iOS 4 Programming Cookbook (Anglais) Broché – 15 février 2011
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This is the book I wish I'd had when I started developing for the iPhone. I started writing apps about two weeks after the infamous Apple Developer NDA was lifted and information started trickling out onto the Internet. If I'd have had a book like the iOS Cookbook I could have saved myself many hours of painful trial and error while learning Objective C and what is now the iOS API.
This is not really a book for a beginning iOS programmer. It's a book for someone who's done a couple of simple apps and has the basic idiom down. If you're looking to learn Objective-C or the mechanics of writing an iPhone app, this book will not help you. But if you can already write a functional app, the code snippets in this book will trim lots of time off of your learning curve when it comes to implementing more sophisticated features like Core Data, gestures, etc.
There are a few areas where the examples could be clearer, and it's clearly impossible to cover some of the more sophisticated functions of areas like Core Data in 620 pages. But overall this is an excellent REFERENCE for new and experienced app developers alike, and I'd recommend adding it to your library.
First things first: it's a good book. It's covers a lot of area, and it has a *lot* of usable sample code; there's an excellent chance that you can see things and immediately apply them to your own projects. It also covers the stuff which is a pain to find good information about online, such as the C frameworks (EventKit, AddressBook, etc). I know from experience that Apple's sample code for this tends to be unhelpful, and I spotted at least two flat out wrong things in Apple's AddressBook documentation last year, so having a good book for the C frameworks is nice. It also covers much of the iOS 4.0 stuff, such as multitasking. (Older books tend to either not cover it because iOS 4.0 only came out in June 2010, or they rushed it because they desperately needed to have something on the page about it. This book gives it a decent treatment.)
What's not so good is that the book tries to walk a tightrope between being a beginner book and an advanced book, and ends up in the middle somewhere. There's a lot of overview material, such as refreshers on the basics of retain/release memory management, that advanced iOS programmers will already know, but which have large gaps that less experienced programmers will fall into without even realizing it. For example (and only people who know some Objective-C will understand what I mean here), that overview of retain/release memory management gives a *paragraph* to autorelease, which mostly suggests using manual release instead. I can understand that argument and its advantages, even if I don't agree with it. However, the great majority of objects you deal with in an Objective-C app - including almost every NSString you make - were already autoreleased by Apple's code! If you don't know at least the basics of autorelease, I don't think you can write a program without mysterious crashes all over the place...and this book expects you to already know about it. If this is an advanced book, why was any space spent on the basics? If it's a near-beginners book, why do the overviews not teach you *everything* you need to know?
Bear in mind that this is a good book, even though I spent more time talking about the negatives than the positives; it's just that it cannot be your only Objective-C book. You *need* some experience in writing apps for iOS or the Mac before you can use it. I wish they'd taken out the basics, but them in some other book, and crammed in some more advanced-level material...but then, these days, if a book covered every 'advanced' thing in iOS in enough detail to make me happy, I'd have to take it off the shelf with a forklift.
One of the things that I want to ask O'Reilly for the next release of this book is to include more photos as I have already mentioned. The more photos the merrier! To sum it up, this is an extremely useful book even if you are a novice like me but you just have to be smart enough to find some supplementary subjects online if you find out that the thing you are looking for isn't covered in this book (which again isn't necessarily for newbies but is darned helpful regardless!).
My suggestions for the book are ==> 1) add more example codes for typical object allocation and etc, just so that readers can learn objective-c without having to refer to any other reference.I know this is not an objective-c book but would be good if basics were all explained here.2) I want more examples for graphics, maybe some 3d graphics as well to make games, some physics and so on and so forth to help beginner game developers. Anyway, whatever the case, this book is proving to be a great asset for me and I look forward to referencing it over and over and over again :)
The good thing about this book is that it gives you a complete solution to a specific problem you might come up. I normally do a Google search for a code snippet, but most of the results are not verified or confirmed. Sometimes I just end up spending lots of time wondering around for a simple function. This book provided samples and discussions in different categories, which makes it easy to navigate and locate the problem you want to solve.
The explanation of each receipt is very clear as well.
When I wanted to use Core Data in one of my apps, I just did a search in Apple's documents, and got a really long list. There is a tutorial, but not much on actually add it into my app. I then turned to this book for help; there is a complete section about Core Data, including every operation I need to implement, separated into receipt. So I can just follow the receipt to add Core Data support. That's the thing I need!
Some of the receipts there are from iOS3.x though, not updated to iOS4. Taking movie playing for example, Apple has provided a new simpler controller to play full screen movie since iOS3.2. But the receipt in this book failed to mention it.
Generally speaking, it is very useful and practical. I would suggest every iOS developer to put this book on the desk as a reference.
The book is quite beefy, it's thick and covers tons of subjects in iOS. Multitasking is my weakness. I know that iOS 4 has been out for a long time but I still struggle with Multitasking but having skimmed over the Multitasking chapter in this book I am pretty sure I'll learn the important bits to be able to handle it. I somehow thing this book should have started with the multitasking chapter but I guess I understand why O'Reilly started with some more basic things such as Object allocation and memory related subjects.
The threads and timers chapter is useful. Once you pick the book up and see it for yourself, you'll get what I mean by "useful". The examples are the useful thing. The text is clear and really supports what is written in the example codes. I check Apple's documentation every now and then but after buying this book, I take it to work every day. It just sits on my desk and when I come back home it sits on my desk at home. If I need to find something quickly with a good example and text, I just refer to this book instead of trying to find it on the Internet. The reason behind that is I prefer to have something that has been tried out by somebody who knows what they are saying not a random dude sitting somewhere in the world who might not even have an iPhone and just base their talk on hypothesis. I think once you get this book you'll know what I mean. It will be a book you cannot say goodbye to.
The gyroscope chapter (which I think is the last chapter) is something that I have to explore more as I still haven't arrived at that chapter yet but it sounds exciting as I think gyro was added first on iPhone 4 and although I have an iPhone 4, I've never had a chance to explore using the gyro. I assume it's pretty cool and exciting especially for game devs.
My second favorite chapter is the Core Data chapter. I have always been using sqllite databases on my projects. The API is messy and really mind boggling at some points. Core Data seems to have fixed all those things. If you are reading this chapter, I suggest that you have a look at Chapter 3 (Table views) before this chapter because some of the examples in this chapter make use of Table Views and if you don't know how to use Table Views, chances are you will be really confused. The table views chapter seems to have covered everything relevant (although since I am comfortable with table views, I have't read that chapter, so don't take my work for it!).
One of the things I didn't like was the simplicity of the graphics chapter. I thought that chapter would cover a lot more but it was just a few recipes. I have to do some reading about graphics on my own I suppose but if O'Reilly is reading this feedback, I would like to kindly ask for more recipes on graphics, animations and eye-candy recipes like Quartz Core transformations and etc. Thanks.
I definitely recommend the book for anybody who wants to be (or already is) a serious iOS developer.