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by Leon Gersing
If you’re writing iOS apps you’ve certainly encountered the age old conundrum: keeping your code simple and easy to manage while it becomes increasingly complex. One technique that can help is to push long running processes to separate threads but that comes with a lot of overhead and can make even trivial tasks difficult to coordinate between memory zones, mutable objects and the UI. One relatively new technique is to use Grand Central Dispatch to reduce the complexity and overhead of a multi-threaded solution. It’s a powerful alternative to traditional NSThreads and NSRunLoops that can result in highly cohesive, modular, testable solution that encapsulates the “plumbing” of managing threads and parallelizing tasks for multi-core concurrency even on devices that are resource constrained.
This is a high level talk about GCD and blocks that provides some tips, tricks and guidance for how you can leverage these amazing tools in your own apps to provide seamless, powerful user experiences that are more manageable and less error prone. Knowledge of Objective-C, Cocoa, and UIKit is encouraged but not a prerequisite.
4th May 2012