TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
The biggest thing that strikes me here is that you didn't mention doc'ing an API (Application Programming Interface). You want to document the methods, classes, objects and fields that programmers will use who are going to design and extend your platform.
An excellent example is the Sun JavaDocs. If yours is a Java-based platform, then you have a built in tool available to you that will generate JavaDocs based on comments in your code. Check out http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4/docs/api/index.html
What you might want to look at are OEM guides, SDK guides and other API docs to get a feel for how people use APIs or how they present the internals of their systems to outside programmers to access and extend.
One thing to stress..... provide lots of CODE SAMPLES CODE SAMPLES CODE SAMPLES CODE SAMPLES.
Another thing to stress... don't underestimate the value of good process flow charts. I have written programmer guides before and those are by far the most useful things in them, especially because it helps new 'rammers find out about callback methods and other activities by the system that they do not interact with.
Oh, and did I mention code samples?
Matthew J. Horn
Sr. Technical Writer
< m a c r o m e d i a >
From: Joel Vaillancourt [mailto:tke71709 -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 11:50 AM
Subject: Programmer Reference Guide
Checked the archives to no avail so I am posting here.
New Contract where I have to develop the following:
Programmers Reference Guide
We are developing a custom system that will be
delivered to the client and they will support,
maintain and functionality to it.
They want a guide that a future developer can pick up,
read and get an understanding of how the system works.
He/She should then be able to get down and dirty and
modify or add functionality. Nobody seems to be really
sure as to what is necessary in this document.
My thoughts are:
-Process Flow Charts
If anyone has any thoughts/experience with this type
of document I would REALLY appreciate any assistance
you could provide (tips, websites, books).
Please cc me directly as I receive the digest and I
will post a summary of the responses here.
Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.
Save $600: Create great-looking Help files and software demos with
RoboHelp Deluxe. Get RoboHelp and RoboDemo - our new demo software - for one
low price. OR Save $100 on RoboHelp Office in June with our mail-in rebate.
Go to http://www.ehelp.com/techwr-l
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.