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07 Oct 2009, 21:17
Bakari (4 posts)

I’m going to order the PDF copy of your book, but I’m wondering if you will be doing screencasts for some of more difficult parts of the book? I’m a complete novice when it comes to programming, but I’ve always wanted to learn. I don’t have the money or time to take college courses, so having multimedia resources might be very useful for readers like myself. Thanks.

08 Oct 2009, 16:12
Tim Isted (105 posts)

The book is designed primarily for complete novices so, yes, screencasts are definitely something that we are thinking about to accompany the book.

We would be interested to hear which parts of the book you think might benefit from having video demonstrations.

09 Oct 2009, 00:21
Bakari (4 posts)

I’m slowly working through the first few chapters. Following along with the instructions is pretty easy, but I think I will have to go back over some of the material to better understand the concepts.

One suggestion I would make is that somehow you highlight the instructional parts of the book so that it’s more clear that in those parts readers are to do something in the applications itself. I’m reading the PdF version of your book and I basically try to use the red underline tool to highlight the parts where you give instructions for adding or writing code. Otherwise, I might get kinda lost between you explaining a concept and then giving instructions.

I can’t suggest right now which parts of the book should be turned into screencasts, but I think for readers like myself, just hearing you explain the concepts of the language might help support what is read.

Quick question: is Objective-C sorta like AppleScript? That’s the only other computer language that I’ve tried to learn. I’ve dabbled with HTML, CSS, and Java, but Objective-C kinda reminds me of AppleScript for some reason.

09 Jan 2010, 18:27
Lyndon Williams (1 post)

Hi Bakari,

I would have to disagree with you on some of your last comments about making the book clearer. It is to my mind, crystal clear. Unless you don’t have the latest version of Xcode, which I did not have when I first bought the Beta. I upgraded and now all is well. :) A very long time ago I had to write a “HowTo Setup Virtual Web Servers” for an ISP I worked for. It was quite a task at the time, because I had to explain a lot of technical terms in a very clear and easy to understand way that was actionable by people who actually had very little idea of system administration at all. Once I’d finished my mini manual, I laid it out as clearly as possible and it became a sort of blueprint for how that ISP ran their webservers. So, now, some 13 years later, when I look at how the instruction and information is presented, I think it is pretty darn good.

When it comes to screencasts for the first part of this book, I think that is a little overkill. I am of the opinion that you should have a play with the tools that you’re starting to learn and to figure out what does what and how, even if you manage to “break” things from time to time. [You can also learn how to repair them and there is some satisfaction and confidence that you gain from doing this.] Please don’t take offence from my comments. I don’t mean to disrespect you. I think that programming is a little more about playing and tinkering than watching and then doing.

I think I can confidently answer that Objective-C is kinda like AppleScript, however, in the sense that all languages are kinda like each other in that there are instructions that are executed and so on. Applescript might share some similarities, however it is quite different to Objective-C.

Last but not least. Many years ago I programmed in Pascal and for a short time in C. [Actually I learned it to help my then girlfriend with her computer science assignments. I had no use for it whatsoever!] From what I have read in this book, and as I am picking it up again is a very clear and friendly approach towards overcoming the biggest obstacle to learning programming; that is … complexity and difficulty perceived in complexity. This is a very well written and structured introduction. It has me interested in programming after many many years of doing very little other than hack CSS and HTML together or apart. Keep at it. You’ll see. It is indeed a whole lot of fun. :)

Thanks guys for this brilliant book.