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Pragmatic Articles; Beginning Mac Programming

March 03, 2010

Quick, before the Ides of March are upon us, check out the latest issue of our very pragmatic magazine, PragPub. From John Shade’s always-intriguing ruminations to the latest (or oldest) technologies, your mind will quickly fill with possibilities and insights. Or at least you can kill an hour or two and claim it’s work. Free to read and share in PDF, mobi, and epub formats.

Beginning Mac Programming is exactly what you might think from the title: an introduction to the wonderful (if occasionally arcane) world of programming on Mac OS X and iPhone/iTouch/iThingamajig. Details below.

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PragPub Issue #9, March 2010

2010 is shaping up to be an exciting year—wait for it—for JavaScript. JavaScript? Yep, homely old JavaScript, which is now being taken seriously in development situations where it would never have been a candidate before. It’s due to a number of developments, described by Jason Huggins and Craig Riecke in their articles on Node.js and JSON.

The late 1970s—when personal computers were called microcomputers, Bill Gates was writing software for some crazy entrepreneur in Albuquerque, Apple was still two guys in a garage, and hardware and software hackers met at a sharing session called the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto—was an exciting time to be a developer.

But the FOSS community has in many ways kept that homebrew spirit alive. And today developing for iPhone or Android can give you the sense that you could be the next indie breakthrough star with your one-developer-shop mobile app. But will it last? Chris Adamson wonders whether the iPad will kill the indie software hero dream.

We’re not overlooking actual homebrew, by the way. On the theory that you should occasionally step away from the keyboard and spend some of the intensity that you bring to your development projects on something completely unrelated to computers, Steve Peter walks you through everything you need to know to brew your own beer.

And we’re not overlooking the history of computing, either. Dan Wohlbruck takes us back in time, looking at the development of those type-y things, from the first typewriter to modern computer keyboards. Do you know what the typewriter’s killer app was? Dan tells you.

And that’s only about half of what’s in this issue. Brian Tarbox is back with a thought-provoking viewpoint on testing. Andy Lester continues a two-part essay on public speaking skills for developers. Michael Swaine explores what makes a tech book a classic. As usual, we have a quiz, an events calendar, and our Choice Bits collection of miscellaneous observations. And John Shade weighs in on HTML 5 and standards. He’s in favor of standards, at least for other people.

Available for free to read and share from

Beginning Mac Programming: Develop with Objective-C and Cocoa

Beginning Mac Programming is aimed at beginning developers without prior programming experience (for a book aimed at experienced programmers, please see Cocoa Programming: a Quickstart Guide for Developers.)

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. You’ll see 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.

Now in print, starts shipping on Monday, order from

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Thanks for your continued support,

Dave & Andy