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BOOK: Beginning Mac OS X Programming
This is the forum to discuss the Wrox book Beginning Mac OS X Programming by Michael Trent, Drew McCormack; ISBN: 9780764573996
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 02:43 PM
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Default informal protocol implementation

when categories are mentioned on page 230 the interface file begins:
@interface Person ( MeasurementsCategory )
and the implementation begins:
@implmentation Person ( MeasurementsCategory )

then on page 245 when informal protocols are mentioned, the interface begins:
@interface NSObject (TaskDelegateMethods)
and the implementation begins
@implementation TaskObserver

that confused me, i was wondering why the category wasn't mentioned in the implementation of TaskObserver...is that optional or is it a requirement that it not be there, for inheritance reasons...
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 12:55 PM
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In the example of a category mentioned on page 230, you are extending the functionality of the Person object. Therefore, you write the interface like this:

@interface Person ( MeasurementsCategory )
Once defined you need to implement the methods somewhere. One place to define these methods are in a corresponding implementation block:

@implementation Person ( MeasurementsCategory )
You could also define the methods in the Person object. But the assumption here is its not convenient or possible to modify Person directly (maybe you don't have access to the Person object's source code). Thus, the separate block.

In the second example, you are adding a delegate callout to the Task object. At some point, you are going to give Task an object, and Task is going to message that object at specific times. We would like to use normal method-call syntax on our delegate object. But if we were to write:

id del = [self delegate];
[del executionShouldBegin:self];
The Objective-C compiler is going to complain that object 'del' might not support the executionShouldBegin: method. We use a category on NSObject to tell the Objective-C compiler that any Objective-C object (descending from NSObject) will respond to executionShouldBegin:, regardless of what it's class actually is. We write that category like so:

@interface NSObject ( TaskDelegateMethods )
- (BOOL)executionShouldBegin:(Task*)task;
Now, it's the delegate object's job to supply the implementation for these functions. That is, if we have a class named TaskObserver, a TaskObserver object might set itself as a Task delegate. The Task delegate will try to send its delegate messages to TaskObserver. The TaskObserver class would just include these methods in its main object interface/implementation.

@interface TaskObserver : NSObject

@implementation TaskObserver

- (BOOL)executionShouldBegin:(Task*)task
    return YES;


And that's exactly what we see on page 245.

Hope that helps!


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