Chapter 7. C Language Fundamentals

The C programming language may date back to 1972, but it is very much alive today in both its original form and in many object-oriented languages based on it, such as C++, C#, and Objective-C. The Objective-C used in the iOS SDK is not a different language from C, but rather a large set of extensions to C. You can use C syntax and constructions within any Objective-C program, blending the old and the new, even in the same statement. Additionally, parts of the Cocoa Touch set of frameworks—parts you will use frequently—rely on C constructions. Therefore, it is vital that you have a firm footing in C, especially those facets that permeate iOS app development.

This chapter intentionally does not show you everything about the C language. Some language features—especially data collections—are better served in their Objective-C-based Cocoa Touch forms, and are therefore reserved for the next chapter. Rather than burden you with C language niceties you will rarely, if ever, use in app development, this chapter hits the things you really need to know. You also get the benefit of learning where C is identical to what you already know from JavaScript and where you’ll have to adapt some of your existing JavaScript experience to the C world. From time to time I will supply code snippets to insert into the runMyCode: method of the Workbench app so you can see firsthand how the language feature works. I also encourage you to experiment with variations of what ...

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