- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 4 edition (November 19, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321774086
- ISBN-13: 978-0321774088
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 212 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #924,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (4th Edition) 4th Edition
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About the Author
Aaron Hillegass, who worked at NeXT and Apple, now teaches popular Cocoa programming classes at Big Nerd Ranch. At NeXT, he wrote the first course on OpenStep, the predecessor to today’s Cocoa tools. This book is based on the big Nerd Ranch course and is influenced by more than a decade of work with OpenStep and Cocoa.
Adam Preble learned Cocoa programming from the first edition of this book. After too many years of professional C/C++ development, today Adam writes Mac and iOS applications at Big Nerd Ranch, where he is also a Cocoa instructor. He is frequently filling in the gaps between work and family time with pinball machine software development and countless other projects.
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Top customer reviews
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The books available relating to the latest and greatest version of Cocoa are limited, and this one seemed to be at the top of the pack, so I took the plunge.
The first indication of concern came from chapter one with the statement, "...assure yourself that you are not stupid and that some things are just hard."
No, nothing is hard if it's explained completely, and from the beginning. Which is exactly where this book fails. While it does start from the beginning, it doesn't explain things completely.
Up to about chapter 8, the author does a halfway decent job of explaining things, but leaves out many of the important little details. For example, the author rarely ever discusses the properties in interface builder for various controls and objects. Only the specific ones that are used are discussed, albeit in very brief detail. To make matters worse, interface builder in Cocoa apps are often complex and it's very easy to make mistakes for someone without previous Interface Builder experience. These mistakes will certainly leave users frustrated at a minimum and require them to recreate entire projects at worst.
Around Chapters 8 through 10, and especially in chapter 9, the book appears to make a change from bearable explanations to almost none at all. Granted NSUndoManager is an involved topic, but isn't that all the more reason to add more information to the Chapter? Apparently not, because it's only 12 pages long with half of them being "type in this code." Even at the end of the chapter the book says, "We don't really expect you to understand every line of that code now..." I guess they don't expect you to EVER understand it it because they don't cover it anywhere else in the book. As important as including undo operations are in an app, I would think this would be one of the thicker chapters.
In chapter 10, the book goes from limited explanations to almost none at all. There are huge code blocks added that the reader needs to type, with explanations virtually non-existent. Simply type the code in, and figure it out on your own.
After chapter 12, the book goes back to the more tolerable explanations. In fact, at points it becomes quite good. This is a shame, really, because I feel that many aspiring Mac developers will be put off by the difficulties the previous chapters will give them.
As an iOS developer, I was able to get by with this book, but for those unfamiliar with iOS or previous Mac programming experience this book will be VERY daunting.
If you still decide to buy this book, I would recommend the Apress book "Learn Cocoa on the Mac" to go along with it. It's dated, but it fills in many of the blanks as to how and why things work.
I would submit that these quotes are misleading and best. What this book should be titled, or subtitled is "A companion tutorial to Apple's online documentation", as you spend or will spend, if you are a novice, about 80% of your time going through the documentation, to find out, as another reviewer put it, what Hillegass is talking about. I would also take issue with the "covers 80% of what you need to know". If he means by this that he mentions 80% of what is in Cocoa, perhaps he is correct. But in order to understand comprehensively the 80% he talks about **very superficially**, you once again have to dive into the documentation.
Now having said that, if the book was presented as such, I would be far more inclined to give it a higher rating as it does at least let you know what is available.
I am sure Hillegass is a very nice person, but he should have faith that just as many would buy his book if the book was presented as such.
Since I wrote this, which is still very accurate from my point of view, Buck and Yacktman have published a book called "Cocoa Design Patterns". It is, in my humble opinion, an essential adjuvant to this book....or perhaps Hillegass is a good companion to "Design Patterns". Either way, all those things that are omitted by Hillegass get pretty much covered **in depth** here. My suggestion to those starting out is to get them both.