Team:SUSTC-Shenzhen-A/Biodesign Tool


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  For us, the programming tool is Xcode. Xcode is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) containing a suite of software development tools developed by Apple for developing software for OS X and iOS. First released in 2003, the latest stable release is version 4.4.1 and is available via the Mac App Store free of charge for Mac OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion users.


  Similar to other programming tools, Xcode can support many different programming languages, like C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Java, AppleScript, Python and so on. However, the major language we use is Objective-C.


  What makes Xcode unique is that it includes interface builder. Interface Builder is a software development application for Apple's Mac OS X operating system. It is part of Xcode, the Apple Developer Connection developer's toolset. Interface Builder allows Cocoa and Carbon developers to create interfaces for applications using a graphical user interface. It is very user-friendly. There are many components, like buttons and sliders, listed beside the main window, users can just drag the components into the main window, and then these components can be showed when running the program. If don’t use Interface Builder, users will have to write lines and lines of statements to set a component, but now, just dragging can simply set its properties. Moreover, if users set a link between the component and statements, then this component can be controlled by the program.


  Xcode also provides lots of libraries and classes, users can use a large sum of ready-made functions to program. These libraries and classes are contained in frameworks. Users can add different frameworks to the program to use different functions. Frameworks are conductive to the communication between programs, because these functions are the same. They are universal and reusable, which make them to be very convenient.

  Xcode help page is really beneficial, too. Users can look up for many functions and classes. It also provides many example codes for users to download and study.