Every iOS developer I talked to thought we were crazy. “You can’t possibly make a good UI in C#. Everyone knows real iOS apps have to be written in Objective-C!”
Xamarin’s insight was that cross-platform app frameworks didn’t have to recreate the controls. They could just generate bindings into UIKit that would poke and prod the views when the app needed to put something on the screen.
It’s a clever approach that yields performant native apps with shared business logic — business logic written in a language that’s both performant and safe by default. You can even share code with the server: no more writing serialization logic twice, in two different languages. (Dropbox and Microsoft Office adopted this approach too.)
Enter Swift. The day after Craig Federighi and Chris Lattner took the stage to show off Apple’s new programming language, I attended a WWDC-related meetup. This time, nobody batted an eye at iOS apps written in C# — now that bindings were a Cupertino-sanctioned technique, everyone was fine with it.
I think this illustrates a broader problem with our community, and maybe with programmers in general. We tend to maintain made-up beliefs — good apps can only be written in Objective-C, Objective-C is fast because it’s related to C, etc. — that aren’t based in evidence and don’t hold up when subjected to critical thinking.
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