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WorldCist'18 - 6th World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

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API Documentation: A Conceptual Evaluation Model

Application Programming Interface (API) is packed functionality to solve specific tasks. In order for developers to learn to use its functionality, APIs include some kind of documentation. Documentation is an important part of the API itself, but, providing high-quality documentation is not a straightforward task. Now a days, most of the documentation does not include the information expected by users. Another problem is the lack of comprehensive evaluation methods that can help creator to identify missing or incomplete elements in their documentation. This papers presents presents a set of basic elements that any API documentation should consider in order to provide target user the information they need to learn and make proper use of the provided functionality. Then through a survey we collect the importance that software developers give to each basic element. Using the importance values collected, an conceptual API Documentation evaluation method is proposed that can be used by documentation creator to identify the weakness in their documentations. Finally the model applicability is tested using it to evaluate some popular online API documentation for various domains.

Sergio Inzunza
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California
Mexico

Reyes Juárez-Ramírez
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California
Mexico

Samantha Jiménez
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California
Mexico

Angeles Quezada
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California
Mexico

 

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