OT: Meaning of .m extension

  • Hi everyone.  I've been teaching some friends Cocoa and they're really
    loving it.  About a week ago they asked me why Objective-C source files
    end in .m.  I remember wondering the same thing at the time I started
    with Objective C... I mean, the file extension conventions for C, C++,
    Java, and Perl(.c, .cpp, .java, and .pl/.pm) are all fairly obvious.
    .m however makes very little sense.  Regardless, I couldn't give my
    friends an answer, so I just said I'd try to figure it out and let em
    know later.

    I've looked in Cocoa In a Nutshell (Beam/Davidson), Cocoa Programming
    (Anguish, Buck, Yacktman), and Object-Oriented Programming: An
    Evolutionary Approach (Cox), not to mention the archives and Google.
    No dice.  The only thing I can think of is .m is for iMplementation.

    Anyone have any ideas about this?

    -Prachi
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  • It stands for "Macintosh".

    -m
    =====================

    At 2:50 PM -0600 11/22/03, Prachi Gauriar wrote:
    > Hi everyone.  I've been teaching some friends Cocoa and they're
    > really loving it.  About a week ago they asked me why Objective-C
    > source files end in .m.  I remember wondering the same thing at the
    > time I started with Objective C... I mean, the file extension
    > conventions for C, C++, Java, and Perl(.c, .cpp, .java, and .pl/.pm)
    > are all fairly obvious.  .m however makes very little sense.
    > Regardless, I couldn't give my friends an answer, so I just said I'd
    > try to figure it out and let em know later.
    >
    > I've looked in Cocoa In a Nutshell (Beam/Davidson), Cocoa
    > Programming (Anguish, Buck, Yacktman), and Object-Oriented
    > Programming: An Evolutionary Approach (Cox), not to mention the
    > archives and Google.  No dice.  The only thing I can think of is .m
    > is for iMplementation.
    >
    > Anyone have any ideas about this?
    >
    > -Prachi
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  • > It stands for "Macintosh".

    Are you sure? Objective-C is available for other platforms and I'm
    pretty sure they use ".m" too.

    I think it does stand for implementation, meaning it implements what's
    defined in the header file.

    On a side note, doesn't Objective-C++ use ".mm"? Maybe it actually
    doesn't mean anything...

    Dave
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  • I believe it stands for "methods".
    Ali

    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: Prachi Gauriar <pgauria...>
    > Date: November 22, 2003 12:50:06 PST
    > To: Cocoa-Dev <cocoa-dev...>
    > Subject: OT: Meaning of .m extension
    >
    > Hi everyone.  I've been teaching some friends Cocoa and they're really
    > loving it.  About a week ago they asked me why Objective-C source
    > files end in .m.  I remember wondering the same thing at the time I
    > started with Objective C... I mean, the file extension conventions for
    > C, C++, Java, and Perl(.c, .cpp, .java, and .pl/.pm) are all fairly
    > obvious.  .m however makes very little sense.  Regardless, I couldn't
    > give my friends an answer, so I just said I'd try to figure it out and
    > let em know later.
    >
    > I've looked in Cocoa In a Nutshell (Beam/Davidson), Cocoa Programming
    > (Anguish, Buck, Yacktman), and Object-Oriented Programming: An
    > Evolutionary Approach (Cox), not to mention the archives and Google.
    > No dice.  The only thing I can think of is .m is for iMplementation.
    >
    > Anyone have any ideas about this?
    >
    > -Prachi
    > _______________________________________________
    > cocoa-dev mailing list | <cocoa-dev...>
    > Help/Unsubscribe/Archives:
    > http://www.lists.apple.com/mailman/listinfo/cocoa-dev
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  • I remember this question being asked at Stump the Experts at WWDC a few
    years back.  The official answer from the Apple gurus was that the .m
    stood for "messages".

    On Nov 22, 2003, at 2:50 PM, Prachi Gauriar wrote:

    > Hi everyone.  I've been teaching some friends Cocoa and they're really
    > loving it.  About a week ago they asked me why Objective-C source
    > files end in .m.  I remember wondering the same thing at the time I
    > started with Objective C... I mean, the file extension conventions for
    > C, C++, Java, and Perl(.c, .cpp, .java, and .pl/.pm) are all fairly
    > obvious.  .m however makes very little sense.  Regardless, I couldn't
    > give my friends an answer, so I just said I'd try to figure it out and
    > let em know later.
    >
    > I've looked in Cocoa In a Nutshell (Beam/Davidson), Cocoa Programming
    > (Anguish, Buck, Yacktman), and Object-Oriented Programming: An
    > Evolutionary Approach (Cox), not to mention the archives and Google.
    > No dice.  The only thing I can think of is .m is for iMplementation.
    >
    > Anyone have any ideas about this?
    >
    > -Prachi
    > _______________________________________________
    > cocoa-dev mailing list | <cocoa-dev...>
    > Help/Unsubscribe/Archives:
    > http://www.lists.apple.com/mailman/listinfo/cocoa-dev
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    >
    >
    --
    Brian Webster
    <bwebster...>
    http://homepage.mac.com/bwebster
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  • > I remember this question being asked at Stump the Experts at WWDC a
    > few years back.  The official answer from the Apple gurus was that
    > the .m stood for "messages".

    The expert who answered the question was Steve Naroff, who wrote
    the original front-end support for Objective-C for gcc. Someone came up
    to challenge his response and and he pointed out that made the decision
    to use .m as the suffix.

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  • On Nov 23, 2003, at 4:37 PM, Mark Lilback wrote:

    >> I remember this question being asked at Stump the Experts at WWDC a
    >> few years back.  The official answer from the Apple gurus was that
    >> the .m stood for "messages".
    >
    > The expert who answered the question was Steve Naroff, who wrote
    > the original front-end support for Objective-C for gcc. Someone came up
    > to challenge his response and and he pointed out that made the decision
    > to use .m as the suffix.

    But, was that before Bruce Cox was using the .m suffix back in the
    mid-80s? In other words, did he simply decide to stick with Cox's .m
    suffix in the gcc? I assume we're trying to get to the reason the first
    guy who used the suffix picked .m, since it appears it means different
    things to different people. (It's clear, by contrast, that the .mm
    suffix refers to M&Ms. ;-)
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  • >> I remember this question being asked at Stump the Experts at WWDC a
    >> few years back.  The official answer from the Apple gurus was that
    >> the .m stood for "messages".
    >
    > The expert who answered the question was Steve Naroff, who wrote
    > the original front-end support for Objective-C for gcc. Someone came up
    > to challenge his response and and he pointed out that made the decision
    > to use .m as the suffix.

    Ah, well, then messages it must be --- Steve would know, he was
    involved in the original Stepstone compiler work.  (Although I would
    consider methods mostly equivalent! 8-)
    Ali
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  • On Nov 23, 2003, at 6:13 PM, Ali Ozer wrote:

    >>> I remember this question being asked at Stump the Experts at WWDC a
    >>> few years back.  The official answer from the Apple gurus was that
    >>> the .m stood for "messages".
    >>
    >> The expert who answered the question was Steve Naroff, who wrote
    >> the original front-end support for Objective-C for gcc. Someone came
    >> up
    >> to challenge his response and and he pointed out that made the
    >> decision
    >> to use .m as the suffix.
    >
    > Ah, well, then messages it must be --- Steve would know, he was
    > involved in the original Stepstone compiler work.  (Although I would
    > consider methods mostly equivalent! 8-)
    > Ali
    >

    After reading some of the (good) responses, I realized that Brad Cox
    has a website, and thus must have an email address.  So I emailed him
    and asked him.

    Due to his response (below) and Steve Naroff's qualifications, I guess
    it's safe to say that it's messages.

    -Prachi

    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: Brad Cox <bcox...>
    > Date: November 23, 2003 7:05:47 PM CST
    > To: Prachi Gauriar <pgauria...>
    > Subject: Re: .m extension in Objective-C files
    >
    > You came to the right place. But for the life of me, I can't remember
    > for sure. Main requirement was something that wasn't already used.
    > Possibly messages.
    >
    > At 4:53 PM -0600 11/23/03, Prachi Gauriar wrote:
    >> Hi.  I'm teaching some friends Cocoa/Obj-C, and they were wondering
    >> what the .m extension stands for in Objective-C implementation files.
    >> Since I didn't know myself, I asked the Cocoa-Dev mailing list. They
    >> responded:
    >> methods
    >> messages
    >> module
    >>
    >> I figure you probably came up with the extension, so I thought it'd
    >> be prudent to simply ask you and find out definitively.  Can you shed
    >> any light on this?
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >> Prachi Gauriar
    >> <pgauria...>
    >
    >
    > --
    > Brad J. Cox, PhD, 703 361 4751, http://virtualschool.edu
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    > (JWAA)
    > http://virtualschool.edu/java+ Java Preprocessor (Java+)
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