Borkware Miniblog

August 15, 2011

The New Phone Books Are Here! The New Phone Books Are Here!

Filed under: amosxp, Big Nerd Ranch, writing — Mark Dalrymple @ 11:56 am

Vikki bookIt’s been a while in the making, but Advanced Mac OS X Programming 3 / The Big Nerd Ranch Guide has finally started trickling out to folks.  I got my Author Copies today.  WOOOO!  You can see Vikki posing with the new edition.  Everything on the internet is improved by adding a cat.

This book is a massive overhaul of the second edition.  I dropped a number of chapters (I’m pretty sure folks know about version control systems these days), and a number were added (DTrace and GCD anyone?), with pretty much everything edited and improved (bye-bye Shark :-(  Hello Instruments :-) ), covering stuff through 10.6 / iOS 4.  Students taking my class at the ranch get to be guinea pigs a sneak peek of the Lion-related material.  It had already been over five years since the second edition, so we decided to go ahead and ship it, and then do a thorough job on the Lion / iOS5 / iCloud stuff in a later edition.  Hopefully not so much later this time.

Speaking of Editing, Susan and Chris Loper from Intelligent English edited the book and maintained the DocBook-based pipeline of tools.  The second edition did not have an editor, and it shows.  Chris wrangled the tools, and thanks to Susan’s work I’m quite proud of the third edition, the quality of the writing, and the quality of the index (another second edition sore spot).

These things make great Labor Day gifts.  Be sure to order several for the children.  I’ll have a couple with me at CocoaHeads/Pittsburgh this week to give away.

Edit2: Gaige Paulsen pointed out that it’s already available in the iBooks / Kindle stores.  You can snarf the free sample and check out the table of contents.

Edit1: Folks have asked what’s new (skimming down the ToC – I’ve been living inside this thing, and teaching out of it for five years now…)

  • ObjC 2.0 stuff, properties, etc
  • Blocks
  • 64-Bit computing
  • getopt_long
  • lib/otool
  • Garbage Collection
  • Debugging techniques
  • DTrace
  • Overhaul of Performance Tuning
  • Instruments
  • NSFileManager got a complete overhaul
  • IPv6, overhaul of the code
  • CFHost
  • FSEvents
  • Operations
  • GCD


  1. Woohoo! Congratulations on getting some actual physical copies of the book in your hands. I bet it feels great to get to see the physical object after all of the work you put into it.

    Comment by Bobbie Lynn — August 16, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  2. I read a third of the book and I love it. I never though a chapter on gdb could be fun to read.

    Comment by Simon Pierre Desrosiers — October 5, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

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