I want to know if Objective-C is an interpreted or a compiled language.
It is neither. Objective-C is a programming language. A programming language is an abstract concept. A programming language is a set of mathematical rules and definitions. Programming languages aren't compiled or interpreted, they just are.
Compilation and interpretation aren't properties of a programming language, they are properties of, well, a compiler or an interpreter (duh). Every language can be implemented by a compiler and an interpreter, and most languages have both compiled and interpreted implementations. In fact, the majority of modern language implementations utilize both an interpreter and a compiler in the same execution engine for maximum performance.
For Objective-C specifically, I know of three implementations: gobjc, clang and oscompiler, but a quick Google search turned up two more. Of those five implementations, three are compilers and two are interpreters.
Some language specifications spell out that implementations must include a compilation facility; for example, Common Lisp. However, there is nothing inherent in the definition of Common Lisp that stops it from being interpreted. Other languages have features that are very easy to implement in an interpreter, but make writing a compiler much harder; for example, APL, SNOBOL4, and many scripting languages allow programs to construct arbitrary source code at runtime with regular string operations, and then execute that code by passing it to a special evaluation function. To implement these features in a compiled language, programs must usually be shipped with a runtime library that includes a version of the compiler itself.
I think clange (the main objec compiler) ship with a runtime library to achieve the dynamic nature of the objective-c the language.
protected by GlenH7♦ Oct 3 '14 at 10:56
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