Book recomendations?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by mdavey, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. mdavey macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005

    I want to learn how to write software for Mac OS X. I consider myself to be proficient in Java and PHP and competent in C. I am fairly knowledgeable about Linux and Solaris, know how to use pthreads and Solaris threads and how to write a Solaris device driver.

    I know next to nothing about Mac OS X programming and am looking for a book or combination of books that will cover the various frameworks and services available to the Mac OS X programmer and will also outline the basics of writing a kernel extension. I'd prefer material that covers best current practice rather than possibly confusing me with older APIs that are still present.

    Which books do you consider essential reference material and which would you recommend I acquire?
  2. Epicurus macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you want a basic starting point for Xcode:
    The Mac Xcode 2 Book by Michael Cohen and Dennis Cohen

    For more "Cocoa"-type stuff (using Xcode 1) there is:
    Cocoa Programmin for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass

    An even older book that delves a bit deeper into Cocoa, but not that deep:
    Building Cocoa Applications: A Step-by-Step Guide by Simson Garfinkel and Michael K. Mahoney

    Check out O'Reilly Books for some of the others, including a good reference:
    Cocoa in a Nutshell by Michael Beem and James Duncan Davidson

    Since you're coming from a more Unix heavy background, this might be of some interest (although it is not a developer book):
    Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks by Brian Jepson and Ernest E. Rothman

    I hope that helps.
  3. Jordan72 macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Cocoa has the most popular frameworks available to Mac OS X. Take a look at the Macintosh programming section at Barnes and Noble and Boarders. Cocao. Cocoa. Cocoa. I recommend begining with the language in which those Cocoa class's are written: Objective-C.

    The syntax is necessary to understand, so you might as well begin there if you want to know the frameworks.

    Kochan's book (listed in previous comment) is the only book out there I know of that has a primary orientation toward Objective-C for OS X. Apple does provide a free book, but I really don't recomend that for a first timer to Objective-C. I recommend you finish Kochan's book, then read it. That will keep you busy for awhile.

    Here is the link to Apples free Objective C book. It will clear up many things if you go through it patiently. But again, I don't think it's a first timer manual.
  4. ll350 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Whenever I see that book mentioned I instinctively want to jump up and say: "No don't get that book it's horrible!"

    But then I take a step back and say,: "Well I'm a newbie at programing, maybe I just didn't have a deep enough background to understand the information."

    So, I'd like to hear from an experienced programer who read that book: "Was it really that good?" Should I hold on to it, so that later on I can use it for reference material? Was it crap, or am I just stupid?

    Since it hasn't been determined if I'm an idiot or not yet, I don't feel qualified to give recommendations, however I'd like to give notification of this book:

    If you are looking to lean more about Xcode, this is a good book, becuase you can download it after purchase of the electronic version, instead of having to order it and wait for it to be shipped to you.
  5. Jordan72 macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Wow, I didnt know that book existed. I'm going to have to get my local bookstore to order it and flip through it and find out if it's something I would find useful.
  6. mdavey thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    Thanks for all the replies and recommendations. Hopefully in the new year I'll find the time to write up a couple of short reviews for the books I end up purchasing. I'll continue to check this thread in case any latecomers want to add their recommendations.

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