Am curious about writing my own little program..

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Flybye, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Flybye macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    and would appreciate a bit of advice. :)

    I am not a programmer at all, but have taken a few basic C++ classes, and I certainly don't mind getting my fingers dirty. (wait, that didn't sound right LOL)

    Anyways, I've been curious to write a small program that would allow me to hold a small amount of text that I can easily copy from to paste else where similar the picture below. I can easily do this in Pages or Excel and resize it to a tiny little box, but am looking for a tiny app that can do the same thing and not take up a whole lot of memory doing it. I use a Mini for work with only 2gb of ram and am already stretching it with everything else that I have open.

    I was originally playing around with a few little paste apps like TextExpander:

    Problem is, I am using a Java program that I need to paste text into which is causing problems with TextExpander. Already spoke to the author and he said it is a problem with the way certain Java programs are written. So instead, I've been using its config portion of it to do what I need to :p. And while using its config part of it, I figured Hey, maybe a small text app like this exists!


    But you guys can see perfectly what I mean by the pic of the config of that program. I have my text on the right to copy and paste else where, and a content list of my texts on the left. Yeah, I could keep using the config part of this program, but I'd prefer to just take it out of my menubar and uninstall it since I can't use it to it's fullest potential. If there is a little app like what I am trying to do myself that anyone knows about, please let me know! Otherwise, I would be curious to know what would be the best route in making a small simple text application that would support what I am trying to do.

    Honestly, I can't imagine writing a small program with 2 columns with a bunch of fields I can write text and copy and paste from it with a half decent gui interface would be hard to do, but that's why I figured I'd come to the programming section to see what you guys think since, currently, I really have no clue how to even write a program in OSX. And I'd probably prefer not to do it in Java since I keep reading all the crazy little hassles with it and Apple being a bit behind on the times with it, but what do I know. :)
  2. zippyfly macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
  3. Flybye thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    I would like the former. Have written a few basic programs in C++ for school (small little gui apps that took a number and spit out a response, and other cheesy stuff), and wouldn't mind trying to make something for OSX. Evernote looks great, but still look pretty busy for what I'd like to do with it.

    Been slowly reading up on Objective C and Cocoa, but still don't know the full basics or what exactly I would need. If anything, I think it looks like Objective C would be what I would need to write an app, but I'm still not sure.

    I'm not looking for a 2 page reply from anyone on how to do this. Just a guidance (on language I should use) or pointer in the right direction for something as simple as what I want to do, then I'd be happy to read up on it myself.
  4. mynameiscoffey macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2009
    Cocoa framework and Objective-C language would be your weapons of choice.

    To get started you will need Xcode, the IDE for Cocoa applications. You can either install this from the DVD that came with your system or alternately you can download the newest version on Apple's developer connection website:

    Registration is free and includes access to their learning resources, your mileage will vary with them.
  5. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    If you haven't already built and debugged several tutorial-level programs in Cocoa, then it's too early for you to start writing one from scratch. You have to wreck a few first.

    Check out Apple's sample code examples. Many of them are very simple apps, and you can not only learn from them, but use them as a basis for your own code. Sometimes you can just Frankenstein a couple of sample projects together and at least start hammering on it. Remember, you're gonna wreck a few first, so it's better to wreck something you haven't spent days and weeks on (emotional attachment is too high).

    You should also be learning how to use Interface Builder, because it's going to help a lot with getting the GUI, and the description of your app sounds like it's mostly GUI. IB text-areas and such automatically support cut, copy, paste, so if you can create a GUI you can simulate a lot of the final app without writing a single line of code.

    Personally, for the description you gave, I just use and have various folders of plaintext (if I want to preserve the content) that I keep in the sidebar. Being in the sidebar makes them easily reachable from an Open dialog.
  6. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    I think your first steps should be to do a search of this site for advice on getting started learning to program Objective-C and Cocoa. You will find TONS of threads on this subject with lots of good advice.
  7. Flybye thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    Thanks guys! Am installing Xcode right now so that I can start poking around. :D And I'll take a little peak at TextEdit, too. :)
  8. zippyfly macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    I love the suggestion of "frankensteining" programs together.:D

    That's what I have been doing to learn. It can be scary though! You don't know what you've created, but it's alive!!!


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