Found in 8 comments on Hacker News
joonas · 2012-12-21 · Original thread
I've heard this is a really good introduction book,

Having read their Cocoa programming for OS X book (, I can wholeheartedly recommend their books.

FigBug · 2012-07-23 · Original thread
'Become an XCoder' free eBook that is a fairly basic introduction to Objective-C and Cocoa programming.

'From C++ to Objective-C' is also good eBook.

I also bought 'Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X'

Cocoa is quite different than anything I had programmed before. Once I wrapped my head around nibs, IBOutlets and IBActions it was fairly easy. Once I got going, the apple developer docs were all I needed, but learning I found easier to do from a book than the docs.

ddagradi · 2011-05-22 · Original thread
For iOS, MacRuby is unfortunately not an option, as it would require garbage collection. However, for writing OS X software, MacRuby works great (we just shipped an app with it in the App Store - - and it has definitely been a joy to work with).

Unfortunately, it doesn't really make the learning curve any less intense. While Objective-C's syntax and style are somewhat difficult, the real challenge to Mac/iOS programming is having a working knowledge of the Cocoa API. MacRuby simply acts as a bridge between Ruby and Cocoa, meaning you need to know exactly the same amount about API methods no matter the programming language you choose.

Reading the currently available MacRuby book is a great idea - If you find yourself confused by the concepts, you should try learning Objective-C and Cocoa first (I learned with It is certainly possible to dive in with MacRuby! Just remember that it's not 1.0 yet, and could present technical difficulties in unexpected ways. Otherwise, it's super fun!

brianwillis · 2010-12-20 · Original thread
I started out developing for the Mac with "The Objective-C Programming Language" but found it clumsy and kind of dense. In my opinion "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X" by Aaron Hillegass ( is much better in the way it introduces concepts, and flows from chapter to chapter. Well worth the investment if you're serious about developing for the Mac.
thunk · 2010-06-15 · Original thread
_Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X_[1] by Aaron Hillegass is really great. It's not an iPhone book, but there's enough similarity that it'd still be a really valuable read.


towndrunk · 2010-05-03 · Original thread
This one is a must have for the beginner.

nonrecursive · 2009-02-11 · Original thread
I first tried to learn mac development a year ago by going through . I did the examples in the book, so I was getting my hands dirty somewhat, but as I went through the book I got more and more confused. There were too many questions I had that the book didn't answer, nor did Apple's online documentation.

Part of the problem was that I didn't know C at all. Recently I decided to have another go at it, so I read the first chapter of K&R and did all the exercises, then read a few of the other chapters (2, 5, and 6 I believe). After that, I read this book: . "Learn Objective-C on the Mac" has been great - it's readable, good-humored, succinct, and comprehensive. It's answered all the remaining questions I still had about ObjC and I finally feel like I get the language.

nickb · 2009-01-13 · Original thread
BTW, Aaron's the author of one of the finest books on programming, programming Cocoa/Mac in Objective-C specifically:

If you've ever wanted to write that little iPhone app, pick up his book and you'll be a pro in few months.

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