Mac New to Xcode, some questions;


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2014
Hi there, thanks for taking the time to read this!

I am new to pretty much programming, I did some during my high school years, but not enough, and on visual basic windows.

To get to the point, I am planning a programme for my work colleuges, and as a university project. I am aware xcode might not be the best.

Pretty much I want to create something that would act as a Till at my work. It would scan an item, then, come up. I will use a USB scanner in the future when my code develops. It is for now such a simple programme! Scan an Item, then display, so it's not that it's a crazy software project , but I literally don't know where to start! Should I maybe develop it on a windows computer? If I design it in Xcode, will I be able to use the programme on a small windows laptop? but for now I need to find somewhere to start!

I downloaded Xcode, but i'm not completely sure which application I should chose to 'build with', Cocoa Application, Cocoa Framework? External Build system? I am absolutely clueless where to start :confused:

Any help will be amazing! :D


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
A few years ago I was working on something that needed to function with a scanner. I found a USB scanner that, when you hit the trigger and pointed it at a barcode, would read the barcode, encode it as a bunch of keyboard key presses, and send it to the device it was plugged into. So if your application accepted key presses on the keyboard (like an NSTextField does out of the box) then it would accept codes scanned by the scanner.

I don't know if all barcode scanners work that way or just this specific one that I had used. I don't know what the name or make or model or brand or anything it was, so I can't help you with finding it.

You'll want to start with a "Cocoa Application". Actually, just diving into Xcode probably won't help you much. You should learn C first. There's a free e-book called Learn C The Hard Way - I used to endorse it, but a lot of other people who went on to read it told me it was too terse, so I've dialed back my endorsement of the book. I don't have any other resources to recommend, but I'm sure other people do. There's probably some stickied topics at the top of the topic list in the Mac Programming and iOS Programming section of the MacRumors forums (surprise, you're already there) that probably recommend some good resources.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2008
East Riding of Yorkshire, UK

We use a USB barcode scanner that works much as described by ArtOfWarfare. I'll find out where we got it from and let you know.

An alternate method might be to use something like EvoBarcode:

…which will scan using your iSight camera and send the results to the clipboard or an AppleScript of your choosing. I've not tried it myself, but it looks promising.

I'll get back to you with the USB scanner info.



macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2014
Thanks so much guys, I'll get a start on this, hopefully it'll work out!

I'll try find some guides and books that'll help me.

It's going to take a lot of planning too :)

Thanks so much everyone!


macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
Macclesfield, UK
Also, without a doubt the best book for understanding fundamental aspects of Cocoa (OSX) and Cocoa Touch (iOS) for me was "Cocoa Programming - A Quick Start Guide for Developers" by Daniel H Steinberg.

Personally I wouldn't say you need to know C first (I never did and have several completed apps) although having an understanding would help in the long-long term, but short term, if time is tight, I would suggest you gloss over it initially and come back to it later.

This is a good discussion on the matter:

If you want to learn mobile development then Ray Wenderlich's tutorial website is fantastic.

Edit: They also do books for beginners:

Edit: If you would prefer to develop a Mac OSX app right now, then follow this one:

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