First I think the interest in the level of programming instruction should point O'Reilly towards some new unmet market segments.
Now the question: Are there rules of thumb to choosing a variable versus a pointer from a programming design perspective?
I have been working through the book "Building Cocoa Applications" and in one part the author uses a variable in an area where perviously he had only used pointers. The choice probably makes clear sense, but since that part of the code was not the major thrust, he did not comment on why pointer was not used. So I was left scrtaching my head?