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Xcode 4 is not just a cosmetic change to previous versions; it is a new development environment complete with a new compiler (LLVM) that includes an engine that runs in the background to catch basic errors as you (occasionally) make them. This hour helps you get ready to write code using the latest and greatest technologies for software development.

The workspace window gives you all of a project’s data and controls in a single multipaned window. You can control which panes are shown, and, to a certain extent, you can even rearrange their positions as they are shown. For most people, this is not a matter of setting up a preferred workspace and sticking with it: Depending on what you are doing, you often show and hide parts of the workspace window so you can focus on the task at hand.

Xcode 4 includes interfaces to source code management tools such as Git and Subversion (Git is preferred). As a result, you can manage your code—even on a multiperson project—and keep track of revisions. In addition, Xcode provides a snapshot feature that can capture your entire project at specific moments, such as when you ask and when you are about to perform project-wide automated changes.


Q. What is the best way to get started with Xcode?

A. Use it. Open it and create a test project based on one of the built-in templates. Explore and experiment, and then throw it away. If you start working with it on a real project, your beginning mistakes will be around to haunt you for a long time.

Q. What is the best way to handle the periodic updates to operating systems and SDKs?

A. Registered developers are notified in advance of these updates; you can download the pre-release versions of both OSs and SDKs as well as new releases of Xcode. This enables you to test your apps with the new environmental software and prepare to use new features. Typically, you are warned not to use this software for production use. Apps developed with the new OS and SDK cannot be submitted to either App Store until a few weeks before the release of the software to the public. This process allows developers to get up to speed with the new technologies. The period of a few weeks before the public release of the new software allows the App Store to be stocked when the software is in final versions.

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