A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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A software development kit (SDK) is typically a set of development tools that allows higher-end users (often software engineers) to create applications that take advantage of a certain software package, software framework, or similar platform. They are often a combination of technical writing, documentation, and sample code.



Anything That Can Go Wrong: Lessons Learned from A Decade of Toolkit Documentation  (link broken)   (PDF)

Writing software toolkit documentation for programmers is a special challenge and opportunity for technical writers. Compared with writing software documentation for lay users, toolkit documentation is more demanding and exacting. Checking facts and finding tiny errors is like riding a motorcycle through a swarm of gnats. However, for me at least, toolkit writing has opened doors to a larger role and greater input into product design. Engineers treat me like a peer and I get to see into their culture. I know my readers and salespeople need me.

van Oss, Joseph E. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Documentation>SDK>Technical Writing


Creating an SDK: Writing on the Edge  (link broken)   (PDF)

Sarr presents guidelines for the challenging task of creating a software development kit (SDK). The purpose of SDKs, the author writes, is to 'provide developers with information and coding examples to enable them to develop applications that will work with a newly developed technology.'

Sarr, John T. Intercom (2001). Articles>Documentation>SDK


Eleven Syntax Highlighters To Beautify Code Presentation

When sharing codes on a website, even they are wrapped with CODE tags or styled differently, it is always a challenge to read them without syntax highlighting. There are various syntax highlighters which can format the codes & color them appropriately according to the languages used. Whether it is a HTML page or runs on PHP, Ruby, Python, ASP, there is a suitable syntax highlighter. Here is a collection of 11 Syntax Highlighters To Beautify Code Presentation.

Web Resources Depot (2009). Articles>Web Design>SDK>CSS


Guidelines for Good Sample Code

Sample code often provides the quickest, clearest way to learn how an SDK works. If you have software engineering experience, then you should already know many principles for writing good code. However, what you may not realize is that some of the good practices that you learned for writing good production code do not apply to writing good sample code. Some techniques, such as comments and clear variable names, apply to both production code and sample code. However, there are good reasons to use hard-coded values in sample code, which should be avoided in production code, and there are good reasons to avoid object-oriented designs when writing sample code.

Gruenbaum, Peter. Prestwood (2009). Articles>Software>SDK>Documentation


How To Write Technical Documentation For APIs  (link broken)

One of the threads on LinkedIn is how to write technical documentation for APIs. It’s been many years since I’ve documented an API (Java & Oracle) so if you have any thoughts on the best way to do this, then please jump in. An application programming interface (API) is an interface implemented by a software program to enable interaction with other software, much in the same way that a user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers.

Walsh, Ivan. I Heart Technical Writing (2010). Articles>Documentation>SDK>Technical Writing


An Introduction to API Documentation  (link broken)   (PowerPoint)

This session will help you to: identify relevant source of information; extract information from the source; create effective API documentation; create context-sensitive help for DLLs (Dynamic Link Library).

Dubey, Akash. STC India (2003). Articles>Documentation>SDK>Technical Writing


Software Development Kit (SDK) Documents in 10 Simple Steps

Here are the ten simple steps to successful software development kit (SDK) documentation.

Buck, Catherine. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Documentation>SDK>Technical Writing


What Does Effective API Documentation Look Like?

Where the trend in tech writing is to NOT document everything, it appears that developers using API documentation want a lot more than the tech writers give them. That’s not to say that a tech writer (or even a team) should try to provide 156,000 code snippets, but clearly, in this particular case, Google is leaving their customers to fill a huge hole in their documentation that needs filling. Judging by the comments after the article, it’s not just Google that’s leaving developers in the lurch.

Minson, Ben. Beyond Help (2013). Articles>Documentation>SDK>Apple Keynote


How to Create a Help API

In this post, I want to explore Help APIs, which is actually something in part enabled by static site generators. To put things in context, the web is sort of a giant API. Each browser functions as a client that accesses various resources from servers.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2015). Articles>Documentation>SDK>Technical Writing

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