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Thread: How!?!?

  1. #1

    Forum Shark's Avatar
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    Question How!?!?
    Hello, all.

    I have a question regarding programming for the Mac OS X Leopard. How do you do it? I am having trouble finding books on the subject, and a lot of the sites don't explain it well. Can anyone give me some names of books, websites, any programs you need, or even how you learned. I notice there are no "ho-tos" on the apple website.

    Thank you

    Zach Okkema
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  2. #2

    xstep's Avatar
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    Did you search Google with 'programming "OS X"'? The first hit leads you to the Apple Developer Getting Started page. You can join the Apple Developer Connection (ADC) for free and get access to a bunch of information including tutorials. They tend to be for people who understand programing and the basics of Cocoa programming.

    Another good site is cocoadevcentral. There are many Cocoa developers who blog tutorials too.

    The book most people recommend first is Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (3rd Edition) by Aaron Hillegass. This book is the most current release and covers the more recent XCode 3.x and new Interface Builder. That is important because the changes are significant enough from the previous version to lead you into confusion with other books. I see there is a new book called Xcode 3 Unleashed. That would focus on the development tools, not developing applications.

    There are plenty of Cocoa programming books listed at Amazon. You will find it difficult to find books at your local book store, but I'm sure they can order them for you if you ask.

    If you are new to programming, I'd suggest you start with something simpler, like Perl, PHP, or Basic.
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  3. #3

    Forum Shark's Avatar
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    Question
    Thank you very much! I am new to programming. I have never done it before. It's just that I'd like to, and was wondering where to start. So, are you saying Cocoa is not a good place to start? Which would you recommend of the ones you listed? Perl, PHP, or BASIC?

    Thanks
    Zach
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  4. #4

    xstep's Avatar
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    I'm saying it would be best to get the basics of programming down before jumping into something as large as Cocoa. You want to understand a laundry list of things such as, variables, data types, functions, flow control, and how to combine all of that into a logical working application.

    Which language to start with is a can of worms. I don't have a specific recommendation. Your Mac came with several scripting languages (Perl, PHP, Python) already installed and are free to use. Chipmunk Basic is a free download. I'd say, search for some introductory tutorials on those and pick the one you are comfortable with. Since Cocoa's language of choice is Objective-C, a superset of C, then C may be very acceptable to begin with too.

    Most of the learning I'm thinking of involves just command line tools. You could easily extend that into web page forms via any of those three scripting languages. The important concepts though do not involve the difference between a GUI front end or a command line tool. See my first paragraph.

    Books are great for learning and your local library may have several introductory programming books. Just remember the samples need to work on your Mac, so if the book is Windows or Linux specific, skip it.

    Taking a class might be an option. Just avoid ones that insist on using Windows. Being that you have a Mac, this would likely lead to headaches.

    Lastly, you need an editor, not word processor, to create your code. OS X has TextEdit, but you have to change the format for a document to plain text for it to be useful in programming tools. See the Format menu option for an individual document or the Preferences of TextEdit to change it as the default for everything you write with it.
    CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

    When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

    Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.

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