You’re sitting on the couch wasting time when, suddenly, an idea for the most amazing new app pops into your head. You head off to the Internet, grab a copy of Xcode or the Android Development Tools and make a slick user interface. Now that you’ve given people this cool new way to generate content you want to let them share it with the world, so you grab some libraries to unleash your data, but…
Where do you start? How do you set up your build environment to work with your new library? How does the library work? How do you go from clueless to cloud superstar?
You pull up the documentation (a README.md on the github page for the library) and follow the instructions to install the library. Installation goes pretty smooth and you’re feeling confident. You find a function that looks like it will send your data off to the cloud. You put everything together and try to build… Several attempts later (after installing some dependencies added since the last time the docs were updated, it looks like “Copyright 2007” wasn’t a joke for the documentation ) you’ve got your app compiled and ready to go. You start the app, create your best work ever, send it to the cloud and… Nothing. No response. Your data vanishes. After trying to debug what’s going on you head back to the documentation. Maybe one of the other functions documented only by name is the one you want? Reading through every line of documentation you finally see the note at the bottom of the docs: please read source code for latest documentation (patches and forks welcome!). Daring to open the source code you’re faced with thousands of lines of undocumented code. So you abandon this whole app development stuff and head back to the couch for some potato chips and Bones re-runs.
Let’s face it, nothing is worse than trying to figure out how to use a library with incomplete, incorrect or unhelpful documentation. As a developer you want to be out there creating awesome apps, not trying to read through and understand the source of all the libraries you use.
We understand the need to produce helpful, complete and correct documentation. It’s important to provide:
➢ Sample Applications — What better way to jump start your app and understand what the library can do for you.
➢ Sample Code — Do you want to read 50 pages of documentation to figure out how to do the basics? Neither do we.
➢ Complete API Reference — Because sometimes you just have to know absolutely every detail.
Documentation is really important so that once we’re done having fun writing libraries, we get to have even more fun using the apps created with our libraries and our mobile Backend as a Service (mBaaS). Even apps using Apple ResarchKit for HIPAA compliant apps.