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In five years I have never found a comprehensive reference or definitive set
of standards for SDKs. APIs of course are a different matter, and the Java
reference already mentioned is one of the best available (and regularly
recommended on this list).
At my company, the SDK has evolved over the years, into a fairly amorphous
technical library. This suits us pretty well because we cover a wide range
of issues and our audience varies significantly.
We originally started out with a three-document set: SDK Guide, Programmers
Reference, and Technical Notes (organization dictated by a senior programmer
and probably lifted from some other product). The problem was, no one could
accurately define what each document was supposed to do.
There was some idea that the Guide was supposed to be for manager types who
needed a high level overview of the technology and how it could be used,
while the Reference was the nitty gritty for the developers. A lot of
unnecessary duplication. We've retained this emphasis on audiences, but
instead of creating separate books, we provide a loose organization of
individual papers and identify the audience for each.
(I should note that while some of this info is in print version, most of it
is in an online library.)
It may also be important to note that the most useful part of our SDK has
always been the technical notes. Our tech notes are written by our chief
scientist or sometimes a senior programmer, and address a single subject.
Often its a more indepth discussion about how to use a certain special
feature, maybe a workaround or a known issue.
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