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Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) Paperback – August 28, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0321706256 ISBN-10: 0321706250 Edition: 1st

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Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) + Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (4th Edition) + Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition) (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)
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Product Details

  • Series: Big Nerd Ranch Guides
  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 1 edition (August 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321706250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321706256
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mark and Aaron's Core Mac OS X and Unix Programming quickly became my favorite development book. It was the first book to cover the advanced topics not discussed elsewhere. I excitedly read it from cover to cover, eagerly eating up the information on topics I had never examined before. Advanced Mac OS X Programming is an incredible sequel, covering the new Mac OS X technologies that have emerged since. This book goes into a level of detail not offered by other documentation, but also includes easy to follow examples. After reading it, you'll impress your peers with your clear understanding of advanced Mac OS X programming.”

—John A. Vink, television host and software engineer

Advanced Mac OS X Programming has long been a required text and source of curriculum for my 10-week Mac and iOS programming course. This new edition brings anticipated updates covering the latest Apple developer technologies. The fresh content keeps this classic book relevant and critical to programmers of all levels working on Apple's platforms. There is simply no other collection of published material that covers these advanced topics with equal depth and skill.”

—Chris Parrish, co-founder of RogueSheep, Incorporated, Mac and iOS programming instructor

"Many books will introduce you to the basics of Mac OS X programming. Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide aims for much more, laying out a course for becoming a seasoned expert in many of the nitty-gritty details of developing for the platform."

—Daniel Jalkut, Red Sweater Software

From the Back Cover

While there are several books on programming for Mac OS X, Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide is the only one that contains explanations of how to leverage the powerful underlying technologies. This book gets down to the real nitty-gritty. The third edition is updated for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 and covers new technologies like DTrace, Instruments, Grand Central Dispatch, blocks, and NSOperation.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The book contain a plenty of valuable explanations and tutorials.
Elijah B
This book has a huge amount of really useful information, and it is presented in a form that makes looking stuff up quite easy.
Darren Minifie
This book was a great starting off point as I did not need another hello world demonstration.
Nathan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Darren Minifie on August 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I heard there was going to be a revised edition of this book I immediately preordered it. This was well over a year ago, so when it finally came out I was at first disappointed to see many references to out-of-date material. For example the book discusses GCC which has been phased out by Apple in favor of LLVM. Garbage collection it touted as a big new feature, but it has not caught on at all. Finally, the product description says the material is based on MacOS 10.5 and 10.6 (we are at 10.7 currently if you are counting).

Also, it is extremely annoying to be charged a premium for the kindle edition over the printed copy. I guess this isn't the author's fault, but still, not cool Amazon.

Ok, now the good stuff, and the reasons I gave this book 4 stars. This book has a huge amount of really useful information, and it is presented in a form that makes looking stuff up quite easy. My favorite material presented in this book is the coverage of macros, dynamic libraries (the dyld family of functions), memory management, CFRunLoops, and the section on debugging. Although the product description seems to date the book (mentioned above), this is actually not that important. Almost all of the discussion of GCC can be applied to LLVM. While there are many books that cover UNIX programming, there are very few that focus specifically on MacOS. Similarly there are a lot of books that cover high-level Cocoa programming, but few that dig into lower level details. This book does a great job presenting these UNIX'y, lower details from the perspective of a Mac developer.

For the next edition of this book, a couple of things I would like to see:

- Less coverage of the most basic UNIX stuff (i.e basic file IO, socket programming).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By GorillaPaws on September 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I confess to not having finished the entire book (it's huge), but I can already say this book is a keeper from just having read the first 3rd. There is an entire chapter dedicated to the nitty-gritty of blocks which was fantastic. There are many books which give blocks very superficial treatment (usually a page or two at most); this one gives blocks the attention they deserve (especially as they become the mandatory means of accessing certain functionality in the Cocoa API's). Really the only negatives are the lack of some of the newest content (Clang, ARC, etc.), but apparently the author plans to release updates in the future (from reading his response to Darren Minifie's review) so this is less of a concern. You certainly won't feel cheated as the quality content to cost ratio may be the highest of all OSX/iOS books out there. This is a huge book filled with meat (no fluff here), that manages to make you laugh in a delightfully geeky way (some of Dalrymple's variable names cracked me up for example) and deliver solid content with a voice that is informative, entertaining and much more human than a man page or an Apple doc. This isn't one of those obnoxiously written books where attempts at humor diminish it to the point of being borderline childish such as some of the "Head First" or "for dummies" books. The treatment of the subject matter is quite mature but still very approachable. He also has some valuable insights into gotcha's, issues to consider and edge cases that are easy to overlook--which can be worth their weight in gold if you never have to spend days/hours debugging something you knew to avoid.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Goodbye Helicopter on March 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an awesome book. I have had each edition. The author doesn't go too in depth on all topics, but goes wide and broad and introduces you to topics you won't find anywhere else, and definitely won't find with this kind of context.

Some topics require a little back reading, but usually contained in the same chapter. It's not a bad thing, some things just require a bit of background to really grok, and he generally gives you just enough of it to know if you want to learn more elsewhere.

The title never made sense to me. More of it is "this is how UNIX really meets the Mac and more stuff that is just Mac only and awesome"

It's a tad out of date, but only a little and not so much that you won't still learn a lot and benefit from having this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doug on January 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My approach to learning Xcode, Objective-C, Cocoa, etc. is to get as many books as possible and expect to learn just a few important things from each one. This book covers a number of topics that you won't find much about elsewhere. Its definitely not a beginners book but if you are reasonably knowledgeable about the topic it might add something to your knowledge.
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