Where to Start

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Superguard703, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Superguard703 macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Over this past academic year, I took CS 101 at my college. The prof. ended up being a complete tool, and I ended up dropping the course without having learned much if at all. Where would be a good place to start learning how to do programming on the Mac OS? I don't care about a specific language, but more about something to learn.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    How about the stickies and links at the top of the forum list?
  3. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    Also, do a search of MRoogle, the link is in my signature.
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Having a bad professor isn't really that much of an excuse. At the very least he should have shown you what you need to learn. The rest is easy enough to find out on your own on the internet.

    You could start with Python if you wanted something easy to get your feet wet with. The advantage of Python is that all you need is a text editor. It comes preinstalled on Mac OS X.

  5. Superguard703 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Having a bad prof. is plenty of an excuse when they intentionally try to fail their students, and have a bias against your gender.
  6. lee1210 macrumors 68040


    Jan 10, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    How do you know you would have failed if you dropped? I know there were classes I took that, based solely on the numerical grades issued, i was getting a C in, and I got an A at the end of the semester based on the curve.

    Did you talk to the professor outside of class about the scores you were getting and whether they were on-par with similarly-performing classmates? If you truly thought there was bias did you go to the department head or a dean at whichever level would be appropriate? Is there an ombudsman for the department or school? I'm guessing since it was a 101 level class you're just getting rolling, so you're not familiar with or comfortable with your options in a situation like this. Trust me, you need to learn your options, because dropping is no way to get ahead.

    I had professors that would grade harshly to scare away people that weren't serious about the material. A lot of people would avoid registering for their section of the class on fear alone. The result was a group of people in the class that were not scared and were serious about the work. We got through twice as much material as other sections, and ended up learning a lot more (and our grade point average didn't suffer due to the generous curve). I relate this story because it sounds like you went into this slightly naively.

    You are acting like a victim of some iron-fisted, dictatorial bigot. You should probably get over your bitterness and just take the class again, even if it's from the same professor, and learn to make it work. In the real world, if you have a tough boss you can certainly "drop", but that means quitting a job and risking your livelihood. It can be worthwhile to learn how to deal with seemingly difficult people now when there is less at stake, grow some thicker skin, and get ready for the real world where not everyone is nice and not everyone is fair.

    As for learning programming, just pick a language and go. Some easy ones to start with on OS X:

    You don't need to learn C before Objective-C, but if you are serious about programming on a lot of different platforms, not just OS X, I'd learn C eventually.

    To compile C or Objective-C programs you can use gcc at the terminal or XCode. Python is interpreted, the interpreter is just called "python". Pick one of these, or any other language (Java, Ruby, etc.) that suites your fancy and just google for an OS X tutorial on them. Most won't have OS X-specific steps unless you're using XCode, but it won't hurt to find a platform-specific tutorial.

  7. macsmurf macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    It also depends on what you want to do on the mac. If you want to learn object oriented programming, I would recommend Java.
  8. Bill McEnaney macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2010
    I think Python is an excellent first programming language. But I don't know whether you'll want to use the text editor that comes with OS X Snow Leopard. Since that program won't let you save anything as plain text. I run emacs instead.
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    If you mean TextEdit.app, located in /Applications, then it most certainly does let you save files as plain text. I do it all the time. In fact, it's my default set in preferences (TextEdit > Preferences > New Documents tab > Plain text radio button).

    If you don't know how to convert to plain text, it's: Format > Make Plain Text when you have a "rich text" file or window frontmost.

    If you mean some other editor, then ignore the above and please identify the editor more precisely.
  10. Bill McEnaney macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2010
    My mistake. You're right.

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