Where to Begin Learning Mac Programming?


I want to get into Mac programming, but I'm at a loss where to start.

I've been on Mac since Summer '84. Did HyperCard, am a FileMaker Pro expert, and have a lot of HTML, but I want to do more now. To be specific, I want to eventually build a program that customizes the Mac interface. (Shapeshifter never upgraded to Leopard, and Magnifique doesn't work that well. Façade is still vaporware.)

I'm on 10.5.8 with XCode 3.1.4. There was a tutorial (Master of the Void) but it was just upgraded to XCode 3.2 for Snow Leopard and it changed a great deal. I'm on a PPC G5 and can't go to Snow Leopard.

Will someone please take a little pity and point me in the right direction? A good book, or on-line tutorial?

UNIX, C, C++, Carbon, Cocoa.... It's a little confusing and intimidating.


U.S.D.A. Prime
Do you have the basic ideas around programming down? Once you learn how to "program" in one language, then it's all semantics from there on out. The basics would be:

- Primitive types (Int, float, double, etc.)
- Loops (for loops, while loops, etc.)
- Constructs (arrays, structures, etc.)
- Object-oriented basics (dot-operators, etc.)

If you know how to program in Java, for example, it's relatively easy to pick up C++. I recommend starting off in C, as that will force you to gain "best practice" knowledge (memory management, pointers, etc.).

I highly recommend structured, class-based learning, with a knowledgeable instructor who can guide you along the way and help you understand your mistakes. Picking up programming from scratch with a book probably won't get you to where you want to be in any reasonable amount of time, but it is possible.

I think tackling an interface modification program is a little much for your first Mac program -- that's an extremely daunting task, even for the most seasoned Mac programmers.

So... how much programming experience do you have already?

Oscar Castillo

Start with Objective-C. I thought "Programming in Objective-C" or the updated "Programming in Objective-C 2.0" by Stephen G. Kochan to be the best for me.
There's also "Learn Objective-C on the Mac" by Mark Dalrymple and Scott Knaster.
Everything else out there assumes you already are familiar with Objective-C and will leave you wanting more background info that only these books can provide.