Byte Friendly

Random thoughts on programming and related topics.

Useful Documentation Lookup Tools

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Today I just wanted to share some tools that I use to read documentation.

First one is Dash. It’s an offline documentation browser which contains many different topics. It has ruby, rails, CSS, HAML, jQuery, Go, Haskell and everything else you might want. It can also index locally installed rubygems. And did I mention that it is offline? If you’re anything like me, you need to consult documentation every 30 seconds. And with this tool you can even work on a plane! Can’t recommend enough.

Another one is for ruby only, OmniRef. These guys have indexed every ruby gem there is and cross-linked the documentation. On the site you can easily switch between version of a gem (or ruby) and see how documented behaviour and/or code changed over time. It also allows leaving notes (user generated content?), but I don’t see many notes at the moment. Potentially, these comments can be an excellent complement to the official documentation (we see this with, say, MySQL docs).

And, of course, the most important tool for me these days is StackOverflow. More than half of my google searches lead to this chest of collective programming wisdom. The funniest moments are when I struggle with something, then google points me to stackoverflow where I find an answer that I posted myself some time ago. Can you believe this? :)