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Beginning Mac Programming: Develop with Objective-C and Cocoa


Cover image for Beginning Mac Programming
Pages 300
Release P2.0 (2010-09-27)
ISBN 978-1-93435-651-7

You already know the reasons to get into Mac programming: millions of users rely on the Mac as their primary operating system. If you are searching for a new job, acquiring a skill set, or simply inspired to develop software for the Mac, Beginning Mac Programming is the practical and straightforward introduction to the basics you need to create innovative applications that people will seek out, discuss, and rely on. Beginners welcome!

Audience: this book is aimed at folks without any previous experience programming. For a book aimed at experienced programmers, please see Cocoa Programming: a Quickstart Guide.

About This Title

Beginning Mac Programming is aimed at beginning developers without prior programming experience. It takes you through concrete, working examples, giving you the core concepts and principles of development in context so you will be ready to build the applications you’ve been imagining. It introduces you to Objective-C and the Cocoa framework in clear, easy-to-understand lessons, and demonstrates how you can use them together to write for the Mac, as well as the iPhone and iPod.

You’ll explore crucial developer tools like Xcode and Interface Builder, and learn the principles of object-oriented programming, and how memory, data, and storage work to help you build your software.

If you’ve ever wanted to develop software for the Mac, this book is for you.


Beginning Mac Programming covers the version of Xcode and developer tools/frameworks that shipped with Snow Leopard. Users of older versions will notice some small differences.

It covers most of the features introduced with Objective-C 2.0 (available on systems running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later), with the exception of garbage collection. This is deliberate, as manual memory management techniques are required when writing iOS software for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

Xcode 4: although the book was written around Xcode 3, the content works just fine with Xcode 4. You may find the information at to be helpful in working around the changes in user interface.

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Contents & Extracts

Full Table of Contents


  • Your First Application
  • All About Objects
  • Object Messaging excerpt
  • Variables and Memory
  • Passing Information Around excerpt
  • Objects and Memory Management
  • Collecting Information
  • Branching Out
  • Looping and Enumerating
  • Objects, Encapsulation, and MVC
  • All About Views
  • Mac OS X and Cocoa Mechanisms
  • Where to Go from here
  • Developing for the iPhone
  • Installing Xcode

Brought to You By

Tim Isted has been writing software for Macintosh computers since 1995. He also builds web applications using Ruby on Rails, PHP, and .NET, and has been known to develop for Windows machines, too. He blogs on Core Data at, and is currently co-organizing NSConference, a conference for Mac developers.