Is This Everything I Need?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by MadDoc, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. MadDoc macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2005
    OK, as mentioned in another thread - I want to learn to write apps for the Mac using Xcode and Objective-C.

    I am already at a level of experience with REALbasic that I can write reasonably complex apps. My goal is to write an app of the complexity of YummySoup or perhaps NewsFire.

    It doesn't seem that there is a book out there to teach complete newbies Objective-C (they all require knowledge of C - of which I have NONE).

    This is my plan of action:

    1. Read (and work through the examples) "Learn C on the Macintosh"
    2. Read (with the examples) "Learn Objective-C on the Macintosh"

    At this point though - I am not convinced I will have been introduced to Interface Builder and making a GUI (most of these books just get you to print stuff out in a console). Where can I get this information in PLAIN ENGLISH?

    I am willing to put effort in but I don't want to waste my time reading things that are not necessary.

    Given that I could probably write YummySoup using REALbasic, what kind of timeframe might I be looking at to reach the same level of competence in Obj-C? (Given spending a couple of hours per day reading).

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Spike099 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2007
    I am still relatively new to the Cocoa and Obj-C world (programming Cocoa for about 4 months) however, I would suggest these titles.

    1. Programming in Objective-C By Stephen G Kochan
    2. Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X Second Edition By Aaron Hillegass

    Programming in Obj-C assumes no prior knowledge to c or c++. Very good book and I definitely recommend starting with that one. This also introduces you to the Foundation Framework, which is used by Cocoa. It's been awhile since I read it through, but from the sounds of it you have a solid programming background and should have no problem picking up the material in this one.

    Once you've read through that, the next one introduces you to many of the frameworks used in Cocoa. Excellent starting place for beginner Cocoa programmers. This introduces you to Xcode and Interface Builder, plus it hints you toward the Apple documentation from time to time so you get an idea of where to go for help.

    Once you have gotten to Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X, I'd also suggest taking a look at

    Getting Started With Cocoa

    A lot of indispensable information is found through Apple docs.

    As to a timeframe for when you can write complex apps, I don't think I could give you an accurate response.
  3. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    I wouldn't read any of those books. Get yourself a copy of "The C Programming Language" and start reading that. You're going to have to learn C before you start working with ObjC. By reading K&R's book your getting the language straight from the horse's mouth, since they designed the language.
  4. steelphantom macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2005
    I agree with Spike099. Definitely get Programming in Objective-C by Stephen Kochan. It'll get you up to speed on Objective-C pretty quickly so then you can focus on learning the Cocoa framework and get down to what you really want to be doing: developing Mac apps.
  5. Alloye macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2007
    Rocklin, CA
  6. MadDoc thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2005
    Thanks for the thorough answers guys :)

    I think I will start by picking up the Objective-C book mentioned and go from there. I've been putting off switching to Xcode for ages because I couldn't be bothered to learn a new language but I think it'll be worth it in the end.

    Thanks again,

  7. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    And just because K&R C tells you that you /can/ define things in certain ways, doesn't mean you should (for the sake of readability and all that). It is a great little reference book when you are unsure what syntax/behavior is supported, but it does assume a bit too much general programming knowledge on the part of the reader to be useful as a first book.

    As for the 'need to learn C before you start working with ObjC' comment, I don't think that is the case these days. C, C++, Obj-C, Java, C# all share a common syntax for the most part, and while I used to personally believe you should start with C, I don't believe that you do anymore. The worst than can happen is that you get spoiled by the nice things in C++/Obj-C/C#, but any programmer coming from C can wind up that way (I know I am spoiled by Obj-C/C#).

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