Since I started programming computers a scant 31 years ago, I’ve had to learn many different programming languages – from ancients like COBOL, FORTRAN and RPG to more modern languages like Java. It’s all part of the game, but undeniably the programming paradigm has shifted beyond all recognition since I wrote that first TRS-80 Basic program all those years ago. They are increasingly more complex.
What I’ve found is that, with each language, there’s usually a key concept or concepts that “flips the light switch” to understanding. My latest endeavor, iPhone programming, involves learning both XCode development methods and Objective C. Objective C being an extension of C and a cousin of C++ – neither language is one that I’ve had much call to use. So, I’m really starting from scratch on this one.
Now, this “flip the switch” concept is probably different from one person to another, and, of course, it reflects certain cognitive biases towards certain forms of language and means of explanation – in short, your mileage may vary.
I was struggling trying to use Apple’s documentation, and even some of the other books on the market were not doing whatever it was that I needed. My latest acquisition, though, Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche’s “Beginning iPhone Development – Exploring the iPhone SDK” has finally done what I needed to do, and the light has finally dawned.
Therefore I’d recommend this book to others looking to get their start with iPhone development. They do a nice job of explaining the (frankly bizarre) drag and drop use of Interface Builder to link the nib files to the Objective C code, which was one concept that was really giving me grief. (It all seems almost logical, now.)
Pity my plans for an iPhone Duckworth-Lewis calculator were scuttled to trade secrets. It’d be a handy tool for non-professional teams for use back in the pavilion.