Hello. I’m Matt West. I’m a programmer living in West Yorkshire in the UK. I am learning how to write applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but I want to explain why I want to do that, and how I came to begin that.
An iPod Shuffle
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to receive a first generation iPod Shuffle as a gift. This was the third MP3 player I had had, but the two earlier ones were awful to use. The Shuffle’s good physical design, ease-of-use, and reliability first turned me on to Apple products.
Around that same time I came across Rails and attended RailsConf in London and saw first hand how people with Mac computers were a happy bunch. So I bought a MacBook, and have enjoyed using it since then.
Cocoa training course
Spurred on by the inspirational writing of Mac developers such as Wil Shipley and Daniel Jalkut, I began learning Cocoa but found it quite tough to learn in snatched moments out of life with my wife and our two young children. I would not say Cocoa is hard, it is a graceful framework. But there is a lot to learn when starting out in Mac development. So I took a week off work (unusual for a contractor I know) in November 2007 to attend the brilliant Cocoa development course run by Paul and Liz Lynch down in beautiful Old Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. The course was a week long, and very intense – there was just me attending. Paul is a good lecturer, and is very knowledgeable and approachable so makes for a good tutor. I cross-examined him at every stage of the day, every day (the poor man!). Thanks Paul. I recommend this course; I found out about it through seeing the ads on the ADC mailing list.
Leopard Tech Talk
Even though many people are excited about Core Animation, my favourite Leopard feature is the super-fast Spotlight search facility to launch applications, look up words in the dictionary, oh and search for things too. Under Tiger, I used to use LaunchBar and QuickSilver to launch applications using keyboard shortcuts. I have not bothered to install those apps, because I just use Spotlight. It is possible to integrate in to Spotlight by writing an importer for your app. This is called by Spotlight when a user searches for something. Like so much of Mac programming, it nostalgically reminds me of coding for the Palm OS; you would write a routine in your Palm app to respond to a Find launch code.
By the beginning of 2008 I had a small Mac application in development but hadn’t got as far as I’d like to with it. Then I was delighted when Apple announced the SDK for the iPhone and iPod Touch. So I have been busy since then. I must admit its a bit of a struggle because I am still doing Enterprise Java systems for a living during the day.
So I am going to abandon my family once again for a week by going to this year’s Apple WWDC. I am over the moon about it. It will be my first time to California.