Saturday, March 22, 2008

Learning Cocoa

With the recent release of the iPhone SDK I've gotten pretty excited about trying my hand at building some custom iPhone applications. Since I pay the bills writing software using Microsoft technologies I rarely write anything that isn't in C# these days. I took plenty of C and C++ centric courses in college, but frankly I've gotten rusty.

Coding for the Mac and the iPhone means working with Apple's Cocoa libraries which is done in Objective-C, a language I have never spent any time with, in Xcode, an IDE I've probably opened a handful of times but never built anything in.

So in the last week or so I've been doing a lot of reading on both of these subjects. Like most things there is a wealth of information out there that can be found with a simple Google search. In my hunting I've found a couple of resources for Cocoa, Objective-C and Xcode that I found to be the most helpful:

Programming Mac OS X with Cocoa for beginners

Programming Mac OS X with Cocoa for beginners is a book I found on Wikibooks. This source does a good job of explaining what Cocoa and Objective-C are and especially does a good job explaining some of the unique syntax of Objective-C that at first glance might make someone who is familiar with C, C++ or C# rub their eyes in an comically exaggerated manor indicating bewilderment.

Long Pointers - Xcode 3.0 Tutorial

The Xcode 3.0 tutorial on the Long Pointers blog does a great job of walking you through how you would build a windowed application in Cocoa with the Xcode tool. It is specifically very good at outlining how you build the interface in Interface Builder and wire it up to your controller code.

I am still early in my journey to become a Mac developer, but these resources definitely helped me feel like I am moving forward as I learn more. I'm sure there are more Mac and iPhone development posts coming in the future.

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