TweetFollow Us on Twitter

More on Xcode

Volume Number: 19 (2003)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Programming

Geeting Started

More on Xcode

by Dave Mark

I must say, I am really enjoying digging into Xcode. I'm impressed with what I've seen so far. The bugs I've encountered have mostly been cosmetic and, I assume, easily fixable. My understanding is that the WWDC release is the only Jaguar release and that all fixes and future releases will be Panther-only.

For the moment, I'll stick with the Jaguar version. As soon as a "for public consumption" version of the Panther Xcode makes its way into my hot little hands, I'll shift permanently into Panther mode.

Editor Window Details

Last month's column started off by opening an existing Project Builder project called Sketch.pbxproj in Xcode and updating the target, creating a new target called Sketch (Upgrade). Go ahead and launch Xcode and open the project. If you are starting from scratch, you'll find Sketch.pbxproj in the directory /Developer/Examples/AppKit/Sketch/. Remember, you can open a project by navigating to the right directory and clicking the Open button. Xcode will find the project file for you.

When the project window appears, click and hold on the Build and Debug icon. After a slight pause, a drop-down menu will appear (see Figure 1). The little triangle to the lower right of an Xcode tool icon is your clue that there's a drop-down menu lurking within. Just remember to hold and wait a hitch for the menu to appear.


Figure 1. The Build and Debug drop-down menu.

Go ahead and select Build and Debug from the drop-down menu. Xcode will build and launch a debug-ready version of Sketch and open the debugger window. As you'd expect, the debugging window allows you to control the debugging process.

Use the Dock to bring Sketch to the front. Click on the rectangles icon in the palette, then click and drag out a rectangle in the main window (see Figure 2). Note that the rectangle that appears is not filled.


Figure 2. Dragging out a rectangle with Sketch.

Now go back to the project window and click on the Project Symbols group (the last group in the Groups & Files column). As you saw last month, this "smart group" lists all the symbols in the project. Type init in the search field to reduce the list of symbols (See Figure 3).


Figure 3. Using the search field to find the init method in SKTGraphic.m.

We're looking for the init method in the file SKTGraphic.m. There are two ways to open this file from the listing in the Project Symbols group. We can click on the Editor icon in the toolbar (the cursor is pointing to this icon in Figure 3) to open an editing pane for that file in the Project Window. Alternatively, we can double-click on the line listing the file we want to open that file in a separate editing window. That's the method we're going to use here.

Figure 4 shows the editor window that appeared when I double-clicked on SKTGraphic.m. At the top of the window is the editor toolbar. Just beneath that is the status bar (in Figure 4 it says Sketch (Upgraded)).


Figure 4. A new editing window listing the file SKTGraphic.m.

Below the status bar is the navigation bar. Towards the left edge of the nav bar is a pair of arrows. These act like the left and right arrows in your browser and are used to move between source files. You'll see how this works in a sec.

If you scan to the right side of the nav bar, you'll see an icon showing a pair of overlapping rectangles, a grey one in front of a white one. This is called the counterpart icon. Click on it to switch between a .m and its corresponding .h file. For example, click the counterpart icon to switch to SKTGraphic.h. Note that the left arrow on the left side of the nav bar is now enabled. You can click it to go back to the file SKTGraphic.m. And, as you'd expect, once you click on the left arrow, the right arrow will be enabled so you can go back to SKTGraphic.h. As promised, just like the arrows in your browser.

As you visit different files in your editor window, they are added to a list, sort of a running history. Immediately to the right of the arrows in your nav bar is a popup listing all the files in this history list. Select a file name and the editor edits that file. Makes sense. The tiny dogear icon immediately to the left of the file name is a dirty flag. If the file is dirty (if it has changed since the last save) the icon is grey. Save the file and it returns to white.

Just to the right of the file name is a colon (":") followed by the current line number (either the beginning of a selection, or the line holding the insertion point). If you want to go to a specific line in a file, you can trial and error it, clicking around using the line number in the nav bar to help you home in on the right line. Or you can select Go to Line... from the Find menu (Command-L) and use that interface to select a specific line or range of lines (See Figure 5).


Figure 5. The Go to Line... command from the Find menu.

Also in the nav bar, just to the right of the file popup menu, lies the function/method popup. As you'd expect, this popup lists all the functions in the current file. Click anywhere inside a function and that function is shown in the popup title. Click on the popup and all the functions/methods in the file are listed in the order in which they appear. Option-click and the functions are listed in alphabetical order, separated by implementation. Give it a try. You'll get it right away.

Next over to the right is the counterpart icon (which we discussed above) followed immediately by the included files popup (it looks like a #) which lets you edit the tree of included files. Figure 6 shows the included files popup for SKTGraphic.m.


Figure 6. The included files popup menu.

To the lower right of the included files popup (at the top of the scroll bar) is the split view toggle. Click on the toggle to create a split in the editing window. Click the toggle again to remove the split. Once you create a split, the split resize control appears between the upper and lower scroll bars. To move the split, just drag this control (See Figure 7). Note that in the current Jaguar release (and presumably the only Jaguar release) of Xcode, the split resize control does not get drawn when you first create a split. Just resize the window a tiny bit and the control will appear.


Figure 7. Dragging the split resize control.

Fix and Continue

One of my favorite Xcode features is Fix-and-Continue. With Mac OS X's built-in support for dynamic linking, you can actually modify your code while it is running and watch the change come to life. Really.

So let's try this out. When you played with Sketch earlier in the column, you dragged out a rectangle and saw that the result was unfilled. If you look through the source code, you'll find that the fill color is white, but the setDrawFill: method is called with the parameter NO. In SKTGraphic.m, here's the init method:

- (id)init {
    self = [super init];
    if (self) {
        _document = nil;
        [self setBounds:NSMakeRect(0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 1.0)];
        [self setFillColor:[NSColor whiteColor]];
        [self setDrawsFill:NO];
        [self setStrokeColor:[NSColor blackColor]];
        [self setDrawsStroke:YES];
        [self setStrokeLineWidth:1.0];
        _origBounds = NSZeroRect;
        _gFlags.manipulatingBounds = NO;
    }
    return self;
}

Pay special attention to lines 6 and 7, which correspond to lines 20 and 21 in the file. If you haven't already, launch Sketch in the debugger. You can click on the Debug spray can in the editing window or debug window's toolbar, or select from the hammer/spraycan icon in the Project Window's toolbar.

Once Sketch launches in debug mode (you can tell the debugger is active because the Terminate and Pause icons will be enabled in the Debug window), drag out a couple of rectangles, just to prove that they are, indeed, unfilled.

Now go back to your editing window for SKTGraphic.m and change line 20 and 21 from:

        [self setFillColor:[NSColor whiteColor]];
        [self setDrawsFill:NO];

to:

        [self setFillColor:[NSColor greenColor]];
        [self setDrawsFill:YES];

Do NOT save. You'll see why in a sec.

Basically, we've changed the fill color from white to green and we've told Sketch that we do want our shapes filled.

Now comes the cool part.

Select Fix from the Debug menu.

Remember not to save!

You'll see a message in the Debug window about compiling and building. Once that settles down, go back to the running Sketch and click and drag out a rectangle. Wait, I've done it for you. Check out Figure 8. As you were expecting, the rectangles are now filled and green.


Figure 8. After the fix is applied, our rects are filled with green. Cool!

Once you are done playing with your new green rects, quit Sketch and rerun it, either as a straight run or via the debugger. Notice that your rectangles are back to being unfilled (you did remember to not save your changes, right?) To me, this is a beautiful way to play with your code. You can make changes, experiment, use Debug/Fix to test out your changes, see what works for you, then save what you want to.

I find dynamic linking fascinating. Fix and Continue works for Objective C, Carbon/C++ or even straight C, so it's available to all Mac OS X APIs and development languages. Though the Xcode team did not create dynamic linking, they did an excellent job rolling it into the environment. Brilliant!

    You may have noticed a scotch-tape dispenser icon in the Debug window with the label Fix. Clicking this icon does the same thing as selecting Fix from the Debug menu. There is a bug (I believe it is fixed in the current Panther release) where the icon is disabled (it just beeps when you click it). Fortunately, the bug does not affect the Fix item in the Debug menu.

Till Next Month...

Whelp, I'm out of space again. <sigh>. There's so much more I want to talk about. Next month, we're going to take the debugger through its paces and we'll also play around with a feature called code completion, one of my very favorite parts of Xcode. See you then...


Dave Mark is a long-time Mac developer and MacTech contributor. Author of more than a dozen books on various Mac-development topics, Dave is all about Xcode these days. Last month's column focused on the basics of opening a Project Builder project, target conversion, and the project window user interface. This month's installment will focus on the editor interface and a demo of fix-and-continue.

 
AAPL
$524.94
Apple Inc.
+5.93
MSFT
$40.01
Microsoft Corpora
-0.39
GOOG
$536.10
Google Inc.
-20.44

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VMware Fusion 6.0.3 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
Tweetbot 1.5.1 - Popular iOS twitter cli...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Bas...
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Basket Full of Goodies, Courtesy of Madfinger Games Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Dead Trigger 2 | Read more »
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sa...
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sale Right Now, and You Should Check it Out Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Playdek has released quite a few great iOS ports of board and card games over the years, and now most of them... | Read more »
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Exper...
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
David. Review
David. Review By Cata Modorcea on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINIMALISTIC IN A DIFFERENT WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad David is a minimalistic game wrapped inside of a soothing atmosphere in which the hero... | Read more »
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service Th...
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service That Allows Users to Share Media Across Personal Devices Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair...
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair Review By Jennifer Allen on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY ADVENTURINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Treading a safe path, Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair is a... | Read more »
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced E...
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced Editing Features and More Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to...
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to Learn about the Human Body 1.1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.00 (iTunes) Description: Wouldn’t it be cool to look inside yourself and see what was going on... | Read more »
Trials Frontier Review
Trials Frontier Review By Carter Dotson on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A ROUGH LANDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Trials Frontier finally brings the famed stunt racing franchise to mobile, but how much does its... | Read more »
Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskin I...
Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskin Introduced – Support Available in Evernote for iOS Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Free HopTo 2.2 Helps Enhance Your Productivit...
The HopTo app helps you do more on your iPad by providing more and easier adaccess to files and documents. Version 2.2 adds Egnyte and HopTo’s Mac OSX File Connector. If you already have the hopTo... Read more
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month:...
As the country recognizes National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Sprint is reminding wireless consumers to focus on driving while behind the wheel, to not text or email while driving, and to... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
Abt has the 13″ 2.4GHz 128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $1229 including free shipping. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP this we...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
iPad Airs on sale this weekend for up to $100...
Best Buy has WiFi iPad Airs on sale for $50 off MSRP and WiFi + Cellular iPad Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time, with prices now starting at $449. Choose free... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Hyundai Brings Apple CarPlay To The 2015 Sona...
Hyundai Motor America has announced it will bring Apple CarPlay functionality to the 2015 Sonata. CarPlay is pitched as a smarter, safer and easier way to use iPhone in the car and gives iPhone users... Read more
Updated iPads Coming Sooner Than We Had Thoug...
MacRumors, cites KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, well-respected as an Apple product prognisticator, saying that Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini in 2014/Q3, meaning the... Read more
Toshiba Unveils New High And Low End Laptop M...
Toshiba has announced new laptop models covering both the high-end and low-end of the notebook computer spectrum. Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Laptop Toshiba’s new Satellite P55t features one of the world’s... Read more
Save up to $270 with Apple refurbished 13-inc...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished October 2013 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $1099, with models up to $270 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Automotive Parts Department position...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Retail - Manager - Holyoke - Apple I...
Job Summary Keeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you’re a master of them all. In the store’s fast-paced, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Manager - Apple (United Sta...
Job SummaryKeeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you're a master of them all. In the store's fast-paced, dynamic Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.