- 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 1.6 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) 1st Edition
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“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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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). That stuff has been beaten to death and is the same as it was 30 years ago.
- Dedicate a few pages to Mach ports. This is a fundamental Mac technology yet there is so little information on it.
- Discuss XPC / Sandboxing
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book to fellow Mac developers looking to take the next step from The Big Nerd Ranch's seminal book on Cocoa programming. Don't let the out-of-date references put you off, there is a wealth of information here that is completely applicable and relevant.
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.
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.