Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Xcode on the MacBook

After almost two decades since I left LISP and ProLog programming on the Mac II, along with HyperCard, I am finally back in the Apple fold with the delivery of a MacBook, which I purchased to start learning how to develop iPhone applications via the Xcode development platform, after first putting myself through the jagged hoop of learning Objective-C.

Dear. Absolute. God. What a COMPLETE nightmare.

Now I'm not blaming Apple. The machine is fabulous, the interface immense, and Xcode looks amazing. The Objective-C programming language also 'feels' much nicer than the horrible Java or the appalling C++. Yes, it'll take me six months to learn enough to actually write an AppStore App, however, I am finally back to the lovely Mac II world I left all those years ago back in the computer modelling lab.

But the pains of re-adjusting are simply horrific, after 20 years in either X-Windows Unix land or Windows XP NetBeans land, where all of my mental synapses have been moulded by Bill Joy of Sun, or Charles Simonyi of Microsoft. To have placed myself once again in the hands of Steve Jobs, and his band of Hawaiian-shirted coffee hippies, after all of these years away from the chief pirate of Silicon Valley, is simply excruciating.

EVERYTHING is in the wrong place. I know NO utilities. I can't even find out where the pictures are stored, and installing Xcode to get it to work with Cocoa Frameworks has provided unendurable hours of pain beyond what would be believed in a court of law; now I know how Gollum felt to see the ring in the hands of Frodo.

But.

Thank God I'm home.

Posted from my MacBook

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

HI. WTF are you on about when you say:

"...and installing Xcode to get it to work with Cocoa Frameworks has provided unendurable hours of pain beyond what would be believed in a court of law...

Xcode just works after installation - I've never known it not to work after installation in any version of Mac OS X. Ever. Period. If you want to do iPhone development then you just need to download the Xcode version with the iPhone 3 SDK.

Jack Maturin said...

Yes, Anonymous, I know that NOW. Now that I've figured out I need the iPhone SDK, now that I've figured out where the documentation, now that I've realised that all the Apress books on iPhone development are out of date, now that I've got SLIGHTLY used to the interface, now that I know what the mounting is all about, now that I know what Snow Leopard is and what makes it different from Leopard, now that I know that the Xcode interface keeps changing, especially between the Tiger, Leopard, and Leopard versions, and now that I've actually got some code running.

Now buzz off and develop something humans have.

It's called 'empathy'. I know most full-time programmers don't have it. Which is why they spend so much time with computers in the first place, because nobody likes them much.

Gekko said...

I shudder at the thought of getting back into software development again.

C/C++ was ok, but once the virtual machine paradigm became popular it just became too abstract for me to be interested any more. I like hardware, I like knowing that I have to be careful with register allocation on CPU X, but if I am it screams through code like shit off a red hot shovel.

I finally decided that I had no respect for these youngsters when a snotty java programmer told me I was stupid to be worrying about memory allocation when the language had a garbage collector. I told him that if he didn't understand his memory allocation then he didn't understand his code. He laughed. Perhaps that's why java code runs like shit. Most of it is written by schoolkids.

Crusty old dinosaur and proud of it!

Jack Maturin said...

I can still remember PEKE-ing and POKE-ing in BASIC on a Commodore, and storing the results of magnificent programs on tape. No, it wasn't paper tape. That was the year before.

It is funny though to get such crap from Anonymous, above, after working on early X-Windows applications in Palo Alto, for Sun Microsystems before s/he was even born. You might have thought a friendly welcome back would have been more fitting. Tsk, the youth of today. What an arrogant small-minded narrow-minded bunch of state-worshipping drones.

I, like you, have given up on 'proper' programming, as it's a young sad man's game. But I've got a lot of business ideas for the iPhone, and the iPhone developers I've spoken to are either too expensive, too uninterested, or too rubbish, to develop them for me. Uncle Gary is always telling us to start new businesses that we can roll over into times of being older.

And as Gordon Brown has used up all private British pension funds to pay for his engorgement of his clientele and fascist state, I need something to do when I'm 75, and playing with boutique iPhone finance Apps, when I'm in my Thai beach-side villa, seems like the job.

And iPhone development, on a single screen, although it will initially be a time-consuming process to learn how to do it in my spare time, somehow seems to be fun again, almost like PEKE-ing and POKE-ing in Basic.

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What an arrogant small-minded narrow-minded bunch of state-worshipping drones.

Just like me, of course, when I was that age! :-)

Captain Fatty said...

c++ is hideous and should be avoided at all costs.
Tell you what Jack, let's form a company, I'll implement the iPhone apps and if there is any profit made we go 50:50?

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