Objective-C defines a small but powerful set of extensions to the ANSI C programming language that enables sophisticated object-oriented programming. Objective-C is the native language for Cocoa programming—it’s the language that the frameworks are written in, and the language that most applications are written in. You can also use some other languages—such as Python and Ruby—to develop programs using the Cocoa frameworks. It’s useful, though, to have at least a basic understanding of Objective-C because Apple’s documentation and code samples are typically written in terms of this language.

Because Objective-C rests on a foundation of ANSI C, you can freely intermix straight C code with Objective-C code. Moreover, your code can call functions defined in non-Cocoa programmatic interfaces, such as the BSD library interfaces in /usr/include. You can even mix C++ code with your Cocoa code and link them into the same executable.

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