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Step into Xcode: Mac OS X Development Paperback – February 9, 2006

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From the Back Cover

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Xcode Mac OS Development Environment

Every copy of Mac OS X comes with Xcode, the powerful development suite that Apple uses to build applications ranging from Safari to iTunes. But because Xcode is complex and subtle, even experienced Mac programmers rarely take full advantage of it. Now, Mac developer Fritz Anderson has written the definitive introduction and guide to using Xcode to build applications with any Macintosh technology or language.

Anderson helps you master Xcode's powerful text editor, industry-standard gcc compiler, graphical interactive debugger, mature UI layout and object linkage editor, and exceptional optimization tools. One step at a time, you'll develop a command-line utility, then use Xcode tools to evolve it into a full-fledged Cocoa application. Anderson provides expert guidance on development frameworks, source code management, Core Data modeling, localization, and much more.

Coverage includes

  • Understanding Xcode workflow and the Mac OS X application lifecycle
  • Porting established legacy projects into Xcode
  • Using the Model-View-Controller design pattern to build robust graphical applications
  • Building static libraries and working with Xcode's build system
  • Making the most of bundles and package directories
  • Creating applications compatible with older versions of Mac OS X
  • Creating universal binaries to run on both Intel and PowerPC Macintoshes
  • Adding Spotlight searchability to data files
  • Leveraging Xcode's built-in support for unit testing
  • Using Xcode on makefile-based UNIX development projects

Step Into Xcode's breadth, depth, and practical focus make it indispensable to every Mac developer: current Xcode users upgrading to Xcode 2.1, experienced Mac programmers migrating from CodeWarrior, UNIX/Linux programmers moving to Mac OS X, and even novices writing their first programs or scripts.

About the Author

Fritz Anderson has been a Macintosh developer since 1984 and is currently a Macintosh programmer for the University of Chicago. Also a Macintosh programming consultant, Anderson's articles have been published in the Macintosh Products Guide, MacUser, and MacTech. He holds a degree in physics from Kenyon College and a law degree from Georgetown University.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (February 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321334221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321334220
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,411,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Nelson Santos on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am currently more than halfway through this book now and already I can say that I am very happy with my purchase.

Firstly, this is not a programming how-to book. Plus, I don't think it should be your first Mac development book. The purpose of this book is to provide you with a solid understanding of the Xcode tool and to teach you some smart application design methods. I recommend that you start reading this book already knowing some Objective-C and Cocoa (at least a little anyway) because you will take with you so much more than just how to use the Xcode tool. Actually, without any Cocoa programming knowledge, you may just end up confused. The reason I say this is because the examples use intermediate to advanced Cocoa programs to illustrate Xcode as you advance through the book.

This book starts you off with some background information about what happens when you compile a Cocoa application, how the runtime system works and some basic debugging skills. It then instructs the reader to build a command line tool which eventually buds into a mature Cocoa application as the chapters go by, each chapter adding a major feature to the application while introducing additional Xcode features as you go. Some of the Xcode features that I've already learned include: Including a command line tool in a project as a target dependency, how to build and include a static BSD library in a project, using Text Macros to add language-specific code patterns to the Xcode menus, I've expanded my knowledge of Cocoa bindings, how to include a framework target, working with dynamic libraries and more.

Follow the examples! I was actually pleasantly surprised at the Cocoa skills I've learned simply from the examples' code. They are not typical.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mike Cimprich on August 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm most of the way through this book and have been losing interest since the first chapter. This book suffers from 3 fatal flaws: incomplete instruction, nonexistent trouble shooting, and poor code design. The first is very frustraiting, if you learn by doing and try to write the code in the book instead of just looking at the included code, you will quickly find your code does not work because the author omitted entire functions from the book. When learning to walk you will stumble, good intro books should account for that and provide you with the means to pull yourself up. This book provides no help to handle problems and you will make many, with the incomplete information along with the general disconnected nature of objective-C & cocoa you, like me may find yourself spending most of your time with this book debugging rather then learning. Finally as a veteran programmer in Win32, Linux, & embedded systems, I found the author's software design sensibilities to be lacking. Functions seem shoved in to classes for little reason, simple data objects took on complex IO functionality; these poor practices are touted by the author as examples of good Mac programming.

In summary I cannot recommend this book, its shortcomings make it difficult to work with, and these difficulties make it nearly impossible to learn from this book.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sean Murphy on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fritz Anderson really does a great job covering the ins and outs of Xcode in this book. If you are going to program on the Mac, the in-depth information in this book is a necessity! There are real programming examples to follow along with each chapter, and plenty of screenshots to describe what's going on. I'm glad I purchased "Step Into Xcode," and it has earned a spot on my bookshelf along with Aaron Hillegass's "Cocoa Programming" and Stephen Kochan's "Programming in Objective-C".
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Zornek on March 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
As to a recommendation, I'd say yes. Step into Xcode is most valuable to those getting started with Xcode, but even for people who have been using it for a little while you are sure to pick up a few tips and tricks.
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