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Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) Paperback – 18 Oct 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 1 edition (18 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321706285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321706287
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 24.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 442,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

From the Back Cover

Want to write applications for iOS or the Mac? ¿This introduction to programming and the Objective-C language is the first step on your journey from someone who uses apps to someone who writes them.

Based on Big Nerd Ranch's legendary Objective-C Bootcamp,¿this book covers C, Objective-C, and the common programming idioms that enable developers to make the most of Apple technologies.

This is the only introductory-level book written by Aaron Hillegass, one of the most experienced and authoritative voices in the iOS and Cocoa community.

Compatible with Xcode 4.2, iOS 5, and Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), this guide features short chapters and engaging style to keep you motivated and moving forward. At the same time, Aaron's determination that you understand what you're doing―or at least why you're doing it―encourages you to think critically as a programmer.

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • Programming basics: variables, loops, functions, etc.
  • Objects, classes, methods, and messages
  • Pointers, addresses, and memory management
  • Using Xcode, Apple's documentation, and other tools
  • Classes from the Foundation framework
  • ARC and retain cycles
  • Properties
  • Blocks
  • Categories
  • Delegation, target-action, and notification design patterns

About the Author

Aaron Hillegass, a former employee at NeXT and Apple, has nearly two decades experience programming and teaching Objective-C, Cocoa, and, more recently, iOS. Aaron is the author of Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X and co-author of iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. Both best-sellers, these books have helped many people develop and enhance their programming skills. In 2001, Aaron founded Big Nerd Ranch and began developing intensive courses that teach programming in a focused, distraction-free environment. He is currently working on site plans and blueprints for the new Ranch to be located in Atlanta, GA.

Big Nerd Ranch is a unique software engineering and training company where monastic principles drive technological development. Since 2001, the company has been helping students master programming languages through public enrollment bootcamps, private corporate on-site training, and a growing roster of programming books. Big Nerd Ranch offers consultative services to a broad array of clients, shaping their mobile strategies and developing fresh and engaging mobile and desktop applications.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I don't normally write reviews, but credit where credits due. The book guides you from a novice through the necessary steps required to become firstly a proficient programmer and secondly it gives you the necessary basic underpinnings of Object Oriented programming.

My advice to anyone who wants to learn to program is to buy an Apple mac and buy this book. You must not however rush this book. Each chapter builds on the knowledge gained from the previous chapters. Most chapters have a challenge at the end that is mandatory to complete before moving onto the next chapter (that is if you actually want to get anywhere with this book). My advice here is attempt the chapter by using only the information in the book, the solution is in the text somewhere you just have to look for it. I've found myself going back over previous chapters to further ingrain the information into my brain.

Don't think however that reading only this book will give you enough knowledge to write the next killer App. Understanding any language requires a hugh amount of effort and research. You will need to become familiar with the hardware and need to read and understand the developer documentation.

The book gives you enough information to get started. I will certainly be buying the other books:

Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)
...Read more ›
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Exactly as the previous reviewer said, this was also a relief for me, to find a book that really explains how things work and the reasons WHY it is that way.

I also tried several other books and it made me realise that jumping into Cocoa without a solid grounding in objective C was not overly wise.
This touches on C, goes right into Objective C, then introduces you to the other frameworks.

I have been critical at times of this author's other books, but this work is his best - the explanations for the same concepts that he attempted to explain in other books, is now excellent.
(Of particular note is the brilliant description of why we need protocols)
I have gone through the entire book and the source code is all good and up to date. The challenges really force you to get your hands dirty, and are highly useful to consolidate learning.

The interactive forum is a bonus too, which the author does frequent.

Highly recommended.
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This is an excellent introduction to programming, C and Objective-C on the Mac. I have a fair amount of programming experience so didn't need the first few chapters but reading them I didn't feel patronised - the author has done a great job. In less than a day I've got a good handle on XCode and Objective-C, highly recommended.
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Many years ago I played around with BASIC, largely working out how to generate Mandelbrot sets, strange attractors and other arithmetical stuff. Now, having some spare time, I fancied having another go at writing programs - particularly those requiring string handling (which I think is more difficult). Having a Mac, the obvious place to start was Objective-C, not least because Xcode can be downloaded free. (Note that Xcode also has built-in compilers for C and C++.) I then had to find a book to hold my hand as I ventured into the unknown. I chose Hillegass's Objective-C Programming because it was the most recent text and was the only one that was up to date with Xcode 4.2 - which is rather different to previous versions.

And my experience?

First of all, I cannot emphasise enough that you have to get your hands dirty. Type in the examples, force yourself to do the exercises and try to think up some little project of your own to work on. It's not easy, but keep at it. The book will not be able to answer all your questions or solve all your problems - it is the nature of Objective-C that the methods are too numerous to list - but there are websites to consult: not only bignerdranch.com but also stackoverflow.com and techotopia.com as well as Apple itself.

Secondly, did I have to learn some C before learning Objective-C? Only after 70-odd pages do you get to Objective-C and there's a bit of un-learning to do. (The final part of the book is also on C.) Some texts launch you straight into Objective-C from page 1. It does seem that a knowledge of C is necessary but I guess the question is whether you do it first or later. Who knows.

There are a couple of text errors and this really means that you need to consult the supporting website. But overall, I would recommend the book.
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I am most of the way through this book and I feel that I have learned a lot. With great pleasure I completed writing an Objective-C program last night that solves Sudoku puzzles. Amazingly, it works. Although I had a little knowledge of C from long ago, really I was starting from scratch with this book. So the point about my Sudoku program is that this book must have done its job, because that's all I used (almost). At the same time, the book is not easy (because its subject is not easy), and you have to work at it. I'd say that it is essential to work through the examples and the exercises ('challenges'). My only wish is that there were more challenges, since there is no substitute for writing one's own code (and finding that it doesn't work and fixing it). Although I'd have liked more challenges, the book does have enough for its purposes. I did augment the book a bit by using other resources, such as the Wibit <[...]> iPad courses. It is sometimes useful to have another perspective on the same topic. But although those other resources were helpful, this book by Hillegass was sufficient to teach me all I needed to know. By the way, this book will take you as far as designing and building very simple iOS and Mac OS apps, but to go much further than that you will need the next book in this series. But no serious book could take you far into iOS programming from scratch, so that comment is just for information for readers.
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