Although it is possible to use Objective-C without using any of the system frameworks, doing so is extremely uncommon. Even the standard root class,
NSObject, is part of the Foundation framework rather than part of the language itself. If you didn’t want to use Foundation, you would have to write your own root class, as well as your own collections, event loops, and other useful classes. Furthermore, you cannot use Objective-C for developing Mac OS X and iOS applications without using the system frameworks. They are powerful but have come through years of development to where they are today. Therefore, you may find some parts that feel old and are awkward to work with, but you may also find hidden gems.