World’s best API documentation – what do you think

I’m curious to see how things have changed since I last asked this question, back in March 2012: What’s your favourite API documentation, and why?

Part of the reason for asking is that I’ll soon present a session at STC Summit 2014 on API technical writing. I want to give examples of excellent documentation. I have some favourite documentation sets myself, but it’s great to get the opinions of developers and other technical writers too.

So, have at it! 🙂 Please comment on this post.

What’s your favourite API documentation, and why?

I’ll also collect any suggestions that people send via Twitter, Google+, and other channels, and add the links to this post.

OT: This has to be the world’s best bird. Well, it’s my current favourite anyway. This is a Tawny Frogmouth, spotted on an early morning walk. Tawny Frogmouths are night birds, about the size of a large owl (34-52 centimetres). During the day, they pretend to be old tree branches.

A Tawny Frogmouth chilling out

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 9 February 2014, in APIs, technical writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Love the bird. Do you consider yourself a birder? I ask because I am. I live in CA and just came back a couple of weeks ago from a birding trip to Southeast Arizona. Best bird – Rufous-capped warbler. But, then I consider all birds, best birds!

    • Hallo Pamela
      LOL, it’s nice to meet another bird lover. I’m not a birder, but I am liable to stop for every bird I see. This can make going for a walk a hazard. 🙂

      That said, birds do keep engaging me in conversation, so I started a blog about them. Latest post: You silly galah.

  2. Jodie Miners pointed me at a post by Matt Lacey, praising the Auth0 service and docs.

  3. A developer has pointed out the Qt docs. For example: QPushButton Class Reference. He likes them because everything about a class is on one page – a prose description together with a detailed reference.

  4. Hi Sarah 🙂 This is quite apt, considering the photo in your post, but I like the Twitter API docs. There is a great mix of reference information, tutorials and an interactive console. I particularly like how the Twitter objects docs are presented as a field guide 🙂

  5. Hi Sarah,

    I love the documentation:
    They also have an amazing API reference doc that is generated from their source code using an in-house documentation generator:

    The layout of these documents is incredibly clear and easy to follow. I think this is a shinning example of good API documentation.

    • Hallo drdickgently
      Thanks for the pointer. The Stripe docs have a very clean look. Especially nice is the way they link to other people’s blogs and implementations in the “Examples” section.

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