Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Tech198, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Hi all... Starting basic here, then thinking (only thinking as of now anyway) of progressing up to more advanced programming like Xcode.

    I'm starting to learn Apple script, which is kinda easy to tackle, getting a bit hung up on conditional if......else kinda statements within dialog windows, but i'm getting there using Apple's Developer section as walkthough's.

    I never ever imaged programming on the Mac.. I was more thought to be found as troubleshooting, networking etc,, but never programming. Things change

    I'm wondering how did everyone start off lenaing? Did you learn Apple script first, then progress onyo Xcode, or did u dive straight in. ?
  2. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I started by learning C in Xcode using K&R.

    I would not recommend starting that way.

    If you want to start right now (like, right right now), then I recommend reading the free online book Learn Python the Hard Way.

    It'll teach you Python, which is a pretty easy language to start with. Should you decide to learn another language later, you'll find much of what you learned in Python can be useful in other languages as well.

    If you're thinking about starting in a few weeks... I'm thinking about starting teaching online sometime soon... Maybe something will happen, maybe it won't. I have a history of starting things then getting distracted and not finishing them.
  3. superscape macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2008
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    I think it very much depends on what you want to achieve.

    Personally, some years ago I used to be a graphic designer and wanted to automate some of the donkey-work. So I learnt AppleScript and it did everything I needed.

    Later on, I wanted to do stuff with a better user interface and I moved into Xcode and got into Objective-C. Whilst you can use many different languages to develop in Xcode (with a bit of tweaking here and there), the defaults seem to be Objective-C and increasingly Swift.

    Personally, I tend to stick to those defaults unless there's a compelling reason to switch to another language (which occasionally there is) such as Ruby, Python etc.

    So I think the gist of my advice would be to think about what you're *mainly* trying to achieve - do you want to develop iPhone apps, automate tasks on your Mac, create OS X apps for the app store etc. Then choose the right tool for the job and learn it well - maybe it'll be AppleScript, Python, Objective-C, Java or something else. But don't stop there, try to get at least the basics of a few of the other languages too.

    Good luck, and feel free to ask here if you're stuck!
  4. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Good idea. BASIC used to be a great teaching language, actually developed for education. However, most books on it are long out-of-print (but see: The closest equivalent programming language with lot of current beginner books might be Python. Swift inside an Xcode playground might be becoming another option.

    I do not recommend learning a programming language that was not developed by or supported by a lot of teachers and/or educators. Learning a second (perhaps more "professional") language is far easer after acquiring competence coding and solving problems in the first.

    Knowing how to teach and how humans learn is almost the opposite from knowing how to code. Which might be why so very few computer programmers are also school teachers, and vice-versa. (But with Woz being one counter-example.)

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