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Learning Cocoa with Objective-C, 2nd Edition Paperback – September 30, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0596003012 ISBN-10: 0596003013 Edition: Second Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003012
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,987,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

This book was contributed to by the technical writers, engineers, support specialists, and other professionals at Apple Computer, Inc., who are committed to making Mac OS X a superior platform for innovation, productivity, and enjoyment. These professionals have diligently collected, compiled, and edited the information in this books to ensure that it is a useful resource for Mac OS X developers.

James Duncan Davidson is a freelance author, software developer, and consultant focusing on Mac OS X, Java, XML, and open source technologies. He is the author of Learning Cocoa with Objective-C (published by O'Reilly & Associates) and is a frequent contributor to the O'Reilly Network online website as well as publisher of his own website, x180 (, where he keeps his popular weblog. Duncan was the creator of Apache Tomcat and Apache Ant and was instrumental in their donation to the Apache Software Foundation by Sun Microsystems . While working at Sun, he authored two versions of the Java Servlet API specification as well as the Java API for XML Processing. Duncan regularly presents at conferences all over the world on topics ranging from open source and collaborative development to programming Java more effectively. He didn't graduate with a Computer Science degree, but sees that as a benefit in helping explain how software works. His educational background is in Architecture (the bricks and mortar kind), the essence of which he applies to every software problem that finds him. He currently resides in San Francisco, California.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kelsey McClanahan on November 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have both this book (Learning Cocoa with Objective-C) and it's predecessor (Learning Cocoa). These are two completely different books. The first book wasn't hardly worth the paper it was printed on, as it was mostly just a thrown together collection of rag-tag tutorials from Apple's web site. Thankfully, this book is NOT the first book!
Fast forward to verison II, Learning Cocoa w/ Objective C. This book is great! It covers a whole slew of topics ommitted by the first version. Thankfully the content is NOT the same as before. A tiny bit of it is similar, but for the most part one person took it upon themselves to make sure that all of the material was presented in a consistent manner. By the end of this book you'll walk through all of the steps required to write an application similar to TextEdit (provided with Mac OS X). This application will support Rich Text Formatting, save and open capabilities, spell checking and much much more. You'll be impressed with what you build in this "Learning" book. If you've ever done the REALBasic tutorial you'll find that this creates a very similar application using the Cocoa Framework and Objective-C.
All the basics of learning to write MAC OS X applications with Cocoa are covered here. Unlike the first version of this book it doesn't assume you already knew Objective-C or have had exposure to NextStep. If you're looking for a good book to expose you to Cocoa and Objective-C programming buy this book and work through it all. It's worth it!
This book will also guide you through using the debugger in Project Builder. You'll learn how to use the debugger print-object command and other useful debugging techniques. This book does more than just point out the fact that the debugger exists.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ben Haller on May 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
A very popular book, and greatly improved in its second edition. Very example and tutorial oriented; somewhat out of date at this point, however.  Helps the user learn Interface Builder, ProjectBuilder and Objective-C, too. Possibly a bit shallow to get the reader writing their own Cocoa programs from scratch, but a good introduction. Ultimately, probably not as recommended for a first purchase as Cocoa Programming by Scott Anguish or Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By digitalshadow on January 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
...for me this book, by itself, came up a little short in certain areas. The first book on Cocoa programming that I had purchased was Aaron Hillegass' "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X". After reading and working the examples from the first 4 chapters of Mr. Hillegass' book, I was still having difficulty grasping the concepts -- or at least more difficulty than I thought I should be having -- of Cocoa programming. That's when I discovered Mr. Davidson's book at my local bookstore. After reading the first few chapters, I was able to grasp the concepts that had eluded me whilst studying Mr. Hillegass' book. Put simply: it all started making sense.
In my opinion, neither book, by itself, provides a complete introduction to Cocoa programming; rather, it is the combination of *both* books that truly provides the introductory material that's fundamental to understanding Cocoa and Objective-C programming. In addition, Mr. Davidson has provided, in my opinion, a more logical and easier to follow progression of topics. Unfortunately, he also fails to provide sufficient depth on some topics after their introduction. Two examples that readily come to mind are the collection classes and memory management. On these two topics, I tip my hat to Mr. Hillegass for providing the better instruction because he: 1.) also explained and gave an example of using enumerators (think C++ interators) to traverse a collection, and 2.) because he gave a very good explanation of where and how to use autoreleased objects in functions.
Overall, I think my biggest compliment about this book is that it maintains a high degree of consistency in the way topics are presented. My biggest complaint is that, in certain areas, the depth of the presentation is simply too shallow. With a little more sustenance, this book could easily become the de facto standard for an introduction to Cocoa programming using Objective-C.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Conner on February 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Learning Cocoa with Objective-C presents a clear series of short examples that demonstrate many key aspects of Cocoa. The writing style is direct, and free from distracting stories or other fluff. I first purchased Hillegass' book, but started to become flustered with some of the examples which implemented concepts that had yet to be explained.
I then purchased Cocoa Programming by Scott Anguish which gave me great insight into the Cocoa concepts. After reading about half of Anguish's book I returned to the Hillegass book to get me hands dirty with some of the tutorials again, but I just couldn't get into the style of the book.
I then picked up Learning Cocoa and found great relief in the clean format of the book. While the topics discussed aren't explored to a great depth, I feel that such brevity is appropriate for a tutorial book. Davidson does a good job of keeping the examples short and to the point (shaving literally pages off the Currency Converter example which is also presented in Apples docs).
My recommendation would be to buy this book as a tutorial and buy Cocoa Programming by Scott Anguish for reference and deeper exploration.
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