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Best Resources In iOS Development – July 10th 2011

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Another great week has gone by, and if you are a regular visitor to this site you have probably noticed that I am now using a new theme.  Hopefully this betters the user experience for everyone.

In the last week there were some great resources shared, those included a number of open source libraries relating to topics such as Core Text, web services, data storage, and user interface improvements.

Here are the most viewed resources that were new in the last week listed in order of popularity:

Open Source: Lightweight Asynchronous Networking Library For Easy Communication With Web Services – A great lightweight library for communicating with web services allowing you to code complex interactions quickly by taking advantage of Objective-C blocks.

Tutorial: Custom In View Popup Windows – A guide and library for creating popup windows within your main view so that you can display content without needing to navigate to another view.

Open Source: Rich Text-Editing View Using Core Text – A drop in UITextView replacement that allows for easily creating and editing richly formatted text.

Open Source: Library For Easy Data Saving/Loading – A straightforward data saving library allowing you to save or load int, float, and NSString data with just one line of code.

Open Source: UITableView Replacement With Swipeable Cells – A slick UITableView replacement that allows you to create table view cells that can be swiped by the user revealing new content behind the cell.

Open Source: Library Allowing For Tab Bars With An Infinite Number Of Items – A tab bar library that allows you to place an unlimited number of items and allowing the user to scroll between different tab bars accessing the icons without the user having to use the more screen.

Tutorial: Format Text Magazine Style Using Core Text – A great step-by-step tutorial on how to format your text in multiple columns, and format the text with different styles using Core Text.  Excellent for anyone developing a magazine style app.

Open Source: Easily Extensible Objective-C Math Parser Library – A very useful math parsing library that uses similar syntax to NSPredicate but allows you to very easily add new functions.

Open Source: Library And Guide For NinePatch Image Support On iOS Platforms – A libary for support of NinePatch format images that are commonly used for interface elements on Android.

Thanks for reading, please share and bookmark this post!


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Open Source: Easily Extensible Objective-C Math Parser Library

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Math parsing libraries can be extremely useful whenever you want to evaluate a complex mathematical expression.  In Objective-C you can use NSPredicate.  If you want to extend the functionality of NSPredicate however, this can be extremely difficult.

I came across a math parser that provides many advantages over NSPredicate, and other existing math libraries with in my opinion the key feature being the ease at which you can register new functions.

The library is DDMathParser from DaveDeLong.  The Github for the library can be found here:
https://github.com/davedelong

You can also read Dave’s extensive writeup on the library on his website here:
Parsing Mathematical Expressions

There are many other advantages of using Dave’s library over NSPredicate and other existing math parser’s in his writeup.

Looks like the right choice if you need to go beyond the default functionality provided by NSPredicate.


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Tutorial: Format Text Magazine Style Using Core Text

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The Core Text library allows for easy text formatting and I have mentioned it several times in the past with the fancy text effects tutorial and an excellent open source project enabling easy multi-column text display.

I’ve come across an excellent tutorial that puts everything together demonstrating how to create a magazine style app.  You’ll learn how to format the text in multiple columns, justify, place images within your text, create fancy headlines and more.

What I really like about this tutorial is that it gives a high level overview of the Core Text module, and explains why and when you would want to use core text rather than a UIWebView and does so with a code example that you can actually use and create an app with.

The tutorial is from Marin Todorov and can be found here:
How  To Create A Simple Magazine App With Core Text

A great tutorial and source code example if you ever need to create any kind of an app with formatted text.


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