Core Foundation

Core Foundation (also called CF) is a C application programming interface (API) in Mac OS X & iOS, and is a mix of low-level routines and wrapper functions. Apple releases most of it as an open source project called CFLite that can be used to write cross-platform applications for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows; a third-party open-source implementation called OpenCFLite also exists. Most Core Foundation routines follow a certain naming convention that deal with opaque objects, for example CFDictionaryRef for functions whose names begin with CFDictionary, and these objects are often reference counted (manually) through CFRetain and CFRelease.
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