Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been trying to read through the RoR API to try to learn things that the tutorial missed, and I haven't been able to follow it at all. The only time I've read documentation was when I needed to look up a Python module, and that was easy to understand, but I can't understand the docs for Rails. How do I read through API documentation?

share|improve this question
An example would be very welcome. – thisfeller Aug 18 '12 at 16:32
@thisfeller There isn't really any specific example I can give. I have trouble with the organization of the documentation, actually following the documentation, finding what I want in it, and more. – Orcris Aug 18 '12 at 19:47
+1 I wish all documentation were as easy to read as the PHP manual – Anthony Aug 19 '12 at 4:55
up vote 2 down vote accepted

For a start, you don't learn a language (or how to use a library) from a reference pages. That what the tutorials are for starters.

For more advanced topics, if tutorials are missing, find good blogs, or a good book.

Having said that, reference pages are there to see details of a function (for example parameters and their types).

share|improve this answer

The way to do it, if you insist on pulling info from the API w/o using as what it really is - a reference manual - would be to come up with a small program for each item in the reference/API docs and actually create code for it. In other words, to learn code, you must code, end of the day, that's the only real solution.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.