Presumably no Xcode 4 books yet so...

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by ShadowXOR, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. ShadowXOR, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    ShadowXOR macrumors regular

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    #1
    I just bought Xcode 4 but want to learn Objective-C/iPhone/OS X development. I don't mind starting with the basics, I'm in no rush, I want to learn right. I have no programming experience (besides dabbling with C# here and there). My only concern is many of these books may tell you to do a lot of things in Xcode 3 that I won't be able to translate to 4. Are there any good books to get started on that can be done without downloading Xcode 3?

    EDIT: This is what I'm leaning towards: http://www.amazon.com/Programming-O...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299822954&sr=1-1
     
  2. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #2
    You might be better off getting Xcode 3 (which is still available and free) and use that, since you are just starting out.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
  4. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #5
    There are a number of Xcode 4 books coming out very soon. But, Xcode 4 is not necessary if you are just starting to learn to program. Xcode 3 is plenty of IDE for that and most books/tutorials/etc. will be based on it.
     
  5. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    I would just prefer to learn the newest version of the software rather than learn an outdated one first. How far off are the first decent books? I don't mind waiting a month or so but I don't want to wait three plus.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #7
    Here's a status update from a couple of weeks ago from someone writing such a book (dunno if it will be a good one or not). http://xcodebook.com/2011/02/february-update/ The changes Apple made in January required many changes.

    O'Reilly has a good option for some books in offering pre-release access to books via their Rough Cuts section. No Xcode 4 books in there yet though.

    B
     
  7. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #8
    If you already know Objective-C and programming in general, I could see your point. But since you have no extensive programming experience, you should be more concerned about learning the fundamentals of the programming in general and less concerned with which software you are using. Some might even suggest that you start with learning C from the command-line in order to concentrate on the fundamentals. I wouldn't go that far but I don't think, at this point in your education, that you should be concerned with having the latest version of some software. You should be concerned with having a version that most introductions are going to be based on.
     
  8. Zord macrumors 6502

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    #9
    This is the way i'm learning right now. . . Command Line only.

    Gotta crawl before you can walk.
     
  9. ShadowXOR, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    My primary concern is I'll already have enough confusion learning the programming language, I didn't want to add additional confusion by flip-flopping IDEs. But I'll keep that in mind. And just to go into my exact experience:

    - About ten years ago I did basic HTML/CSS (I know this is a markup language and not actually programming). I still know most of this since I use it occasionally but it's very basic.

    - More recently I've done some SQL queries in Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

    - I also made a basic launcher program that writes preferences to the registry in Visual Studio Express using C#.

    Just trying to give you guys a better feel for my skills (or lack thereof).

    EDIT: I just picked this bad boy up since it seems to focus on learning OO Programming and Objective-C more than the IDE: http://www.amazon.com/Programming-O...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299822954&sr=1-1

    I think that lines up with my goals of not learning an old IDE and your recommendations of focusing on code rather than Xcode. :) Thanks!
     
  10. kidofdoomz macrumors member

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    #11
    I'm in pretty much the same skill level (or lack thereof ;)) and I'm curious--how did that book turn out? Good read? I'm looking to get something myself and haven't figured out where to start yet.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #12
    Kochan is a fine book, but it doesn't suit everyone. Learning anything is a very personal experience. Only you can tell if a teaching/learning style suits you.

    At least two members with no programming experience tried to start with Kochan and ultimately backed up to something else. (They either found it boring or found it went over their heads). In both cases they were fairly successful with "Learn C on the Mac". With that under their belts, maybe Kochan will be more approachable the second time around or they can try Hillegass instead.

    Try it for yourself. Borrow it from a library. Get the first chapter or so as a sample from the Kindle or Nook eBook stores. Use Amazon's "Look Inside" or Google Books to see random pages, etc...

    B
     
  12. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #13
    And my primary concern here is you'll actually be adding confusion by using an IDE for which there is little in the way of educational material so far.

    For example, in Kochan's "Programming in Objective-C, Second Edition" there is a screenshot of the File menu (Figure 2.2) on page 10 and you are told to use File > New Project. Under Xcode 4, the File menu looks significantly different and you would actually need to use File > New > New Project. You could stick to compiling and running via the Terminal but if you chose to use Xcode this could be another potential source of confusion.
     
  13. Animalk macrumors 6502

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    #14
    The documentation built in to xcode 4 is very well done. A huge step forward in my opinion.

    Open the Organizer window and select the Documentation button.

    I'm currently learning from it.
     
  14. Buckeyes1995 macrumors member

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    #15
    I think the command line learning is a pretty good suggestion. I too am new to Objective C and just learning. While I don't really feel like going down the command line route, I am doing all of my UI programatically. This is helping me understand the fundamentals.

    I didn't start tinkering with OC until Xcode 4 came out, so I really have no basis for comparison. I do like how integrated the documentation set is with Xcode 4 (may have been that way in 3 also, no clue).
     
  15. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502

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    #16
    First, I want to say that I appreciate dejo's posts and his willingness to share his knowledge. In this case, while I do understand what he's getting at, I'm just not seeing it in practice. That is, for somebody who is computer savvy, I don't think a rearranged menu will trip them up too badly.

    I got the Kochan book myself a while back ($20 at Half Price Books what a deal!:D) It is an older edition, from the Project Builder era in fact since that's the IDE it refers to. Yet, here I was using Xcode 3! Well, I didn't find that I had very many problems following the book. In fact, all of the problems I did have (if one could call them problems) were due to methods being deprecated (changes to Cocoa API) rather than differences in the IDE. And that didn't happen very often really. (Even though it was an older edition of the book, I still learned a whole lot from it. Most of the code still works typing in Xcode. And the Objective-C 2.0 language hasn't changed that much since then. BTW, there's a new edition of the book due out in June this year.)

    So now here I am going through More iPhone 3.0 Development (excellent book!) and using Xcode 4. I like it so much better with the integrated Interface Builder. I like the Issues feature. If the menus are rearranged a little or if its screen layout is a bit different, it shouldn't stop the OP from figuring it out. I'm a keyboard person anyway so I just use Command-shift-N to start a project and Command-N to add a new file. Command-B still builds the project. You still type the code examples from the book into the code editor.

    Of course these are just my observations based on what I've encountered so far. I might find that I'm wrong, I just haven't yet. If I do, I'll try to come back here and say so.

    Oh, and for anybody searching for programming books to try (and wanting to save some money), I suggest looking on Amazon or eBay for a good used book. These books cost $30 to $50 brank new in the store. But I payed $9.72:) (plus $3.99 shipping) for Beginning iPhone 3 Development. I got More iPhone 3 Development on eBay for $1.65:D (plus $3.99 shipping.) Last week I found an iPhone dev called... Visual something... on Amazon for $0.06:eek: (plus $3.99 shipping!) Just FYI.
     
  16. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #17
    Thanks for the kind words, TheWatchfulOne. I also believe that a clever person with the right ambition should be able to adjust but I just wanted to use that case as simple example of potential cause of confusion (something that is certainly a concern for the OP) that one might encounter very early on in the learning process, if one were to start with that book. Some people would be able to adjust but others might not so easily, especially when they are just getting started and looking to the book to guide them. I know from my own experience when encountering things in a tutorial that don't match my current reality, they can be annoying (if only slightly at times).

    Having said that, when following along with Kochan's book and just starting to learn Objective-C, I'd recommended sticking to the Terminal and compiling and running from the command-line as much as possible.
     
  17. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    OP here.

    In my opinion, I recommend using Xcode 4. It's what I'm using and I'm glad to be learning current content. Kochan's Objective-C book (the one I link at the beginning) works fine with Xcode 4, until the end of the book where it delves into Xcode 3, but I haven't even made it that far. Most of it is raw Objective-C so it will work fine.

    Kochan is a great guy (he personally responded to me on his forum) but I found the book a bit too advanced (and a bit too slow) for my tastes. That said, I definitely plan on reading it cover to cover when the next edition comes out. I feel like it wasn't the best to get me started but feel it's a great intermediate level book once I'm on my feet.

    I will recommend two resources for you that have been very helpful to me, best of all they're free:

    iPhone iOS 4 Development Essentials Xcode 4 Edition

    Objective-C 2.0 Essentials

    The first one is completely updated for Xcode 4. I don't know whether it's the best or not but it's been helping me and it's free. It covers the very BASICS of Objective-C but gets you making an iPhone app immediately and it feels good learning Xcode/actually making progress and making things work.

    The second link is by the same people and is their book on Objective-C that goes more in-depth but still jumps from issue-to-issue faster than other books, but somehow I actually felt like I was learning more from them than other in-depth resources. They explained things really well and answered questions that other books left me hanging on. And maybe I have ADD (not really that I'm aware of) but I like jumping from thing to thing quickly, feeling like I'm making progress. Of course I actually want to learn the content too, but I feel it gives you a nice medium between knowledge and speed.

    These two books are much shorter than most at about 200 pages each so I'm sure afterwards you'll need to move-on to more in-depth content but this is giving me the jumpstart I needed making me feel like I'm making progress and past the initial hump of being super confused. Note there are a decent number of grammatical mistakes, and in a few places I noticed them accidentally use C# code instead of Objective-C (in very minor places, like for putting text he accidentally used Console.WriteLine instead of NSLog) but I haven't found any of it actually impede my learning process.

    I bought the .PDF versions of both for $13 each but they contain the exact same content, I just prefer .PDFs.

    Hope this helped, let me know if you have any questions, I don't check here a ton but I'll try and keep my eye on this thread. And I'm sure as I learn more I'll become more active. :)

    My goal is to have a VERY simple app (free of course) on the app store within a month or so...
     
  18. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #19
    Thanks for the book links, I'll be checking out the Xcode 4 book!
     
  19. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Great post, been looking for something like this for a while. Thanks a bunch!
     
  20. TheKlassicJazz macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Yeah I second that. Am in a very similar stage to some of you guys and that is very useful information Shadow thanks. Keep in touch
     
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #22
    This thread is no longer relevant. Lion and Xcode 4 have been released and all of the major books (Kochan, Hillegass, ...) have all been updated for Xcode 4 or releases are imminent.

    B
     
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