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First time MacOSX, Xcode, Objective C – Random thoughts

Really completely random thoughts here – just don’t read them. Its just on my mind, and it needs to be written out somewhere.

Gojira!Since 10 days I’m now working on a MacMini with OSX. This is my first time encounter with OSX, and have have been a Windows user all my life. On the Mac Mini, I use a windows keyboard – which has the wrong letters printed on it for OSX. This is unbelievable bad, if you try to program on that thing. The keybindings on OSX are also strange, but argueably better than the usual windows bindings. I just miss my POS1 and End of Line keys – but using CTRL Left or CTRL right seems even more “natural”. Having a control key that doesn’t pop up a menu when accidentally pressed without another key in the Apple-key instead of the windows key is also a big bonus. The mouse speed really sucks – I needed to install an external tool to fix that.

I’m using Xcode with Objective C now on that machine and my main comparisons are Eclipse + Java and Visual Studio + C#. Xcode is a lot less comfortable, as it doesn’t autoinclude much stuff for you – well I guess there are some secret hotkeys that I didn’t find so far, but visual indication of actions does not exist. The autocompletion is nicer, but I didn’t find a way so far to autocomplete if I want to send a message to an object and forgot the [ before the objects reference. Any hints, someone? I always jump back, make the [ and jump to the end where I now get the methods all lined up. The language syntax looks weird, but it also has its upsides. Differing the methods syntactically from properties just sucks anyways.

The “interface designer” is pretty pointless compared to Visual Studio – okay, maybe its because there’s not too much space in that iPhone display, but aside from clicking together the underlying main GUI and then make the rest in code there’s not much use to it, as I see it so far … well thins all may change, as I really only tried it 10 days now, and that we no full 8 hours every day.

Then I somehow don’t see all the helper classes that I seem to be writing on the go. Are there helper classes in the Foundation framework somewhere? Or a place where the most useful are compiled in a tutorial? Memory management is a lot less pain than I thought. In fact, learning the third “higher” language seems to be pretty easy, and the reference counting isn’t too hard to grasp. My main problems are all the little things. But we’ll get that soon. In fact I can see myself using Mac OS soon, I quickly find myself falling in love with this systems basic principles more and more each day. Signing off for today – if somebody has any great hints for me, please let me know :-)

Creative Commons License photo credit: Don Solo

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