My first exposure to Macintosh programming was with THINK’s Lightspeed Pascal in 1988. I was a graduate student at the University of Utah and the teaching assistant for the introduction programming course using Pascal. The student machines were Mac SEs running Macintosh System 2. Pascal provides a fairly encapsulated runtime environment to simplify its use in teaching programming, so it wasn’t really “Macintosh programming” although you could interact with the toolbox if desired.
Twenty years later, I find myself working at a digital content company and our content creation applications support both Windows and Mac OS X as a customer platform. While we largely rely on UI toolkits to isolate our applications from UI differences between platforms, we still need to build and debug code on Mac OS X. All of this work is done in Xcode. I was in a weird situation: I needed to know how to use Xcode, but I didn’t need to know how to program Mac native applications. I needed a book that would tell me about Xcode and how to accomplish typical developer tasks in it, but I didn’t need a book that would spend too much time on Objective C, Carbon APIs, Cocoa APIs and other Macintosh specific coding tasks. “Xcode 3 Unleashed” by Fritz Anderson is just the book I needed.