"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit"*

Aug 31, 2011 09:15 · 401 words · 2 minute read

[![http://www.flickr.com/photos/arfried/367423493/]![](images2011/08/367423493_3cd9b54ac1_m.jpg) Earlier in the year I was approached by the nice people at Apress, who asked me if I was interested in writing a book. I’m still not entirely sure why they approached me - are all the people who know what they’re talking about tied up with more interesting stuff? - but flattery gets you a long way with me, so I said yes.

Provisionally titled “Pro iOS Table Views”, the book’s going to cover the UITableView and associated gubbins to a level of detail that most iOS titles can’t do. The table view is to iOS apps what reinforced concrete is to architecture - it’s virtually omnipresent, suffers from a perception that it’s somewhat dull, and yet is capable of doing amazing things with a bit of love and attention.

While this probably won’t make me the next J K Rowling, hopefully it might contribute a tiny amount to the sum total of human happiness - if only by reducing the amount of swearing that occurs when an iOS developer meets some of the more - ahem - interesting quirks of the SDK.

The book’s a deep-dive into how the table view works and what you can do with it. The core Apple documentation is good, but only scratches the surface - and it also makes massive assumptions about prior knowledge of design patterns like delegation and data sources.

Huge amounts of really clever stuff is strewn liberally across the blogosphere and fora like Stack Overflow, as well - so the intent for the second part of the book is to pull some of that together to demonstrate Cool Things That Can Be Done (thus addressing the perception problem…)

The process so far is giving me a new respect for technical authors, because it’s bloody difficult to hit the sweet spot between blinding you reader with science, and insulting their intelligence with stuff that’s humiliatingly Janet-and-John. Then there’s the rampant paranoia that somewhere in your code lurks egregious howlers that will cause the entire industry to split their sides with mirth at your pathetic attempt at preventing memory leaks.

At the moment it’s slated for publication in the New Year during MacWorld. Which will explain my increasingly frantic expression in the run up to my deadline before Christmas.

* The post’s title is a P G Wodehouse quote, as well as being a fairly accurate description of my technique…