View Full Version : New Devs: Learn How to Use Apple's Docs!!

Aug 20, 2008, 12:48 PM
There have been so many questions asked in here over the past few weeks/months that have clear answers right in Apple's documentation or sample code. 90% of programming for the average iPhone app involves simply piecing together existing API methods, so you need to be an expert at looking things up. Do you have a question about how to do something with a string? Search for the NSString class reference. Do you need to know how to change the background color of a label? Search for UILabel and look for anything that sounds like background color (backgroundColor maybe?).

Apple's documentation is extremely clear and thorough. If you don't understand something it says, it probably means you need to spend more time learning Objective-C and/or object-oriented programming.

Aug 20, 2008, 06:33 PM
I'd also recommend googling "site:discussions.apple.com <subject>" as there are a lot of iPhone threads on Apple's discussion pages.

Aug 20, 2008, 06:35 PM
where do i get ahold of this documentation ? (ive been wondering a few days actually)

Aug 20, 2008, 06:41 PM
Xcode > Help > Documentation

Aug 20, 2008, 08:14 PM
I'll add some of these hints to the sticky FAQ, but the people asking these repeat questions don't look like they even bother to read the FAQ first.

Aug 20, 2008, 11:54 PM
Apple's documentation is very detailed... Going through it is very helpful.... I like to consider building iPhone apps is like putting blocks of bricks together... since most of the objects are there for you to use....

I personally learned more from the sample code provided than anything else.

The initial challenge is understanding the syntax and capabilities of Objective-C....

Aug 21, 2008, 04:16 AM
I 100% agree. And if you can't understand the documentation perhaps you need to go back to the beginning and ensure you understand what you are doing. Or perhaps realise that programming is hard and not everyone "gets it"...

Aug 22, 2008, 04:20 AM
Or perhaps realise that programming is hard and [not] everyone "gets it"...

Hallelujah! Someone has had the courage to come out and say it. Programming is hard. It requires you to think very hard and to have a lot of perseverance and attention to detail. And even then, a lot of people just can't do it.

Yes, the iPhone is really nifty. Yes, it would be great to stick some stuff on the App Store and sell it and make a million. But if you've never managed to do any programming on the Mac or the PC, you won't necessarily be able to do any on the iPhone. If you want to try, then please do, and the people in this forum, and others like it, will help out. But be aware that a lot of programming is (in my experience, at least), just sitting down with the documentation and scratching your head and thinking, "How the %$@* am I going to do this?" If you aren't prepared to wrack your brains and figure things out on your own, you won't get anywhere.

Having said that, if you're willing to try, don't let me put you off!

Luke Redpath
Aug 22, 2008, 08:45 AM
In addition, may I recommend that people take some time to read the iPhone human interface guidelines.

PDF link: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/MobileHIG/MobileHIG.pdf

HTML version in the iPhone dev centre.

Aug 22, 2008, 08:48 AM
"How the %$@* am I going to do this?"

LOL. That's all I seem to think nowadays :). Then I get a eureka moment when I'm in the shower or in the garden having a ciggy and come running back to solve the problem only to find a new one 10 minutes later :).

Still I love the challenge programming offers. Keeps my mind active.