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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpfull for advanced mac programmers
I can only agree with the previous reviewers - this book is not for beginners but is so helpfull for xcode developers that want to take the step beginning iphone development. The author has done a great job! You will find many helpful examples, tricks and tips. For sure you can gain that knowlege by reading through hundreds of pages of online or pdf api documentation but...
Published on 27 Jan. 2009 by Chris

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Colour me unimpressed!
I've learned a large number of languages, toolkits and SDKs over the years and been part of the review process of a fairly well known book as well, so believe me when I say this is not a great quality book!

If you read the back cover and even the prerequisites, you might think this book is for you. The prerequisites page only mentions the following with regards...
Published on 10 Nov. 2008 by Mr. Wayne Pascoe


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Colour me unimpressed!, 10 Nov. 2008
By 
Mr. Wayne Pascoe (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
I've learned a large number of languages, toolkits and SDKs over the years and been part of the review process of a fairly well known book as well, so believe me when I say this is not a great quality book!

If you read the back cover and even the prerequisites, you might think this book is for you. The prerequisites page only mentions the following with regards to knowledge required: "Familiarity with Objective-C". No mention is made of familiarity with writing software for OS X, but by page 23 we're seeing statements like "These essential frameworks enable you to build your iPhone applications using the same fundamental classes and calls you are familiar with from the Macintosh". This is followed on 24 by a comment about Info.plist - "It works the same way Info.plist files work on the Mac." Even as early as page 7 we're seeing things like "As with the Macintosh..." This book does not stand well on its own and that will make it less accessible to some people.

Then we get to the missing stuff - in the very first project, we're instructed to "Drag the three image files from the Chapter One Project folder provided with this book..." Provided where? There's no CD in the back, and I've not found anything in Chapter 1 so far that tells me where this resource is supposed to be included.

The first code listing spans almost two full pages as a single block of text. While the code is commented, there is no in-line breakdown of what each section is and you'll find yourself flipping back to previous pages to tie what you read there back to the code being displayed. Once this two page block of code is over, you don't see it again during this chapter - there is no further discussion of the code so you have to take it on faith for now and learn about it later. That's fine for a 10 line "hello world" app, but not really acceptable for an introduction to a language / framework like Cocoa.

All in all, first impressions are not good. This is not a book to rival the kind of book we've become used to with the Aaron Hillegass definitive reference for starting OS X programming. It will serve more experienced Apple developers well, but will be frustrating for new users.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is a book written for people who don't need to read a book about iPhone development, 26 Nov. 2008
By 
Seraph (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
I was utterly disappointed with this book as I've been a long-time reader of Erica's posts on TUAW.com and have enjoyed her efforts on MacBreakWeekly and her less official iPhone development.

Unfortunately the problem with this book is that she is too experienced to talk to anyone but other experienced developers. With her 'Hello World' app, traditionally the first app you will learn to write in any language, you are told to throw away parts of the folder structure that Apple sets up in XCode, along with some of the pre-written code and use the code she writes with absolutely no real explanation of why. The net effect is to leave you utterly lost, not really knowing what you can and cannot do with the tools you are given.

The second problem is that it seems that Erica seems to have written the book in a huge hurry. No time is taken to explain anything. Maybe I'm not the target audience for the book but I was absolutely none the wiser about the basic tools in the SDK after reading the first thirty or so pages and I am an object-oriented ActionScript developer with some experience with the MVC design pattern so should have some affinity with the OOP code used in Objective-C (even if the syntax is a bit more alien).

I have since bought Beginning iPhone Development - Exploring the iPhone SDK by Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche and have found it's pace much more manageable and feel much more able to take on the examples after reading through the theory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very poor example in the Developer's Library range., 7 July 2009
By 
Nick Kitchener (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
Just to give a reference for my perspective - I have a software engineering degree, 12 years of commercial experience from engineering through to technical product management with the majority of technologies out there (including ARM ASM/C/C++/Java etc). I've been programming Objective-C for several months on the Mac for home projects quickly transitioning using Hillegass' great OSX starter book.

Summary
The book isn't what I'd hoped for. The author is obviously intelligent but lacks the focus to bring that intelligence to either a beginner or a seasoned professional transitioning from other languages. The information is badly laid out and missing vital subjects that hamper dropping into sections when referring back to it.
I found myself ready to burn the book on more than one occasion and certainly does not live up to the other Developer's Library books.

The book in use
The book itself seems to be designed to start from page one and read to page 336. The subject matter isn't clearly defined into sections to reference and stops short of providing real world actual components (such as switching view controllers). I found myself attempting answer "I want to make it do X" but then failed to find the starting point to reference.

There are some interesting points raised about general usability - the user will use then resume their session later - which shows some experience with real world. There's also some examples of funky ideas and some guidance with what Apple will accept in terms of user experience.

Examples
There is one single example program project that accumulates as it runs through the book and often in the middle of the chapter it will instruct to "delete the source files" rather than make a point of starting a new project. To me this is lazy and makes it hard to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really for iPhone SDK programmers!, 28 Jan. 2009
By 
J. Chandler (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
There's no question that Erica Sadun is hugely knowledgeable about the inner workings of the iPhone. Her website is full of snippets that she has culled from sniffing around the iPhone's innards. The trouble is, this book is, too.
For a book with the subtitle "Building Applications with the iPhone SDK", this book wastes a lot of space covering things that Ms Sadun has found ways to make the iPhone do, but which are not available in the SDK. For sure, they are generally quite exciting things, like callout views and CoverFlow-style browsing, but since they use calls that are undocumented in the SDK, there is a good chance that Apple will reject apps that use them. Even if they don't, there's a chance that Apple will change or remove the calls in a later version of the iPhone OS, without telling anyone, so your clever little app could just stop working, and you may not be able to find an easy way to replace the broken functions. I can't help but think that the space wasted by these demonstrations of how well Ms Sadun knows her subject could be replaced by something that is actually useful to iPhone SDK programmers. Examples of how to write equivalent versions of undocumented features, perhaps.
As other reviewers have commented, Ms Sadun also mentions doing things that, on the face of it, make no sense, with no explanation of why; deleting the Classes folder from her Xcode project, for example. I use this folder to store my classes, as you might expect. Is this wrong? If so, why? No answer to be found in this book, sadly.
Finally, if you're not an existing Objective-C programmer, this book is probably not for you. In fairness to it, the book seems to be pitched at Mac programmers who want to start programming the iPhone, and makes no pretence to the contrary, but if this is the first time you've needed to start using Objective-C, you will probably be confused.
In summary, yes, there is good information here, and you can learn how to write useful iPhone apps from this book, but if you're a beginner to programming you will struggle. And the space spent describing undocumented classes that almost no developer will dare to use is just wasted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 25 Jan. 2009
By 
De Sio Michele (Firenze, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
I don't know if this book can be of any help to seasoned Cocoa developers, but it's definitely useless to beginners. Examples are barely explained, there's no real learning progress through the chapters. Basically in this book you understand a subject if you are already skilled at it, but then you wouldn't need the book.
After the disappointment I bought Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK by Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche (thanks to Seraph's review), and I must say there's really no comparison, the latter is easy, funny, going at the very right pace and, most of all, filled with very easy to read examples.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful samples, not for beginners however, 5 Nov. 2008
By 
M. Housley (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
I thought this book was well written but be aware it does throw you into the deep end pretty much immediately. I would recommend this book mainly to developers who are already familiar with the basics of building iPhone applications as there really isn't much of a beginners introduction here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpfull for advanced mac programmers, 27 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
I can only agree with the previous reviewers - this book is not for beginners but is so helpfull for xcode developers that want to take the step beginning iphone development. The author has done a great job! You will find many helpful examples, tricks and tips. For sure you can gain that knowlege by reading through hundreds of pages of online or pdf api documentation but this book keeps it simple and will save you many hours that you can then spend in development time. If you know mac programming and want to do iphone programming - Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but lacking in places, 10 Nov. 2008
This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
I found this book useful, but it definitely lacks in places. I am using it as a resource for finding out little tricks or tips on how another programmer lays out their work. It's a useful resource, however it won't teach you the SDK from a beginner to an expert - grab Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X for that!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent cookbook, not a tutorial for absolute beginners, 30 Mar. 2009
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
To properly appreciate this book one needs to read its title attentively: it is a cookbook, not a tutorial for beginners. If you will try to use it to learn the basics of iPhone SDK, you will be disappointed. There is a section where the author explains the basics but it isn't that good. You can feel there that the author is a PhD for whom it is very important to tell you about the omnipresent MVC pattern.

There are other books that teach the basics perfectly well, for me it was "Beginning iPhone Development" by Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche. But once you know the basics and start creating your own applications, you will want to know how to do certain things in various different ways, and this is where "The iPhone Developer's Cookbook" becomes indispensable. I keep it on my table and as soon as I want to do something but don't know how, I turn to this book.

I'd say this is the best *second* book for a beginner iPhone developer.
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2.0 out of 5 stars gets you going, up to a point, 3 Jun. 2009
By 
drs Meijer - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK: Building Mobile Applications with the IPhone SDK (Developer's Library) (Paperback)
Lots of code examples cover a large part of the SDK, all code works and explains one aspect. This is nice, but the book will not teach you how to organize your projects, and it takes the "all-in-main" code approach, which is not very practice for production code. It does not discuss Interface Builder, and it does not explain so much or so clearly. -- Bas Meijer, author of iPhone apps: AstroChina, AstroMatch, iChing, AudioZoo
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