Getting Started with Tools

Technology Overview

Xcode Tools is a robust set of tools, a complete set of developer documentation, and a host of utilities to assist you in the software development process. Xcode Tools includes the Xcode application, which integrates most of the tools that you use for day-to-day development into a single customizable interface. Xcode features such as ZeroLink, Fix and Continue, and distributed builds decrease turnaround time and shorten the development cycle. Features such as Code Sense increase productivity by providing easy access to information about your code. Underlying the Xcode application is a solid foundation of industry-standard tools, including the GCC compilers and the GDB debugger.

In addition to the Xcode integrated development environment, Xcode Tools also provides a number of other applications and facilities to help you design and modify your code. Interface Builder helps you design Aqua-compliant graphical user interfaces. Performance tools, such as Sampler and Shark, help you identify and eliminate bottlenecks in your code. AppleScript Studio combines features from Interface Builder, Xcode, AppleScript, and the Cocoa framework to let you create fully functional applications using AppleScript.

The tools included with Xcode work with each of the development environments available on Mac OS X—Carbon and Cocoa—and can also be used for cross-platform UNIX and Java development.

Start Here

If you are new to developing software on Mac OS X, you may want to spend some time learning which tools are available to you. Before you begin developing with Xcode Tools, you should read:

  • The Tools topic page to survey the resources available for learning about and using Xcode Tools.

  • Xcode to learn about the latest updates to Xcode Tools and to learn how to obtain the Xcode Tools if you do not already have them installed. You can download Xcode Tools from the Developer Connection Member Site. The Xcode Tools download includes the Xcode application, GCC compilers, GDB debugger, and more.

  • Mac OS X Technology Overview to learn about the development environments available to you and to familiarize yourself with the tools included in Xcode Tools.

  • Xcode Quick Tour for Mac OS X to learn the basics of working with the Xcode application.

Choose a Learning Path

If you currently develop for Mac OS X using another development environment, you can learn more about how to bring your project over to Xcode. If you are familiar with Mac OS X programming concepts and development environments, you may want to learn more about Xcode Tools and the problems it solves.

Migrating From Another IDE

If you are familiar with Mac OS X development but are new to Xcode Tools, you may want to learn how to move your software project to Xcode. If you are a CodeWarrior user, see Porting CodeWarrior Projects to Xcode to learn how CodeWarrior and Xcode differ and to learn how to move your CodeWarrior project to Xcode.

Learning More About the Tools

Xcode Tools includes applications, utilities, and command-line tools to solve a wide range of problems. If you are new to Apple’s developer tools, take some time to familiarize yourself with the tools used to solve some of the more common software development problems.

  • To learn more about using Xcode to edit, manage, build, and debug software, see Xcode Quick Tour for Mac OS X.

  • If you are building a graphical user interface for your application or plug-in, see Interface Builder User Guide.

  • If you are familiar with AppleScript, read AppleScript Studio Programming Guide to learn how to use the AppleScript Studio development environment to create native Mac OS X applications that execute scripts.

  • If you are interested in using performance tools to eliminate inefficiencies in your code, see Performance Overview.

  • To know more about packaging and installing software on Mac OS X, see Software Delivery Guide to learn how to use the PackageMaker and Installer tools.

  • If you are developing software for multiple versions of Mac OS X, see Cross-Development Programming Guide to learn how to use SDKs to develop for versions of Mac OS X other than those that the development tools are running on.

  • To learn how to use other developer applications available with Xcode Tools (Instruments, Shark, and Interface Builder), open the application and choose the Application Name Help item from the Help menu.

  • To learn about the command-line tools available with Xcode Tools, see the man page for that tool. From the command line, type man [tool name], or search for the man page in the Xcode documentation window, using the Open man page option in the Help menu.

Next Steps

The Tools Reference Library includes the following high-level resource pages, which can be bookmarked for easy access:

  • Guides

    Conceptual and how-to information for tools.

  • Reference

    Focused, detailed descriptions in reference format for tools.

  • Release Notes

    Late-breaking news and highlights of new or changed features in the latest release of the Xcode Tools.

  • Sample Code

    Sample applications illustrating a variety of development tools and technologies. If you have the Xcode tools installed, there are also many example projects in Developer/Examples; in particular, those in the AppleScript Studio and Interface Builder folders may be of interest.

  • Technical Notes

    Late-breaking documents on tools issues.

  • Technical Q&As

    Programming tips, code snippets, & FAQs by Apple’s support engineers.

  • Mailing Lists

    The xcode-users list is a good place to discuss tools issues with other developers using Xcode Tools.

© 2004, 2009 Apple Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Last updated: 2009-02-04)

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