Monday, December 29, 2008
Learn Objective-C on the Mac, on which I was the Technical Reviewer, is now shipping.
Obviously, I'm not a disinterested or unbiased party but, honestly, Scott and Mark did an amazing job with this book. The chapter on memory management, which is probably the most difficult aspect of iPhone programming for both new programmers and those coming from other languages, is just phenomenal. Mark and Scott took a difficult concept and made it understandable and concrete.
And the book is exhaustive. I can't think of anything about the language that they don't cover and cover well. I've been coding in Objective-C for almost a decade, and programming for twenty-something years, and I learned several things I either didn't know or had forgotten while reviewing the book. It's also just fun to read. Both Scott and Mark have wicked senses of humor. They'll keep a smile on your face while taking you through some tough material.
One of the complaints I've seen about our iPhone book was that we didn't cover the Objective-C language. I understand the criticism, but it was a conscious decision on our part. The reason we didn't include a chapter or two on the Objective-C language in the iPhone book is because we are the third book in a series (the first book is the classic Learn C on the Mac written by Dave Mark, my co-author on the iPhone book).
As it was, we ran nearly two hundred pages over our statement of work. We didn't want to have to cut relevant iPhone material in order to include material that was covered (and covered well) in the earlier books. We wanted to give people of differing experience levels the flexibility to just pay for the material they needed. A considerable number of our potential readers already know C, a smaller, but not insignificant number of our potential readers already know Objective-C.
On a related note, the last six months have been an interesting time for me. I read Scott's books like "How to Write Macintosh Software" back in the late eighties when I was switching from programming the Apple II to programming the Mac. A few years later, I read Dave's "Learn C" book when I switched from Pascal to C.
After the switch to OS X, Mark's first book, Advanced Mac OS X Programming: Core Mac OS X & Unix Programming was a huge help to me in getting a better understanding of what goes on under the hood in a unix-based operating system.
I feel tremendously lucky to have had the opportunity to work with these more experienced authors.
Posted by Jeff LaMarche at 6:25 AM