I'm not sure why but, last night before bed, I decided to go through the Cocoa application tutorial with Objective-C. The tutorial is necessarily a little verbose but after about 25 minutes I had a complete working currency converter application. The InterfaceBuilder/XCode combo feels a little bit retro compared to the Visual Studio behemoth but I was left with a feeling that this was no bad thing -- I never really took to Visual Studio.
At some point in the exercise I realised that much of what makes Cocoa code look so alien to me is Objective-C's
[receiver aMessage:arg] message passing (method calling) convention and some compiler-neutral sugar for InterfaceBuilders benefit. I quickly got a feel for both and my discomfort began to subside. In the end I was left feeling that writing Cocoa applications might not be so bad and if I had a really good idea I could turn my hand to it.
I've had some initial thoughts about embedding the Ruby interpreter in a Cocoa application to implement an interface to the Ruby debugger. I have a feeling this is some considerable way beyond my current abilities with either Cocoa or Ruby. Andy has also been hassling me about the idea of embedding Squib in a WebKit based front-end. There are a couple of less well formed ideas sloshing around as well.
None of which did my chances of getting to sleep any good.