→ Learning Cocoa

01 May 2008

Nathan Florea responded to my last post to correct my Objective-C.

Instead of this:

NSString* amount = [[NSString alloc] initWithFormat:@"%.02f", 
  [converter convertCurrency]];

He recommended I write this:

NSString* amount = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%.02f", 
  [converter convertCurrency]];

Much nicer. While he was foolishly giving away valuable advice for free, I asked him to recommend some resources for a budding Cocoa developer. His response was pretty awesome, and he’s given me permission to share it with you:

The obvious place to start is the mailing lists. Apple’s are pretty good, but Apple’s interface sucks. Try Cocoabuilder, which actually makes the archive usuable. The Omni Group’s MacOSX-dev still gets some traffic, but I haven’t followed it in a little while. Might be worth checking out and they have some good (but advanced) code online.

A great resource is the CocoaDev wiki. A really great resource for learning is Cocoa Dev Central. They’ve got some great tutorials for learning obj-c that I still use occasionally when I need a quick refresher.

For code snippets, you can try Code Beach and Cocoa Traces. They haven’t really taken off, though, so there isn’t a lot there (I think the CocoaDev wiki is better for that). But I still hope.

You should also check out F-Script. It lets you explore and play with Cocoa apps using an obj-c-ish scripting language. It makes learning fun! Or it’s just fun. But you’ll learn something.

I’d also ask this question at the Ars Technica Mac Forum, Macintoshian Achaia). There aren’t really any development discussions, but there are a lot of devs in the group and they could point you to other resources.

And there are some good IRL resources. If you are near a CocoaHeads group, I would definitely take advantage of that. And if you can get someone to pay for it, the WWDC conference is unbeatable. Part of the ticket price gives you access to all of the sessions, from the current and past WWDCs, through iTunes. It doesn’t replace the experience of getting to talk to other developers and Apple engineers, but it does give you some lasting value that perhaps makes the price easier to swallow.

And last, but not least, there are the blogs. There are some really good Mac dev blogs. I’ve exported my list into OPML for you, so take a look at those and find the ones you like.

Here’s the OPML in question: CocoaDevs.opml

Thanks Nathan!