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Obviously, I will need to learn how to code in order to make software anywhere as good as Omni, but I was wondering if I could have a little advice as to how to get started if I plan on programming applications similar in nature to those that Omni creates.

I imagine you use Xcode - is this correct? In your opinion, what is the best book for my very first step in learning to program? I have some experience with C, C++, Basic (I know I know) but its been so long I would want to start from scratch.

I consider myself a hobbiest, but I hope to create some software that fills needs that I have that feels as natural as OmniGroup's apps feel. Where do I start? What is the natural progression from there?

I realize its not easy - I realize it will take some time before I have learned enough to make something useful - I just want some help getting faced in the right direction.

Thanks in advance!
(Disclaimer: I'm a test pilot, not an engineer, but I work a lot with the engineers.)
Yes, we use XCode (and Subversion -- you'll want some sort of source control, even if it's just you). I've heard somebody (or maybe a few somebodies) recommend Aaron Hillegass' book, "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X".

As far as getting the "feels natural" part right, it's about learning your audience. If you are the only user, you can just try out each change you make to your app and see if you like it. But if you hope other people will also find it natural, you'll want to follow User Interface guidelines (such as Apple's HIG) to help your app behave similarly to other applications. You'll also want to get someone who either is a potential real user (or is similar to the users you expect) to try it out and give you honest feedback. What is natural to you may prove to be very unnatural to them.
Eventually, you might also find some of our frameworks useful. We've made them available here:
I already have a book on Xcode 2 - I will look up that book on cocoa programming. (thank you)

A little background - I have been using several different packages made for film production and find myself frustrated by the lack of usability. Both packages both do the job (one more than other) but I find myself spending too much time thinking and doing the wrong thing. Also, at almost every turn I see they way that things "should" work, and it makes me want to create a software package initially for myself.

I know Omni has a full plate, but I wouldn't be opposed to sharing my insight in regards to potential market, pricing, and some fundamental concepts.

In the meantime I am using a combination of OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle, and OmniPlan, and one of the kludgy software packages that will remain nameless to do my job. Of the people who share my job description, all have agreed with my frustration with the current tools on the market and when I showed some of the concepts of good design by doing a Mockup demo (using OmniOutliner), their eyes lit up and there was an "Aha!" moment.

Well, enough for now. Take care!

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