Objective-C Gears Up

horseshoe crab outline avatarI’m happy today. I got a shiny new toy – I mean, tool – this week, a new iMac. My previous one was pretty old, with barely enough RAM to run OSX Lion, which I need to run the newest version of Xcode, which I need to write apps. That’s my justification, anyways. It’s taking a while to get everything set up, but I’m almost there. All in all, it’s very exciting, perhaps more so than is warranted.

And speaking of tools, and tools for creating iPhone apps, Steve Kochan’s Objective-C class is ramping up. Up until now, we were doing fairly basic syntax and methods, which was like learning fundamental grammar and elementary words, but now we are getting into methods (“words”) with more implications and nuances. I find this more challenging. To be proficient at this section of Objective-C really takes experience with the methods, which I don’t yet have. There are a lot of programming methods pre-written into Objective-C, and without experience, you have little way of knowing whether a method has already been written for a task you want to accomplish. Fortunately, as a result of the class I feel well-prepared to use the “dictionary” (read: Apple documentation) to look for unfamiliar methods. Documentation that would previously have made my eyes glaze over is now fairly clear. To me, it’s an amazing change, and it’s mostly due to Steve Kochan’s teaching that I feel so confident. I’m very much looking forward to learning actual iOS programming with Steve.

A shameless plug: We’ve been using the third edition of Steve’s Objective-C book, Programming in Objective-C 2.0, and I like it a lot. It’s been a great resource on Xcode 4 and Objective-C, and he supports the book with an extensive website devoted to the book and Objective-C programming in general. As I understand it, there are some changes coming to Objective-C that will render parts of the book less relevant, especially the sections on memory management, but it’s still a good one to learn from, even if you have little programming experience. Get it now if you’re interested in Objective-C.

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