Borkware Miniblog

January 4, 2009

New LoC is here

Filed under: amosxp, Big Nerd Ranch, LoC — Mark Dalrymple @ 6:02 pm

It’s finally seen the light of day. Learn Objective-C on the Mac is currently in dead-trees form, and available at amazon and other fine retailers.

I’m rather proud of the work that Scott Knaster and I have done on this second edition. It is the contents of the first edition from Spiderworks, but with about 100 new pages of goodies, including NSPredicate and Key Value Coding. There’s also a whole new chapter on Xcode tips and tricks.

The book is designed to sit between Dave Mark’s updated Learn C on the Mac and Dave’s and Jeff Lamarche’s most-excellent Beginning iPhone Development (exploding exploring the iPhone SDK). We go into things figuring you’ve met C and programming, so no “for loops are fun! ooh! variables!” kinds of rehashing. Instead we cover what’s been added by Objective-C, as well as some software engineering topics like indirection, object-oriented programming, the Open/Closed principle, and refactoring.

Plus the book is written to be fun. The English language is one of my favorite playthings. But the humor isn’t over the top and in your face. (at least I hope so)

On the AMOSXP front, we’ve added about 100 new pages of material, such as Objective-C 2.0 goodies (including some perversions of NSFastEnumeration), 64-bit programming, FSEvents, Dtrace and instruments, and NSOperation; and have also been removing some of the old and obsolete classic Mac information since it’s not relevant.

Fourteen students at the Big Nerd Ranch‘s Advanced Mac OS X Bootcamp got a first crack at the new material. There is a second bootcamp scheduled for February in Frankfurt. The actual publishing of the next edition (and its ultimate contents) will hinge on Snow Leopard’s schedule. Hopefully MacWorld will give us some schedule insight there.


  1. Great news! This may be just the book I’m looking for. Trying to get back to the programming world after many years spent in real life.

    Comment by Patrick — January 10, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

  2. I’ve been programming for going on 15 years now. I recently experienced a major religious conversion – I’m now a Mac user (and will never willingly go back to a PC). I recently decided to get my feet with with some Objective-C coding. I was trying to figure out why string1 == string2 wasn’t working, when I stumbled on your post here:

    It gave me the answer I was looking for, but I was so impressed with your writing, I bought your book “Learn Objective-C on the Mac” (I got the electronic version as I couldn’t wait for the bookstores to get it in stock).

    This is one of the best programming books I’ve ever read. I emphasize the word read, because instead of using your book as a reference, I actually read it from cover to cover – the book is that readable. How many technology books can you say that about? The explanations are very succinct and explain things in ways that beginners and long-time programmers will appreciate. The jokes you sprinkle through the book are actually funny (unlike most other technology authors). This book is not only a pleasure to read, it has greatly increased my ability to read and write Objective-C. You have raised the bar on technical writing and I hope this book gets the attention it deserves.

    Mark Twain once said that the difference between a word and the right word is like the difference between lightning an a lightning bug. It’s clear from reading this book that you took a great deal of care in choosing the right words, when you wrote it.

    I don’t normally write comments on blogs, but this book was so good, I felt I should let you know how much I appreciated it.

    Dennis M

    Comment by Dennis M — January 12, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

  3. *blush* – Thanks! I’m quite proud of the work Scott and I did on that. (shameless plug) Feel free to let your opinion be known on Amazon :-)

    Comment by Mark Dalrymple — January 12, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

  4. Review posted at Amazon – the least I can do. Seriously, your book is so good, it makes you want to punch other technical authors after being subjected to their windy, sleep-inducing, dry, passive voice, droning, uninteresting, mind-numbing and thoughtless books.

    I’m looking forward to the next version of Advanced Mac OS X Programming. Any thoughts on how relevant the current version is, now that Objective-C 2.0 has been released?

    Comment by Dennis M — January 12, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

  5. Thanks! I appreciate the nice review.

    The current version of AMSOXP still has good stuff – a lot of the Posix subsystems haven’t changed that much. Third edition is kind of holding for Snow Leopard’s schedule – if SL comes out sooner rather than later, we’ll put SL into the third edition. Also, we’ll be teaching it again in february to help iron out wrinkles in what we’ve got so far.

    Comment by Mark Dalrymple — January 13, 2009 @ 12:52 am

  6. Hey there Mark, congrats on the updated Objective-C book. I reviewed it over on my blog, and included it in my picks of the best books for learning iPhone programming. You and Scott did a great job with this title. I’ve been promoting you hard every time I see someone post asking ‘how do I learn iphone development?’.

    Mark J

    Comment by Mark Johnson — January 26, 2009 @ 4:08 am

  7. Thanks! Greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Mark Dalrymple — January 26, 2009 @ 11:11 am

  8. Hey MD. How are you??
    Congrats and all the best on your new book.
    I was looking for some books on Objective-C programming and here I found you.
    Only thing that worries me now is .. I wouldn’t get this book in India :(

    Comment by Om — February 3, 2009 @ 5:12 am

  9. Great to hear that the 3rd edition is coming out soon. I have the first edition and really like it. I was thinking about getting the 2nd edition, but will hold out a little longer. Thanks.

    Comment by Martin — July 16, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

  10. Forgot to ask, but does the 3rd edition of AMSOXP have anything in it about using SSL with sockets? Thanks.

    Comment by Martin — July 17, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  11. Hi,

    Wasn’t planning on SSL with sockets.


    Comment by Mark Dalrymple — July 18, 2009 @ 9:44 am

  12. Well, think about it. ;)

    Anything on using SSL at all?

    Do you have a list of the additional topics you are going to be covering?


    Comment by Martin — July 18, 2009 @ 9:51 am

  13. Nothing on SSL – I haven’t had a need to hit SSL directly, so I haven’t hit on it directly.

    New topics include Objective-C 2.0 goodies (including some perversions of NSFastEnumeration), 64-bit programming, blocks, FSEvents, Dtrace and instruments, NSOperation, GCD, and other goodies. I’m not planning on touching OpenCL.


    Comment by Mark Dalrymple — July 18, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  14. Do you already know when Advanced Mac OS X Programming 3rd edition is planned to appear?

    Comment by urbain — December 8, 2009 @ 11:06 am

  15. Help, please.
    I am starting thru the book and none of the downloaded examples will build and run. I am on an Intel iMac running 10.5.8
    When I open the xcodeproj file, it says that it was created by a newer version of Xcode. I am using 3.0 at the moment.
    When I “Build & Go”, the Debugger pops up and says “No executable present at path”

    Is there any way to retro-fit the project files ?

    Comment by Dan — April 21, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  16. Hi Dan,

    The latest Xcode for Leopard is 3.1.4 (nice number!). It’s a free download.

    Comment by Mark Dalrymple — April 22, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  17. Sounds like a plan to me !
    I’ll bump Xcode up and try again.

    Comment by Dan — April 22, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    • Xcode 3.1.4 did the trick. Many Thanks.

      Comment by Dan — April 22, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

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