How do I program for OS X?
June 22, 2008 10:20 AM   Subscribe

My new Intel iMac is coming in the mail in a day or two, and I'd really like to learn how to program software for OS X and for my iPod Touch. Where can I learn how to do this?

So, as the question says, I'm getting a new Mac and I'm really interested in learning to write programs for it. I also got an iPod Touch free with the Mac, and I want to learn how to use the SDK to write programs for it. What resource can I use to learn this? Obviously, a free internet source would be great, but I'll buy a book if it's really good and will help.

I know C++, C#, and by extension a fair amount of C. Definitely willing to learn a new language to do this; I'm just not sure where to start.

So, AskMeFi, what's the definitive source for programming OS X?
posted by DMan to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Sign up for the free "Online" developer program.

You can download the various dev kits and SDKs from there.

They also have a great set of videos you can subscribe to on iTunes for both Mac and iPhone development.

Also, you can see many of the assets they have here.
posted by tomierna at 10:32 AM on June 22, 2008

Objective C is the language Mac OS X applications are written in.

Cocoa is the framework ("building blocks") from which applications are made.

Xcode is the IDE. This is the tool you'll use to develop your projects.

Aaron Hillegass' Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X is probably the best introduction to Cocoa and Objective C development.

From there, you could visit the iPhone Dev Center and read the "Getting Started", "Coding How-tos", "Sample Code" and "Reference" documents.

You can also subscribe to the cocoa-dev mailing list, which is a useful list for all things Cocoa.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:36 AM on June 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

Just in case it isnt obvious, the iPhone stuff is relevant because that is what you will need to develop for the iPod Touch.
posted by yetanother at 1:52 PM on June 22, 2008

Apple has comprehensive manuals on ObjectiveC, Cocoa, and the iPhone SDK on their website in both HTML and PDF formats. I recently downloaded and printed those 3, and they totalled about 600 pages. The Hillegass book is good & there's a brand new (3rd) edition of it which is heavily discounted on Amazon.
posted by neuron at 2:01 PM on June 22, 2008

I'm a C# programmer and had a hard time transitioning to Objective-C, has a nice overview and tutorials.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:18 PM on June 22, 2008

Seconding the Hillegass book. However, if you're interested in something more niche than "Cocoa business-ish applications" (say, OpenGL, audio synthesis, etc) you may also want to pick up specific references on those tasks. Objective C is C plus object orientation, and shouldn't be that terribly foreign if you already know C++. The syntax is a bit wonky -- [objname methodname], for instance, but you get used to it.
posted by Alterscape at 5:23 PM on June 22, 2008

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