• ISBN13: 9780321503619
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
The best-selling introduction to Cocoa, once again updated to cover the latest Mac programming technologies, and still enthusiastically recommended by experienced Mac OS X developers.   “Aaron’s book is the gold standard for Mac OS X programming books—beautifully written, and thoughtfully sculpted. The best book on Leopard development.” —Scott Stevenson, www.theocacao.com   “This is the first book I’d recommend for anyone wanting to lea… More >>


5 thoughts on “Cocoa”

  1. This was the book I had been waiting for, or at least ONE OF the books I had been waiting for, to really get started with Cocoa programming. The O’Reilly book, as has been mentioned plenty of times here, leaves a lot to be desired, and while it was better than nothing, a wall still remained between me and Cocoa after finishing it.

    After reading Cocoa Programming for OS X, I feel I can say I “get” Cocoa finally. That’s not to say I’m an expert, but that I can complete a simple program now, on my own, using the Cocoa frameworks and concepts. As Aaron says in the book, learing the Cocoa APIs will take much longer. I come from a Java background, with only marginal C and C++ experience. Although Aaron does not speak much about the objective-c language itself, that’s ok. Apple’s PDF is more than adequate to get that background.

    There are some things that get glossed over that I wish had been more fully explained, and some things left out altogether that I would have liked to see, such as:

    — Spawning and managing multiple threads, thread safety issues

    — exception handling, debugging and assertions

    — Cocoa “primitive” objects (NSPoint, NSRect, NSRange, etc.), why they apparently don’t need to be retained or released, and why they are “NS” objects but don’t really behave like them.

    — Calling Toolbox routines or those from APIs that have not yet been “Cocoa-ized” (and integrating the Old Way into the Cocoa Way), with examples. Cocoa is nice but once you get away from building a text editor, you will need to dig into this ugly and unfriendly world at some point (unfortunately). For instance, how do I access the Airport card, how do I open and use a network socket, how can I read a DV-encoded stream from a FireWirePort and save it to disk as a QuickTime movie, how do I access a database, how do I use an OpenGL view?

    — How to customize Cocoa UI elements. Like if I wanted an NSSlider with TWO sliders, a minimum and a maximum. There is an example of subclassing an NSView in the book, but that’s just a drawing panel.

    To be fair, I’m not really criticizing Aaron for these things. The book has plenty of useful stuff, and I’m sure Aaron wants to write and sell more books, so some advanced Cocoa books that address some of these things as well as others will be welcome…I hope someone is writing them right now. I also hope someone is writing a comprehensive Cocoa API reference, as Apple’s is somewhat lacking (Have you seen the phrase “Description Forthcoming” more times than you care to remember? I thought so.)

    The bottom line is that this is a great book that is a must-have for anyone interested in Cocoa programming. I’d probably rate it four or four-and-a-half stars, but I’m giving it five for being there when I needed it, and being the first really useful book on the subject. The best thing I can say about it is that I can now do things there is simply no way I could have before.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. First my background. I’m a very experienced C++ programmer who is also very experienced with Carbon.

    I found this book to be a great intro to Cocoa without a lot of preaching about how Cocoa will change the world. Carbon vs. Cocoa seems to be an almost religous debate, and I’m glad this book didn’t try to overpromise the benefits of Cocoa.

    The book is well organized, very readable, and has good examples. It is *much* better than the O’Reilly “Learning Cocoa” book.

    After reading this book, you’ll be able to start writing applications in Cocoa, and you’ll know where to go for more info.

    Now, my nits:

    * The book explicitly stated that it was for people with a C++ or java background, but I think there should have been more direct comparisions between C++/java and Objective C. For example, saying that class functions (the ones with +) are just like static functions in C++ would have helped.

    * This may be an introductory book for people moving from other platforms to the Mac, but the UI for most of the applications violated Apple’s UI guidelines in many ways. I think the book should have promoted following Apple’s UI guidelines.

    * There was no discussion of exceptions, and much of the code was not exception-safe and didn’t do much error checking. There wasn’t even the usual disclaimer about leaving that out for simplicity.

    * I would have liked a quick overview at the end of some of the classes not discussed in the book with a couple of sentences about what they do. This would help to learn what’s out there.

    I hope to see more books on Cocoa by the author. There’s still lots of room for books on more advanced Cocoa topics.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. First, I have to say I loved this book, I actually read half of it on a trip, not being in front of my computer, and still enjoyed the clear style and the gradual addition of new concepts and tools, chapter after chapter. Then I could hardly wait to be back home and start doing it for real.

    Now for the potential buyer.

    WHAT IT IS NOT: a reference book (no list of classes etc…) or a technical book for advanced programming; a book about Java or Carbon; an introduction to object-oriented programming; an introduction to C.

    WHAT IT IS: an excellent introduction to programming in Objective C in the Cocoa environment of Max OS X, provided you know enough about
    object-oriented programming (some basic understanding of C++ is preferable too).

    WHAT YOU LEARN: Objective-C in Cocoa; using Apple Developer Tools; building an application in Mac OS X; how to make optimal use of Cocoa classes and API, knowing how they were conceived and meant to be used; a number of basic concepts and tips that really get you started.

    THE PLUS that make this book so interesting: very good and clear writing; some amusing brief ‘historical’ insights; you really feel the author knows what he is talking about; the author gives personal views (clearly stated as advices, not rules); follow-up, errata, examples, comments, and more on his web site; still completely useable with OS X.2 (a couple or very minor changes that are listed on the web site anyway), so that’s the good time to buy it (price is down, but content is still up to date).

    Final comment: Objective C in Max OS X is very powerful and enjoyable.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. here’s what i discovered while i was trying to learn Cocoa: this book, by itself, was not sufficient for me to really “get off the ground” with Cocoa. Now, don’t get me wrong, this really is a good book and, in most areas, Mr. Hillegass explains the material quite well. my problem was that after i had worked –perhaps struggled would be a better description — through the first 4 chapters of the book i was still left feeling somewhat confused about how to go about writing a Cocoa progam. for some reason things just weren’t “clicking” as well as i thought they should be.

    not being the quitting type, i began to search for other books on Cocoa programming. i purchased the O’Reilly book “Learning Cocoa With Objective-C”, second edition. after reading a few chapters in the O’Reilly book, then going back and re-reading the material in Mr. Hillegass’ book, things began to click. since that time, the approach has proven the most useful for me is to read the O’Reilly book until i get stuck on a particular topic, then cross-reference with Mr. Hillegass’ book in order to get a different perspective/explanation. in addition, working through *all* of the examples in both books has proven tremendously helpful. if i had my way, i’d combine the material from both books into a single book. 🙂

    in summary, if you buy this book and find that you are having trouble grasping the concepts, try purchasing the “Learning Cocoa with Objective-C” — make sure to get the 2nd edition — and see if getting a different perspective/explanation works for you.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. If you plan to write for Mac OS X, and have some programming experience, this book is a MUST HAVE. This is by far the best introductory book I have ever read on any language.

    If you DO NOT have programming experience, I would still recommend this book. There are some spots where the logic might be hard to grasp, but Aaron Hillegass walks you through it.

    In either case, but more so for beginners, I would also recommend Programming in Objective-C (Developer’s Library). The less experience you have, the more strongly I would suggest reading this book first. It will walk you through the basics of straight Objective-C and then start you off using frameworks in OS X. If you are a Windows user and do not have a Mac, Programming in Objective-C (Developer’s Library) will show you how to write and compile Objective-C in Windows.

    (Look for the new version of this book which uses Objective-C 2.0)

    I come from Windows development, having programmed in VB 6, VB.NET, C (and variants), and java. Aaron Hillegass takes you right into the heart of the Mac OS X development environment and gives you a guided tour. Showing you the basics of both Cocoa and the X Code development environment. Pick the book up and you won’t regret it. This is a walkthrough tutorial style book. It is not a reference book. Apples online documentation is the best reference for Cocoa.

    There are a lot of resources out there for Cocoa programmers. If you are looking for more help with Cocoa, check out the free podcasts that are available on iTunes. “CocoaCast” is a ‘screen cast’ that actually follows this book and may help you if you have trouble. Other podcasts that i find easy to listen to come from the Mac Developer Network such as “Late Night Cocoa” and “The Mac Developer Roundtable”. They also have a great community that you can join by visiting http://www.mac-developer-network.com. They have video classes on some great topics which are very helpful.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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