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Building Cocoa Applications : A Step by Step Guide 1st Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596002350
ISBN-10: 0596002351
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Simson Garfinkel, CISSP, is a journalist, entrepreneur, and international authority on computer security. Garfinkel is chief technology officer at Sandstorm Enterprises, a Boston-based firm that develops state-of-the-art computer security tools. Garfinkel is also a columnist for Technology Review Magazine and has written for more than 50 publications, including Computerworld, Forbes, and The New York Times. He is also the author of Database Nation; Web Security, Privacy, and Commerce; PGP: Pretty Good Privacy; and seven other books. Garfinkel earned a master's degree in journalism at Columbia University in 1988 and holds three undergraduate degrees from MIT. He is currently working on his doctorate at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science.

Michael K. Mahoney is Dean of the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, where he is also a Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Formerly, he was the Associate Vice President for Academic Information Technology and Chair of the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Mahoney started programming at NeXT Computer, Inc. in January 1989 and coauthored (with Simson Garfinkel) NeXTSTEP Programming, Step One: Object-Oriented Applications (Springer-Verlag). He has given presentations on object-oriented programming and NeXTSTEP's Interface Builder at ACM meetings in Seattle, Los Angeles, Monterey, and New Orleans. Before becoming dean, he regularly taught university courses in computer graphics, user interface design, object-oriented programming, discrete mathematics, and web development. He has supervised eight Master's theses. Mahoney earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1979. He has published papers in computer graphics, computer science education, and mathematics. He has won campuswide teaching awards at both UCSB and CSULB. His web site is


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596002351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596002350
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,180,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Alex on April 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has potential, but in general I am pretty dissatisfied.
Good things:
(1) It is pretty well thought-out.
(2) The progression through 4 projects is good.
(3) There is working code for the examples available online.
Bad things:
(1) The book is riddled with errors. If you include the unofficial errata from OReilly's Website, the book becomes about 200% more usable.
(2) Why has this book not been reprinted? At LEAST OReilly should have released an official errata for this book at this point!!!
(3) This book does NOT cover 10.3 and the XCode software (still uses project builder). In most cases this is ok and you can figure much of it out. However, there are times that the differences are too significant to overcome without a lot of effort.
I have been very happy with O'Reilly books in the past, but this one is substandard.
I would recommend trying a different book unless this one is overhauled.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you're serious about programming on Mac OS X and have at least some experience under your belt already, then you really owe it to yourself to get two books:
(*)"Building Cocoa Applications: A Step by Step Guide."
(*)"Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X"
I started tinkering with Mac OS X a few years ago by reading a hodge-podge of incomplete Apple docs, sites like Stepwise, and archives of Omni-Group lists. These sources are great for reference, but it can be difficult to get answers you need unless you already have enough experience to know what questions to ask. Tough luck, newbie. O'Reilly's "Learning Cocoa" felt like an extension of Apple's docs - minimal on concepts and not entirely clear on some of the objectives of the examples. It's difficult to get an bigger-picture view of some of the capabilities offered by Cocoa and how you _could_ be doing development without a good explanation of concepts, clearly written example exercises that follow a sequence of topics, and additional information on how to make the best use of the Apple-provided developer tools.
The authors of both books take great pains to explain concepts to you in basic terms and then reinforce them with very well designed examples that really make you think. They then approach component problems from varying angles in order to help you understand the different options you have for tackling them. The chapter summaries and additional follow-up exercises were a very nice touch. Best of all is the idea that these books are not teaching you how to use particular classes in a restricted situation - they're teaching you how to understand _solutions_ in terms of Cocoa and then equip you with the skills required to plan your entire development approach and execute your project.
Read more ›
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Glenn R. Howes TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've been meaning to learn Objective C, Interface Builder and Project Builder for years. From back in the days of Rhapsody, and before when I'd bought books on NextStep programming. Always intended to do so, that is, until I received this book at Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference. And now after typing my way through the book's source code, I'm comfortable with Objective C's oddball syntax, understand how to wire up an application in Interface Builder and have confidence I'll soon be making quality Cocoa applications of my own. I've already started writing a freedb client.
Obviously, it would be nice for me if the book explored network programming or the IOKit, but it concentrated on the fundamentals which nearly all applications share: windows, menus, drawing, printing, preferences, clipboards, documents, icons, etc. I can figure it out from here.
So get off the fence, it's time to learn Cocoa.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By rjpryan on September 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I tried using Aaron Hillegass' book, Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X, but this book was much easier to follow for me. I don't mean to rag on Hillegass' book - it's still well written - just a not quite as easy for me. This book takes the time to *explain* the concepts before diving into a program. However, if you're looking for a reference book, this isn't it. This book will teach you how to use Cocoa by taking you through the construction of three fairly fancy applications - a calculator, and two word processing oriented programs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
I adore this book: it does exactly what I wanted it to do, and it does so compellingly - I've worked straight through the whole thing. The example programs are a great step by step introduction to integrating necessary UI functionality into a program. The exercises are challenging, requiring thought, a willingness to rummage through class definitions, and experimentation.
But make sure that what I wanted it to do is what you want it to do. I have a fair amount of experience as a programmer in a lot of different languages, but no experience coding in a desktop windowing environment. This book has rapidly brought me to a place where I feel confident that I will be able to build my own Cocoa applications, and have a real understanding of the underlying architecture.
Don't buy this book if you aren't already very comfortable with at least one programming language. If that language isn't ANSI C, plan on working a little harder to grok some of the more abstruse C-ness. Don't expect a course on obect-oriented progamming. Don't expect lessons in how to use a debugger. Don't expect spoon feeding - as it claims on the back cover, it's a book for serious developers.
I'm glad I wasn't put off by the reviews complaining of errors. I haven't found anything harsher than a minor distraction. What I have found is that I would sometimes reach the point in the discussion of a new concept where I had to stop and ask, "But why did they do it *that* way?" After putting effort into arriving at my own conclusion, I would invariably find that in the next paragraph my question was answered.
Definitely not "for Dummies," but definitely worth the effort.
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