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Showing entries tagged "objectivec". Full blog index.

by Mike AshTags: performance cocoa objectivec iphone
Back in the mists of time, before Friday Q&A was a thing, I posted some articles running performance tests on common operations and discussing the results. The most recent one was from 2008, running on 10.5 and the original iPhone OS, and it's long past time to do an update.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Tagged pointers are an interesting technology used to increase performance and reduce memory usage. As of OS X 10.10, NSString got the tagged pointer treatment, and today I'm going to take a look at how it works, a topic suggested by Ken Ferry.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec threading
The Objective-C runtime is at the heart of much Mac and iOS code. At the heart of the runtime is the objc_msgSend function, and the heart of that is the method cache. Today I'm going to explore how Apple manages resizing and deallocating method cache memory in a thread safe manner without impacting performance, using a technique you probably won't find in textbooks discussing thread safety.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Reader Tomas Bouda asks: what's the deal with the NSObject protocol? There are two NSObjects in Cocoa, a class and a protocol. Why both? What purpose do they serve? In today's article, I'll explore the answer to this question.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna letsbuild c objectivec cocoa
Our long effort to rebuild Cocoa piece by piece continues. For today, reader Nate Heagy has suggested building NSString's stringWithFormat: method.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna c objectivec cocoa assert
Asserts are a powerful tool for building quality code, but they're often poorly understood. Today, I want to discuss the various options for writing asserts in Cocoa apps and the best ways to use them, a topic suggested by reader Ed Wynne.

by Mike AshTags: clang objectivec translation
Reader Anja Skrba from Webhostinggeeks.com has translated my Objective-C Literals article into Serbo-Croatian. It's always fun to see translations of my writing, even when I can't understand them at all. If you do understand Serbo-Croatian, or know someone who does, check it out. The Serbo-Croatian version of Objective-C Literals is available on Webhostinggeeks.com.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna letsbuild objectivec
Last time on Friday Q&A, I began the reimplementation of parts of NSInvocation as MAInvocation. In that article, I discussed the basic theory, the architecture calling conventions, and presented the assembly language glue code needed for the implementation. Today, I present the Objective-C part of MAInvocation.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna letsbuild objectivec
It's time for another trip into the nether regions of the soul. Reader Robby Walker suggested an article about NSInvocation, and I have obliged, implementing it from scratch for your amusement. Today I'll start on a guided tour down the hall of horrors that is MAInvocation, my reimplementation of the NSInvocation API. It's a big project, so today I'm going to focus on the basic principles and the assembly language glue code, with the rest of the implementation to follow.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna letsbuild objectivec
Last time, I showed how to build the basic functionality of NSObject. I left out key-value coding, because the implementation of valueForKey: and setValue:forKey: is complex enough to need its own article. This is that article.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna letsbuild objectivec
The NSObject class lies at the root of (almost) all classes we build and use as part of Cocoa programming. What does it actually do, though, and how does it do it? Today, I'm going to rebuild NSObject from scratch, as suggested by friend of the blog and occasional guest author Gwynne Raskind.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec cocoa
Objective-C is a powerful and extremely useful language, but it's also a bit dangerous. For today's article, my colleague Chris Denter suggested that I talk about pitfalls in Objective-C and Cocoa, inspired by Cay S. Horstmann's article on C++ pitfalls.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec letsbuild
The objc_msgSend function underlies everything we do in Objective-C. Gwynne Raskind, reader and occasional Friday Q&A guest contributor, suggested that I talk about how objc_msgSend works on the inside. What better way to understand how something works than to build it from scratch? Let's build objc_msgSend.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec letsbuild
Last time on Friday Q&A, I discussed a hypothetical implementation of the NSNumber class. Starting on Mac OS X 10.7 and iOS 5, NSNumber uses a new runtime facility called tagged pointers to increase speed and reduce memory usage, the inner workings of which I want to examine today.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec letsbuild
NSNumber is a deceptively simple class with some interesting implementation details. In today's edition of Friday Q&A, I'll explore how to build a class that works like NSNumber, a topic suggested by Jay Tamboli.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec clang
Welcome back! After a brief hiatus for WWDC, it's time for another wacky adventure. Today's topic is the new object literals syntax being introduced into Objective-C, which was suggested by reader Frank McAuley.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec arc hack
Last time, I discussed the basics of PLWeakCompatibility in terms of the motivation, the basic hooks used to get the compiler to call our code when handling __weak variables, and calling through to the original implementations where available. Today, I'm going to discuss the implementation of the zeroing weak reference facility that gets used when the runtime doesn't supply its own __weak support.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec arc hack
A few weeks ago, I introduced PLWeakCompatibility. This is a small library that can be dropped into an app to enable use of the __weak qualifier on OSes that don't support it. ARC is officially supported on Mac OS X 10.6 and iOS 4, but __weak is only available on 10.7 and iOS 5. PLWeakCompatibility adds support for __weak on those older OSes when using ARC. Today I'm going to discuss how PLWeakCompatibility works on the inside.

by Mike AshTags: objectivec code hack arc sourcecode
As a way of atoning for the lack of a Friday Q&A today, I'm pleased to introduce PLWeakCompatibility. Do you like ARC? Do you need to support older OS releases? Do you wish you could use __weak variables on those older OSes? If so, then I have good news for you! PLWeakCompatibility is the solution you've been looking for.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec letsbuild
Last time on Friday Q&A, we discussed how to implement NSMutableArray. Today, I'll repeat the same exercise with NSMutableDictionary and build an implementation of it from scratch.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec letsbuild
Collection classes are ubiquitous in Cocoa apps, but also fairly opaque. Today, at the suggestion of Matthew Elton, I'm going to take a look at how NSMutableArray works behind the scenes by building a replacement for it from scratch.

by Mike AshTags: objectivec threading evil
Every once in a while, when writing threaded code, you may find yourself wanting to acquire two different locks in a critical section. Normally one should resist such perversions, but sometimes they just end up being necessary, or too tempting. Holding multiple locks at the same time immediately raises the specter of deadlock: if two threads acquire the same locks in a different order, they can end up waiting on each other forever.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
We've spent the last few weeks talking about disassembling executables and how to read the result. Today, I want to wrap up that discussion with a look at a powerful third-party disassembly tool called Hopper.

by Gwynne RaskindTags: fridayqna objectivec assembly disassembly guest
Gwynne finishes off her series on analyzing assembly code with a look at ARM assembly, for all of your iOS needs. Gwynne will be contributing the occasional article in the future as well as a guest author, without my introductions. Watch the Author field at the top of the post to see who's writing what. Without further ado, let's take a look at ARM.

by Gwynne RaskindTags: fridayqna objectivec assembly disassembly guest
Today I have the pleasure to present the followup to last week's guest post. Gwynne Raskind returns to complete her in-depth analysis of the assembly code generated by a small sample program.

by Gwynne RaskindTags: fridayqna objectivec assembly disassembly guest
As a small change of pace, today's post is written by guest author Gwynne Raskind. My last post touched a bit on disassembling object files, and Gwynne wanted to dive deeply into just how to read the output in detail. Without further ado, I present her wonderful in-depth look at reading x86_64 assembly.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Being able to see all stages of your work can be immensely helpful when debugging a problem. Although you can get a lot done only looking at the source code and the app's behavior, some problems benefit immensely from being able to inspect the preprocessed source code, the assembly output from the compiler, or the final binary. It can also be handy to inspect other people's binaries. Today, I want to talk about various tools you can use to inspect binaries, both your own and other people's, a topic suggested by Carlton Gibson.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna blocks objectivec evil hack
Last time, I talked about my crazy hack that misuses the Objective-C message forwarding machinery to do block proxying. This allows writing code that interposes in front of an arbitrary block to intercept its arguments, manipulate its return value, etc. Today, I want to present an exanmple of using this hack which almost verges on the practical. Specifically, I'm going to discuss how to use it to build a generalized block memoization facility.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna blocks objectivec evil hack
Here at Friday Q&A, I pride myself on occasionally taking my readers to places where normal people dare not tread. Today is one of those days. This is not a reader suggested topic, but today I want to talk about a fun hack I came up with that allows proxying block invocations in much the way that one can proxy Objective-C messages.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna cocoa memory arc objectivec
Since the moment Apple announced it, readers have asked me to write about Automatic Reference Counting, or ARC. Today is the day. I'll talk about Apple's new memory management system, how it works, and how to get the most out of it.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec c
The inevitable rotation of the Earth means that it's once again time for another Friday Q&A. For today's edition, Jose Vazquez suggested that I discuss namespaced constants and functions in C.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec vararg
You're happily writing code one day, click Build, and suddenly the dreaded warning appears: warning: no '-fooMessage' method found (Messages without a matching method signature will be assumed to return 'id' and accept '...' as arguments.) You double-check your code and your method name is correct, so you shrug and move on. A few hours later, your program starts misbehaving strangely. What's going on? Today, I'll explore the mysterious world of Objective-C method signature mismatches, a topic suggested by an anonymous reader.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec c++ blocks
Blocks are perhaps the most significant new language feature introduced by Apple in years, and I've written a lot about them before. The new C++ standard, C++0x, introduces lambdas, a similar feature. Today, I want to discuss the two features and how they are alike and how they differ, a topic suggested by David Dunham.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna c objectivec
Greetings, salutations, and welcome to another edition of Friday Q&A, the Fridayest source of information on the internet. This week, friend of the blog Jose Vazquez had the idea of discussing miscellaneous compile-time tips and tricks in C/Objective-C, like useful preprocessor techniques and compile-time asserts.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna memory objectivec
Merry holidays, happy winter, and a joyous Friday Q&A to you all. Camille Troillard suggested that I discuss how to create custom object memory allocators in Objective-C, and today I'm going to walk through how to accomplish this and why you might want to.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec accessors threading memory
It's once again time for a brand new edition of Friday Q&A. This week, I'm going to talk about accessors, and how to properly deal with memory management and thread safety when creating them, a topic suggested by Daniel Jalkut.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqa objectivec
It's time for another edition of Friday Q&A. In the last Friday Q&A, I discussed how to create classes at runtime in Objective-C. Today, I'm going to discuss how to actually make practical use of this technique.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Friday Q&A is back! I had some very important slacking to take care of for the past couple of months, but now I'm ready to resume business as usual. For this return to Friday Q&A, I'm going to talk about how to create Objective-C classes at runtime, a topic suggested by Kevin Avila. This topic is meaty enough that this will be a two-parter; today's post will talk about the basics of how to create classes at runtime, and then the next one will discuss uses for such classes and how to take advantage of them.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna defensive objectivec cocoa
Welcome back to another word-laden edition of Friday Q&A. About a year ago, I wrote a post on defensive programming. That post covered defensive programming in a general sense, and Scott Gould has requested that I write one specific to various standard Cocoa practices, which is what I will be talking about today.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna cocoa objectivec nscoding serialization
Welcome back to another frightening edition of Friday Q&A. This time around, friend and local OS X coder Jose Vazquez has suggested that I discuss how to implement NSCoding in Objective-C classes.

by Mike AshTags: objectivec code hack sourcecode
I'm extremely excited to announce a new library for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch development: MAZeroingWeakRef. In short, it's a library which allows zeroing weak references to be used in retain/release Cocoa code. This has all sorts of uses and should make retain/release coding less painful. While I discussed this in detail in my Friday Q&A post this week, I also want to make a separate announcement for people who don't want to read through all of the horrible details.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec garbagecollection hack
It's that time of the biweek again. For this week's Friday Q&A, Mike Shields has suggested that I talk about weak references in Objective-C, and specifically zeroing weak references. I've gone a bit further and actually implemented a class that provides zeroing weak references in Objective-C using manual memory management.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna isequal hash cocoa objectivec
Welcome back to a late edition of Friday Q&A. WWDC pushed the schedule back one week, but it's finally time for another one. This week, I'm going to discuss the implementation of equality and hashing in Cocoa, a topic suggested by Steven Degutis.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec enumeration
Last week I discussed the various options available in Objective-C for enumerating over a collection This week I'm going to finish up the discussion of enumeration with a guide on how to implement Fast Enumeration in your own program.

by Mike AshTags: objectivec continuation blocks
A couple of months ago I wrote about using Continuation Passing Style in Objective-C as an alternative technique for returning errors from methods. The major downside to that technique is that it integrates poorly with Cocoa, since Cocoa isn't written to use CPS. Jordan Breeding has spent the intervening time building up an impressive CPS adapter library which allows converting any Cocoa NSError ** call into CPS style with virtually no work. Source code and extensive examples are available, and I encourage you to check it out.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna nsfastenumeration objectivec
Welcome back to another edition of Friday Q&A. Preston Sumner has suggested that I talk about different ways of enumerating over collections in Cocoa, and how to implement Fast Enumeration. This will be a two part series: this week I will look at the different enumeration techniques and their pros and cons, and then next week I will take you through implementing Fast Enumeration on a custom object.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna blocks objectivec continuations errorhandling
The Earth has moved 6.9 degrees around the Sun since my last post, which means it's time for another edition of Friday Q&A. This 6.9-degree segment, Guy English has suggested that I talk about the use of continuation passing style to simplify error returns in Objective-C code.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec swizzling override evil
It's that time of the week again. For this week's Friday Q&A Mike Shields has suggested that I talk about method replacement and method swizzling in Objective-C.

by Mike AshTags: cocoa objectivec accessors
It's Black Friday, and that means it's time for another Friday Q&A. Today I'm going to talk about the use of accessors in Objective-C init/dealloc methods, a topic suggested by Jon Trainer.

by Mike AshTags: cocoa python pyobjc objectivec hack
It's another Friday and time for another Friday Q&A. This week, fellow Amoeba Jeff Johnson suggested talking about using Cocoa from the command line using Python and PyObjC.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna cocoa objectivec singleton
It's time for another Friday Q&A. I hope everyone who had a chance to go to C4 had a good time and is back home safe and sound. This week I'm going to discuss singletons, both how to make them and when to use them, as suggested by Jon Trainer.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Welcome back to another cromulent Friday Q&A. After taking a few weeks off I intend to resume the regular schedule. We'll see how far that intention takes me, but I'm hopeful. This week I'm going to take Daniel Jalkut's suggestion to discuss class loading and initialization in Objective-C.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Welcome back to another exciting Friday Q&A. This week I'm going to continue the series on the Objective-C runtime. Yuji Tachikawa suggested talking about how @dynamic properties work in CoreData and I'm going to take that and expand it to talk about message forwarding in general.

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Welcome back to another Friday Q&A. This week I'd like to take Joshua Pennington's idea and elaborate on a particular facet last week's topic of the Objective-C runtime, namely messaging. How does messaging work, and what exactly does it do? Read on!

by Mike AshTags: fridayqna objectivec
Welcome back to another Friday Q&A, on another Friday the 13th. This week I'm going to take Oliver Mooney's suggestion and talk about the Objective-C runtime, how it works, and what it can do for you.

by Mike AshTags: cocoa objectivec super init initializer
One of the longest ongoing controversies in the Cocoa community is how to write your init methods. More specifically, how to properly call your superclass's initializer. In the hopes of putting this controversy to rest, I want to walk through the right way to write an initializer and exactly why this is the right way.

by Mike AshTags: performance cocoa objectivec iphone
I finally got a chance to run my performance comparison code on an iPhone, so we can see just how much horsepower this little device has. I still am not able to load my own code onto the device myself, so I want to thank an anonymous benefactor for adapting my code to the new environment and gathering the results for me.

by Mike AshTags: performance cocoa objectivec leopard
By popular demand, I have re-run my Performance Comparisons of Common Operations on the same hardware but running Leopard.

Leopard: First Impressions at 2007-11-30 23:12
by Mike AshTags: leopard cocoa objectivec rant
Leopard's been out for a while now and brings with it a lot of interesting new tools for the Mac programmer. I've had the chance to work with some of them and want to offer my opinion on how they've worked out.

by Mike AshTags: performance objectivec cocoa
We all know that premature optimization is the root of all evil. But a recent conversation brought to mind that we often don't really know the runtime costs of the code we write. While we should be writing foremost for correctness and clarity, having an idea of these speeds is good, especially when we get it into our heads that some operation is much more costly than it really is. With that in mind, I compiled a list of common Cocoa operations and how much time they require at runtime.

More Fun With Autorelease at 2007-02-08 00:00
by Mike AshTags: autorelease bug cocoa objectivec
I just hit a subtle but commonly known bug for the first time. I thought I'd share my fun with the world. Everybody reading this blog should know about autorelease pools and how they work in Cocoa. As everybody knows, every time you go through the event loop, Cocoa blows away the old pool and makes a new one for you, so that all of your autoreleased objects go away and your new ones go into a fresh pool. That way you never build up more objects than get produced during a single event loop cycle.

Using Evil for Good at 2006-07-14 00:00
by Mike AshTags: cocoa objectivec c++ stl chemicalburn
People who know me as a programmer probably know that I am a great hater of C++. As someone who does a lot of Cocoa, this extends naturally into hating Objective-C++. But I made good use of Objective-C++ in ChemicalBurn and I thought I'd share.

Autorelease is Fast at 2006-06-07 00:00
by Mike AshTags: autorelease performance cocoa objectivec
If you've done much Cocoa programming, you've probably run into a situation where you needed to create a local autorelease pool because of some sort of loop. And you've probably run into advice telling you not to create and destroy the pool for every iteration, because that would be slow. I never believed that it could be significant, and I finally took the time to test it today. What's the verdict? Just as I thought, making autorelease pools is really fast.
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