Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Not sure why the great reviews...
on 17 January 2013
I'm completely new to programming and after a brief dalliance with Python bought this as my first Obj-C text, having been impressed by the "best introductory book on any programming language ever" reviews. I started it, gave up and went on to an iOS book for a bit, then came back to plug some of the many Obj-C holes in my knowledge - and still find it very mediocre. Personally I can't see why this gets 5 stars. I don't want to be unfair and slate the book as I think it is well-intentioned, but I really don't get on with it.
Firstly, this book is VERY dry and it's quite hard graft plugging through it. There are lots of code examples but each one builds a tiny bit on the previous, with far too much padding before the next example.
I think learning some basic C is key before plunging into objects, yet this starts in the middle.
The explanations are verbose and sometimes confusing - and sometimes the author starts at the end. For instance, the chapter on pointers only tells you what a pointer is after several pages - why not state this at the very beginning!!! You learn to dereference pointers etc before you even learn the very key essence of pointers, that they simply hold an address. Other texts and internet resources do this far better and in half the space. The chapter on Copying Objects - very confusingly - tells you all the deficiencies of the NSCopy methods, in a very beat-around-the-bush way but doesn't tell you what to really do until a later chapter.
It's not a terrible book, but I bought the Big Nerd Ranch Obj-C Guide after this and many things that weren't clear suddenly made themselves so. OOP broken down into really concise chunks. Maybe just a personal preference, but those books really get to the nub of why things are the way they are, without the waffle. If you're starting out, I'd suggest comparing the 2 and seeing which you prefer.