Building Cocoa Applications: A Step-by-step Guide

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O'Reilly, 2002 - Computers - 620 pages
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Cocoa is an object-oriented development environment available in Apple's Mac OS X environment. Mac OS X, a unified operating system and graphical operating environment, is the fastest growing Unix variant on the market today. Hard-core Unix programmers, developers who cut their teeth on classic Mac operating systems, and developers who cherished NeXTSTEP, the decade-old system on which today's Cocoa is based -- all are flocking to Cocoa, and they need a lot more practical information than is currently available from Apple. There is a lot to learn.

Building Cocoa Applicationsis an ideal book for serious developers who want to write programs for the Mac OS X using Cocoa. It's a no-nonsense, hands-on text that's filled with examples -- not only simple and self-contained examples of individual Cocoa features, but extended examples of complete applications with enough sophistication and complexity that readers can put them to immediate use in their own environments.

Building Cocoa Applicationstakes a step-by-step approach to teaching developers how to build real graphics applications using Cocoa. By showing the basics of an application in one chapter and then layering additional functionality onto that application in subsequent chapters, the book keeps readers interested and motivated. Readers will see immediate results, and then go on to build onto what they've already achieved.

The book is divided into four major parts:

Part I introduces the Mac OS X graphical user interface (Aqua) from a developer's point of view, Cocoa developer tools (such as the Interface Builder, Project Builder, and gdb debugger), object-oriented concepts, the Objective-C language in which Cocoa is written, and the basics of Cocoa programming itself.

Part II focuses on building the first complete application, Calculator, a simple four-function calculator. The chapters in this part of the book extend the application, piece by piece, by introducing such features as nibs, icons, delegation, resizing, events, and responders.

Part III focuses on building an application called MathPaper, which is similar to a word processor but which instead solves mathematical expressions the user supplies. The chapters in this part of the book extend MathPaper by developing both the front and back ends using a variety of Cocoa classes and methods. They introduce Cocoa'sdocument-based architecture, tasks, pipes, Rich Text format, handling document files, and using Quartz to draw in windows.

Part IV focuses on building the GraphPaper application, a more complex multithreading application that graphs mathematical functions in multiple dimensions and that uses mouse-over capabilities to identify graph points. The chapters in this part of the book add more advanced Mac OS X features such as multithreading, color, mouse events, zoom buttons, pasteboards, services, preferences, and the defaults database.

By the end of the book, readers who have built the applications as they have read will have a solid understanding of what it really means to develop complete and incrementally more complex Cocoa applications.

The book comes with extensive source code available for download from the O'Reilly web site, along with an appendix listing additional resources for further study.

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Tools for Developing Cocoa Applications
Creating a Simple Application with Interface Builder
Adding Objects to Your Application

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About the author (2002)

Simson Garfinkel, CISSP, is a journalist, entrepreneur, and international authority on computer security. Garfinkel is chief technology officer at Sandstorm Enterprises, a Boston-based firm that develops state-of-the-art computer security tools. Garfinkel is also a columnist for Technology Review Magazine and has written for more than 50 publications, including Computerworld, Forbes, and The New York Times. He is also the author of Database Nation; Web Security, Privacy, and Commerce; PGP: Pretty Good Privacy; and seven other books. Garfinkel earned a master's degree in journalism at Columbia University in 1988 and holds three undergraduate degrees from MIT. He is currently working on his doctorate at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science.

Michael K. Mahoney is Dean of the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, where he is also a Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Formerly, he was the Associate Vice President for Academic Information Technology and Chair of the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Mahoney started programming at NeXT Computer, Inc. in January 1989 and coauthored (with Simson Garfinkel) NeXTSTEP Programming, Step One: Object-Oriented Applications (Springer-Verlag). He has given presentations on object-oriented programming and NeXTSTEP's Interface Builder at ACM meetings in Seattle, Los Angeles, Monterey, and New Orleans. Before becoming dean, he regularly taught university courses in computer graphics, user interface design, object-oriented programming, discrete mathematics, and web development. He has supervised eight Master's theses. Mahoney earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1979. He has published papers in computer graphics, computer science education, and mathematics. He has won campuswide teaching awards at both UCSB and CSULB. His web site is

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