Monthly Archives: February 2011

Book Review: iOS 4 Programming Cookbook

Reading iOs 4 Programming Cookbook by Vandad Nahavandipoor left me confused about the book’s intentions. The book’s audience is stated as for novice AND experts. That rarely works and this is no exception. That said, there is some good, practical content.

The first few chapters cover topics aimed mostly at the novice developer. In a language basics book these chapters would typically be somewhere half way through the book. So this is only useful if you just started to learn Objective-C without reading a book. The cookbook format doesn’t help here, because discussing these topics benefit from a nice flow, which the cookbook format doesn’t have. This goes for a lot of content covered. The content itself is not bad, but it should have been covered textbook style, not cookbook style.

Several chapters are good in the cookbook format, such as chapter 4, which deals with maps and location. It quickly explains how to get things done in a practical manner. The book goes back and forth between content that should be part of a textbook (e.g. gestures, networking) and stuff more suitable for a cookbook (e.g. audio/video, camera).

All in all, I think you can get quite a few handy tidbits from this book, but to be fair, this should be split into two books. One textbook, that really starts at the basics of Objective-C programming and teaches you good programming practices, and one cookbook with the good cookbook stuff from this book and with more practical recipes to give it more body.

p.s. I realize I have a real Microsoft aura around me, so for some it may come as a surprise that I read an iOS book. However, I like to keep myself informed about things outside my comfort zone. I am also reading an Oracle book :).

How to get {get; set;} properties automatically from the Visual Studio Class Diagram

I sometimes use the Visual Studio Class Diagram when I’m designing a system. Because I like to test my assumptions in such a situation I want to be able to quickly create classes that just work. Unfortunately, when you add a property in a class, Visual Studio generates code like this:

public string SomeProperty
        throw new System.NotImplementedException();

In most cases what I need is:

public string SomeProperty { get; set; }

Fortunately, the PowerToys for the Class Designer and Distributed System Designer solve this problem. After installing these (and turning it on in the Add-In Manager), the right click menu is enhanced with a lot of new options. One of the is Add->Auto-Imlplemented Property, as shown below.