Certainly was not free at least initially, NeXT workstations cost thousands of dollars (in 1980-1990 dollars) and NEXTSTEP software updates were not free either (I think I paid ~$600 to upgrade from NEXTSTEP 2.1 to 3.something).
I guess in the sense that all these tools were included with the system it was still a good deal compared to other alternatives at the time, when dev tools were typically purchased separately from the OS.
OSX and Windows updates aren't free either.
Will pay better attention to that in the future.
Thanks for pointing that out!
I don't remember much talk of Obective-C when either Java or C# came out... I remember people comparing Java to C and C++, and C# to Java, C, and C++, but not really any mention of Objective-C. I actually remember researching Objective-C when I saw references to it in the Linux Kernel's "make config" and thought it was pretty awesome! but, still, I don't think the author's statement is really that accurate.
As it turns out, Sean and Tom are both absolutely correct. Usually, this kind of urban legend stuff turns out to be completely inaccurate, but in this case, they are right on. When I left Sun to go to NeXT, I thought Objective-C was the coolest thing since sliced bread, and I hated C++. So, naturally when I stayed to start the (eventually) Java project, Obj-C had a big influence. James Gosling, being much older than I was, he had lots of experience with SmallTalk and Simula68, which we also borrowed from liberally.
(By the way, I'll accept that if Java was inspired by Obj-C, then C# was, by proxy)
As I said, I love Obj-C, I just heard nothing of it's inspirational nature in the Java (or C#) release days, despite learning about it somewhere between those two dates.
I type corrected!
It would be more accurate to say Objective C inspired Java (not nearly enough, BTW) and that Java inspired C#. I see very little in C# that came directly from Obj-C.