Beginning Mac Programming

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The iPad, the iPhone, the iPod, the iMac...

The world according to Apple is vast and ever-expanding. The Mac and iPhone OS platforms seem to breed passionate users, united in their love for software and hardware that looks beautiful, behaves exactly how they expect, and works without the pains of hardware incompatibilities, driver installations, and convoluted interfaces.


Behind this alluring exterior lies a fascinating world. All computer platforms have communities of software developers, each equally devoted to what they do. What seems to set the Mac platform apart, though, is that so much of the available Mac and iPhone software has been written either by individual developers, working as independents, or for relatively small companies that maintain that “indie” feel. The sense of community is great, newcomers are welcomed and respected, and the indie-developer experience offers many rewards.


What also sets the Mac apart from another, reasonably well-known computer platform, is that the tools to write software come bundled free of charge with every Mac. They’re even available as free downloads from Apple’s website if you happen not to be able to find the original system discs or want the absolutely latest version.


Perhaps the only reasonable excuse not to sit down and write software right away is that the learning curve feels steep. The advice is often to “Go away and learn C, and come back when you’re done!” The aim of this book is to offer a different path.


We’ll be jumping headfirst into creating applications on the Mac that look and behave like the other Mac applications you’re used to. We’ll certainly be learning general programming principles, but we will be putting them into practice in real-world situations, right from the start. Over the course of the book, you’ll learn enough that you can fend for yourself, with enough knowledge of how the Mac programming world works that you know where to go to fill gaps in your knowledge with information from the right sources.


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