Now In Glorious Extra COLOR

Parody title card: Now In Glorious Extra COLOR

iOS 9 SDK Development is now shipping, and I got my copies today. After some longer-than-expected delays copy-editing and indexing, the Prags surprised us with a very cool feature:

The book is printed in COLOR. Not just 16 pages of color plates in the middle. Like, the whole damn thing is in color. Every code listing is syntax-highlighted, every sidebar is in Prags Purple, and every simulator screenshot with a photo looks like an actual iPhone or iPad screen.

This got mentioned as a possibility during layout review, and I was surprised by it, but I guess with the lower-volume print-on-demand publishing technology they now use, color is more practical than in the old days of offset printing when you needed to work in batches of 5,000.

Sample iOS 9 SDK Development color page 01

Sample iOS 9 SDK Development color page 02

Anyways, it’s a huge boon for this book in particular: we build a sample Twitter application throughout the course of the book, and seeing everyone’s avatars in their appropriate colors provides an appropriate verisimilitude. Janie has a whole chapter on photos (largely brought over from the previous edition) that benefits from having color, as does the gesture recognizers chapter that uses her Twitter avatar to show the effect of panning, zooming, etc. (Speaking of which, this is surely the first computer book where both authors appear in anime cosplay: Janie doing Angel Beats! and me doing Muv-Luv Alternative. It’ll be hilarious if there’s ever a Japanese translation.)

Perhaps where color will make the biggest difference is in all the clicky-draggy screenshots of storyboards in Xcode. Jony Ive’s thinness fetish has been writ large in the last few versions of the Interface Builder UI, to the point where a bare UIView is barely noticeable by its molecule-thin lines. Showing the storyboard for a UISplitViewController and its children was barely visible in print in the black-and-white previous edition. Color makes it somewhat more parseable (although, to be honest, it’s still a train-wreck, both on the page and in Xcode itself).

It’s also immensely helpful where we call attention to colors used by Xcode: red and yellow for errors and warnings, green for passed tests, yellow balls for view controllers, the orange box for the exit segue (why isn’t it green anymore?), blue lines for control-dragging IBOutlets and IBActions, etc.

If find . -name '*.png' | wc is any guide, we have about 180 images in this book. Color makes them all better. Thanks again to the Prags, our editor Rebecca, our tech reviewers, and our readers. We hope everyone enjoys it.

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