C is for Cocoa
Subject:   Good but impractical
Date:   2003-07-23 13:14:31
From:   anonymous2
I am happy to see articles on Cocoa programming for programmers at any level of expertise. Good job! I know people have day jobs that don't involve programming and nevertheless want to learn Cocoa. I think that is great!

I just don't think it is wise to minimize the importance of learning to program in C before attempting serious use of Cocoa. An understanding of C and low level programming issues is important before attempting any serious programming project with or without Cocoa. Frankly, learning everything there is to know about C and the most common standard libraries used with C will take a tiny fraction of the time needed to learn to use Cocoa effectively. I fear that attempting Cocoa without understanding C and low level programming issues in general is going to be frustrating and error prone. Furthermore, a general understanding of computer science is needed even for hobbyists programmers. If this series teaches enough general programming skills and enough C to really use and understand Cocoa, this will be a great series! If not, I worry that people will end up discouraged and won't understand why their programs are slow and buggy.

I hope my concerns are misplaced. I am sure we can all agree that Cocoa is a powerful tool. It is sometimes necessary to learn how to use less powerful tools before the more powerful ones can be used effectively. Impatience aside, I recommend that people really learn C before attempting Objective-C and Cocoa. C is a valuable skill and contributes a foundation of knowledge that is applicable to almost any programming from LISP to C++ to Java to perl.

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  • Good but impractical
    2003-07-23 16:00:11  anonymous2 [View]

    I disagree that attempting serious use of Cocoa before completely learning C is bad. However, I completely agree that the importance of learning C needs more emphasis everywhere in the Cocoa world. It's often sold as being some magical new kingdom unto itself where you can just "get it" and make things happen. You and I both know it doesn't work like that. I don't think your concerns are misplaced, but I think this series is an excellent start to move aspiring Cocoa programmers from nothing to something and maybe entice them to learn more about this craft.