Chapter 6. Essential Cocoa Paradigms

In this chapter you will explore a handful of programming topics that represent the fundamental building blocks of a Cocoa application. First, you’ll learn how to use Cocoa’s collection classes, a set of objects whose purpose is to hold other objects. Next, you’ll explore the basics of building graphical user interfaces in Cocoa. You’ll learn to use Interface Builder and discover how this powerful tool interacts with Project Builder and the Cocoa frameworks to allow you to very quickly prototype and build applications. Last, you’ll delve into the intricacies of object ownership and disposal in Cocoa, ensuring that your applications use resources efficiently.

These topics have been singled out for special attention because they are central to the design of the Cocoa frameworks, and the architectural perspectives involved are likely to be unfamiliar to developers new to the subtleties of object-oriented programming. Exploring these design patterns will help steep you in the mindset of Cocoa’s creators, as well as illustrate some of the powerful design approaches available with a language as dynamic as Objective-C. Understanding the principles involved will help you use the Cocoa tools and frameworks more effectively, providing the experience you need to work with them instead of against them.

Cocoa’s Collection Classes

Several classes in Cocoa’s Foundation framework create objects whose purpose is to hold other objects (literally, references ...

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