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Dash

If you're a developer, how often do you refere to documentation? If you're like me, probably quite often :] I work with several different technologies, languages etc. at the same time and I find it very difficult to keep track of all the different commands, methods, classes, etc. in each language.

Sherlock Holmes says in A Study in Scarlet something along the lines that your mind is an attic and that you should keep it free of clutter and have only the things you'll really need in there. So, instead of trying to memorize all the methods and parameters for a language that I might not use a few years from now on, I tend to simply learn the overall capabilities of a language or a technology and leave the nitty, gritty details out of my mind. Instead, I refer to the documentation when I need to find out what exact parameters can be passed to a method or what a specific parameter does.

This of course, leads to a reliance on good documenation. Now most languages these days are well documented but accessing that documentation is another matter :p Some IDEs come with their own document browsers. Some languages provide their documentation as CHM files, others as document sets, and others as HTML. This mishmash of technologies and file formats results in hunting all over the place for the correct documentation.

Ot at least, that's what it used to be for me till I found Dash. In the words of the creators of Dash:

Dash is an API Documentation Browser and Code Snippet Manager. Dash stores snippets of code and instantly searches offline documentation sets for 80+ APIs (for a full list, see below). You can even generate your own docsets or request docsets to be included.

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Dash has access to all the documentation for all the different technologies and languages I use, and then some :] In the very few occasions where Dash didn't already include the documentation for the language I was interested in, it allowed me to easily import in existing documetnation in one form or another. So it's quite flexible and versatile.

Now, I can access all of my documentation in one place. I don't have to open multiple apps or help files or try to figure out which app opens that particular file format. Instead, I simply open Dash, type in the command or method that I'm interested in and I have instant access to the documentaiton I wanted!

Dash is free to try out but after a few weeks it starts nagging you to buy the app. Even the nags are pretty cool (or they used to be) because you get Pinky, Dash's evil twin, who pops up every now and then to tell you to buy Dash. If you want to buy Dash, it's regularly priced at US$20, but right now, it's only US$7.99. I'm not sure how long the sale price is good for, so if you want it, get it now.

Some of the most popular documentation sets in Dash that would be helpful to a mobile developer include:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • PhoneGap
  • Cocos2D
  • Cocos2D-X
  • Appcelerator Titanium
  • Corona
Summary
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Software Name
Dash
Operating System
OSX
Price
USD 20
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