This book begins with a typo in the first program listing presented. My eyes blinked when I saw it. It's not a big deal - they just left out the beginning "<" in an #import line. There were a few more problems I noticed as I skimmed along through the first part of the book. A clumsy explanation of the size of data types made me blink again.
But does it matter? Were these little glitches serious enough to confuse a new reader? It's impossible for me to see this with fresh eyes - heck, I read my first C book nearly three decades ago and who knows how many other books I've read on C++ and other object oriented variants since then. I can skim a lot of this part.
I have to wonder how much of its intended audience will skimming along too. I can't imagine too many people with no prior exposure to object oriented C are going to pick this up for their first venture into Mac OS X programming. More likely they'll come from a background even deeper and stronger than mine and will be rushing through the first 300 pages even faster than I did: classes, check - good analogies, not over drawn, basic types, check, inheritance, polymorphism, check, check.. let's get to the OS X stuff!
Don't skim too fast though: this really is OS X stuff and the easy familiarity of having been through similar languages before could cause you to miss a thing or two. Just resign yourself to a little boredom and plod along.
As noted, the real meat starts about 300 pages in and consumes the rest of the book. And as I've surely noted elsewhere, I hate this stuff.
Oh, I don't mind object oriented C. That's cool. It's the long class names that make my eyes glaze over. There's also the regrettable fact that I don't like windowing interfaces - oh, I like using them (well, for some things, anyway), but I sure don't like writing programs for graphic displays. I'm stuck in character mode in the terminal. Windowing is rather necessary for a work like this but I drag my heels and clutch at anything handy to keep myself from being drawn in. Yeah, yeah: I have to get over this stuff. I know. But then I see "matr = [NSMutableString stringWithString: str1 ] and I get a headache.
Of course that's why this book encourages you to use XCode. Start typing NSMu and Xcode starts giving you possible completions. See, Tony, it's not that bad.. give it a chance!
Yeah, OK. I will. Kochan continues this part with practical examples - he really does do a good job with this and dives into the tasks typical to most any program. As much as I resist, he's a good teacher and a good writer. The typos in the first part of the book make me a little wary, but Xcode will surely get me by those if there are any.
So - looks like a keeper. Who knows, I may even grow to like programming this way. There's a scary thought!
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About the reviewer
Anthony Lawrence (pcunix)
Owner of http://aplawrence.com Linux andUnixadministration and troubleshooting articles, help and inspiration for freelancers and theself employed, advice onblogging, SEO andearning … more
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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."