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Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition) (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)

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

Based on Big Nerd Ranch’s popular Objective-C Bootcamp, Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide covers C, Objective-C, and the common programming idioms that enable developers to make the most of Apple technologies. Compatible with Xcode 5, iOS 7, and OS X Mavericks (10.9), this guide features short chapters and an engaging style to keep you motivated and moving forward. At the same time, it encourages you to think critically as a programmer.

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • Using Xcode, Apple’s documentation, and other tools
  • Programming basics: variables, loops, functions, etc.
  • Objects, classes, methods, and messages
  • Pointers, addresses, and memory management with ARC
  • Properties and Key-Value Coding (KVC)
  • Class extensions
  • Categories
  • Classes from the Foundation framework
  • Blocks
  • Delegation, target-action, and notification design patterns
  • Key-Value Observing (KVO)
  • Runtime basics

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Tags: Guides, Edition, ObjectiveC, Guide, Nerd, Ranch

2 Comments

  1. T. Anderson says:

    Excellent Place to Start with iOS Development!!! This book is the perfect place for an experienced developer to start with iOS programming. I say experienced developer because this book does a great job of showing you the basics of C and the Objective-C language, but if you don’t understand the basics of programming, you are probably going to get lost. Maybe not, but I found myself saying, “I am glad I already know what that is” about quite a few topics that were used to explain the subject matter. If you are experienced with C#, C, Java, or C++, you will be fine.This book does a great job of showing you what you need to know to get started with iOS. When you are done with it you should be able to easily move into learning more by reading more books, like iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (4th Edition) . You will need to learn a lot more to be proficient in Xcode and iOS.The book is broken down into 5 parts. I have summarized each below:Getting Started (Chapters 1-2)This first part explains what you can expect from the book, and what the author’s expect of you. It then takes you through the steps of creating your first application with Xcode.How Programming Works (Chapters 3-12)In this part you get an overview of C. The authors take you on a tour of some programming concepts using the functionality provide by the C language. Topics they cover include Functions, Variables, Types, if/else, Loops, Numbers, Format Strings, Pointers, the Heap, and Structs.Objective-C and Foundation (Chapters 13-30)In these chapters the authors take you on a tour of object oriented concepts and Objective-C. Topics covered include Objects, Messages, Memory, NSArray, NSString, Classes, Inheritance, Instance Variables, Leaks, Collection Classes, Constants, Reading and Writing Files, Callbacks, Protocols, and Property Lists.Event-Driven Applications (Chapters 31-32)In this part you write an iOS and a Cocoa application. While building the applications the authors introduce the Model-View-Controller pattern, setting up views, wiring up buttons and table views, loading and saving data, Interface Builder, and they discuss the role the application delegate plays.Advanced Objective-C (Chapters 33-37)Here the authors cover init, more about properties, key-value coding and observing, and categories.Advanced C (Chapters 38-42)In these final chapters the authors cover C strings, bitwise operators, C arrays, and using the command line and command line arguments.How are the code samples? Well that will be up to you because the author’s policy is this – “Given that the code samples are short. And that they often go through a few revisions. And that if I publish the code some people will read it instead of typing it in. I’m not going to make the code available.”You will need to type the examples if you want to see them in action. That is not such a big deal because the way the authors use the samples throughout the book is add this ABC code, and then in the next example delete ABC code and add XYZ code, and then leave XY, but delete Z and add DEF code. The authors tell you at the beginning of the book you are going to want to read this in front of a Mac. They aren’t kidding.Coming from a long career in C#, and before that C and C++, this was the perfect place for me to start with iOS programming. I have this second edition and the first edition. I never got around to reviewing the first edition, but wanted to make sure I reviewed this one because I feel it is an awesome asset to the experienced programmer looking to get into iOS programming.The book also makes a good reference. Topics are short and to the point. There isn’t any filler in this book, so when you need to look something up you have a nice concise explanation at your fingertips.All in all, if you are looking to get into iOS, this is a great place to start. If you are an experienced iOS developer, it makes a nice reference for the features only used once in a blue moon

  2. David Sosna says:

    Really excellent, current (12/2013) Obj-C text. HIGHLY recommended I’ve read more Obj-C books than I can count. Big Nerd Ranch is great: they teach new programmers, so have heard all the questions, know where the weak spots and beginning confusions are. Best, the books speaks to those points clearly and often. I’ve read VERY thorough and comprehensive texts on Obj-C and this one still finds nooks and crannies to point out to make things clearer at every opportunity. I have it in Kindle and Paper. Very good. Can’t recommend this enough.

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