It's certainly possible to develop on a Windows machine, in fact, my first application was exclusively developed on the old Dell Precision I had at the time :)
There are three routes;
- Install OSx86 (aka iATKOS / Kalyway) on a second partition/disk and dual boot.
- Run Mac OS X Server under VMWare (Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) onwards, read the update below).
- Use Delphi XE4 and the macincloud service. This is a commercial toolset, but the component and lib support is growing.
The first route requires modifying (or using a pre-modified) image of Leopard that can be installed on a regular PC. This is not as hard as you would think, although your success/effort ratio will depend upon how closely the hardware in your PC matches that in Mac hardware - e.g. if you're running a Core 2 Duo on an Intel Motherboard, with an NVidia graphics card you are laughing. If you're running an AMD machine or something without SSE3 it gets a little more involved.
If you purchase (or already own) a version of Leopard then this is a gray area since the Leopard EULA states you may only run it on an "Apple Labeled" machine. As many point out if you stick an Apple sticker on your PC you're probably covered.
The second option is more costly. The EULA for the workstation version of Leopard prevents it from being run under emulation and as a result, there's no support in VMWare for this. Leopard server, however, CAN be run under emulation and can be used for desktop purposes. Leopard server and VMWare are expensive, however.
If you're interested in option 1) I would suggest starting at Insanelymac and reading the OSx86 sections.
I do think you should consider whether the time you will invest is going to be worth the money you will save though. It was for me because I enjoy tinkering with this type of stuff and I started during the early iPhone betas, months before their App Store became available.
Alternatively, you could pick up a low-spec Mac Mini from eBay. You don't need much horsepower to run the SDK and you can always sell it on later if you decide to stop development or buy a better Mac.
Update: You cannot create a Mac OS X Client virtual machine for OS X 10.6 and earlier. Apple does not allow these Client OSes to be virtualized. With Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) onwards, Apple has changed its licensing agreement in regards to virtualization. Source: VMWare KnowledgeBase
The last two are identical; "atomic" is the default behavior (
note that it is not actually a keyword; it is specified only by the absence of --
atomic was added as a keyword in recent versions of llvm/clang).
Assuming that you are @synthesizing the method implementations, atomic vs. non-atomic changes the generated code. If you are writing your own setter/getters, atomic/nonatomic/retain/assign/copy are merely advisory. (Note: @synthesize is now the default behavior in recent versions of LLVM. There is also no need to declare instance variables; they will be synthesized automatically, too, and will have an
_ prepended to their name to prevent accidental direct access).
With "atomic", the synthesized setter/getter will ensure that a whole value is always returned from the getter or set by the setter, regardless of setter activity on any other thread. That is, if thread A is in the middle of the getter while thread B calls the setter, an actual viable value -- an autoreleased object, most likely -- will be returned to the caller in A.
nonatomic, no such guarantees are made. Thus,
nonatomic is considerably faster than "atomic".
What "atomic" does not do is make any guarantees about thread safety. If thread A is calling the getter simultaneously with thread B and C calling the setter with different values, thread A may get any one of the three values returned -- the one prior to any setters being called or either of the values passed into the setters in B and C. Likewise, the object may end up with the value from B or C, no way to tell.
Ensuring data integrity -- one of the primary challenges of multi-threaded programming -- is achieved by other means.
Adding to this:
atomicity of a single property also cannot guarantee thread safety when multiple dependent properties are in play.
@property(atomic, copy) NSString *firstName;
@property(atomic, copy) NSString *lastName;
@property(readonly, atomic, copy) NSString *fullName;
In this case, thread A could be renaming the object by calling
setFirstName: and then calling
setLastName:. In the meantime, thread B may call
fullName in between thread A's two calls and will receive the new first name coupled with the old last name.
To address this, you need a transactional model. I.e. some other kind of synchronization and/or exclusion that allows one to exclude access to
fullName while the dependent properties are being updated.
None of the manners you suggested work, at least using the existing APIs. Each app has its own Documents directory, and has no access to other apps Documents directory, so even if you had a web server, you would only be able to write to the Documents directory of the web server, not one that can be accessed by other apps.
The best bet is to have your own app write the files you want from the remote server to its own Documents directory and then use that data as you need, from within the same app.
There may be one other solution, which I have not tried, which is to write to /tmp, but be aware that there is another tmp at the same level as your Documents folder, and I am not talking about that one.
Also, check and see whether apps that share the same bundle identifier wildcard have any way of sharing data amongst each other. See: How to share custom data between iPhone applications?