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Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X [Paperback]

Aaron Hillegass
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X 4.6 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

3 Dec 2001 0201726831 978-0201726831 1
Apple's Cocoa framework and tools are indispensable to every developer who wants to take full advantage of Mac OS X's features and performance, and get applications to market rapidly. However, Cocoa has a steep learning curve, and the official documentation leaves much to be desired. Now, Cocoa insider Aaron Hillegass presents the first start-to-finish guide for serious Cocoa development. In this book, Hillegass leverages his experience as the creator of the world's first independent Cocoa training course, anticipating the questions that real-world developers ask about Cocoa -- and offering deep insight into the design patterns that give Cocoa its extraordinary power and elegance. He begins with an overview of Cocoa's goals, capabilities, and toolset. Learn how to use Cocoa's Project Builder to track all of your application's diverse resources, edit code, and compile and run applications. Master the Cocoa Interface Builder: leverage the full capabilities of Mac OS X's breakthrough Aqua interface, then go beyond "windows and widgets" to create classes and edit their attributes.Hillegass gives experienced C and object-oriented developers all the skills they need to use Objective-C, the preferred language for Cocoa development. Coverage includes: custom views; responders and keyboard events; fonts and NSString; pasteboards; categories; compilation with the GNU C (gcc) compiler; debugging with the GNU debugger (gdb); and much more. The book includes extensive code examples; most in Objective-C, some in Java.

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (3 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201726831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201726831
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 18.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,282,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Suitable for anyone with a little C++ programming experience who wants to create software for the newest Mac platform, Cocoa Programming for Max OS X provides a slickly packaged and approachable tutorial that will get you started creating state-of-the-art Mac programs.

The smart presentation style and easy-to-understand code examples help make this text an excellent resource. It also helps that Hillegass is a truly engaging writer. He first explains how legacy NeXTSTEP platform has evolved into Cocoa on the Mac OS X. Starting with short examples illustrating the actual Cocoa tools in action, the author gets you started with simple programs for a random number generator, a raise calculator and other comprehensible examples. Rather than just listing APIs and classes, the emphasis is on hands-on Cocoa development. An early standout section provides a nice tour of essential Objective-C features you'll need to learn to use Cocoa effectively.

This book covers the several dozen built-in Cocoa controls, from basic text and buttons to more advanced widgets (including lists and tables). Subsequent sections look at user interface design (using the Interface Builder to create nib files) and how to add programmatic processing behind the visual layout. Along the way, the author introduces coverage of essential Cocoa APIs for strings, arrays and dictionaries. Later chapters look at saving and loading documents (and user defaults) and how to tap the powerful graphics abilities available in Cocoa. (Besides image and basic drawing, there are short sections on PDF support and printing.)

More advanced user interface features get their due by the end of the book, including cutting and pasting data through the Cocoa pasteboard and also adding drag-and-drop support. Final sections look at creating new controls for use with the Interface Builder palette, and, briefly, how to use Java with Cocoa (an option that the author doesn't necessarily recommend). Throughout this text, the author provides more advanced, challenging problems at the end of each chapter for the "more curious" reader. This approach helps that beginners will not get lost in the details of Cocoa development, but will give the more advanced reader something more to do.

While there a comparably fewer books on Mac OS X compared to other platforms, readers are lucky to have this one available. Anyone who wants to get onboard with Cocoa development will be well served by this title. It's a fine tutorial that earns high marks for its approachable, clear examples and an excellent presentation by an author who knows his stuff and, better still, knows how to teach it to others. --Richard Dragan

From the Back Cover

The practical guide everyone says you need!

"The most comprehensive guide to developing Cocoa available. For the developer new to Cocoa, it provides an excellent introduction that will lead to success with the world's best object-oriented development tools. For those familiar with Cocoa, the excellent organization and presentation make the book invaluable as a reference tool."

--Bill Bumgarner, Cofounder, CodeFab

With the arrival of Mac OS X, Apple now has a modern operating system that calls for advanced programming capability. To take full advantage of the exciting and innovative features of OS X, Apple recommends a development framework known as Cocoa. Cocoa is a powerful collection of object-oriented tools and libraries that makes developing applications a much faster process. Mastery of Cocoa is absolutely essential for anyone doing serious development work for the Macintosh.

"Mac OS X and Cocoa are going to revolutionize the world of software development in the coming years... Aaron Hillegass's book is without a doubt the best aid to learning this technology."

--Erik J. Barzeski, Editor, CocoaDevCentral.com

New technologies often have a steep learning curve and do not always come with complete instructions on how to get started or how to overcome common obstacles. Enter Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X, which shows you precisely how to put Cocoa to work.

"Reading this book is the absolute best way to learn how to harness the power of this amazing technology."

--Andrew Stone, President, Stone Design, www.stone.com

Guiding programmers through the key features of Cocoa, this book emphasizes design patterns that enable you to predict the behavior of classes you have never used before. Using a tutorial format, it takes you, step-by-step, through five applications and an InterfaceBuilder palette. Each project introduces several new ideas, and as each concept or technique is discussed, the author, drawing on his own extensive experience, shows you the advantages of working with Cocoa in object-oriented software development environments.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Cocoa and MacOS X deserves to be out there as a development environment of choice to the discerning programmer and user. The biggest obstacle is Apple's own technical documentation, bless them! It is dry and uninviting, just the thing to turn new developers away from such an elegant and advanced operating system.
Now, at last, we have a text book that can reverse the tide. Aaron Hillegass brings the skill of the teacher to this subject. He teaches Cocoa programmers at the "Big Nerd Ranch" in the States, but don't let that discourage you!
The author knows how to put ideas across and at what point to bring in new topics. Tricky topics such as the retain and release mechanism, normally baffling to those new to Objective-C, are revealed as the easy topic they are.
This book for the first time brings out the true purpose of Cocoa, that is to make putting programs together easy, so that you can concentrate on your program, and not have to worry about ordinary housekeeping.
I think this will become the definitive work, that evey aspiring Cocoa programmer will need to read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A programming book that doesn't put you to sleep 27 Nov 2003
I've just finished reading "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X" and have to say its amongst the best programming books I've ever read. It's aimed at people with C or Java experience who are new to objective C and Cocoa. The author demonstrates his skills as a teacher by delivering information in a progressive and easily digested manner. He begins by introducing the language and tools with a basic random number generator application and then builds on this with a number of tutorial applications. Topics covered include localisation, custom views, mouse and key events, fonts, images, printing, cut and paste, drag and drop, timers, sheets, printing, and creating your own Interface Builder Palates and controls. Cocoa is vast but this serves as an excellent starting block, covering the essentials and tasters required to progress deeper. Its very easy and enjoyable to read with challenges at the end of each chapter to help solidify your understanding. I read it from cover to cover which is unusual for me with a programming book.
I've been using OS X 10.3 which has had changes to the development tools since the book was written For example Project Builder is now called XCode, has code completion facilities and some of the menus have moved. However this didn't prove to be a problem and differences were rather obvious.
Can't really recommend it any higher!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
As a student currently finishing a MSc in Computer Science and dreaming on someday working for Apple, I dived into Cocoa as soon as MacOS X came out officialy. From all the books out there in Cocoa Programming, this has been by far the best. It is written in an extremely familiar tone, and as long as you already have experience in C, or better yet C++, you'll be happy to be developing Cocoa applications easily.
I am really excited about such a powerful set of frameworks, but with the lack of documentation from Apple it is really necessary to have a good book such as this one by hand.
Great stuff really! Overall, best book in Cocoa programming! BUY IT NOW! :)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary! 13 Jun 2002
We know three things about Aaron Hillegass: he has had many years' experience with OpenStep/Cocoa; he is a professional trainer; he wears a big hat. All these things show through in this book: it is technically sound; clearly presented; humorous. All programming books should be like this.
The book is written for programmers who already know C++ or Java... I don't. (Although I have about 20 years experience in programing with BASIC, FORTRAN, S/360 Assembler, COBOL, REXX, ... I'm new to OOP.) Nevertheless, I found the book and example projects easy to follow and understand. The challenges (Aaron's term for what others might call exercises) are often challenging... but Aaron makes no bones about it: learning a new programming language can be hard. (Even for those with degrees in astrophysics from CalTech... read Chapter 1.)
The book is well supported by a web page at Big Nerd Ranch, with errata, solutions to those challenges, etc. (Even better, the BNR web site has some downloadable example projects and full-blown open-source Cocoa applications, such as BigShow, an XML-based MS PowerPoint alternative.)
All in all, it is inspirational. It makes me wish I was a professional programmer again. Well, just maybe...
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