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Chapter 3. Interface Builder > Professional User Interface Design—and More—for ...

3.1. Professional User Interface Design—and More—for Your Xcode Projects

If you have used other software development systems like REALbasic, or written code on other platforms, chances are you have used a system that integrates the coding and interface design in one holistic, coordinated user interface (usually called an integrated development environment, or IDE). REALbasic and Visual Studio on the Windows .NET platform are good examples of this kind of system. One of the most engaging features of such systems is the way they link events on the objects in your user interface to the underlying code. For example, you may create a user interface in REALbasic that shows a window with a button, a textbox, and a label. Then you double-click on the button and type in the code for the Action method for that button. Lo and behold, you have a simple Hello World application. It all happens in one application—in one window, in fact. This approach can be a great way to get started on code development, helping you to connect the events occurring in your application with the visual objects that take part in those events.

Now it might seem odd to begin this chapter by talking about a completely different product (and that, by the way, was the last mention of other ways of writing Mac OS X software—there are plenty of other books around on those!), but there is a good reason. Development of Mac OS X software using the Xcode Tools is unlike using any other software development system, and nowhere is this uniqueness more evident than in the way in which you build the user interface and connect it to your application code. Forget most of what you know about other development environments: Interface Builder is different. This difference is one of the biggest hurdles to the new developer, and so this chapter will spend a lot of time going over how it works.


  

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