- Series: Big Nerd Ranch Guides
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 1 edition (October 28, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321706285
- ISBN-13: 978-0321706287
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Want to write applications for iOS or the Mac? ¿This introduction to programming and the Objective-C language is the first step on your journey from someone who uses apps to someone who writes them.
Based on Big Nerd Ranch's legendary Objective-C Bootcamp,¿this book covers C, Objective-C, and the common programming idioms that enable developers to make the most of Apple technologies.
This is the only introductory-level book written by Aaron Hillegass, one of the most experienced and authoritative voices in the iOS and Cocoa community.
Compatible with Xcode 4.2, iOS 5, and Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), this guide features short chapters and engaging style to keep you motivated and moving forward. At the same time, Aaron's determination that you understand what you're doing—or at least why you're doing it—encourages you to think critically as a programmer.
Here are some of the topics covered:
- Programming basics: variables, loops, functions, etc.
- Objects, classes, methods, and messages
- Pointers, addresses, and memory management
- Using Xcode, Apple's documentation, and other tools
- Classes from the Foundation framework
- ARC and retain cycles
- Delegation, target-action, and notification design patterns
About the Author
Aaron Hillegass, a former employee at NeXT and Apple, has nearly two decades experience programming and teaching Objective-C, Cocoa, and, more recently, iOS. Aaron is the author of Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X and co-author of iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. Both best-sellers, these books have helped many people develop and enhance their programming skills. In 2001, Aaron founded Big Nerd Ranch and began developing intensive courses that teach programming in a focused, distraction-free environment. He is currently working on site plans and blueprints for the new Ranch to be located in Atlanta, GA.
Big Nerd Ranch is a unique software engineering and training company where monastic principles drive technological development. Since 2001, the company has been helping students master programming languages through public enrollment bootcamps, private corporate on-site training, and a growing roster of programming books. Big Nerd Ranch offers consultative services to a broad array of clients, shaping their mobile strategies and developing fresh and engaging mobile and desktop applications.
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Top Customer Reviews
Then I happened on the iOS 5 Developer Cookbook. One of the first pages in that book has a flowchart that goes like this:
1) Do you know C? no - learn C, and they show an appropriate book.
2) Do you know Objective C? no - learn Objective C. They show two books for that, and this is one of them.
The chart goes on with books on Xcode and iOS.
So I picked up this book. At first I thought, uh oh, this might have been a waste of money, since there's a pretty big section on basic C skills in the beginning. (Having been writing C more or less since the late '70s, I felt pretty safe in skipping those chapters.)
Then... pay dirt! I'm about halfway through the remaining Objective C part of the book. Objective C can be pretty confusing, even to someone who's been doing OO for several years. Mr. Hillegass does not disappoint - as with other Big Nerd Ranch books, the subject is presented in a clear, understandable, sometimes even beautiful way. I find myself thinking, If only I'd started my OO days with training like this, I might have liked it better.
I think this time around, once I finish one or two more of these books, I might actually get that great app coded, tested, and into the App Store. This book is a great place to start.
After taking the smart move to start using Apple products in 2009 I got bitten by the bug to write some software to support a hobby, maybe even sell it if I could get it to work. I started programming computers in 1968 (no minis or PCs then) and kept up (more or less) until 2000, so this should be fairly easy. After all, Apple gives away the developer tools and provides a massive amount of guidance... well, okay maybe I need some hand holding here. I tried another highly recommended book and indeed it did clear up some of the confusion but I was still left somewhat adrift. I thought to myself, I need a book on Cocoa programming, and besides, it seemed as if Apple was changing the tools, operating system, etc.; every time I seemed to start to get a handle what was going on, another change happened.
I saw that Aaron Hillegass seemed like the "go to" author for folks wanting to understand Cocoa and he had a 4th edition of his Cocoa Programming book coming out shortly covering all the changes in the tools, operating system, etc. So I pre-ordered it and while I was here at Amazon and poking around I saw that he had a newer edition of his Objective-C Programming (this book) and it was on Kindle for a reasonable price. Since I had to wait for the Cocoa book I bought it and downloaded it.
Let me say that if you know nothing of programming, this book will give you the tools to begin to understand what is going on. Indeed, it will teach you what you need to know to actually do some basic C and Objective-C programming if you are a complete novice. If you have a programming background (doesn't really matter what language) this book will tell you all you need to understand about entry level Objective-C. If you are an experienced C or C++ programmer and don't just blow off reading the parts you think you know, you can blast through this book in a couple of weeks and do everything in it, including the challenges.
The point is, if you are having a hard time understanding Objective-C, no matter what your level of programming experience, this book can walk you through the pitfalls and mysteries that seem to leap out at every turn in the Apple documentation. Are some of the new things Apple introduced in Xcode worrisome? Aaron gets you going painlessly. Is ARC giving you trouble? Aaron explains it and points out its pitfalls and where you can still leak memory. If you don't know what that is, you need this book anyway.
All I can say, is even an old programmer can learn new tricks and this may be the best self-paced training guide I have ever used. I can only hope my new Cocoa Programming book (arrived a couple of days ago) is as wonderful as this one proved to be. Thank you Aaron Hillegass for showing me the way.
But the hard place is "where to start?"
Mac and iOS programming use a subset of C used almost nowhere else. Also, Mac and iOS programming use Apple frameworks that can be very different from other development environments.
This can be a killer speed bump for many people. Apple's own documentation is excellent once you get to a certain point, but for beginners it's like reading the Rosetta Stone when you don't know either language written on it.
So third party educational aids are certainly required. And this is the winner. This text was developed by the guy who has taught more people Mac and iOS programming than anyone (although I haven't actually counted), and he uses his classes to write and improve the texts. They are excellent.
Start with this book, then move onto his iOS development book or his Mac development book for the next step.