Home > Store

Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X, 3rd Edition

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X, 3rd Edition


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2008
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-50361-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-50361-9

The best-selling introduction to Cocoa, once again updated to cover the latest Mac programming technologies, and still enthusiastically recommended by experienced Mac OS X developers.


“Aaron’s book is the gold standard for Mac OS X programming books—beautifully written, and thoughtfully sculpted. The best book on Leopard development.”

—Scott Stevenson, www.theocacao.com

“This is the first book I’d recommend for anyone wanting to learn Cocoa from scratch. Aaron’s one of the few (perhaps only) full-time professional Cocoa instructors, and his teaching experience shows in the book.”

—Tim Burks, software developer and creator of the Nu programming language, www.programming.nu

“If you’re a UNIX or Windows developer who picked up a Mac OS X machine recently in hopes of developing new apps or porting your apps to Mac users, this book should be strongly considered as one of your essential reference and training tomes.”

—Kevin H. Spencer, Apple Certified Technical Coordinator

If you’re developing applications for Mac OS X, Cocoa® Programming for Mac® OS X, Third Edition, is the book you’ve been waiting to get your hands on. If you’re new to the Mac environment, it’s probably the book you’ve been told to read first. Covering the bulk of what you need to know to develop full-featured applications for OS X, written in an engaging tutorial style, and thoroughly class-tested to assure clarity and accuracy, it is an invaluable resource for any Mac programmer.

Specifically, Aaron Hillegass introduces the three most commonly used Mac developer tools: Xcode, Interface Builder, and Instruments. He also covers the Objective-C language and the major design patterns of Cocoa. Aaron illustrates his explanations with exemplary code, written in the idioms of the Cocoa community, to show you how Mac programs should be written. After reading this book, you will know enough to understand and utilize Apple’s online documentation for your own unique needs. And you will know enough to write your own stylish code.

Updated for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5, this revised edition includes coverage of Xcode 3, Objective-C 2, Core Data, the garbage collector, and CoreAnimation.


Related Articles

Interview with Aaron Hillegass

Reading Habits, iPhones, iPads, and Usability Testing

Author's Site

Please visit the author's website at www.bignerdranch.com.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X: Custom Views

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages

Table of Contents

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xix


Chapter 1: Cocoa: What Is It? 1

A Little History 1

Tools 3

Language 4

Objects, Classes, Methods, and Messages 4

Frameworks 6

How to Read This Book 6

Typographical Conventions 7

Common Mistakes 7

How to Learn 8

Chapter 2: Let’s Get Started 9

In Xcode 9

In Interface Builder 13

Back in Xcode 23

Documentation 29

What Have You Done? 30

Chapter 3: Objective-C 33

Creating and Using Instances 33

Using Existing Classes 35

Creating Your Own Classes 46

The Debugger 58

What Have You Done? 62

For the More Curious: How Does Messaging Work? 62

Challenge 64

Chapter 4: Memory Management 65

Turning the Garbage Collector On and Off 66

Living with the Garbage Collector 68

Living with Retain Counts 68

What Have You Done? 77

Chapter 5: Target/Action 79

Some Commonly Used Subclasses of NSControl 81

Start the SpeakLine Example 85

Lay Out the Nib File 86

Implementing the AppController Class 88

For the More Curious: Setting the Target Programmatically 90

Challenge 90

Debugging Hints 92

Chapter 6: Helper Objects 95

Delegates 96

The NSTableView and Its dataSource 99

Lay Out the User Interface 102

Make Connections 103

Edit AppController.m 105

For the More Curious: How Delegates Work 108

Challenge: Make a Delegate 109

Challenge: Make a Data Source 110

Chapter 7: Key-Value Coding; Key-Value Observing 111

Key-Value Coding 111

Bindings 113

Key-Value Observing 115

Making Keys Observable 116

Properties and Their Attributes 118

For the More Curious: Key Paths 120

For the More Curious: Key-Value Observing 121

Chapter 8: NSArrayController 123

Starting the RaiseMan Application 124

Key-Value Coding and nil 132

Add Sorting 133

For the More Curious: Sorting without NSArrayController 134

Challenge 1 135

Challenge 2 135

Chapter 9: NSUndoManager 139

NSInvocation 139

How the NSUndoManager Works 140

Adding Undo to RaiseMan 142

Key-Value Observing 145

Undo for Edits 146

Begin Editing on Insert 149

For the More Curious: Windows and the Undo Manager 151

Chapter 10: Archiving 153

NSCoder and NSCoding 154

The Document Architecture 157

Saving and NSKeyedArchiver 161

Loading and NSKeyedUnarchiver 162

Setting the Extension and Icon for the File Type 163

For the More Curious: Preventing Infinite Loops 166

For the More Curious: Creating a Protocol 167

For the More Curious: Document-Based Applications without Undo 167

Universal Type Identifiers 168

Chapter 11: Basic Core Data 171

NSManagedObjectModel 171

Interface 173

How Core Data Works 180

Chapter 12: Nib Files and NSWindowController 183

NSPanel 183

Adding a Panel to the Application 184

For the More Curious: NSBundle 194

Challenge 195

Chapter 13: User Defaults 197

NSDictionary and NSMutableDictionary 198

NSUserDefaults 200

Setting the Identifier for the Application 202

Creating Keys for the Names of the Defaults 202

Registering Defaults 203

Letting the User Edit the Defaults 203

Using the Defaults 205

For the More Curious: NSUserDefaultsController 207

For the More Curious: Reading and Writing Defaults from the Command Line 207

Challenge 208

Chapter 14: Using Notifications 209

What Notifications Are 209

What Notifications Are Not 210

NSNotification and NSNotificationCenter 210

Posting a Notification 212

Registering as an Observer 213

Handling the Notification When It Arrives 214

The userInfo Dictionary 214

For the More Curious: Delegates and Notifications 215

Challenge 216

Chapter 15: Using Alert Panels 217

Make the User Confirm the Deletion 218

Challenge 221

Chapter 16: Localization 223

Localizing a Nib File 224

String Tables 226

For the More Curious: ibtool 230

For the More Curious: Explicit Ordering of Tokens in Format Strings 231

Chapter 17: Custom Views 233

The View Hierarchy 233

Getting a View to Draw Itself 235

Drawing with NSBezierPath 240

NSScrollView 242

Creating Views Programmatically 245

For the More Curious: Cells 245

For the More Curious: isFlipped 247

Challenge 248

Chapter 18: Images and Mouse Events 249

NSResponder 249

NSEvent 249

Getting Mouse Events 251

Using NSOpenPanel 251

Composite an Image onto Your View 256

The View’s Coordinate System 258

Autoscrolling 261

For the More Curious: NSImage 261

Challenge 262

Chapter 19: Keyboard Events 263

NSResponder 265

NSEvent 265

Create a New Project with a Custom View 266

For the More Curious: Rollovers 274

The Fuzzy Blue Box 275

Chapter 20: Drawing Text with Attributes 277

NSFont 277

NSAttributedString 278

Drawing Strings and Attributed Strings 280

Making Letters Appear 281

Getting Your View to Generate PDF Data 283

For the More Curious: NSFontManager 286

Challenge 1 286

Challenge 2 286

Chapter 21: Pasteboards and Nil-Targeted Actions 287

NSPasteboard 288

Add Cut, Copy, and Paste to BigLetterView 289

Nil-Targeted Actions 290

For the More Curious: Which Object Sends the Action Message? 293

For the More Curious: Lazy Copying 293

Challenge 1 294

Challenge 2 294

Chapter 22: Categories 295

Add a Method to NSString 295

For the More Curious: Declaring Private Methods 297

For the More Curious: Declaring Informal Protocols 297

Chapter 23: Drag-and-Drop 299

Make BigLetterView a Drag Source 300

Make BigLetterView a Drag Destination 303

For the More Curious: Operation Mask 307

Chapter 24: NSTimer 309

Lay Out the Interface 311

Make Connections 312

Adding Code to AppController 314

For the More Curious: NSRunLoop 316

Challenge 316

Chapter 25: Sheets 317

Adding a Sheet 318

For the More Curious: contextInfo 324

For the More Curious: Modal Windows 325

Chapter 26: Creating NSFormatters 327

A Basic Formatter 328

The delegate of the NSControl 334

Checking Partial Strings 335

Formatters That Return Attributed Strings 337

Chapter 27: Printing 339

Dealing with Pagination 339

For the More Curious: Am I Drawing to the Screen? 344

Challenge 344

Chapter 28: Web Service 345

AmaZone 346

Lay Out the Interface 347

Write Code 349

Challenge: Add a WebView 353

Chapter 29: View Swapping 355

Design 356

Resizing the Window 362

Chapter 30: Core Data Relationships 365

Edit the Model 365

Create Custom NSManagedObject Classes 366

Lay Out the Interface 369

Events and nextResponder 372

Chapter 31: Garbage Collection 375

Non-object Data Types 376

Polynomials Example 377

Instruments 383

For the More Curious: Weak References 385

Challenge: Do Bad Things 385

Chapter 32: Core Animation 387

Creating CALayer 388

Using CALayer and CAAnimation 390

Chapter 33: A Simple Cocoa/OpenGL Application 397

Using NSOpenGLView 397

Writing the Application 398

Chapter 34: NSTask 405

Multithreading versus Multiprocessing 405

ZIPspector 406

Asynchronous Reads 410

iPing 411

Challenge: .tar and .tgz files 415

Chapter 35: The End 417

Challenge 418

Index 419


Submit Errata

More Information

Unlimited one-month access with your purchase
Free Safari Membership