Spork Boards
Hot Spork Chat : Join us in an AIM chat room!

Developers, Developers, Developers!

Cloudscout's Avatar Picture Cloudscout – February 25, 2008 12:31PM Reply Quote
Don't mind the pit-stains, greasy hair and Dorito breath. They've been busy coding. Or, at least, thinking about coding.

John Willoughby – September 01, 2017 10:33AM Reply Quote
Save us, Lord, from the furries of the Norsemen!


Before I read the caption, I was already shuddering.

Cloudscout – September 01, 2017 02:33PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Yep. That one hit home.

ddt – September 03, 2017 10:53AM Reply Quote

ddt – November 19, 2017 03:58PM Reply Quote
Questions for developers about your developing experience and documentation!

Sample page for reference: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/foundation/nsarray

1. When you go to documentation like the page above, what questions drive you to it? That is, what kinds of things are you looking for answers to?

2. How do you think of what to look for in documentation?

3. What does the stuff on the right mean to you? How do you determine if it's relevant to what you're looking for?

4. Where would you go from here if it's useful? If it's not?

Thanks in advance and please spread this to developer friends ASAP!

ddt

porruka (Admin) – November 19, 2017 08:24PM Reply Quote
Failure is pre-greatness.
Quote
ddt
Questions for developers about your developing experience and documentation!

Sample page for reference: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/foundation/nsarray

First, your questions hit on exactly why I have very little respect for most coding bootcamps as they [the questions] reference skills outside of language syntax and applicability.

Second, and to me, it's not just nit-picking: is your example meant to represent all/any of Apple's docs (that is, https://developer.apple.com/documentation/uikit/uinavigationcontroller -- a random selection from my browser history -- would be an equally valid sample link) or is there something relevant about Foundation and the low-level nature of the provided sample?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2017 07:21AM by porruka.

ddt – November 20, 2017 04:52AM Reply Quote
Thanks, P -- that page was a fairly random sample. Looking more at the organization and meaning of what's in the right sidebar (though that might influence the answers).

ddt

porruka (Admin) – November 20, 2017 07:27AM Reply Quote
Failure is pre-greatness.
Quote
ddt
Thanks, P -- that page was a fairly random sample. Looking more at the organization and meaning of what's in the right sidebar (though that might influence the answers).

ddt

Then on the whole, I would say that the sidebar in Apple's docs is for context, not description and multiple of your questions are irrelevant to that sidebar.

This isn't a critique of your process/post -- it's my form of a summary answer. The sidebar information doesn't determine or really even help the search until you find the thing you're looking for any more than being on the Q tab in the old paper dictionary does when you're trying to identify the formal name for a billed waterfowl.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2017 07:27AM by porruka.

ddt – November 20, 2017 04:53PM Reply Quote
No, cool, thanks. I should have put more thought into it, too. I am curious how developers think about looking up things in Apple Dev docs (go straight to the name of the whatever, go to the API and browse down, etc., look up symptoms equivalent), and also in how the sidebar is used (if at all) and how it could better serve developers. Since I have zero idea of how these are regularly used, thought I'd ask people who use them.

But your answer does give me a bit of insight. So the sidebar is used more to contextualize/refine a search/browse result? And for anything else?

ddt

porruka (Admin) – November 20, 2017 06:37PM Reply Quote
Failure is pre-greatness.
Quote
ddt
No, cool, thanks. I should have put more thought into it, too. I am curious how developers think about looking up things in Apple Dev docs (go straight to the name of the whatever, go to the API and browse down, etc., look up symptoms equivalent), and also in how the sidebar is used (if at all) and how it could better serve developers. Since I have zero idea of how these are regularly used, thought I'd ask people who use them.

But your answer does give me a bit of insight. So the sidebar is used more to contextualize/refine a search/browse result? And for anything else?

ddt

In my mind, the sidebar does nothing else.

• I'm going to care if the thing I'm looking at isn't available in the platform/version I'm targeting, otherwise I ignore the SDKs section.
• I'm seldom (but not zero) going to care which framework - this is more applicable on the esoteric or highly specific methods so I know to import the right headers and, as needed, add to the link list. Neither are primary actions, only secondary.
• "On this page" is a no-op to me personally. I've already scrolled through it multiple times before I even think about actively ignoring that section.

As far as the other use cases you propose:

• If I need the specific syntax for a given object/method and the editor auto-expansion is insufficient, Quick Help covers most, the link in the Xcode Quick Help into the deeper docs covers most of the rest, or use uncle google to give me examples and/or tutorials
• If I don't specifically know what I need but I know the general idea, I web search, fulfill a meme by finding some example on Stack Overflow, then drill into the specific calls as needed
• symptoms equivalent: see Stack Overflow

johnny k – November 20, 2017 06:39PM Reply Quote
I usually find stuff in Apple dev docs by command clicking on the name in my code in Xcode, and opening the in-app help or header file. I don't dig into the Apple stuff as much as search Stack Overflow unless I want to understand deeper what's happening and what other options there are available, and particularly if it's in a new/esoteric API that doesn't have a lot of user-generated docs, such as the Depth API introduced this year. In that case, the Apple docs were still maddeningly sparse.

ddt – November 21, 2017 05:15AM Reply Quote
Really interesting, thanks! So what I'm hearing is that a common path to the dev docs is from Xcode, so I should pay attention to what's in that.

And what do you get out of SO that you don't get in Apple's docs? How do you evaluate "that seems authoritative and correct"? (I've had to double-check "freshness" of even upvoted SO answers.)

If this is annoying, I can stop. This has been helpful so far, though.

ddt

johnny k – November 21, 2017 05:49AM Reply Quote
Out of SO you get a direct answer to a problem, often with useful context. Apple has example projects and occasionally sample code in snippets when explaining use of an object, but often you want to understand it not from the object point of view but from, say, the problem you're solving. Chances are someone on SO has done that before. Evaluating correctness is done by the debate over it and the explanation that should come with the answers, and of course by hitting compile. SO has so much volume that it has proven useful on a relatively obscure bug that I encountered with an older version of Firebase that I had to use because I was supporting iOS 5.1 - though in that case, it gave me enough info to narrow the problem down, and then test versions of the Firebase library until I found exactly at which version it stopped being a problem, and was able to report that back for future generations.

ddt – November 21, 2017 06:32AM Reply Quote
That's awesome context, thanks!

ddt

John Willoughby – November 21, 2017 06:34AM Reply Quote
Save us, Lord, from the furries of the Norsemen!
This makes me miss Think Reference, again. SO is so comprehensive and wide-reaching that it is becoming indispensable for me. Which means that, inevitably, it will disappear behind a paywall soon.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login