A new project at MacForge called BridgeSupport aims to make developing in languages other than Objective-C on Apple’s OS X easier. Objective-C is considered an excellent language and there is no reason not to develop in it but if you have to have a specific bit of perl, python, or ruby in your application, now you can use tools like BridgeSupport to help you get the job done.
BridgeSupport files are XML files which describe C code used on OS X and even some Objective-C class information. They are used in the RubyCocoa Objective-C bridge and are being ‘examined’ for the PyObjC bridge and CamelBones, which I blogged about earlier. Apparently Leopard will have a more complete implementation than what is available now for Tiger but one can kick the tires right now anyway.
This is a good thing to do - open up the internals of Mac OS X so developers can use the tools they are most comfortable with to develop applications they want to have on the platform. This builds the kind of healthy developer ecosystem that will help Apple thrive as a development OS. I already feel it is the best operating system to develop on, and I’ve moved my primary development from Ubuntu to Apple Tiger. Everything just feels easy to use, all the tools I love are there: emacs, svn, gcc, perl is a little out of date though.
BridgeSupport is a great idea, hopefully it will provide the sort of framework needed for a host of developers to build some cool applications for an already excellent platform.