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Old Feb 15, 2007, 12:34 PM   #1
astrostu
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Good Resource for a Specific Programming Project ... ?

Hi, first-time-poster, long-time-MacRumor-reader.

Background: I've been programming for the last 8 years, but it's been mainly web stuff and C++ or Java tools. I once tried my hand at writing a full-blown Cocoa application with a Java code backing, but I didn't get too far because of some Objective-C-only features.

Program I Want to Write: I've been collecting coins for the last ~12 years, and there is no good (or any) cataloging program out there for the Mac (neither OS9 or OSX). Everything I do is kept in an Excel (shudder) spreadsheet, but I've reached a point in my collecting where that's just not working anymore.

So I would like to write a program that would actually have an interface similar to the "Cookbook" application that's being developed over there at mydreamapp.com . I'd like to have an iTunes-like column on the left that has various types of collections that you could drang-and-drop any coin into, a main window with many different fields for various information, an imagewell where an image of the coin could be dropped into, and a printing feature that would set up a text document with selected information to print (such as different information for insurance purposes vs. one to show a potential buyer).

However, with my limited experience in this area, I'm sort of at a loss of where to begin. I'm pretty sure I'd need to learn Objective-C for this, which I'm not opposed to doing, and I know that I'd probably need to learn how to interface with a database, or at least how to randomly access an ASCII text file to store the information in.

Based upon the project I've described, can anyone recommend either (a) what types of technologies I need to look into, and/or (b) a book or online source(s) that would specifically address how to create this type of project?

I know it's a tall order, but I'd appreciate any help here!
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Old Feb 15, 2007, 02:14 PM   #2
Soulstorm
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You need to learn Cocoa. Cocoa features all technologies you will ever need for that kind of program (and not only that), including saving-loading of images and text using Cocoa's built-in features.

You need to learn Obj-C first, then move on to learn the Cocoa API. Books I recommend:

Programming in Objective C
Cocoa programming in OS X
Learning Cocoa with Objective C
Cocoa Programming (This book is HUGE but it is a good reference)

Actually, most of these books will surely get you started with ObjC and Cocoa. But remember: ADC Library is your friend. Some of the technologies like CoreData and Cocoa Bindings are best explained in there. But with the books you will have a good startup point.

Also not that since you know C++, you don't have to abandon it. You can mix it with ObjC using XCode and write your programs in Objective C++.
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Old Feb 15, 2007, 07:08 PM   #3
Blurg
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Yes I would second the above poster and recommend "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X" and also "Programming in Objective-C". Just work through the Objective-C book until you're comfortable enough with the syntax to start in on the Cocoa book, and then you can refer back to the Objective-C book as you go.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 02:09 PM   #4
astrostu
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Thanks guys for the book advice. I've looked through a few and I got those ot of the library here, but some flips through don't really offer much help in the way of the GUI. Any idea where I can figure out how to do something like the iTunes interface? It seems to be copied so much these days but I can't seem to find anyone who tells how they did it.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 11:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostu View Post
Thanks guys for the book advice. I've looked through a few and I got those ot of the library here, but some flips through don't really offer much help in the way of the GUI. Any idea where I can figure out how to do something like the iTunes interface? It seems to be copied so much these days but I can't seem to find anyone who tells how they did it.
To get the exact look of iTunes you have to use a kit to make it look that way. Apple hasn't provided an interface like iTunes but we suspect that one will be released with Leopard and XCode 3.0. There are a few kits out there that have made it to try and look like iTunes, search around the forums. I started a thread about one. or that, but yeah search the forums and use the interface that someone has designed with that intent. Also if you want to do the column styling there's more coding you have to divulge into. So I suggest using Apple's ADC resource to learn how to alter specific elements of an application. use those books and they will greatly help you out.
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 07:09 PM   #6
Mydriasis
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Objective-C is probably the most professional way to go, but you can do all of the things you mentioned in a real simple Filemaker Database. You'd be done in like two hours, five if you've never used Filemaker before.

Just a thought.

This will help as well...http://cocoadevcentral.com/articles/000085.php
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 12:28 AM   #7
astrostu
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Originally Posted by Mydriasis View Post
Oh wow. That's JUST what I'm looking for, and an hour later I have an up-and-running journal app (their demo) that I think I can relatively easily change around to get at least some resemblance to the coin app I want to make.
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