Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Mac OS X Application

I've really liked what Apple has done with the Mac and their OS X. It looks great, works well, and has become very productive. I've liked it so well that I now have 3 Macs - an older PowerBook, a first-generation iMac, and now a MacBook Pro.

I figured it was time to play with developing applications on OS X. So I've downloaded the Xcode 3.1 environment, bought a Dummies book (@grantbob - shhh!) and started playing. I first downloaded the latest Xcode but it turns out that it requires Snow Leopard to run and I've not yet received my copy.

The approach to developing applications is wildly different than Microsoft's with
their Developer Studio tools and .Net. Microsoft's tools are much more straight-forward - creating the proverbial "Hello World" application is trivial while it was a little more involved in Xcode

The dance between Xcode and Interface Builder will take some getting used to, but the tools appear to be very good. They are complex and present a steep learning curve. It would be tricky for new programmer to simply download the Xcode and creating a hello world in a single unaided session. However, the Xcode application also comes with templates and with what appears to be a very complete tutorial and online book.

What impresses me is the emphasis on modularity and object orientation. This emphasis is part of the learning curve; in the long run, however, it probably presents a good discipline that allows for large and complex programs that are more modular than some C++ programs are on Windows.

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