Book: Beginning iPhone Development

by Jon Davis 30. November 2008 20:05

I've made a couple false-starts in learning iPhone development, but this time I'm not finding myself sputtering to a halt. In fact, I'm having a blast.

This weekend I'm reading through this book:

Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK

.. and I've posted the following review:

When this book arrived, and I saw the book cover, I knew I got something different. Not a cookie-cutter book but an original piece of work where somebody really intended to teach something.

I just got this book a few days ago and with this 4-day Thanksgiving weekend and living alone I have been having a blast focusing just on this book. I haven't read through it all yet, still just a quarter of the way through, but I'm not trying to cram. This book does exactly what I want a book to do (as opposed to an online reference resource): stop and talk about every little thing that is really useful to know in the workflow of applications programming on an iPhone.

These guys know how to write. They don't leave the reader with presumptuous word choice and leave the reader hanging; every time they say something it's like they read the mind of the reader, "Now you might be wondering, what about... or why not do ... Well, let's talk about that." Nearly every corner is covered, and where I still have questions it's usually not directly related to the topic, i.e. I have an Obj-C question. Even then, after I return from surfing the web for answers, I return to the book and turn the page and the book says, "You should read up on this stuff at [URL]"... I kid you not, this book had me floored.

Looking towards the latter pages of the book, I can't help but be astounded, thinking, wow, I get to learn about THAT? And in the same style of learning that I've been enjoying so far? This is great!

There are very few errors, mostly just little things that the reader can spot just by paying attention. There are plenty of enough illustrations and tips to keep the reader engaged and constantly learning not just the basics but how to get comfortable in the workflow of iPhone development.

My only disappointment is that the book assumes knowledge of Obj-C, but fortunately it comes with plenty of URLs and references to complete those prerequisites as well, and really, to discuss Obj-C in detail, beyond the rather brief coverage-as-we-go that is indeed in this book, would have been beyond the scope of the book so that's fine.

There's just nothing I can say bad about this book, and everything good. It is by far the funnest technical book I've owned and cracked open in months, if not years.

By the way, coming from a C# background (and Java and VB5/6 before that), lightweight programming of the iPhone is EASY!! It's different, but it's easy, particularly compared to C++ programming which I've had a number of false starts. For me, if I can go from VBScript to VB6 to Java to C#, I can go from C# to Obj-C. Also, the workflow of Xcode + Interface Builder is somewhat analogous to the workflow of Visual Studio + Expression Blend 2 for WPF programming, if indeed event handlers would have been set up in the Blend designer in a drag-and-drop way. I must also add, learning how to develop software in Xcode forces the developer to learn MVC. I don't know why people who are used to Visual Studio programming dislike the MVC-ness of Xcode programming, but I love the change of workflow, and I think there is much to take back with me when I return to C# development.

Game Math: Back To Basics

by Jon Davis 14. July 2007 21:13


The two additional books I ordered arrived earlier this week:
 

The first of the two is everything I anticipated it to be. It's chock full of reference material and sample code for virtually every typical game physics scenario one could think of. And it's totally written for coders, yet can be read by a non-coder who might know the syntax; the sample code is C++ but could just as well be elegant Java or C#. I'm very excited to have this book.

The second book just jumps right in and vomits math formulae all over the place in a game-world applicable fashion. It's a good book, too.

Unfortunately, both books (but especially the latter) are over my head as I hardly even know how to read these math notations much less comprehend them. It's time to dig higher, closer to the surface. I ordered a few more math books, this time hopefully this additional investment will pave the way for me to more appreciate the books I already bought.
 

____________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, aside from math I snagged or pre-ordered a few more API-related books:
 

And, not gaming related, I ordered:
 

Yeah I buy a lot of books. I do this with every major technology cycle and/or career cycle.


 

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
 
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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