What is COCOA


macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2002
According to Apple's website (http://developer.apple.com/cocoa/), Cocoa is an Objective-C based OO API specifically for MacOS X. It came from NeXTStep.

Also on Apple's website (http://developer.apple.com/carbon/), they mention that the Carbon API is there just to smooth the transition from MacOS 9 to MacOS X. Apps written using the Carbon API set will run on MacOS 8.1 and later. (That incluse MacOS X)

My understanding is that Carbon allows developers to write the app so that it runs on MacOS 9 and MacOS X, but it won't run as fast as if it was written using Cocoa. Apple wants everybody to eventually switch to using Cocoa...


macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2002
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
Carbon vs. Cocoa

Actually, both Carbon and Cocoa apps run in OS X. Cocoa is purely for X, and apps written in it can take advantage of certain features built into the OS (like spell check, services, font smoothing, etc). Carbon is used mostly for older apps that are being ported to OS X, like all the MS and Adobe software. While it's much more feasible for software developers to carbonize older software instead of totally starting from scratch, cocoa apps tend to be more responsive, etc *because* they've been written from the ground up for OS X.
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