Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dr Alex Blewitt "Swift Essentials" Review

Swift Essentials book written by Dr Alex Blewitt and published by Packt is a basic introduction to Swift, new programming language introduced by Apple for Mac OS and iOS. No prior knowledge of Swift or Objective-C is required for reading this book however it is useful to have some experience as Mac OS user. To run sample code written by Dr Alex Blewitt for Swift Essentials you need Mac OS 10.9 with Xcode installed.
Before Swift most code for Mac OS and iOS was written in Objective-C. Swift adds more modern runtime  and automatic memory management. 
Author starts his book with description of Swift interpreter which can be easily launched from Xcode tools. We are getting acquainted with Swift basics: literals, difference between variables and constants, two collection types (arrays and dictionaries), control flow, functions, running of simple scripts. After you've got familiar with command line interpreter Dr Alex Blewitt presents you a graphical interface called playground which allows to compile and execute code interactively. In the book he describes how to create playground, how to mix code and documentation within the playground, how to look at the state of executing program. 
Then Dr Alex Blewitt shows the reader how to create single view iOS application, how to create master-detail iOS application, how to work with storyboard application and create custom views.  The final target of the book is to build a fully functional iOS application which is repository browser working with GitHub API.
This book will be interesting for everyone who would like to get acquainted with Swift and start creating applications for Mac OS and especially iOS using Swift.