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on 6 November 2017
Great book!
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on 24 March 2009
I read this book in preparation for reading further iPhone and Mac programming books.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the Objective C 2.0 language. The author makes no assumptions, however I am glad I already know the C language before reading this as there are some areas where concepts are introduced without much explanation.
Additionally, there are quite a few errors in the text, for example mixing up NSLog and printf - some of the examples seem to have come from a C language guide and modified for Objective C.
However, these are not too numerous and do not detract from the useful information.
Some additional details on the Objective C 2.0 language features would have been nice, such as further explanation of the 'dot' notation (how it works behind the scenes) and the options available for properties - including examples of the different styles. However, as this guide is aimed at the beginner I can accept these omissions and the book does suggest that further information can be found on Apple's developer website.
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on 18 February 2009
An excellent introduction to Objective-C programming.

However... I suspect it'll be a bit heavy going for the new programmer. A knowledge of another programming language (C) is definitely an advantage. Also, as with the previous reviewer, I find the high volume of typographical errors (in the program examples as well as the text) really irritating [minus two stars for this].
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on 10 February 2009
Whilst the blurb on the back suggests this is suitable for "a new programmer who wants to learn Objective-C as their first programming language" I would beg to differ. Most introductory books have the sense to introduce basic concepts such as data types, loops and conditions, before overwhelming the reader with Object Oriented Programming concepts. As such I think a novice would find it pretty hard-going.

Having said that it's definitely useful when moving from another OOP language: the Objective C syntax is very different to what I've learn in Java and Python. If, like me, you prefer to have a book at hand rather than referring to online material, then it's also going to be useful, however...

I must admit I'm only 80 pages in, but I'm far from impressed by the quality control: it looks to me like they've rushed it out and it hasn't been properly proof-read. There are some pretty substantial errors that are likely to confuse the beginner (and had me scratching my head at points). A couple of examples:

"1.7e4... represents the value 1.7 x 10 ^ -4." (p.51) At first I thought the minus sign must be a misprint, but it's printed exactly the same way on an example where there should have been a minus.

"...before multiplication by the value of Objective-C (25)." (p.58) Where 'Objective-C' was obviously meant to be the variable 'c' in the example above this text but must somehow have been auto-completed to 'Objective-C'.

These are the kind of obvious errors that should have been picked up during a proper proof-reading and really don't inspire confidence. I just hope that at least the example code has been properly tested!
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on 19 May 2010
At the moment I'm only half way through the book, but I've gotten through this half in about 4 days. I have an understanding of Java, C++ and I'm a PHP developer, but I'm quite convinced that even if you're coming from a non programming background this book would be a great place to start learning objective-C.

The language used is very friendly, each line of code is explained and important points are constantly reiterated throughout the chapters - almost annoyingly so - but it definitely sticks in your head.

I had started reading Learning iPhone Programming: From Xcode to App Store by Alasdair Allan, and though it's a good book I still found it very high level and without a proper understanding of objective-c and how classes and code are structured, any apps developed would have been more by hacking bits of code from tutorials together than from a fundamental understanding of how the framework works.

This book perfectly bridges the gap. Already I can structure iPhone applications in my head even before I start coding.

Thank you all for your useful reviews, that helped me choose the right book, and for anybody still looking to buy a book, I hope I can contribute towards convincing you that this is a great first book to buy.

Happy Coding.
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on 30 August 2010
I just took delivery of this book and it says it's the "Seventh Printing, March 2010".
All the typos mentioned by other reviewers, particularly those reviewed in 2008/2009 appear to be corrected in this edition.

Certainly, the copy I had borrowed from a friend still had some of the mistakes, so am glad to get a fixed version :-)

4 stars only because I'm working through the earlier chapters just now, so can't comment on the entire book. Certainly seems quite a straightforward read, so far.
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on 10 September 2009
The author has set up a forum for those using the book to learn Objective-C and is active in it. I posted in the forum last Saturday and the author responded within hours: this is a tremendous service, in my view, and free of charge. It is also interesting to learn from other people in the forum, and means that the learner need not stay stuck if the author's meaning is not clear.

As earlier posters have said there are too many printed errors, but you can download errata PDFs from the forum.

At the moment - on page 48 - I think I will be able to work through this book. This is encouraging, because I have made four previous attempts to learn to program OS X and gave up confused early on.

I do not know of any other books that teach Objective-C without prior knowledge of C or C++. If you don't know either of those languages I can recommend this book, though I will admit to other programming experience.
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on 24 January 2013
This book is somewhat unusual for programming books in that it is written clearly and concisely and in standard English. The author does not try to convert you to Objective C as some sort of new religion (he assumes you bought the book because you want to learn the language), nor does he keep telling you that you will write "great" apps (he and you know that you will start in a modest way, and may eventual achieve something adequate). Furthermore, unlike some other books on Objective C, he does not assume that you are already familiar with C. Although he has chapters on legacy C that can be used in Obj C apps, he separates them clearly from the rest of the book, so that those who want to use Obj C as an OO language do not need to be encumbered with this, but have a source of reference.
The construction of the book is well thought out, the use of Fractions as a model class may seem a little dry and mathematical, but one appreciates why he did this when one follows the building of his iPhone Fraction calculator: one uses the Interface Builder drag and drops to link to the standard classes one has already written.
This is a book on Objective C, so the fact that it finishes where one may be just starting - i.e. with iPhone apps - cannot be levelled as a criticism, although the purchaser should be aware of this. I have one small criticism of this transition nevertheless: he never explains what happens to the main method when one shifts to using Interface Builder and AppDelegates, and even when one finds out for oneself, it is not obvious what is happening. Clearly one does not *have* to know, just as one doesn't have to know where the information generated by dragging icons to Outlets etc is stored, but it would be nice to be told.
Overall I can wholeheartedly recommend this book as an introduction to Objective C (although you need to buy the latest edition as reference counting has changed).
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on 3 December 2010
I bought this book hoping for a good guide to Objective C but I was disappointed. The premise is good: write a book that teaches Objective C, not just cover the 'objective' bits and assume a knowledge of C, and some of the writing is good. However, the book seems not to know who it's aimed at. It claims to be for "new programmers" and it is slow and wordy for experienced programmers and too verbose to serve as a decent reference. Unfortunately, it contains too many oddities to serve as a beginners' guide.

I have the March 2010 Seventh Printing but it still has regrettable misleading statements in it. As an example, when explaining ++n : "Some programmers prefer to put the ++ or -- after the variable name, as in n++ ... This is acceptable and is a matter of personal preference." (p84). Two hundred pages later (p297) we learn what existing C programmers will have shuddered at - it's not a matter of preference at all and a program using ++n in any non-trivial way will perform differently to one using n++ . A bad impression to give.

I can't recommend this to either experienced or new programmers I'm afraid. Better to get a good C book (Kernighan & Ritchie being the obvious choice for those already having some programming skills) and download Apple's excellent (and free) Objective C Language Definition.
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on 20 April 2011
I won't recommend this book for the beginner neither use it as a developer library. Too much unnecessary formatting for the test programe which is only trying to make the output pretty. For example in Chapter 15 Numbers, Strings, and Collections, I want to know more about the collections, such as NSArray and NSMutableArray, but the chapter full of the NSLog for just printing the address card which I don't think necessary. Basically the lack of details for the real contents.
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