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An Introduction to the Language and Tools The Syntax Memory Management Tools Debugging XCode Keyboard Shortcuts and more...

for the iPhone and iPad
By Ben Ellingson and Matthew McCullough
The keyword @interface can distract developers coming from some languages such as Java, suggesting this is a mere contract. However, @interface is indeed the keyword for defining the properties and method signatures of a concrete class in Obj-C.

Objective-C
Hot Tip

An IntroductIon to the LAnguAge And tooLs

Objective-C is the primary language used to create applications for Apple’s Mac OS X and iOS (iPhone and iPad) platforms. Objective-C was created by Brad Cox and Tom Love in the early 1980s. In 1988, Objective-C was licensed by NeXT, a company founded and helmed by Steve Jobs during his absence from Apple. Apple acquired NeXT in 1996, bringing Objective-C to the Macintosh platform. Objective-C is an object oriented superset of ANSI C. Its object syntax is derived from Smalltalk. It supports single inheritance, implementation of multiple interfaces via the @protocol syntax, and the redefinition and augmentation of (open) classes via categories. Apple’s iPhone SDK for the iOS mobile operating system offers developers a rich set of Objective-C APIs. This free SDK, which includes the Xcode IDE, is used to create applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
the syntAx

Interfaces
Objective-C interfaces are created using the @protocol declaration. Any class can implement multiple interfaces. Interfaces are typically declared in a .h header file and can be included via #import statements in the .h header file of other classes.
// Mappable.h: Declare the Mappable @protocol @protocol Mappable - (double) latitude; - (double) longitude; @end // Location.h: Specify that Location class implements the Mappable // @protocol #import “Mappable.h” @interface Location : NSObject <Mappable> { } @end // Location.m: Provide implementations for the Mappable methods @implementation Location - (double) latitude { return 46.553666; } - (double) longitude { return -87.40551; } @end

www.dzone.com

Class Declaration
Objective-C classes typically include an interface .h and an implementation .m pair of files. The .h file contains property and method declarations. The .m file contains method implementations.

Primitive Data Types
As a superset of ANSI C, Objective-C supports its same primitive data types.
int float Integral numbers without decimal points Numbers with decimal points

objective-c for the iPhone and iPad

Example .h interface file
#import <Foundation/Foundation.h> @interface Speaker : NSObject { NSInteger *ID; NSString *name; } @property NSInteger *ID; @property(nonatomic,retain) NSString *name; - (void) doSomething: (NSString *) value anotherValue: (int) value2; @end

Example .m implementation file
#import “Speaker.h” @implementation Speaker @synthesize ID,name; - (void) doSomething: (NSString *) value anotherValue: (int) value2 { // do something } @end

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Inheritance
Class inheritance is specified in the .h interface file with the syntax: @interface <MyClass> : <ParentClass>. The following example tells the compiler that the Employee class inherits from (extends) the Person class.
// Employee.h file @interface Employee : Person { } @end

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with a call to alloc and second.(void) setPages: (int) p { pages = p. Alternatively. retain indicates that the [retain] method should be called on the newly assigned value object.author = @”Herman Melville”. Instance Variables Class instance variables are declared within a curly braced {} section of the . } @property (retain. First. // Using dot notation calls the book instance’s setAuthor method book.dzone. nonatomic). // name2 is a dynamically typed NSString object id name2 = @”Bob”. readonly may be specified to indicate the property’s value can not be set.0 added the ability to invoke property accessor methods (getters/setters) using “. // use of @property declaration for the title variable is equivalent to // declaring a “setTitle” mutator and “title” accessor method. . may include duplicates Variable sized array Key-value pair collection Variable sized key-value pair collection Unordered collection of distinct elements Byte buffer URL resource Multi Parameter Methods Multi-Parameter methods are more verbose than other languages.(void) doSomething: (NSString *)value { [super doSomething: value]. www. } @end Self and Super Properties Objective-C objects include a self property and a super property. author. fixed size. Dynamic Typing Objective-C supports dynamic typing via the id keyword. [self setAuthor: @”Herman Melville”]. @end // use the @synthesize declaration in the . These properties are mutable and can be assigned in an advanced technique called “swizzling”. // Invoke methods on the “super” property to execute parent class // behavior.0 added property declaration syntax in order to reduce verbose coding of getter and setter methods.h: Variables declared in a header file @interface Book : NSObject { NSString *title.(void) setPages: (int) p. Common Object Data Types NSObject NSString NSArray NSMutableArray NSDictionary NSMutableDictionary NSSet NSData NSURL Root class of the object hierarchy String value Collection of elements. NSString *author. } .m implementation file. The most common values used are (retain.(void) setPages: (int) p. // equivalent to [book setAuthor: @”Herman Melville”]. if ([name1 isEqualToString:name2]) { // do something } Properties using @property and @synthesize Objective-C 2.(void) addBookWithTitle: (NSString *) aTitle anAuthor. This indicates that the reference is a pointer to an object and is required for all object variable declarations. // Book. Attribute declarations are placed in parenthesis () after the @property declaration. a class may include multiple @synthesize declarations. | [book setPages: 100]. // declare a method with multiple parameters . See the memory management section for further explanation. @property Attributes Property attributes specify behaviors of generated getter and setter methods. NSString *name1 = @”Bob”.2 objective-c for the iPhone and iPad double char BOOL Same as float with twice the accuracy or size Store a single character such as the letter ‘a’ Boolean values with the constants YES or NO Using Dot Notation Method Invocation Objective-C 2.” notation.m implementation file // to automatically implement setter and getter methods.h: Declare methods in the header file @interface Book : NSObject { } . @interface Book : NSObject { NSString *title. method target method name parameter value Object Initialization Object instances are created in two steps.h header file and implemented in the . nonatomic) NSString *title. DZone.(int) pages. @end // Book. data type. Method Invocation Syntax Method invocations are written using square bracket [] notation. Inc. Most commonly. which may be necessary in multi-threaded environments.m: Implement methods in the implementation file @implementation Book . //Single variable @end Methods Methods are declared in the . a method that overrides a parent class method will likely call // the parent class method . //Multiple variables @synthesize pages. int pages.(int) pages { return pages. and a local variable name. The external parameter name becomes a formal part of the method name.com . nonatomic indicates that the assignment operation does not check for thread access protection. the self attribute is used to execute a method on the enclosing object. // Book. } @end Multiple variables may be included in a single @synthesize declaration. with a call to init. Each parameter includes both an external name. // do something derived-class specific } Notice that the object variable declarations are preceded by * symbol. @implementation Book @synthesize title. Method Declaration Syntax Method type return type (class or instance) parameter type method name parameter name .h file. andAuthor: (NSString *) // invoke a method with multiple parameters [self addBookWithTitle: @”Moby Dick” andAuthor: @”Herman Melville”].

you will often implement the init or an initWith method. Ownership of an object is automatically taken when you call a method beginning with alloc. x < 10. // Retain count reaches 0.h header and . switch (x) { case 1: // do something break. Data Structures Using NSArray // Create a fixed size array. [super dealloc].google.h” // import a framework #import <MapKit/MapKit. Using NSDictionary #import Statements statements are required to declare the classes and frameworks used by your class. // Create a variable sized array NSMutableArray *values2 = [[NSMutableArray alloc] init]. // Access a value NSString *value = [values objectAtIndex:0]. When an object is created it has a retain count of 1 When the “retain” message is sent to an object. [di2 setObject:@”One” forKey:[NSNumber numberWithInt:1]]. // string comparison if ([value isEqualToString:value2]) { // do something } NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:@”http://www. NSString *value2 = [NSString stringWithFormat:@”foo %@”. @”Two”.@”Two”. } dealloc Method When an object’s retain count reaches 0.. prefixed with new. book2 = [book init].nil]. NSMutableDictionary *di2 = [[NSMutableDictionary alloc] init]. You relinquish object ownership by calling release or autorelease. garbage collection is not available for iOS apps.(id) init { self = [super init]. // Event. // Constructor method declaration + (Book *) createBook: (NSString *) aTitle withAuthor: (NSString *) anAuthor.3 objective-c for the iPhone and iPad // example of 2 step object initialization Book *book = [[Book alloc] init].com”]. } return self. Do not call dealloc directly. x++) { NSLog(@”x is: %d”.m: Implement release of member variables . Also notice the method uses a dynamic id return type. Class Constructors Classes often include constructor methods as a convenience.dzone.. Memory Management Objective-C 2. Each object has a retain count which indicates the number of objects with an ownership interest in that object. } Autorelease Pools An autorelease pool (NSAutoreleasePool) contains references to DZone.m: Implementation overrides the “init” method to assign a default // date value @implementation Event . | www. Notice that nil termination is required NSArray *values = [NSArray arrayWithObjects:@”One”. // Release message decrements the retain count.@”Two”. which will call release on the instances retained variables. 10).g. Strings Objective-C string literals are prefixed with an “@” symbol (e. // Book. Inc. [author release]. NSString *one = [di objectForKey: [NSNumber numberWithInt:1]]. if (self != nil) { self. %@ for objects %d for integers %f for floats // Logs “Bob is 10 years old” NSLog(@”%@ is %d years old”. BOOL condition2 = NO. Book will be deallocated [book release]. #import // import a class #import “Book. } // for-in loop NSArray *values = [NSArray arrayWithObjects:@”One”. #import statements can be included at the top of both . it is sent a dealloc message.(void) dealloc { [title release].m implementation files.[NSNumber numberWithInt:2]. // do something.date = [[NSDate alloc] init]. This is a standard init pattern found in Objective-C. if (condition1) { // do something } else if(condition2) { // do other thing } else { // do something else } // switch statement int x = 1.nil]. or containing copy.@”bar”]. This creates instances of the NSString class. In order to perform specific object initialization steps. // Get the array size int count = [values count]. Control Flow // basic for loop for (int x=0. while (condition == YES) { // doSomething } // if / else statements BOOL condition1 = NO. } @end NSLog / NSString Formatters Formatters are character sequences used for variable substitution in strings. the retain count is incremented by 1 When the “release” message is sent to an object. @”Bob”. it is deallocated // alloc sets the retain count to 1 Book *book = [[Book alloc] init].com . // create a string literal via the “@” symbol NSString *value = @”foo bar”. for(NSString *value in values) { // do something } // while loop BOOL condition = YES. @”Hello World”). NSString *value4 = [NSString stringWithContentsOfFile: @”file. iOS apps must manage memory by following a set of object ownership rules. Ownership is manually expressed by calling the retain method. Notice the syntax used around the self property in the following example.@”Three”.h> NSDictionary *di = [NSDictionary dictionaryWithObjectsAndKeys: @”One”. instead of C language CFStrings.nil]. // equivalent to Book *book2 = [Book alloc]. case 2: // do other thing break. the retain count is decremented by 1 When the retain count reaches 0. You will provide implementations of the dealloc method.0 includes garbage collection. [values2 addObject:@”One”]. However. NSString *value3 = [NSString stringWithContentsOfURL:url]. // Invoke a class constructor Book *book2 = [Book createBook: @”Moby Dick” withAuthor: @”Herman Melville”].x). default: break.[NSNumber numberWithInt:1].txt”]. The method type is + to indicate that it is a class (static) method.

To deploy to an iPhone or iPad. NSArray *files = [fileManager contentsOfDirectoryAtPath:docDir error:nil]. but it can not access any files outside of it. first select Device from the aforementioned toolbar menu. // Get the path to a iOS App’s “Documents” directory NSString *docDir = [NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(NSDocumentDirectory. or ⌘B. Deploying an application to the simulator has two simple steps. A value can be assigned to a SEL typed variable via the @selector() directive. Selectors. it sends a release message to all objects in the pool. Clicking on the icon will reveal a panel detailing the warnings and errors. [fileManager createDirectoryAtPath:subDir attributes:nil]. NSArray *retailers = [book findRetailers]. @end // BookPlusPurchaseInfo. It is the DZone. Once the code is in a valid-syntax state.(NSArray *) findRetailers. } // Create a directory NSString *subDir = [NSString stringWithFormat:@”%@/MySubDir”. First.h adds purchase related methods to the Book class #import “Book.apple. Be watchful of which types and size of objects you use with autorelease. Inc.(NSArray *) findRetailers { return [NSArray arrayWithObjects:@”Book World”. The simulator will receive the compiled application and launch it. When the autorelease pool is deallocated.docDir]. Categories can not add instance variables to a class.h” @interface Book (PurchaseInfo) . do not use methods in a category to extend existing methods except when you wish to globally erase and redefine the original method. Choose the Properties tab and ensure the Identifier matches the name or pattern you established with Apple for your Provisioning Profile at http://developer. // List the contents of a directory NSFileManager *fileManager = [NSFileManager defaultManager]. // Does the file exist? NSString *filePath = [NSString stringWithFormat:@”%@/MyFile. primary tool in the suite of utilities that ship with the SDK. YES) lastObject]. along with NSObject’s method performSelector: withObject: enable a class to choose the desired message to be invoked at runtime.m implements the purchase related methods #import “BookPlusPurchaseInfo. Plain text editors and command line Make files can be used to produce iOS applications. Building and Deploying can be done in one seamless step by pressing the Command and Enter keys. they will appear as a yellow or red icon in the lower right corner of the IDE. choose the Simulator target from the main Xcode toolbar.4 objective-c for the iPhone and iPad objects that have received an autorelease message. Categories Categories are a powerful language feature which allows you to add methods to an existing class without subclassing. These features make writing Objective-C in the Xcode IDE a delight and a favorite of developers everywhere. compile it by choosing Build  Build from the menus. // Action is a reference to the “doSomething” method SEL action = @selector(doSomething). Xcode offers compelling features such as syntax highlighting and code completion. // call autorelease on allocated instance to add it to the autorelease pool Book *book = [[[Book alloc] init] autorelease]. Categories are not subclasses. An app can read and write files within this its own hierarchy. // Execute a method using a SEL selector and the performSelector method id target = [[Book alloc] init]. right click on the element beneath the Target node of the Groups and Files tree and choose Get Info.com/iphone tooLs Xcode The IDE included in the iOS SDK is named Xcode. Xcode has a long history but has been given a dramatic set of feature additions in the modern iPhone and iPad releases. including detection of common user-coded memory leaks and quick-fixing of other syntax and coding mistakes. BOOL exists = [fileManager fileExistsAtPath: filePath]. Using an autorelease pool may simplify memory management. // The message sender need not know the type of target object // or the message that will be called via the “action” SEL [target performSelector: action withObject:nil ]. Second. Categories are useful to extend the features of existing classes and to split the implementation of large classes into several files. Generally. Working With Files iOS applications have access to files in an app-specific home directory.dzone. however.h” @implementation Book (PurchaseInfo) .txt”. for (NSString *file in files) { NSLog(file). | www.com .docDir]. Selectors Selectors create method identifiers using the SEL datatype. NSUserDomainMask. it is less fine grained and may allow an application to hold onto more memory than it really needs. However. // BookPlusPurchaseInfo. This directory is a sand-boxed portion of the file system. } @end // call a method defined in the BookPlusPurchaseInfo category Book *book = [Book createBook:@”Moby Dick” withAuthor:@”Herman Melvile”]. If there are code errors.nil].

A blue arrow indicates a breakpoint is set and active. community) primarily as a class-instance designer and property value setter. click the Arguments tab. which can be invoked via ⌘ + R. The harsh absence of a gyroscope is minimized only by the shake and rotate gestures possible through the Hardware menu. it has a few shortcomings such as the lack of a camera. myIntCount). The iPhone and iPad Simulator is another distinct application in the iPhone SDK that communicates and integrates with the Xcode IDE and with Interface Builder. After saving changes. And last. For a broader set of programs and more realistic mobile horsepower www. though graphically designed. The lack of camera is somewhat mitigated by a supply of several stock photos in the Photo application. Settings. It can be opened from Xcode via ⌘+^+O.com . and is where all logging output. variables can be inspected and the stack examined via the key combination ⌘ + ⇧ + Y. CA. | The Simulator ships with a limited number of core applications. gyroscope. or GPS facilities. Inc.5 objective-c for the iPhone and iPad Organizer The Organizer window provides a list of favorite projects. NIBs. we saw how to deploy our application to the Simulator. Interface Builder A tool as powerful as Xcode is Interface Builder. • In the dialog that opens. Its name clearly expresses its use for designing Objective-C NIBs and XIBs. In the Xcode section. New elements can be added to a design canvas in a dragand-drop WYSIWYG approach via the Library panel. Debugging The Xcode platform provides a robust debugger and supplementary mechanisms for stepping through code. Accordingly. which both installs the application and launches it. click the + button and create a new variable named “NSZombieEnabled” with its value set to “YES”. These are the applications that offer API connectivity from the source code of your application. is routed. • In the lower “Variables to be set” region. Contacts and Safari programs. thereby providing a stack trace in the console if any invalid attempts are made to access the freed memory. Simulator Once a breakpoint is hit. namely. This is accomplished in three simple steps: • Double-click the name of any node beneath the Executables group of an Xcode project. the Photos. The bottommost panel is called the console.dzone. The iPhone Simulator offers iPad. the omission of a true GPS simulator is performed by GPS calls always resolving to 1 Infinite Loop. the design’s behavior can be immediately tested through the Simulate Interface command. Hot Tip During the debugging and testing phase of development. enumerates your attached iOS devices. actually instantiate the objects declared via the tool when called upon via code. it may help to think of IB (as it is known in the DZone. Camera. iPhone and iPhone 4 simulation modes. streams the current device console log to screen and displays details of past crash logs. which can be accessed via the ⌘ + ⇧ +L key combination. activate Zombies to place “markers” in deallocated memory. Breakpoints are easily set by single clicking in the gutter next to any line of code. written via calls such as NSLog(@“My counter is: %d”. While the Simulator offers a great desktop testing experience that requires no purchase of hardware. Cupertino. which are the binary and XML form of user interface definition files on the Mac. USA. iPhone. and iPad. The modes are toggled via the Hardware  Device menu.

google. is used ML are the prog etc.678. bandwidth. e HTM dards HTM r. Suite 100 Cary. ation Having the capability to support one time events. ® Data Tier Technologies t to you ply. source code and more. No part of this publication may be reproduced.com ISBN-13: 978-1-934238-75-2 ISBN-10: 1-934238-75-9 50795 DZone communities deliver over 6 million pages each month to more than 3. blogs. LLC.http://code. This allows resources function job adm been arou ler than ing. Temp n com Build ually.dzone.h and .com CONTENTS INCLUDE: ■ ■ ■ About Cloud Computing Usage Scenarios Underlying Concepts Cost by.n elem CPU) to be mov memory. You can keep up with Ben’s work at http://benellingson. 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Fort foundation commo nd for unately they (e. ated occur based tion autom as they the term” cycle. but L or XHT arent. He is the creator of nofluffjuststuff. in any form or by means electronic. DZone offers something for everyone.http://code. CoverStory can be used in concert with OCUnit and OCMock to check the code coverage of your tests. testing on an actual iOS device is critical. Videos. “DZone is a developer’s dream. Redu Autom ory..mulle-kybernetik.com Sponsorship Opportunities sales@dzone. Objective-C 2. 9 781934 238752 rev. Matthew is a published author. He writes frequently on software and presenting at his blog: http://ambientideas. 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They Privat contin lts whe appear effects.com/mac/library/documentation/Cocoa/Conceptual/ObjectiveC/ Bookmarks . Tags standard a very loos g Ajax HTML ML as is disp can tech ely-defi thei ization.php/Main_Page The Objective-C Programming Language http://developer. NC 27513 888.http://www. and online travel. making them rn les to ize merg Patte it all fi to minim space Comm many aspects related tomultiple computing. support as the grap foundation The src of all hical and Java ten attribute and the also recein JavaScri user interfac web develop desc as the e in clien ment.