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Old Mar 7, 2008, 12:01 PM   #1
MacDryCleaner
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Writing code for the iPhone. How?

Hi All -

I want to write an iPhone app for my business (I'm a dry cleaner and I want to write something for in house inventory and for my delivery guys). The extent of my program writing is this:

10 Print "Hello"
20 Goto 10

So, my question is: How does a moron like me learn how to write code for the iPhone? Is there a certain direction anybody could push me into to learn about writing code? How hard is it really? I write a lot of my own Filemaker Pro databases and some of them are quite complex ... is there even any comparison to writing code?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

On a side note, is there a way for me to 'flag' particular discussion threads in this forum so I don't have to search around for them every time?

Have a great day everyone.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 12:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDryCleaner View Post
I write a lot of my own Filemaker Pro databases and some of them are quite complex ... is there even any comparison to writing code?
Probably, databases are pretty key in programming.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 12:35 PM   #3
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You need to learn Cocoa programming, it's what the iPhone uses, and what the Mac uses. But if you haven't done any "real" programming, learn Cocoa for the Mac first as it'll be easier, then once you feel comfortable with that start playing with the iPhone SDK.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kainjow View Post
You need to learn Cocoa programming, it's what the iPhone uses, and what the Mac uses. But if you haven't done any "real" programming, learn Cocoa for the Mac first as it'll be easier, then once you feel comfortable with that start playing with the iPhone SDK.
Hey Kainjow. I basically had the same question as him. After reading your response, why do you think learning Cocoa for Mac will be easier? I mean, wouldn't that be twice the work since one would first have to learn Cocoa for the Mac then go back and learn Cocoa for the iPhone? And second, I know where all the iPhone software documentation is (on the Apple site) but where is the Cocoa for Mac documentation. Thanks so much.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 02:46 PM   #5
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and yes to flag threads if you go to the thread and then in the thread tools, at the top of th thread, in the blue bar there will be a drop down option to subscribe to the thread and it will appear in your user cp when changes in the thread occur
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 02:55 PM   #6
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Kainjow, didnt you write pod2go? I loved that app (before i got my iPhone).
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennypod View Post
Kainjow, didnt you write pod2go? I loved that app (before i got my iPhone).
Yes I did. The app is still alive, it's just under new management, but I'm still the developer
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Old Mar 8, 2008, 10:43 AM   #8
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I am also new and I want to know what should I learn first cocoa or C?

Thanks,
ChrisN
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Old Mar 8, 2008, 10:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
I am also new and I want to know what should I learn first cocoa or C?

Thanks,
ChrisN
Objective-C.

C is a different language.
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Old Mar 8, 2008, 10:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
I am also new and I want to know what should I learn first cocoa or C?

Thanks,
ChrisN
Cocoa is not a programming language, it is basically a set of frameworks that you use in your code. Trying to learn Cocoa without knowing how to program will be an exercise in frustration. You might as well start by learning C, since ultimately you will need to know Objective-C, which is a superset of C.
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Old Mar 8, 2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cromulent View Post
Objective-C.

C is a different language.
I wouldn't consider it a different language. Objective-C is a superset of C, so it supports all C features, but it has additional capabilities for working with objects.

Last edited by kainjow; Mar 9, 2008 at 01:55 AM. Reason: clarified
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Old Mar 8, 2008, 10:02 PM   #12
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I'm in the same position, I'm trying to make an iphone app for my business. http://cocoadevcentral.com/ This website has helped me out so far (in the two days I've been using it). From what the keynote said the iphone uses basically the same language (cocoa) as the mac, except for the touch screen instead of keyboard less powerful etc.

GL
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 12:39 AM   #13
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You'll be better off contracting this out to some clever kid of college age..

Programming takes years to learn, or at least to learn properly.
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 05:04 PM   #14
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Hi,
As the previous poster just said, this is not a trivial undertaking and you should either consider contracting the job out.

However, this decision will depend on a number of factors, not least of which is how soon you need your application up and running. You need to balance the cost of not having the app for perhaps 12 months with the cost of contracting the job out to someone who could have it up and running in perhaps 1 month. Also consider if this is likely to be a one-off or if you expect to need further applications.

If you can live with 12 months of learning to program and/or think you might develop more than one app or if you simply can't afford to pay someone to do the work for you then don't be deterred - give it a go! Set yourself some realistic milestones (perhaps the first being "Hello World!" on an iPhone screen...) and keep evaluating whether to continue or cut losses and get someone to do it for you. At the very least you will know what you are talking about if you do hire a programmer and will be in a better position to justify the cost/benefit of the project. Make sure you get the source code for the app if someone else writes it, ideally as the project progresses (maybe weekly in exchange for partial payment?) in case it all goes pear-shaped and you need to get someone else involved. There are likely to be a large number of people out there just now who see iPhone development as a way to make a living but may not have the experience to carry it off yet. I'm a software consultant working for an IT company in the UK and have a 25 years of programming experience including mobile device development mainly in Java, C/C++ and VB and I must say I am tempted to give freelance iPhone development a try. However, I would not take on a commercial project like this until I had invested a good 2 or 3 months of my own time in getting my skills up to speed. It is a good way for me to justify buying an iPhone though...

Good luck!
Craig.
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 05:47 PM   #15
Barbariska
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Hello. I am in the same boat. I am working as a programmer, but I am working with mainframe and VB6, I know a little bit of C. Can anyone point me the good book that I might benefit from? Do I have to start with ObjC? Thanks.
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 06:02 PM   #16
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I'm not to cheap to pay someone to do it for me, but it is a very simple app I am trying to do and plan to do more in the future.
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Last edited by barijazz; Mar 9, 2008 at 06:08 PM.
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 06:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbariska View Post
Hello. I am in the same boat. I am working as a programmer, but I am working with mainframe and VB6, I know a little bit of C. Can anyone point me the good book that I might benefit from? Do I have to start with ObjC? Thanks.
I'd suggest downloading the SDK and reading the documentation. Apple discusses exactly what you need to know to write iPhone applications.
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 06:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbariska View Post
Hello. I am in the same boat. I am working as a programmer, but I am working with mainframe and VB6, I know a little bit of C. Can anyone point me the good book that I might benefit from? Do I have to start with ObjC? Thanks.
Speaking as someone who would love the answer to your question to be, "No" I'm afraid that the real answer is probably, "Yes". I don't want to learn ObjC as I have too many other languages rattling around in my head already but it seems from lurking around on these forums for a while now that ObjC & Cocoa is the best way to code for both the Mac and the iPhone. In fact it may be the only practical way to code for the iPhone at present although I'm not certain about that. I'd much rather use Java or Ruby and these are supported to some extent (eg. RubyCocoa, Java 5&6 and Sun Java for iPhone) but I still think that you will be up against it to compete with someone writing the same app in ObjC/Cocoa on either the Mac or the iPhone. If anyone disagrees I'd be delighted but also surprised...

The good news is that I gather that ObjC is a steep learning curve initially while learning the slightly odd syntax but is supposed to be very productive and robust afterwards. If the Mac marketshare continues to climb it might be a worthwhile skill to invest in. I'm certainly thinking carefully about giving it a go.

Cheers,
Craig.
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 06:25 PM   #19
Barbariska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kainjow View Post
I'd suggest downloading the SDK and reading the documentation. Apple discusses exactly what you need to know to write iPhone applications.
Thanks, kainjow. I already downloaded SDK and all the videos, so I'll jump into it and try to learn. Also another question is computer configuration that I need to start working with SDK, etc. I have IBOOK G4, Mac OS X, 1.2 GHz,1.25Gb. Do you think it is enough (hopefully not - then I will have an excuse to upgrade)
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 06:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbariska View Post
Thanks, kainjow. I already downloaded SDK and all the videos, so I'll jump into it and try to learn. Also another question is computer configuration that I need to start working with SDK, etc. I have IBOOK G4, Mac OS X, 1.2 GHz,1.25Gb. Do you think it is enough (hopefully not - then I will have an excuse to upgrade)
The SDK is only supported on Intel based Macs. Yours is PowerPC based.
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Old Mar 9, 2008, 06:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig1410 View Post
The good news is that I gather that ObjC is a steep learning curve initially while learning the slightly odd syntax but is supposed to be very productive and robust afterwards.
I don't know why people think Obj-C is so hard. If you know dot notation, you can pick up the bracket syntax easily.

Example 1:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.eatFood();

// Objective-C
[bear eatFood];
Example 2:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.attack(rabbit);

// Objective-C
[bear attack:rabbit];
Easy, eh?
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Old Mar 10, 2008, 03:30 AM   #22
dalvin200
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now you put it like that... yeah

i'm primarily a html/javascript now doing c#.

i managed to d/l the sdk but haven't had a chance to play around with it yet..

i plan to use the video tutorials on apple as a starting point and take it from there..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kainjow View Post
I don't know why people think Obj-C is so hard. If you know dot notation, you can pick up the bracket syntax easily.

Example 1:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.eatFood();

// Objective-C
[bear eatFood];
Example 2:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.attack(rabbit);

// Objective-C
[bear attack:rabbit];
Easy, eh?
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Old Mar 10, 2008, 05:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kainjow View Post
I don't know why people think Obj-C is so hard. If you know dot notation, you can pick up the bracket syntax easily.

Example 1:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.eatFood();

// Objective-C
[bear eatFood];
Example 2:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.attack(rabbit);

// Objective-C
[bear attack:rabbit];
Easy, eh?
It's not that, it's all of the other stuff like the fact that declarations and stuff have to be in a certain area as an example.

BTW: now that i think about it, that syntax looks a tad like what i saw of ruby a while back
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Old Mar 10, 2008, 06:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kainjow View Post
I don't know why people think Obj-C is so hard. If you know dot notation, you can pick up the bracket syntax easily.

Example 1:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.eatFood();

// Objective-C
[bear eatFood];
Example 2:
Code:
// C++/Java
bear.attack(rabbit);

// Objective-C
[bear attack:rabbit];
Easy, eh?
I actually prefer Obj-c syntax, although its long winded it readable and understandable.

I have only played with Java, but from my short time using it I found that you end up with brackets all over the place making it hard to read.
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Old Mar 10, 2008, 06:39 AM   #25
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Ooooh plugged in iPhone and it says do you want to use this device for development. Shame you can't yet.
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