Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A time for review ...

    In [this previous post] I had started working my way through the book, Mastering Xcode 4: Develop and Design. I had decided to start with this book rather than Programming in Objective-C, third edition. The only real reason for this decision was time; I was looking for a shortcut to Mac and iOS programming. As you will soon see, it didn't quite turn out the way I expected.
    While the book itself rather well written, not all of the instructions are clear. Also, this book was never written with the intent of being a primer to becoming a Mac (or any other type of) programmer. All in all however, it was good read and working through the exercises was not a waist of time.

    Section One of the book is good introduction to what programming is, was and offers a brief (if incomplete) look at where Apple appears to be taking its development resources. The reality is, its more fluff than substance. I was through it in less than forty-five minutes. Not a complete waist of time, but it was close.

    Section Two offered a lot more promise. You are walked through creating a simple "Hello World" program and adding a simple "to-do" database type function to it. It was in this section that things became really unclear. I will not go into detail with happened, but if you want to find out what happened, just read [this previous post].

    Section Three, the last real section of the book covers everything about the Xcode IDE. Everything from creating Icons to setting up your workspace is covered. At this point, you will create no more "real" code. You can work through the few pages that cover creating a simple iOS application, but really, it isn't worth it. All the application does is show you if you double tapped the screen. Thats it. Nothing more.

    In fact, Section Three is very detailed on all of the available options, tools and functionality of Xcode 4. In fact, I believe that the first two sections actually lead in to this very well. After all, the book is called Mastering Xcode 4.

    For all of this books faults, which are actually few and far between, I am giving this book 4.5 stars. I would definitely recommend this book to both those who are new to Xcode, and those transitioning from Xcode 3. In fact, the Amazon Kindle Edition is selling for a mere $17.10 on as of this writing. I suggest you get it if you really want to know what the Xcode 4 IDE is really capable of. I got it, and I am going to keep it and use it. 

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