A root class is one with no parent class. Objective-C allows multiple root classes, but you are most likely to use one supplied with your compiler.
All Objective-C distributions provide a root class called
Object. This section describes the
Object supplied with the GNU runtime. The
Object class provided by Darwin is
similar, but Darwin users will be more likely to use the
NSObject root class that comes with the
Cocoa class library. (The GNUstep library also provides an
NSObject root class almost identical to
Cocoa's.) This section describes the fields and methods of both
Both classes provide access to Objective-C features like reflection, memory management, and archiving. Most of the classes you write will inherit from one of these classes, so your objects will be able to use these features.
The runtime goes to some length to make class objects behave the same as regular objects. In particular, they appear to inherit their fields and methods from the root classes, so they share in the properties described in this section.
only one field,
isa , whose type is
Class. This field is inherited by all their
descendants, which is critical to the operation of inheritance and
message dispatch. It points to the class object representing the
instance's class. See Section
1.9 earlier in this book.
Root class methods are accessible from any object that derives from the class—usually all regular objects in a program. ...