October 2014 this is the final and complete fifth revision of the HTML standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The previous version, HTML 4, was standardised in 1997.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Objective-C and Swift
    StackShare Editors
    StackShare Editors
    Rails
    Rails
    Node.js
    Node.js
    Python
    Python
    React
    React
    Java
    Java
    Ruby
    Ruby
    Go
    Go
    Swift
    Swift
    Objective-C
    Objective-C
    jQuery
    jQuery

    By mid-2015, around the time of the Series E, the Digital department at WeWork had grown to more than 40 people to support the company’s growing product needs.

    By then, they’d migrated the main website off of WordPress to Ruby on Rails, and a combination React, Angular, and jQuery, though there were efforts to move entirely to React for the front-end.

    The backend was structured around a microservices architecture built partially in Node.js, along with a combination of Ruby, Python, Bash, and Go. Swift/Objective-C and Java powered the mobile apps.

    These technologies power the listings on the website, as well as various internal tools, like community manager dashboards as well as RFID hardware for access management.

    See more
    StackShare Editors
    StackShare Editors
    Java
    Java
    Swift
    Swift
    Gradle
    Gradle
    Objective-C
    Objective-C

    At the heart of Uber’s mobile app development are four primary apps: Android rider, Android driver, iOS rider, and iOS driver. Android developers build in Java, iOS in Objective C and Swift. Engineers across both platforms land code into a monolithic code base that ships each week.

    They use some third-party libraries, but often build their own, since “Many open source libraries available are general-purpose, which can create binary bloat. For mobile engineering, every kilobyte matters.”

    On Android, the build system is Gradle. For the UI, Butter Knife binds views and callbacks to fields and methods via annotation processing, and Picasso provides image loading.

    As for iOS, all of the code lives in a monorepo built with Buck. For crash detection, KSCrash reports crashes to the internal reporting framework.

    See more
    Conor Myhrvold
    Conor Myhrvold
    Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 9 upvotes · 489K views
    atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
    RIBs
    RIBs
    Objective-C
    Objective-C
    Swift
    Swift

    Excerpts from how we developed (and subsequently open sourced) Uber's cross-platform mobile architecture framework, RIBs , going from Objective-C to Swift in the process for iOS: https://github.com/uber/RIBs

    Uber’s new application architecture (RIBs) extensively uses protocols to keep its various components decoupled and testable. We used this architecture for the first time in our new rider application and moved our primary language from Objective-C to Swift. Since Swift is a very static language, unit testing became problematic. Dynamic languages have good frameworks to build test mocks, stubs, or stand-ins by dynamically creating or modifying existing concrete classes.

    Needless to say, we were not very excited about the additional complexity of manually writing and maintaining mock implementations for each of our thousands of protocols.

    The information required to generate mock classes already exists in the Swift protocol. For Uber’s use case, we set out to create tooling that would let engineers automatically generate test mocks for any protocol they wanted by simply annotating them.

    The iOS codebase for our rider application alone incorporates around 1,500 of these generated mocks. Without our code generation tool, all of these would have to be written and maintained by hand, which would have made testing much more time-intensive. Auto-generated mocks have contributed a lot to the unit test coverage that we have today.

    We built these code generation tools ourselves for a number of reasons, including that there weren’t many open source tools available at the time we started our effort. Today, there are some great open source tools to generate resource accessors, like SwiftGen. And Sourcery can help you with generic code generation needs:

    https://eng.uber.com/code-generation/ https://eng.uber.com/driver-app-ribs-architecture/

    (GitHub : https://github.com/uber/RIBs )

    See more
    StackShare Editors
    StackShare Editors
    Prometheus
    Prometheus
    Chef
    Chef
    Consul
    Consul
    Memcached
    Memcached
    Hack
    Hack
    Swift
    Swift
    Hadoop
    Hadoop
    Terraform
    Terraform
    Airflow
    Airflow
    Apache Spark
    Apache Spark
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes
    gRPC
    gRPC
    HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine)
    HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine)
    Presto
    Presto
    Kotlin
    Kotlin
    Apache Thrift
    Apache Thrift

    Since the beginning, Cal Henderson has been the CTO of Slack. Earlier this year, he commented on a Quora question summarizing their current stack.

    Apps
    • Web: a mix of JavaScript/ES6 and React.
    • Desktop: And Electron to ship it as a desktop application.
    • Android: a mix of Java and Kotlin.
    • iOS: written in a mix of Objective C and Swift.
    Backend
    • The core application and the API written in PHP/Hack that runs on HHVM.
    • The data is stored in MySQL using Vitess.
    • Caching is done using Memcached and MCRouter.
    • The search service takes help from SolrCloud, with various Java services.
    • The messaging system uses WebSockets with many services in Java and Go.
    • Load balancing is done using HAproxy with Consul for configuration.
    • Most services talk to each other over gRPC,
    • Some Thrift and JSON-over-HTTP
    • Voice and video calling service was built in Elixir.
    Data warehouse
    • Built using open source tools including Presto, Spark, Airflow, Hadoop and Kafka.
    Etc
    See more
    Visual Studio Code
    Visual Studio Code
    GitHub
    GitHub
    Linux
    Linux
    JavaScript
    JavaScript
    Swift
    Swift
    Java
    Java
    PHP
    PHP
    Python
    Python
    XML
    XML
    JSON
    JSON
    Git
    Git
    SVN (Subversion)
    SVN (Subversion)

    I use Visual Studio Code because at this time is a mature software and I can do practically everything using it.

    • It's free and open source: The project is hosted on GitHub and it’s free to download, fork, modify and contribute to the project.

    • Multi-platform: You can download binaries for different platforms, included Windows (x64), MacOS and Linux (.rpm and .deb packages)

    • LightWeight: It runs smoothly in different devices. It has an average memory and CPU usage. Starts almost immediately and it’s very stable.

    • Extended language support: Supports by default the majority of the most used languages and syntax like JavaScript, HTML, C#, Swift, Java, PHP, Python and others. Also, VS Code supports different file types associated to projects like .ini, .properties, XML and JSON files.

    • Integrated tools: Includes an integrated terminal, debugger, problem list and console output inspector. The project navigator sidebar is simple and powerful: you can manage your files and folders with ease. The command palette helps you find commands by text. The search widget has a powerful auto-complete feature to search and find your files.

    • Extensible and configurable: There are many extensions available for every language supported, including syntax highlighters, IntelliSense and code completion, and debuggers. There are also extension to manage application configuration and architecture like Docker and Jenkins.

    • Integrated with Git: You can visually manage your project repositories, pull, commit and push your changes, and easy conflict resolution.( there is support for SVN (Subversion) users by plugin)

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Objective-C and Swift
    Avatar of Bessalitskykh
    Software Development Consultan at MLSDev Inc.
    Review ofSwiftSwift

    The performance of Swift is almost the same as that of C++, which is considered the fastest in algorithm calculation arithmetics. Apple had this idea in mind and worked to improve the speed of Swift. For example, Swift 2.0 has beaten C++ in several computation algorithms, such as Mandelbrot algorithm. Objective-C is slower because it contains C API legacy.

    Swift is faster than Objective-C, because it removed the limitations of C language and has been improved with the help of advanced technologies that were unavailable when C was developed. As mentioned by Apple, Swift was originally designed to operate faster.

    Despite the fact that languages are different, they both integrate, and work with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch APIs, for all Apple platforms. Therefore, a regular app-user would not recognize the difference in operating speed between Objective-C vs Swift. Speed also depends on a programmer’s level and capabilities, since a slow app can be written in Swift as well.

    Learn more here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c

    Avatar of Bessalitskykh
    Software Development Consultan at MLSDev Inc.
    Review ofSwiftSwift

    Its performance approaches the one of C++ which is considered the fastest algorithm calculation arithmetics. And Apple strives to improve the speed of Swift. Learn more here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c

    How developers use Objective-C and Swift
    Avatar of Instacart
    Instacart uses Objective-CObjective-C

    Basically, the trajectory was we had our iOS app, which started out native, right? It started as a native app, and then we realized you have to go through a review process and it’s slow, and at a very early stage, it made sense for us to make it a wrapped web view. Basically, the app would open, and it would be a web view inside of it that we could iterate on quickly and change very rapidly and not have to wait for app store view process to change it. It wasn’t totally a native experience, but it was as actually a pretty good experience and lasted for a very long time and was up until recently the foundation of our current mobile web experience, which is different from our app situation. So for a long time, basically, our app store iOS Instacart app was a wrapped web view of just our store, a condensed version of our store, which meant that we could add things. We could change sales. We could change the formatting. We could change the UI really fast and not have to worry about the app store review process.

    This all changed about a year ago, I would like to say, at which point it became a totally native app. We felt comfortable enough with the product and all the features that we made it a native experience and made it a fully featured app.

    Avatar of Lawrence Cheuk
    Lawrence Cheuk uses SwiftSwift

    iPhone app, a new born language, it may good but the IDE, xcode is bad compare with Visual Studio. It just like a baby. playground can only use without connect to other library...you can not do a simply refactor of renaming a variable. You can go to definition and find reference, but you can not go to implementation....I should write them on xcode not here basically it is not the fault of swift, but it tightly to it, unless you want to use a notepad to write it.