- File Size: 9291 KB
- Print Length: 559 pages
- Publisher: Oak Leaf Enterprises, Inc. (November 29, 2014)
- Publication Date: November 29, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00QDQZA78
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,389 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$24.99|
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Learn to Code in Swift: The New Language of iOS Apps Kindle Edition
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|Length: 559 pages||
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thanks to my investment in Mr. McNeish books, I was able to build this advance iPhone/iPad App http://lumberjacksystem.com
Prior to this App, I have had no iOS experience at all. All I have to say is, Thank you Mr. McNeish for your series of books and I will be purchasing anything that you put out.
At present time, I am well underway in building another iOS App.
I had met Kevin at MacWorld some years ago, and had picked up his first iBook on Obective-C. I found it to be a good beginner's book. With that as a background I was looking forward to reading this book.
Let's begin with the structure of an individual chapter. Each chapter has a specific theme, and within that theme Kevin spends considerable time explaining the specifics and concepts behind that that theme. Unlike many books, he doesn't assume that you are an expert in computer theory or computer science. While he doesn't go too deep on the theory, he does explain enough of it to help solidify the concepts of the specific theme. Each theme is broken apart into specific concepts or, if appropriate, API calls. He provides simple to understand code examples so that the concepts stick with you. He also spends enough time explaining the Xcode environment, which is a great boon for someone just getting started learning iOS programming. I have yet to find a book that does this, so it was refreshing to learn a few tricks I had not yet discovered.
Quick aside: Years ago when I first started programming professionally, I had to share a development environment with the production system on an IBM midrange computer called the System 38. The customer I was working forward got upset with me, as I used to treat it like a PC, i.e. Write some code, compile, look at the syntax errors, fix them, write some more code, rinse and repeat until the program was done. My boss came to me one day, after getting many complaints that I was impacting the customers business with all my compiles, and said - "Michael, you only get three compiles to get a program finished. One for syntax, one for debugging, and one for production use." I was floored... How would I ever do this, well the answer was, learn how the computer thinks. Desk check your code, and program flow - making sure to fully understand all the inputs, behaviors, and outputs. This advice changed the way I programmed. I feel that I need to understand, not only the big picture, but the details and how the operating system works.
In Learn to Code in Swift, Kevin helped me get a much deeper understanding of the actual behavior and reasoning around many of the concepts I had tried to pick up by converting my code last summer.
Continuing with the structure of the chapters, Kevin then provides a handy summary of all the points he just presented. I can imagine a companion book that just consists of those summaries. Perhaps this is how he structured his outline for the book. But I find myself going back to those pages to reinforce the lessons. He then provides an exercise to allow the reader to practice what they just learned. And finally, and I love this part, he provides a video online to walk you thru the steps making sure you got the exercise right. And as with most programming books, all the source code is available for downloading.
Overall, I found this book to be an excellent starting point for people wanting to learn Swift within the context of iOS programming. Now that Apple has released Swift into Open Source, I am sure that the language will grow and mature quickly. Having a good understanding of the fundementals of the language is critical to take advantage of it overtime. Kevin's book certainly provides you with that foundation. Highly recommended.
Only by looking at the table of content I knew that this is going to be a fun read. The book is actually structured like a set of full-day classes or better said a training workshop for beginners in Swift. It starts with the basic elements of Swift, then covers code workflow and finishes of with more advanced topics like closures and error handling. Throughout the chapters there are some samples which have some hidden gems (for those knowing Kevin, his family and friends more closely). Those samples put a smile on my face and gave me a couple of chuckles, like in chapter 10 when Kevin explains the handling of arrays in Swift using "well-known" names as array elements.
Unfortunately, I'm giving a 4 stars rating only for two reasons:
* The amount of either typographic, grammar or contextual errors. The book version I had at the time reading had at least an error in every chapter. Some of them are quite obvious just by reading through the chapters, others are a bit trickier, ie. explanations in text don't match the illustrations or diagrams. Surely, the quality in this area could be better with a little bit of editorial activities.
* Formatting issues and display of images or videos. Actually, I read the book using three different devices - a classic Kindle, an iPad mini using the Kindle app, and the web edition of the Kindle app. First, on the classic e-ink-based Kindle some of the images either didn't load at all or the display was too blurry or too dark to enjoy the visual appearance. Same applies to videos which wouldn't even play (but this could be due to my low-bandwidth internet connection). Second, after finishing 'Chapter 22: Generics in the Real World' you'll get the Amazon book rating screen despite two more chapters and appendices to read.
Luckily, these issues are easy to fix, and I hope that Kevin is going to provide an update soon.
I'd like to close my book review with a paragraph from the 'About the author' chapter which sums it up beautifully: "I learned that writing software is a very creative process. In just a matter of hours, I could conceive an idea, create a software design and have it up and running on a computer."
This book on learning how to write software in Swift is highly recommended.
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I'm just about at page 100, still plenty to go but have been making progress recently.Read more