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on 25 February 2012
Over the past few years I've started reading half a dozen "how to write iOS apps" books, but this is the first one that I'm actually going to finish. I found the way that it introduced the Objective-C concepts well paced and easy to grasp. Most books jump straight into building apps with graphical interfaces, whereas this book takes the time to explain the basics of Objective-C first. The end of chapter exercises are great, building upon the examples in the chapter but also at times requiring some experimentation which helps to cement the topic being covered.
Thoroughly recommend this for anyone looking to start developing for iOS, having some previous programming knowledge, looking to grasp the basics of Objective C.
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on 12 November 2012
I am a very experienced application developer having worked with IBM and Microsoft languages for the last 20+ years. The last language I learned was c# and it was a doddle, a beautiful, intuitive and simple tool that works really well with the cumbersome .net event model. I had assumed that learning Objective-C would a doddle too. After all it is a C based language, like c#. I haven't found that to be the case, at least while trying to learn it using this book. Maybe the mistake I made was going for a book that says it is for programming novices, but I have never found that to be an issue in the past.

IMO, Chapter 13, which is [mysteriously] stated by the author to be optional, should be Chapter 1 as it explains the C structures upon which Objective-C is based. After reading Chapter 13, I found that I understood what I had read in Chapters 1 - 12 much better, because it answered all the "why has it been written like this" questions that cropped up in my mind about Objective-C.

Throughout the book, new concepts are introduced without sufficient explanation. And when questions are asked on the support website (classroomm.com/objective-c/), there is no longer any response from the author. Luckily the stupendously brilliant people at stackoverflow.com are much more responsive and provide explanations at whatever depth the questioner requires.

Chapter 17, about memory management is a new chapter because changes to the compiler now mean that manual memory management is optional. I found it ambiguous. I am not sure whether any manual memory management issues that were mentioned apply where ARC is in practice or not.

I have just finished reading Chapter 18 about Copying Objects. Once again, nothing is explained clearly, unambiguously or in sufficient depth. Things are stated as facts, and you have to accept them. What I do understand is that slight variations in coding object copy can lead to wildly different results depending on apparently arbritary circumstances. I will be heading back to stackoverflow.com to try and get my head around what I just read.

Overall to be fair, I can give it no lower than 3 stars, because I have managed to learn Objective-C with this book, with a lot of help from other resources, but rather than the days it took me to learn c#, it has taken me weeks to plough through this dry and difficult book, despite total motivation to learn from start to finish. Maybe if I hadn't been so motivated, I would have given up.
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on 25 July 2012
I've written programs for over twenty years, from BBC Basic through to VHDL. I have, however, never really warmed to C and have been concentrating on assembly language for micro controllers. However, I want to look at apps for the iPhone etc, so bought this as my introduction not only to Objective C but object orientated programming. It's a big ask of this book, but it's done a very good job of introducing me to this type of programming.

I've just finished reading another book on Objective C and can speak by experience at how superior the Kochan text is. It's detailed enough where it needs to be, and covers many of the structures that as a programmer you use. The other book by comparison skimmed the details, and didn't even cover some of the most basic looping structures that Kochan does. The comparison is stark, and especially when you look at the examples worked through with this book as they give you a better idea of how Objective C works. It was a joy to work through.

There are two limitations of this book, but neither are they criticisms as they are out with it's scope too. The programming environment of Xcode and iOS/Mac programming aren't detailed more than is necessary to use the example programs. This, however, is acceptable as the book specifically is targeting the language and there are other texts which cover those parts.

I can highly recommend this book.
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on 9 April 2012
This is a very good book for Objective C and basic Foundation classes such as strings, arrays etc. My background is as a C programmer, so I skipped the chapter on C and benefited from an understanding of the underlying language. However, I think the book is a very accessible book for anyone wanting to learn the 'Apple' language of choice. Although covered in one chapter, this is not a book for iOS programming itself and I would recommend other books for iOS. But for Objective-C itself, it is excellent.
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on 24 September 2012
I bought this book in hope to deepen and structure my knowledge in Objective-C and Cocoa as I recently switched to iPhone development and didn't have a handful of knowledge in the area. And the book and the author disappointed me, to say the least. I was expecting something close to "The C++ Programming Language" by Stroustrup or books by Richter on C#, but in reality I got a book for beginners in programming. The book title is very misleading (at least to me) as author describes simple things to someone who never wrote any single program in his life. In fact I think that the approach taken here is completely wrong - were I a newbie in software development, I doubt I'd learn anything good from here.

It took me three days to complete this 600 pages writing just because there was not much discussion of really interesting topics. And I almost started laughing when I finally got to the "Underlying C Language Features" chapter! If you know a bit about Objective-C and C languages you would understand that throughout the book you are reading about C language features. Than why did author decided to make a separate chapter for things like arrays or pointers and call them "C features", disregarding that everything before was also C features???

100 pages spent on Foundation Framework are not serious. If you are a seasoned developer - this information would be just enough to get started, but if you have no prior experience in development - half-page intro to collection classes would confuse you too much. Not to say about more advanced topics.

So, what I expected - a well-structured, deep book on Objective-C features, telling me how things work and why.
And what I got - a mediocre intro to the C language, plus brief explanation on Objective-C features built on top of C. Then a rush into Foundation just so that the book feels complete, but it doesn't.

For me this book is useless, I'm not even sure if I will ever reference it if I have any question in Objective-C
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on 26 June 2012
I haven't finished the book fully yet, however I can say that from what I have done so far I have learnt so much more than I have from any other Objective C book I have used because it teaches you the language in a thorough way. Rather than teaching you how to use Objective C via Xcode and its fancy functions it teaches you via the language first and then starts to show you the how to use Xcode functions unlike other books which try to teach you how to make apps. I tried these and yeah they tell you how to make an app but you dont have a clue really how the language works. Overall I highly recommended this book for anyone who wants to get into programming for the mac or iOS apps...
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on 18 October 2013
This book is not really a beginners book but, does take you through all the basic steps slowly so that you can master each area of Objective-C. There are many examples to work through, which can be hard work, but it is well worth the effort to get through the book. A good understanding of Object Oriented Programming is helpful, as it helps to get your programs structured properly. Being a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer this book has greatly helped my transition to learning Objective-C, which I think is a great language, once you get to know it, but it does seem a little hokey to start with. One of the better Objective-C programming books.
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on 9 May 2012
Although quite weightly the book guides you through the programming sequences easily and is very thorough. A good guide to have with you if you are learning programming.
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on 29 August 2012
My background is as an experienced C and C++ programmer, who prefers learning things throughly and in stages, rather than mixing several fields at once. This is a solid learning guide to Objective-C, which isn't a difficult language, and to the Foundation, which is a vital and under-appreciated part of iOS programming.

Reading this book and working through the examples will make one aspect of iOS programming pretty straightforward, and let you learn the iOS environment without stumbling in expressing your desires in code.
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on 17 October 2012
I've come across a few iOS application development books that starts by saying: first you have to learn objectiv C. And this is what this books doese. It doese NOT have much about iPhone development. It is only about how Objectiv C works, the syntax and so on. If you come from a C# / C++ background this is a walk in the park, else it maybe a bit difficult to follow. But I think it is well written, easy to follow examples and it doese what it is supposed to - teach you Objectiv C.
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