Wet Toes

Apr 08 2010

"DSCF3811" by Walter-Wilhelm on FlickrIn a fit of curiosity and a desire to seriously research a new field of programming, tonight I downloaded the iPad SDK and built a trivial iPad app.

As expected, Apple made development relatively easy. The free development tools are comprehensive and easy to use. Also as expected, I’m still confused by all the files that go into an app. There are nibs, and Resources, and all sorts of things that simply don’t have obvious functions.

I decided to read Apple’s development guide carefully. As a coder, I’ve developed the habit of skimming the documentation, which makes sense most of the time; during normal development, I’m looking for that one fact or code snippet that will solve my current problem. But for a new field, and just generally for my benefit, I’m drinking slowly and deeply this time.

The guide is clear, concise, and helpful. It’s not quite up to the standard set by Be’s API documentation, but nothing else since has been. A close reading of Apple’s guide told me the vast majority of what I needed to know to move forward.

So, my first app displays a logo screen, then two colored boxes. That’s it. I plan to expand it into a simple text adventure, which looks achievable at this point.

Realistically, I think the major hurdle will be learning Objective-C, which still feels like an awkward, uncouth dialect to my programming fingers. But hey, if I can learn LISP and assembly, I can learn Objective-C, right?

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