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kwyn
Feb 14, 2009, 01:33 PM
I am interested in developing apps (mostly for early education 3-5 year olds) to use with parents.

If I can code somewhat in Visual Basic 2008, how hard would it be for me to develop iphone apps.

Right now, I don't have access to a Mac though...Considering it.

Thanks



fishkorp
Feb 14, 2009, 02:21 PM
VB is nothing like Objective-C. I suggest taking a look at some documentation or samples on the C language, and then Objective-C and Cocoa.

firewood
Feb 14, 2009, 02:22 PM
Do you know enough VB to develop your educational apps right now in VB for a PC?

For a non-trivial iPhone app, I would estimate difficulty level for a typical person who has never learned to program as maybe equivalent to around 2 or 3 university semester length computer programming courses. Would you say that your being able to code "somewhat" in VB is at the level of completing one half of a university semester programming class? Or more? Or less?

It's also sort of like asking how hard is calculus. It depends. I know one guy who read the entire semester's calculus textbook and did all the hard problem sets in one week, then slept through all the rest of the classes, and still aced the midterm & final. I also know people who flunked the pre-requesite math courses, or never even got that far.

so, ymmv.

kwyn
Feb 14, 2009, 02:45 PM
Do you know enough VB to develop your educational apps right now in VB for a PC?

For a non-trivial iPhone app, I would estimate difficulty level for a typical person who has never learned to program as maybe equivalent to around 2 or 3 university semester length computer programming courses. Would you say that your being able to code "somewhat" in VB is at the level of completing one half of a university semester programming class? Or more? Or less?

It's also sort of like asking how hard is calculus. It depends. I know one guy who read the entire semester's calculus textbook and did all the hard problem sets in one week, then slept through all the rest of the classes, and still aced the midterm & final. I also know people who flunked the pre-requesite math courses, or never even got that far.

so, ymmv.

I am fairly new to VB, but, yeah I've written pretty basic apps for my class (I'm a teacher) without too much difficulty. Mostly having to stop to look up syntax etc...

I programmed BASIC on commodore PETS, VIC-20s, Commodore 64's ages ago.

Took 1 programming class in college for C and got an A in it, but don't really remember C too much. I'm sure it would come back fairly quick though. Never used C#,C++ though.

firewood
Feb 14, 2009, 02:50 PM
VB is nothing like Objective-C.

I don't think that Obj-C is that hard to learn for someone who knows C. For someone who knows VB (well) instead of C, there is an additional step, maybe a textbooks worth, or half that. But bonus points for the VB programmer who has used a lot of the object oriented extensions added to versions of VB. That could potentially give a VB programmer a head start over a C programmer who has never seen any OOP concepts.

but ymmv.

firewood
Feb 14, 2009, 02:56 PM
Took 1 programming class in college for C and got an A in it, but don't really remember C too much.

I would think it's like riding a bicycle. That C skill will come back faster than you think, and is probably more relevant to your getting up to speed in Obj-C than recent VB "tinkering". The VB might help with some basic UI and OOP concepts, but you'll have to complete relearn all the frameworks and API's in any case.

abyram
Feb 14, 2009, 03:24 PM
I'm a .NET developer (both C# and VB.NET) that recently started building iPhone apps. I can tell you that very little you've learned from VB will transfer over to the iPhone/Mac world. The good news is that the most important thing - understanding the logic needed to program - is 100% transferrable. Other than that though, be ready to re-learn everything. Xcode takes a while to get used to - particularly if you're familiar with more advanced features of VS.NET. The Objective-C language itself looks odd at first, but after you write a sample program or two, it'll start making sense.

The two things that'll take a while are:

1) learning Cocoa Touch (the analog of the .NET framework...sort of)

2) learning memory management (biggie...no garbage collector like .NET)

The easiest thing to do to get started is to grab some of the samples from Apple and try to modify them. As you try to do modifications, you'll need to read through the Apple docs - you'll find out that Cocoa is quite powerful, but getting accustomed to the new way of doing things just takes time.

It really it's *that* hard to write an iPhone app, BUT make sure you go in expecting there to be a fairly large learning curve right at the start...once you get to a certain point, things are much, much easier...so just stick with it.

- Adam

johnnyjibbs
Feb 19, 2009, 10:07 AM
Contrary to what some people have said here, I started iPhone development in October having not programmed anything since a PacMan game on the Amiga in about 1993 (as a hobby) in AMOS Basic.

I had got no concept of object orientated programming nor any experience of C when I started in October but now I'm most of the way to finishing my first iPhone app (a productivity one) using cocoa in my spare time (I have a day job). I did not do a computing related degree.

Although I'm nowhere near an expert in C or Objective C yet, I've certainly come a long way. The OP has more experience than me in programming concepts so I would say it is by no means an impossible task. It is fairly easy to pick up and, from what I've heard, Interface Builder is a bit like Visual Basic.

I'm still learning but it is an enjoyable new hobby. I'm going to try some 2D games with layers and Core Animation after my first app is finished so hopefully then I might be able to start making some money as well.

firewood
Feb 19, 2009, 12:37 PM
Contrary to popular opinion, significant exposure to developing in Basic is a perfectly good introduction to many computer programming concepts. Peek and Poke even introduce the concept of (untyped) pointers.

It's a lot easier path for someone who knows (or knew 15 years ago) how to successfully develop a large graphics game in Basic (Logo, Forth, whatever...), than for someone who has no idea how to program or script at all, except for having read the first few chapters of a book on Objective C and/or Cocoa.

IMHO.

Drumerdude
Feb 19, 2009, 10:20 PM
I am fairly new myself to developing apps, and was lucky enough to stumble across an online book. It icludes objective-c and x-coding. Everything you need to know. It is by cocoa lab. Type in becomeanxcoder in google. Make sure there are no spaces. It is the very first link.