Beginning Mac OS X Programming Paperback – Jul 22 2005
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From the Back Cover
Beginning Mac OS X Programming
Every Mac OS X system comes with all the essentials required for programming: free development tools, resources, and utilities. However, finding the place to begin may be challenging, especially if you have no prior development knowledge. This comprehensive guide offers you an ideal starting point to writing programs on Mac OS X, with coverage of the latest release 1.4 "Tiger."
With its hands-on approach, the book examines a particular element and then presents step-by-step instructions that walk you through how to use that element when programming. You'll quickly learn how to efficiently start writing programs on Mac OS X using languages such as C, Objective-C®, and AppleScript®, technologies such as Carbon® and Cocoa®, and other Unix tools. In addition, you'll discover techniques for incorporating the languages in order to create seamless applications. All the while, you can follow along on your own system so that you'll be prepared to apply your new Mac OS X skills to real-world projects.
What you will learn from this book
- The major role the new Xcode plays in streamlining Mac OS X development
- The process for designing a graphical user interface on Mac OS X that conforms to Apple's guidelines
- How to write programs in the C and Objective-C programming languages
- The various scripting languages available on the Mac OS X system and what tasks each one is best suited to perform
- How to write shell scripts that interact with pre-installed command-line tools
Who this book is for
This book is for novice programmers who want to get started writing programs that run on Mac OS X. Experienced programmers who are new to the Mac will also find this book to be a useful overview of the Mac development environment.
Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
About the Author
Michael Trent has been programming in Objective-C since1997 and programming Macs since well before that. He is a regular contributor to Steven Frank’s www.cocoadev.com website, technical reviewer for numerous books and magazine articles, and occasional dabbler in Mac OS X open source projects. Currently, he is using Objective-C and Apple Computer’s Cocoa frameworks to build professional and consumer applications for Mac OS X. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Beloit College of Beloit, Wisconsin. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his family.
Drew McCormack has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics and works as a computational scientist in the Theoretical Chemistry group at the Free University in Amsterdam. He is involved in developing the Quantum Chemistry software ADF (www.scm.com), which is run the world over on computers ranging from desktop Macs to massive supercomputers. He programs regularly in Python, C++, Objective-C, Fortran, and Bash, and in his spare time develops the Cocoa financial software Trade Strategist (www.trade-strategist.com). Drew maintains the Maniacal Extent website—a reference to the chaotic dimension, time—which details his various interests and activities (www.maniacalextent.com).
Top Customer Reviews
My impression of the C and Objective-C sections: The back cover says this book is for novice programmers as well as for experienced programmers. Having taught first-year programming courses, I don't think that this book is suitable for novices. A good introductory text to C, for example, can easily turn out to be a 500 page book. For experienced programmers who have never seen either of the two languages, however, the pace seemed appropriate.
The Cocoa Section: Cocoa is quite complex, and trying to cover it in about 100 pages left me quite frustrated. I wish there had been more examples, or a lengthier explanation. I ended up buying Aaron Hillegass' "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (2nd Edition)" to help me write Cocoa programs. After reading Hillegass' book, however, Trent & McCormack's book provided me with some additional insights into Cocoa.
Having bought this book, I plan to keep it as a reference. However, I am not sure I would recommend it to others.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is aimed at the novice/beginner programmer who doesn't know how to get into the programming environment using OS X, doesn't know what tools are available, and needs a bit of a guiding hand to get started. If you know any programming language it will be a help. If you know C it will be even more help. If you don't know either of these, this book will at least get you started up to the point where more specific documentation will take over.
This book uses a hands-on approach where you type something in and your computers screen should look like the illustration in the book. That is, it's not so much of a reference book as it is a tutorial.
The illustrations in this book were made using OS X 10.4 the Tiger release. Other verions of the software could be used, but the illustrations might vary somewhat.
I mainly work in graphics programs such as Poser & DAZ|Studio. Over the years, I've created countless tutorials to help Graphics Newbies. I'm known for extensive use of screenshots, and good writing skills.
I've been disappointed because there are no Macintosh versions of some very important Poser-related utilities. I thought it would be nice to learn programming, and make my own utilities.
I browsed through the Amazon book collection, and this book seemed promising. Unfortunately I was wrong. Unfortunately, it appears no one proofread this book. I got as far as Chapter 3 before I gave up.
There are numerous problems with the Calculator project. The code you enter doesn't match the code listed later in the exercise. You're supposed to fix errors on code you never entered.
The book was a problem from the start. The XCode installation information was incorrect. This problem cost me a couple hours of downtime. I eventually found the solution myself...
In the book, we have some exercises that get you started, and then you're left hanging while the authors go on and on about related stuff. Should you save the project? Should you abandon it?
In my own opinion, this book doesn't have enough screenshots. I'm left wondering exactly what item to click, or what my code should look like, etc.
It's natural for a newbies to feel lost. It's the book author's responsibility to help the reader through this confusion and teach him something.
Unfortunately, the errors in the Calculator exercise are too great an obstacle to overcome.
The book will be placed on a shelf for now. Maybe one day I'll revisit it to see if the remaining chapters are better.
However, lots of things have changed since it was published.
When you try to follow the "Try it out" examples, sometimes you get seriously stuck, because the "buttons" you are suggested to click no longer exist in the new versions of Xcode and Interface Builder.
Some discussed functions are now depreciated.
It's the time for the authors to think about a new edition.
The book jumps around between new and legacy frameworks and environments as if a beginner needs to be confronted with more choices.
Oh and 200 of the 620 odd pages of content is about scripting, which again is split into UNIX scripting, Python/Ruby and AppleScripting...
I almost gave up on getting to grips with Mac programming until i thankfully threw this book in the bin and started again with something that's better structured.
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