General confusion


I think I’ve reached a point where I can hold up my hands and say I have almost no idea what’s going on now.

I feel I should understand more than I do. I’m too confused to even ask questions about what’s confusing me, I feel like the most precise question I could manage is “Whuh??”. I often find myself not even being able to remember basics which I once thought I was fairly comfortable with. I’m not sure my brain has the capacity to remember what all these classes, objects, protocols, frameworks, etc. are. In fact, if you asked me I’d struggle to even explain what a “protocol” was.

I’ve found it difficult all the way through but now I’m just feeling totally swamped. Reading these forums it often feels like everyone else has got a MUCH better grip on it all than me, even those saying they are stuck or confused about something.

Did anyone else feel like this at any stage? Will it get easier? Should I take up knitting instead?


I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who’s had a HUGE difficulty reading this particular book. I’ve read other programming language books, including one on C++ right before this without anywhere near the trouble I’ve had with this. I think the problem isn’t that it’s hard, the way it’s presented just doesn’t “flow” in any kind of linear fashion, to top that off they introduce a lot of different things without comments. To me, the comments don’t belong in text away from the actual code, because it doesn’t really tell you whats going on where very well. I’ve always been able to learn best by first making sense of what’s being said by writing down in my own words what I need to know, which takes up a lot less space and makes sense to me because I have to understand it. I’ve thought about just dropping it altogether (just this book) and going straight to the Apple docs, which are ridiculously cryptic for a newcomer to the language they use to describe a lot of things…but I’m trying to tough it out. There’s been a lot of good stuff, but I don’t agree with how it’s presented. I believe the other people here have had experience with objective C and/or the Cocoa Touch libraries prior to this, or they toughed it out too until they got it.

At any rate, it’s the best option I’ve got at the moment to pick it up, the important thing you need to do is keep pushing to learn it, go back to the topics you’re not sure about…before I could even push past one of the beginning chapters I searched up objective C syntax because I refuse to not be able to read what a particular line of code is doing. Moving past anything you don’t completely get will only make things worse as you go on, so learn what you have to…and know that your own programs will be familiar to you as far as keeping track of most of the variables and methods you’ve got, these exercises spanning multiple chapters are hard to read because the amount of time that has passed pretty much requires you to look back and forth between the code or previous chapters finding instance variables or methods. While I’m ranting, the multiple names for the same thing hinders learning too.

Sorry for going on, it’s one of my bad habits. Good luck, keep your dreams alive. I’ve read many books all over the place, some are easier for me to understand than others, if you can’t get through this one pick up another one by someone else. I plan on completely skimming any exercises that cover the map kit and specific things that are covered in the Apple documents that aren’t so difficult to grasp, and that’s what one of their objectives of this book was early on (I think).


i would say its pretty normal.

keep working through it. you’ll get through it. … might be 10 years. but you will :stuck_out_tongue:

this is a good blog post.

Some other people have also talked about it. the basic idea is this.

or. anything worth doing … isn’t easy and takes a long time to do it.

to bring it back home. You’ll get there. also… sometimes all you can see is what you don’t understand. whats easy to forget and hard to find is what you actually do understand. Thats very easy to miss.

perk up. you’ll get it if you try. you can do anything you put your mind to.


I’ve been programming professionally since graduating with a C.S. degree in 1993. Take heart, there’s a lot going on in this chapter. You’re likely not the only one confused by all the goings-on with Homepwner at this point.

Each programmer has their own way of grasping the complexities of a given program.
One way I deal with it is to encapsulate logic in classes. This is being done rather well with this program so far.
For things that require more, I tend to draw diagrams (in Visio… if you are 100% Apple, try OmniGraffle).

Usually, my diagrams are for my own consumption only, so they aren’t usually polished…
At the risk of confusing you further… Here’s my CH16 Homepwner diagram.


BigNerdWes. that graphic is awesome.

also i forgot to mention the author is taking us around and showing us the sights as it were. thats why it sometimes doesn’t seem like its the most straight forward way or things come out of nowhere. He’s just trying to show us what is possible and the different ways to do the same thing.


+1 for the diagram - great piece of work


I hear ya. I have a general idea about the concepts, and I can follow along in the book OK, but if I were to start my own simple app from scratch right now I think I’d hit some pretty big roadblocks early and often. I’m no stranger to programming at all, but I’m just not at all confident in my iOS skills right now. I’m half way through the book, and I still don’t like the “type this, don’t worry about what it means, we’ll explain it later” method. There aren’t a whole lot of other options out there besides the Apple docs, so what can you do?

This chapter in particular was a complete blur to me, and has kind of bummed me out. More than the other chapters so far, I felt like l was mindlessly typing pages and pages of code with no clue what it was doing. But I’m going to keep plugging away at it. There is a lot of good information in the book, I’m just not a fan of the presentation. I think I’m just ready for this Homepwner app to be over with so I can start with something fresh. Then I can really sit down and try to decipher what’s going on with the Homepwner app. A new project is presented in a couple of chapters so hopefully that’ll renew my vigor.