Today Apple released XCode 4, their latest development environment for MacOS and iOS.
Having worked with XCode for a while and skimming through the list of improvements and new features in Xcode 4 it seems like this new version is another big step forward and makes development an even much nicer experience than before. I wish some of the Smalltalk IDEs around would gather some inspiration from Xcode.
The nice thing about Xcode and Objective-C is that it feels very familiar to Smalltalk developers and ships with a lot of nicely crafted tools. Apple’s Interface Builder is one of my favorite GUI Builders together with VA Smalltalk‘s Composition Editor and Google’s WindowBuilder for Eclipse/Java. This combination doesn’t come by accident, all three tools share a common heritage, just like Xcode has adopted many things that Smalltalk IDEs offered 15 or 20 years ago and help boost programmer productivity.
It’s a funny thing to see how new generations of IDEs adopt more and more of the feel of Smalltalk environments. Some people call this the “feels like dynamic” trend, and Xcode 4 together with the latest additions to Objective-C (I am talking of Garbage Collection and Blocks) is a clear step towards feeling like Smalltalk.
There are now two ways of getting Xcode: registered Apple developers can download it for free, if you’re not registered, you can purchase XCode in the Mac App Store for 4.99 USD or 3.99 EUR.