Third Edition of Cocoa Programming Available

The third edition of Aaron Hillegass's Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X is now shipping. I talked about it in some detail previously, but the summary is that this is one book I can easily recommend to new Mac programmers.

The first edition is the one I used to learn Cocoa (back when it was one of maybe two books on the topic), and I remember being struck by how well written it was. There are a lot of technical books that document a topic instead of teaching it, but Aaron knows how to speak the reader in a direct, personal way. It makes a huge difference.

All of the essentials topics are covered, including Xcode and Interface Builder, many standard Cocoa classes, Window and View Controllers, as well as some more advanced topics like Core Animation and Core Data.

So, in the future, when anybody asks me which book they should get, this is my answer.
Design Element
Third Edition of Cocoa Programming Available
Posted May 14, 2008 — 22 comments below


Spencer MacDonald — May 14, 08 5826


Any chance of a list of the chapters from the book ?

Reason I ask is I wanted to know if the CoreData and Core Animation aspects of the book are incorporated into the existing chapters, or have a chapter each in their own right.

Jesper Srnesjo — May 14, 08 5827

There is a post about this at the Big Nerd Ranch Weblog. Seems like Core Data and Core Animation gets their own chapters.

john — May 14, 08 5828

Too bad there is not gonna be a pdf. As increasingly many people know, it's either a gladly-paid-for-pdf or, if that's not available, a free torrent pdf. Pragmatic bookshelf is a nice example of getting it right. Safari bookshelf is not.

It's strange. No matter what the publishers are publishing, be it records or books, they are generally very slow to notice that the world has changed a long time ago. Think about it, people are _willing _to pay for a pdf book, but yet Addison-Wesley likes it better to watch people download their content for free.

Michael Gregoire — May 14, 08 5829

I find it annoying that Amazon merely ported the reviews from previous editions to the 3rd edition.

Michael Gregoire — May 14, 08 5830

john... there's no "PDF" but the book is available online at O'Reilly's Safari.

J Nozzi — May 14, 08 5831

Michael, with respect, you're missing John's point. A PDF can be taken with you anywhere. Small sections at a time can be printed if you'd like to lay around with just a chapter or two. Code examples can be copied and pasted easily. The PDF can be non-destructively annotated.

I'm sure there are plenty more reasons why John specifically mentioned Safari Bookshelf as one who is not 'getting it right'. I'd pay full-print-price for a PDF (I might even buy both at the same time if there were a bit of a discount) for the reasons above.

I agree that they (publishers in general) seem to fear illegal distribution of their intellectual property. This is directly analogous to the problem with music 'services' and lock-in. I paid for my music. As long as I'm not distributing it to others, I should be able to copy it and place it on any device I d*** well please. Not providing this option for honest, paying customers does nothing to deter the dishonest non-customers. Just my opinion, anyway. :-)

Back to the topic at hand - I bought the second edition for the Bindings overview and a few other concepts I had trouble with (I'm one of those "explain-it-to-me-several-different-ways" kind of learners). It is indeed well-written. I'm sure the third edition is even better, though I agree with Scott's assessment that it's more for Cocoa beginners than intermediate-to-expert-level developers.

Robert McGovern — May 14, 08 5832

I would agree that Safari Bookshelf doesn't get it right and that I believe the Prag Prog way is better and is one of the reasons I will gladly support their books.

It is one reason that I am really hoping they will being doing more Mac books after the Core Animation one. That and I like their style and coverage.

I was hoping a pdf of this book might be available to tide me over this it reaches German shores, which at last check was the end of June.

Tor Rafsol Lseth — May 14, 08 5835

I totally agree with John - a pdf version would be preferable.
By all means, make us buy the book, but provide those of us that do so, get a pdf version to download as well.
I want my technical library with me on my MBP, not back home on my bookshelf.

kamelito — May 14, 08 5837


Too bad, I ordered it months ago, and I don't have any mail from Amazon saying they shipped it to me... :(


Mitch Cohen — May 14, 08 5838

I'll echo the "PDF would be better" comment, even if was watermarked in some non-annoying fashion.

In the meantime I've ordered the book, and while I wait I'll do the ten-day trial of Safari Books (which appears to be very annoying, so unlikely I'll be a paid subscriber).

Certainly good reading prior to WWDC.

L. Washington — May 14, 08 5839

Well It is available on the Kindle....

Mitch Cohen — May 14, 08 5840

I'll echo the "PDF would be better" comment, even if was watermarked in some non-annoying fashion.

In the meantime I've ordered the book, and while I wait I'll do the ten-day trial of Safari Books (which appears to be very annoying, so unlikely I'll be a paid subscriber).

Certainly good reading prior to WWDC.

Markus Lux — May 15, 08 5841

Can anybody tell when it will be available on German (or any other than .com) Amazon?

Fabio — May 15, 08 5842

I ordered mine at
$37.90 (incl. shipping to Europe) = 25 EUR

tripdragon — May 15, 08 5843

I differ the point that you can not take a few chapters with you from the book

And this third Ed is not immune to my method either ::D Mu HAH HAH AAH

Kis — May 20, 08 5852

I'd like to point out that there is a pdf on informit's website.
It is crippled with DRMs, requires you to install adobe's reader, and their Adobe Digital Editions (which is an Air app), but it's there.
product page

Savvy — May 20, 08 5865


Does ship to Europe? And what about VAT?

Xander — May 21, 08 5883

If anyone does buy the DRMed ebook version, can they confirm whether you can save as regular PDF via the Print dialog? (not for distribution - if I knew that was possible for sure I'd buy the online version, convert it and then just use the PDF)

kis — May 22, 08 5884

@savvy : does ship to Europe. For books I've never had any issues with customs (vat).

@Xander : You can't, the print persmissions for the book allow you to print 30 pages every 30 days. (Same goes for the copy to clipboard: 30 selections every 30 days.)

Naseer Khan — May 22, 08 5887

About the book itself, I got it on Friday last week when the release date was Saturday... Amazon pre-order worked...!!!

I've been reading the book (rather scanning it, before preparing to dive in fully). After having done the various tutorials available out there including the most excellent ones by Scott (which were inspired by first edition, I hear), I feel like this material is going to re-inforce that. But I have this small feeling that I wanted this tome to go further to an intermediate level. Maybe Aaron will work on that next. In the meantime, I guess the challenge sections will stand in.

BTW, where's Aaron's blog to address him directly? I didn't know if that was the Nerd Ranch site itself...

Oh, and I agree about having a PDF to go along. I would have paid a little extra since I went in for the book. It's so much better to have electronic searchability...

And Scott, sorry I didn't see your link to Amazon before, else I would've used it. Next time you recommend a book...

Fabio — May 24, 08 5902

@Savvy: ships to Europe. Standard shipment takes a while, however (15-20 days). Concerning customs: 7% for books (in Germany) but if it's less than 5 EUR nothing will be charged.

Programming help — Dec 29, 09 7052

Thanks for great news about programmin.


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