Learning Cocoa
By Apple Computer Inc
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: May 2001
Pages: 384

Cocoa™ is one of the principal application environments for Mac® OS X. Among Cocoa's many attributes, its advanced object-oriented APIs allow you to develop in both Java and Objective-C. This revolutionary new way of developing sophisticated applications for the Macintosh is both powerful and easy.

With Learning Cocoa you'll become familiar with Cocoa application development, using Objective C, not merely by reading, but by doing. The book begins with a discussion of essential object-oriented programming concepts for those with no previous experience. It proceeds through an introduction to the Cocoa environment, development, tools, and some simple tutorials to help you become familiar with the basic elements of Cocoa programming. The remaining tutorials guide you as you create a series of increasingly complex example applications. The techniques and concepts you learn in one tutorial lay the foundation for the more advanced techniques and concepts in the next.

You don't need extensive programming experience to complete the examples in this book, though it would be helpful to have some experience with the C programming language. The code for each example is included in the text so you can simply type it in. If you're already familiar with an object-oriented programming language like Java or Smalltalk, you'll quickly feel right at home with Objective-C, the language used throughout this book.

As you ease your way into the experience of Cocoa programming, you're encouraged to play, to explore, to "kick the tires." You'll finish this book much better prepared to take on serious application development with Cocoa, and you'll find Apple's development environment not only less mysterious, but one that you'll be eager to program in.

Written by insiders at Apple Computer, the book brings you information that you can't get anywhere else--and a potential leg up in the Mac OS X application development market.

Table of Contents
Product Details
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
O'Reilly MediaLearning Cocoa
 
3.4

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

Reviewed by 14 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
3.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Jo Davidson

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

I have managed programmers and have written programs myself using several procedural languages including Fortran, Pascal, and Basic.

Now that I am simi-retired, I thought Cocoa would be a good project as I am a long time Mac user, and have begun to use OS X.

This book is a good start but has some flaws. The ToDo programming example downloaded from the O'Reilly web site is buggy. The status symbols are not drawn at all.

The ToDo tutorial is somewhat complex, so much so that looking at the nib files in the example does not provide the expertise necessary to debug the project. The text leaves out vital steps such as exactly how to create the information window groupings. No mention is made of the Layout->make subviews function. The program will not run correctly without use of this function.

A second but less troublesome problem is that Apple has twice released new versions of Project Builder since the book was published. Fortunately, the new UI is relatively intuitive, but one must invest time with trial and error learning. I had hoped that sufficient information would be presented that I could not only learn object oriented programming concepts, but actually create a bug free sample program. Having compared the sample code with my own created from the text, I believe there must be more information required to create the UI with Interface Builder.

Nevertheless, the book is valuable. More information on debugging is needed. My plan is to buy another book and keep trying. I expect that revisiting the ToDo Learning Project after I have acquired more debugging skills will result in finally getting the final example to run.

 
4.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Steve Neumann

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

I've found this book to be exactly what I need-a mix of examples with an explanation of the theory behind it.

As I've worked through the samples I've begun to put together the elements of what objective-C and Cocoa are. I came at it as a non-programmer with experience years ago in basic and pascal. I've pretty much only done scripting since then.

I found it helpful to run through a introductory book on C just to get a hang of the syntax. This book has really, however, put everything together for me so that now as I go online to various sites I can actually make use of what is there.

The only drawbacks I've had are the errors in code as listed in the book which are annoying as it makes the example not work and I don't always have the knowledge to fix it. The latest updates to the Project Builder actually include some of the examples so that I can compare their working model with the one in the book (eg. Dot View). The second drawback is that as the project builder and interface builder have gone into v.1.1 and later some of their features look different which is a bit confusing at times. However, these drawbacks so far have in a way forced me to dig in and learn more so I haven't found them a problem.

Definitely a good starting point.

Steve Neumann

 
3.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Dave Wu

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

This is a good book for getting a ground level understanding of Cocoa and how the frameworks work. I do wish there was a little more theory as to why the framework builders did things the way they did. A good additional reading would be Design Patterns (Gamma, Helm, Johnson, Vlissides) which talks about Notification, Delegation and Reflection. Some of the important concepts used by Cocoa.

Notably lacking though is any talk about the networking layer, Java as a language and perhaps a bit about creating your own framework code.

If you're interested in coding in Java I've put up an article on www.whiningdog.net about Learning Cocoa in Java. Feel free to contribute comments as I haven't quite got everything working right...

 
4.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By the Mac Enthusiast

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

First of all, I do not own this book, and I have not touched a copy of it. However, I read the Chapter 6 sample and I learned such a great deal from that single chapter that I wanted to give my feedback. I have had quite a struggle trying to learn Cocoa and I have been stuck for a while now, just being confused. I have done tutorials and tried repeatedly to make sense of the Application Kit and Core Foundation documentation bundled with Mac OS X which, with my novice's naivete, I found ponderous and confusing: all to no avail. The Objective C language guide, or whatever it's called, was also difficult to understand, and I had to re-read so much that it was nearly impossible to piece it all together.

When I read the sample chapter, I was so very pleasantly surprised to find out for the first time what a mutable data class actually was (I had been wondering this for some time and had not known where to ask or find it out). And at last this book finally explained Objective C object ownership and disposal in a way that I could actually understand -- it took me a minute, but it was really exciting when I finally got it; the Objective C language guide's section on object ownership and disposal had failed me in that respect every single time. I especially found the diagrams and illustrations to be immensely helpful in clarifying and demonstrating the relationships and interactions between different objects. I feel much in agreement with another review I read: that the writing is clear and that it is sufficiently easy to understand.

If you have not read the sample chapters, I highly recommend it. The other reviews seem to be fairly accurate which say that this book is a beginning Cocoa book. But I figure that once I have the basics down (with the aid of this book), all of those scads of sample code, drawer-full's of documentation, and racks of reference material on Cocoa will be enormously more meaningful to me and should then be mostly sufficient to keep me prancing down the path of progress. The first chance I get, I will go out and buy this book!

 
1.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Rob Stevenson

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

This book wasn't as valuable as I had hoped because it's merely a rewrite of the NeXTStep book. I was really hoping for a different treatment so that I would be able to learn more about Cocoa. I do hope that O'Reilly has another, fresh Cocoa book in the works.

 
2.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By E. Wang

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

As a newbie Cocoa developer with previous programming experience only in JavaScript and a little bit of Java, I found this book confusing at best. The book states that "if you're already familiar with an object-oriented programming language like Java or Smalltalk, you'll quickly feel right at home with Objective-C." However, what the book fails to mention is that it mixes plain C into it's example code at times w/o informing the reader. For example, in the DotView example in Chapter 8, it makes use of C structs w/o even bothering to explain them. I found this very confusing.

In addition, the first release of this book is plagued with errors. I have submitted several already, but there are a few whose solutions elude me. As a previous reviewer mentioned, the To Do example application doesn't work properly and has numerous bugs in it.

This book really seems like more of a primer for experienced NeXTStep developers who want to get up to speed with Cocoa in OS X, rather than the newbie Cocoa developer. I only hope O'Reilly can come out with a much improved second edition of the book or perhaps "Cocoa: The Definitive Guide."

 
4.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Dr. Scott Steinman

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

A good tutorial on beginning Cocoa programming. I only wish that intermediate and advanced books were out there as well.

My only problem with the book is that when something goes wrong with your program, it's nearly impossible to find the problem! The book does have a lot of errata, but that's to be expected on a new book (I'm speaking from experience here. The second book I wrote had an error on page 1 that my publisher, my co-authors and I all missed!). This complicates finding program errors because you don't know when the problem is with your coding or a mistake in the book.

I wound up with several problems on the To Do application:

1. The labels on top of the Info window don't display even though the outlet connections are correct and I've double-checked the code that should set them.

2. The status buttons do not cycle their state.

3.

Finding and fixing these problems has been difficult. The book gives the debugger a very cursory discussion, then assumes everything you do works correctly. More detailed discussions of error symptoms and their remedies, as well as how to debug on Mac OS X, would be helpful.

 
5.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Zootbobbalu

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

Anyone that says this book is nothing more than a rehashing of what is available online is completely wrong. I tried to start with the online resources and realized the following:

1. Apple's Foundation Framework and Application Kit documentation is incomplete and only for reference. These resources do not walk you through anything.

2. "Inside Cocoa" is a great and must read, but it only helps you understand the new terminology (which is very important because Objective-C adds many new terms to the geek speak we all love and hate).

3. Apple's Temperature Converter example was nice, but nothing compared to the examples in "Learning Cocoa".

4. If you have the time to sort through all the user groups out there and slog through all the different writing styles, then you probably can find everything that is written in this book. But I've "Been There, Done That" and I have to say that this approach is more confusing than revealing. Plus I don't have the time to search the web for everything.

"Learning Cocoa" is not "Inside Macintosh", mainly because it isn't as big as an encyclopedia set (I can only hope Apple plans to document Cocoa like they did with the "Inside Mac" series). But this book is a great starting point. Maybe they should call the book "A Cocoa Primer" instead, because this is really what "Learning Cocoa" is. If you're expecting a reading experience as complete as "Inside Mac" in this 366 page book, than you are going to be disappointed. If you want to quickly learn how to take advantage of the power and ease of programming in Cocoa, than this book is well worth the retail price. The value of the Application Kit and the Foundation Framework's documentation increases exponentially after reading "Learning Cocoa". I can't say the same after reading "Inside Cocoa".

 
5.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Martin Bauer

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

this book rocks!

it contains everything you need to start with Cocoa and ObjectiveC.

 
2.0

Learning Cocoa Review

By Been There, Done that.

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Cocoa:

A bit disappointing. I was expecting more from O'Reilly and Apple. This book is just an updated re-write of what has been available online for free from Apple/NeXT for quite some time. If I had known this I would not have wasted the money. The book may be good for someone just starting out (being your only choice at this point), but for someone fairly new to Cocoa who has been weeding through the limited online docs for months now trying to make sense of them, this is a bit redundant. This should be available as a free PDF as it always has been and should have been available months ago. Let's get some new useful info out there Apple! I really appreciate the Mac DevCenter but can we beef it up a bit? I wanna learn some serious Cocoa! Thanks O'Reilly!

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
Buy 2 Get 1 Free Free Shipping Guarantee
Buying Options
Immediate Access - Go Digital what's this?