Rydges Melbourne /dev/world/2010
I have just returned from the 2010 /dev/world conference held at the Rydges in Melbourne. The event was a fantastic experience and offered me the chance to get a insight on a lot of what is happening in the Mac development community from some of the most talented developers in Australia. The event had over 20 guest speakers who spoke for a hour at a time over the two days. Three speeches were presented simultaneously offering a diverse amount of information for varying experience levels or different interests.
The three tracks offered were:
- Track 1 - Intensely IOS
- Track 2 - Mostly Mac
- Track 3 - Bigger Picture.
I decided not to stick with one particular track, as I believe was the case for most of the developers attending /dev/world/2010. I choose to attend a few different presentations to help me learn about technologies I have little to no experience with and other presentations to learn more about areas of work I have already studied or developed for.
Not primarily being a Mac user I also had a overall goal to learn what advantages OS X could offer me as a software and web developer. The day before /dev/world/2010 I attended a workshop ran by Daniel Woo, a lecturer and a developer with over 10 years of experience in programming on the Mac.
Using a Mac as a development tool for the first time soon brought to my attention how many shortcuts I have memorised under both Linux and Windows. After I got over the initial frustration of forgetting to use the command key which is placed further towards the centre of the keyboard I soon began to enjoy navigating my away around the Mac. The workshop focused on exposing us to the Cocoa framework using both Xcode and Interface Builder.
I found Xcode to be clean relatively easy to use, user friendly and very powerful. The tree view used for the displaying of project files works perfectly for projects using a MVC pattern which often involves many different files. The in built compile feature allows you to easily compile and run your code at the click of a button, a feature that is fairly run of the mill in most IDE's. The debugger was both helpful and easy to use and the inbuilt documentation for all of the Cocoa and Objective C classes made life easy when trying to find documentation new classes and methods.
My first time using Interface Builder and I must admit it took some getting used to. I'm still unsure if that was partly because I am also new to the OS X platform but finding menu's and trying to reopen windows was overly frustrating. IB is vastly complex with a wealth of options and settings that we never touched in the workshop. The fact that IB runs as a separate application to Xcode added a significant amount of overhead switching between windows and was not as friendly experience to which is offered in Visual Studio. When you first run IB it opens around 5 or 6 different frames which can soon use up all your desktop space. Something that I found awkward and I also noticed another more experienced Mac user having the same problem was attaching events to a controller. Depending on which direction the relationship needs to be between a property and a user interface element you need to ctrl click and drag a arrow between the controller and the UI element on your application. You needed both windows in view at the same time to perform the link and I found real estate on the Mac Book Pro a problem due to all of the other windows that IB had open, especially if your application GUI is fairly big.
I want to talk further about some of my experiences at /dev/world/2010. I will be posting individual posts relating to each of the talks I attended and my overall thought of both the subject and the presentation.
If you don't know what /dev/world is and your interested in learning more about Mac development with a interest in mobile devices you should definitely look it up. The event is organised by AUC, you must be part of a University that is a member of the AUC either as a staff member or student to attend these events.