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Sheeva_

Should Programmers Use API References at Everyday Work?

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Sheeva_    122
I suppose that API References are a useful thing to keep by your hand when writing programs (like, an OpenGL BlueBook would help when coding an engine), and one of my friends, not a programmer, stated that if I'm using references then I'm not a programmer at all 'cause I don't remember the function calls and enums and etc etc etc. What is your opinion?

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Ainokea    435
Real programmers arent computers, they program computers. In other words, you dont have to remember every function and constant!!! Of course you should use refrences.

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Beer Hunter    712
I suspect that your friend is joking. The ability to memorise entire libraries is not what makes one a programmer. My coworkers and I refer to references quite often.

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ontheheap    798
Quote:
Original post by Sheeva_
I suppose that API References are a useful thing to keep by your hand when writing programs (like, an OpenGL BlueBook would help when coding an engine), and one of my friends, not a programmer, stated that if I'm using references then I'm not a programmer at all 'cause I don't remember the function calls and enums and etc etc etc.
What is your opinion?


I couldn't imagine anyone memorizing every little bit of information about an API. You remember the stuff you use most often and then look-up the rest. Your friend is wrong.

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Sheeva_    122
Thanx guys.
I'll show this post to convince him. :)
As I told before, he's not a coder but a gfx designer and says that he doesn't need any references to Photoshop and 3D max :)

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Promit    13246
Quote:
Original post by Sheeva_
As I told before, he's not a coder but a gfx designer and says that he doesn't need any references to Photoshop and 3D max :)


Tell him to model in just MaxScript, without using a reference [lol]

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aaroncox1234    298
Your friend is 100% correct! I've never even met a programmer who doesn't have the entire DirectX API (releases 1-3, and 5-9) memorized. And don't even get me started on Berkley Sockets...

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petewood    819
I wish people would read the documentation more. Then I wouldn't have to answer so many questions with "What documentation are you using?"

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shmoove    821
You don't have to know it all by heart. You have to be aware of the existance of the functions, so that when you need to use them you'll know what to look for.

shmoove

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evolutional    1393
Quote:
Original post by petewood
I wish people would read the documentation more. Then I wouldn't have to answer so many questions with "What documentation are you using?"


True, that. Being able to use the documentation to solve a problem is something that I think I'm seeing less of these days. MSDN and other such resources are invaluable.

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MaulingMonkey    1730
Quote:
Original post by aaron_ds
Real programmers don't memorize everything. Real programmers know where and how to look up exactly what they need, even if they've never done it before.

Real Programmers don't use Pascal


THANK YOU FOR THAT LINK!!! I Havn't laughed that hard in quite awhile.

I memorize the APIs I use frequently, and simply use documentation for those I don't (often write and forget code).

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darookie    1441
Luckily most APIs use reasonable names these days so one can even get away with guessing (if code-completion / IntelliSense™ pops up something then you know you've been on the right track[smile]).

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Guimo    463
paulecoyote: The real power of knowledge isn't knowing every thing at once, but knowing what you actually need to know and where to find everything you need.

As an addenda to this comment...
The real programmer knows a little of everything and knows how to mix all that knowledge in order to get a nice solution architecture. Once the basic solution is thinkered, you can consult any reference you need in order to fill in the details.

Both architecture and details are important.

Luck!
Guimo


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Oluseyi    2110
Quote:
Original post by Sheeva_
As I told before, he's not a coder but a gfx designer and says that he doesn't need any references to Photoshop and 3D max :)
Ask him to jump to Maya. Then ask him to use Deluxe Paint. Then keep asking him to use unfamiliar packages without references.

Then tell him to shut his pie hole and keep drawing pretty pictures.

God, what an unproductive discussion!

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Ace826    112
I use references all the time. I don't understand how someone could program without. But in response to the universities. I doubt they want you to memorize everything in the API. More then likely they want you to memorize the basics of C++? I know my friend is taking a C++ class and they make him memorize how to use classes, structs, and all that other fun basic stuff.

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flangazor    516
Quote:
Original post by MaulingMonkey
Quote:
Original post by aaron_ds
Real programmers don't memorize everything. Real programmers know where and how to look up exactly what they need, even if they've never done it before.

Real Programmers don't use Pascal


THANK YOU FOR THAT LINK!!! I Havn't laughed that hard in quite awhile.
This part isn't a joke:
Quote:
The academics in computer science have gotten into the "structured programming" rut over the past several years. They claim that programs are more easily understood if the programmer uses some special language constructs and techniques. They don't all agree on exactly which constructs, of course, and the example they use to show their particular point of view invariably fit on a single page of some obscure journal or another-- clearly not enough of an example to convince anyone. When I got out of school, I thought I was the best programmer in the world. I could write an unbeatable tic-tac-toe program, use five different computer languages, and create 1000 line programs that WORKED (Really!). Then I got out into the Real World. My first task in the Real World was to read and understand a 200,000 line Fortran program, then speed it up by a factor of two. Any Real Programmer will tell you that all the Structured Coding in the world won't help you solve a problem like that-- it takes actual talent

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JD    208
Let me put it this way, we know what we want to accomplish but we don't know how or if it's even possible in the way that we think it should be done. The entire programming community is struggling with this problem and I'm slowly being convinced that it can't be done. Design patterns help somewhat but it's a very specific solution for very specific problem one that is not as common as the rest of problems in the system. So programming complex things will remain a dirty job because it's the nature of the thing that makes it so. And you're right about the schools, the complexity you experience on a real project can't even be approached in a class. It's these types of projects that reveal the true nature of what programming is all about. Especially, game programming where things are always moving under your feet so to speak.

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Neil Purvey    122

I think a good programmer should have a good broad knowledge of the language they are using, but even more importantly knowledge of the operating system and hardware architecture they are programming for. This is what makes good programmers I believe. On the subject of references, I have many books I refer to when my memory goes blank, we all have these periods.. even with languages sometimes but a simple look at a reference would save a lot of wasted time, which commercially = money!

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