Learning Objective-C, Part 1 – Introduction To Objective-C

Welcome to part one of my tutorials for learning Objective-C. In this lesson, I want to talk a little bit about Objective-C itself. I’m going to try and explain the language throughout these tutorials as if you’ve never programmed in any programming language before, but of course, previous programming experience helps. With hard work, it will even be possible to learn Objective-C as your first programming language. Anyhow, without any further introduction, lets begin.

What Is Objective-C?

Objective-C is an object-oriented  programming language used for developing both Macintosh and iOS applications. Object oriented means that the language can be used to be create objects, and then use those objects to interact with each other. That’s not important now however, but we’ll get into that later.

Objective-C is a superset of the programming language C. This means that all code that would work with the programming language C, which is a procedural language (meaning, it does not use objects) will work and compile within an Objective-C compiler. Some people say that you should learn C before learning Objective-C, but I don’t believe this to be necessarily true. In fact, a lot of the things you would use in C would not be used much at all in Objective-C.

What Is A Compiler?

A compiler in programming is a program that transforms the code you write into a series of numbers called binary that your computer can read and understand. A compiler is included within Xcode, so you don’t have to worry about installing one. It is also possible to compile Objective-C files using Terminal, but we’re not going to worry about that right now.

After you compile your code, the compiler will tell you if it has encountered any errors or warnings regarding it. In most cases,  if there are errors within the code, the application will not execute, or run, until the errors are fixed.

How These Lessons Will Be Taught

Learning Objective-C  is vital to being able to program iOS applications. However, most things I teach or demonstrate in these Objective-C lessons will be done by compiling Macintosh applications. Because the language is the same for both devices, the same bits of code will work almost the same on iOS, however it is a bit more complex, and right now you just need to focus strictly on becoming familiar with the language.

It does take a lot of patience to learn a programming language, and this is not something that you’ll be able to learn over night. If it were easy, everyone would be making iPhone applications. However, this is not the case. But with patience and determination, I guarantee you’ll be able to tackle the challenge.

I try to explain these lessons to the best of my ability, but not everyone will understand everything I say. If you ever have a question or want to clarify something, please head over to the Programming section of the iOS Universe Forums and post your question. If not myself, another experienced developer will get back to you as soon as they can.

That is all for this lesson. To start learning about actually programming in the language, please check out Part 2.

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