- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (January 8, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321566157
- ISBN-13: 978-0321566157
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 149 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Programming in Objective-C 2.0 (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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"This book spends half the time talking about the Objective-C language itself and half the time talking about Apple's Foundation and Cocoa frameworks. The chapters are well organized and concepts are well explained, so you end up with a solid foundation in the language. It's an easy read even with very little programming experience. The book doesn't cover Cocoa or the other higher level frameworks, but you'll be completely ready to pick it up by the time you're done with this book."
About the Author
Stephen Kochan is the author and coauthor of several bestselling titles on the C language, including Programming in C (Sams, 2004), Programming in ANSI C (Sams, 1994), and Topics in C Programming (Wiley, 1991), as well as several Unix titles, including Exploring the Unix System (Sams, 1992) and Unix Shell Programming (Sams 2003). He has been programming on Macintosh computers since the introduction of the first Mac in 1984, and he wrote Programming C for the Mac as part of the Apple Press Library. He maintains a web site and support forum for Programming in Objective-C 2.0 at classroomm.com/objective-c
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After going through the first three chapters of this book in less than an hour, my confidence in the language has increased exponentially. The book is roughly 624 pages, but I feel like I could code the samples and finish the book in just a few days...
The book is organized into four main sections:
I: The Objective-C 2.0 Language
II: The Foundation Framework
III: Cocoa and the iPhone SDK
The separation of these main topics, Objective-C Language features and the Foundation Framework for example, almost guarantees that there won't be much confusion if you are learning the language for the first time and that there will be a distinction between the topics and concepts for each section.
Kochan does a good job of creating a deep understanding of the material instead of simply saying `just write the code and we'll explain later'. For example, each chapter provides instructions on how to fulfill basic concepts using Objective-C such as writing classes, inheritance, loops, operators, etc. At the end of each chapter, there are `Exercises' which may range anywhere from 5-9, which more or less tests the reader's comprehension on the material that was just covered.
I bought the Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK and Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (3rd Edition) before this book and I should have done the exact opposite. This book can serve as a foolproof foundation and reference guide for either of the aforementioned books and definitely shortens the learning curve to mastery.
I might have brought in the FoundationKit earlier; it's the de facto standard library for Objective-C, and as Bjarne Stroustrup has pointed out, standard libraries are there to be used. I'm also a bit mystified at the choice of iOS rather than Mac OS X as the host OS for the Fraction Calculator project in the GUI section of the book; the only thing that comes to mind is that an iOS app is likely to be somewhat easier to wire up and has a wider market, but at the same time Cocoa Touch has no direct equivalent on GNUSTEP or Cocotron. I can see both sides on this one, but I still think desktop Cocoa would have been a better choice.
Overall, though, this is probably the first book to buy. You'll want to supplement it with the OPENSTEP spec or the Apple Foundation and AppKit documentation, but with the exception of the blocks construct introduced in Snow Leopard, this book tells you pretty much everything you need to get started.
UPDATE 6/12: This book is now on its 4th Edition, covering OS X Lion and Xcode 4.x. You probably don't need the update if you already have this version -- Apple's documentation is free -- but this book is, as I said above, lacking some of the newer facilities like blocks, and if you're not too familiar with Xcode, the changes in the interface are rather drastic.
Mr. Kochan starts out by explaining that he set out to write a book to teach the Objective-C language in a way that would be comprehendable to those that have no prior language with any programming language. Again, having had some experience with Visual Basic may have helped so that I could skip certain areas of the book (i.e., the Decision-Making chapters with if...then, for...next, and do...while loops), but I have to say: Mr. Kochan hit the target on the mark. Not once did I ever feel like anything was being left out, and the only time that I felt particularly thick was during the chapter on various math-related concepts (I'm no math major, and I never will be).
The chapters are laid out in perfect order, each building upon lessons taught by the previous. And at the end of each chapter, you're given various exercises to solidify your grasp on the content you just learned. Adding further insult to injury over my severe lack of math prowess, the ongoing project that you're adding to through each chapter is a calculator that becomes increasingly complex, though not without more than sufficient explanations en route to the final product (which looks to receive a GUI makeover in the final chapters).
I have yet to finish the book, but from what I've seen through actual reading as well as skimming through various points of interest, I think that this was money well spent.