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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy for serious OSX/iOS programmers, September 19, 2011
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This review is from: Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) (Paperback)
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.

The biggest editorial criticism I have is that there are code snippets that aren't part of a compilable program, which would have been better as small little programs in main.m. I have found manually keying in examples to be a critical component of self-teaching programming, and when there aren't complete examples to pull from, this becomes impossible. It can be trivial to create your own, but it's much nicer to have self-contained examples that clearly illustrate one particular concept and eliminate the possibility that your example is introducing a flaw or conceptual misunderstanding into it. Kochan is an author who uses this style to great effect. Much of the code in the book is thankfully part of complete programs, but I mention this for consideration in future editions.

"Advanced Mac OS X Programming" is a must buy for anyone who wants to take their coding beyond the first tier of superficial apps.
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