I’m glad that Jesper heard and was intrigued by some of the same comments I was, because he reminded me that I wanted to comment on a subtle but worth-repeating impression that I took away.
The comments are those pertaining to the introduction of scripting language bridges as standard developer resources in Leopard OS X 10.5. Gruber points out that for developers, the presence of these scripting language bindings will both open up the platform to a wider audience of developers, and enable selective use of scripting languages where the highest performance is not necessary.
He suggests that a typical developer will write everything in Ruby or Python, and then do performance testing. Anything that needs a speed-up can be redone in Objective-C. You know, that “slow” dynamic variant of C :)
This analysis is foreboding, because it’s exactly what programmers have always done when they switched to a higher level language. 10 years ago a programmer would be more likely to “switch to assembly” for a much-needed performance boost. Has it come to this? Are we moving to a higher plane? If you’re like me, you’ve probably become quite comfortable in your Objective-C universe, and somewhat dismissive of the scripting languages as they begin to encroach on our holy ground. But we run the risk of being like those losers who still insist on programming everything in assembly, while the higher-level code would be just as fast and easier to maintain.
Is C the new assembly?