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Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  548 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Now updated for both current developments in OS 10.4 and 10.5, this comprehensive guide to developing Cocoa guides programmers through the key features of Cocoa, and takes them step by step through the creation of typical applications.
Paperback, 433 pages
Published May 5th 2008 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published December 3rd 2001)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  548 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Dec 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Ok lets be clear here. I'm the worlds worst programmer! my brain is not wired to programme, I'm thick as two short planks when it comes to programming. I'm like a dog chasing a cat, I always go back for more punishment!!

Great book, but skips through some of the explainations of how individual lines of code are structured and why. Apples reference docs don't give simple examples of how each call works and I find it confusing as I don't easily see how a call should be used.

Having said that the one
Mar 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Chibimagic by: Amazon
Shelves: programming
This book tried to teach Cocoa, Objective-C, and Xcode at the same time and failed pretty miserably. The book is organized around example programs, not programming concepts, so it's pretty much impossible to go back and skim to find a particular bit of code or concept.

This book teaches you how to read Objective-C, not how to write it. The author encourages you to copy-paste the code a lot or retype it verbatim. Instead of practicing what was just covered, the exercises either have you repeat the
Jun 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is how technical books should be written. If you want to learn Cocoa programming for Mac OS X, I highly recommend this book.

The author does an excellent job of walking the reader through the need-to-know parts of developing Cocoa software on the Mac. His style is very approachable. A breadth of fresh air, a technical book that does NOT read like a cryptic UNIX man page. Hillegass "gets" his audience.

I would not recommend this book to a beginner or non-programmer. A decent understanding of o
Laurence Scotford
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
A really thorough and highly recommended introduction to programming Cocoa on Mac OS X. What I loved about this book is that almost every technical detail that is discussed is illustrated with simple example applications that can quickly be built and run.

I'd also recommend completing the challenges in the book. Some of them are quite stretching for programmers that are new to Cocoa, but I probably learnt as much again from completing the challenges as I did from following along with examples.

Ergun Coruh
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the only book you need to have if you want to learn Mac OS/X, Objective-C Programming. The examples in the book follow XCode 3 but I didn't have much difficulty in adapting them to XCode 4. The flow is engaging, examples are interesting and comprehensive. I found everything I needed for the app I am working on. Thoroughly recommended. 5/5 stars. Note this book covers Mac desktop apps. There is another one from the same author "iPhone Programming The Big Nerd Ranch Guide" that I keep an e ...more
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: work-read
My first book on Cocoa and Objective-C programming. Did not cover iOS (then iPhone OS) programming.

Wasn't a beginner book. It assumed some competence on Mac OS usage and culture. Difficult to get through; wasn't a good match to my need at the time (iPhone OS programming).

However, later, as I learned the platform, I came back to this book periodically, to see how it treated some topics. An OK book.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book would be great for a beginner in Objective-C and Cocoa, but it won't take you very far. Most of my experience was just re-typing code from the book, which is very helpful when you are not at all familiar with Objective-C or Cocoa.

However, if you are an intermediate or advanced Cocoa programmer this probably won't help very much.
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
4.5/5 - A terrific introduction to Cocoa and Objective-C. One of the few programming books which successfully caters to experienced programmers that are new to a specific field. Hillegass dives right into the subject matter, and the book does an especially good job with pacing the examples with infodumps.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
The de-facto standard text for learning Cocoa. It was good and to the point. The subject matter is challenging however so I would only recommend this book to someone who has at least basic experience with the C language and an object oriented language. These are really the prerequisites to picking up this book.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Not nearly as good as the last Objective C book I worked through. Hillegass isn't thorough enough. Yeah, I understand the virtue in setting challenges for reader/students. But a lot of time is wasted and I'm often in a state of resigned confusion.

Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you want to get into programming on the Mac or the iPhone, this is the first book you should read. Considered by many as the "Cocoa Bible", it leads the reader into the world of Cocoa, Objective-C, and Xcode at a steady, manageable pace.
Jack Repenning
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
The go-to book for Cocoa and Objective C. An extraordinarily rare technical book: works as class, refresher, or reference; highly accessible yet very thorough. Also the best introduction to Objective-C (which is required to work in Cocoa).
Jeff Menter
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really a great book on Cocoa Programming and Xcode. It can be picked up by anyone with just a little programming experience. Coupled with Stephen Kochan's excellent "Programming in Objective C" and you're ready to start making your own Mac OS X applications!
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
so much clearer than any tutorial on the web. has a tutorial like format but does a good job of explaining the major concepts in developing for mac/iphone (obj c, cocoa, interface builder)

i don't see it as a good reference but its a great book for learning
Robert Postill
I liked this book, it was clear, practical and relevant. However Objective-C and the Mac OS X toolkit is sadly too ugly for me to persist with. I got through the first five chapters or so but stopped once I knew I couldn't take the environment.
Jason Hullinger
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: techbooks
Aaron Hillegass is an excellent tech author who can explain concepts in such a way that it's easy to follow along, while keeping you engaged. If you are learning to program on Mac OS X and are either a ninja Objective-C coder or a novice, this book is a must have.
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Hillegass is the Petzold of Mac programming.
Jeffrey Bakker
Got the 2nd edition. Was good, but gets dated fast. Snow Leopard has different tricks to get your applications to understand Applescript.
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who wants to develop OSX apps in Cocoa should read this.
Gian Luca
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Buona visione dall'alto di Cocoa e Objective C.
In alcune parti (in particolare Core Data) mi aspettavo qualche approfondimento in più...
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A good introduction to Cocoa and Objective C, especially if you make the effort to go through all the exercises!
TK Keanini
Great book.
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
The bible of Cocoa programming.
Joe P
Still the book I recommend to folks who want to learn Obj-C and Cocoa programming for MacOS X and iPhone.
Demian Turner
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech, cocoa
An excellent and essential introduction to Cocoa for developers
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: osx, cocoa
I read the first edition, and IMHO just because he has been programming for Cocoa since NextStep does not make him a good or interesting author.
May 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Meh...covers the material.
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a good resource for me but it reaffirmed my position that I wasn't put on this planet to be a programmer.
Mitchell Mckenna
Oct 25, 2009 added it
Recommended to Mitchell by: Chris Cunningham
My friend Chris Cunningham from Apple recommended this book as an intro to programming for the Mac Operating System and the iphone. There's no filler, so the book's concise and to the point.
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Aaron Hillegass was working at NeXT when it was purchased by Apple. He founded Big Nerd Ranch in 2001. Big Nerd Ranch, based in Atlanta, does training and consulting on mobile and other emerging technologies.