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Suggested improvement to Xamarin documentation

EasyGoingPatEasyGoingPat GBMember ✭✭✭


Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I would like to suggest what I believe would be a huge improvement to the Xamarin documentation.

I'm doing a new PCL application, which initially targets WinPhone and iOS. I'm new to both platforms. When I have to write platform-specific code, I find a huge disparity between the documentation for the two platforms. Generally speaking, the iOS will list a Xamarin.iOS thin wrapper on something and often a link to the Apple documentation for the UIKit-etc. class on which the Xamarin wrapper is based, which saves me a load of time and gives me confidence that I am looking at the right part of the iOS SDK. For Windows Phone, I usually get a deafening nothing.

I fully understand that Xamarin, being C#/.NET based doesn't actually do a great deal on Windows Phone, but, given that Xamarin proudly advertises Windows Phone as a supported platform, shouldn't the documentation be done on an equal footing?

Maybe the Windows Phone documentation could just be a thin wrapper, pointing to the appropriate parts of the Microsoft .NET documentation.

If this sounds like nit-picking, I had an example yesterday when this would have saved me a lot of time. I wanted to play sound on iOS and Windows Phone. Looking for the latter solution, I stumbled across the MediaElement and wasted ages playing with this, until @GeraldVersluis kindly pointed me to the XNA SoundEffect class.

Could I CC this to @AmyB.

Kind wishes ~ Patrick


  • GeraldVersluisGeraldVersluis NLUniversity ✭✭✭✭

    While I somewhat share your opinion that the documentation should be up-to-date (if it is there), I also get it from the Xamarin side of things. Who wouldn't much rather be coding than writing documentation, right?!

    So instead of trying to move Xamarin to write more documentation I think you would be better off investing in improving your search methods. Like you say yourself; it is just (thin) wrappers over the native APIs. So instead of searching the actual Xamarin documentation, try searching for the Windows Phone code and try to work from there.

    Then take in account that not all .net code works with PCLs, and add that in the mix, then you can come to a solution rather quickly.

    Also on each Xamarin documentation page there is a link where you can provide your feedback. So if you feel that a page is out of date or should be improved, that would be the place to let them know!

    Of course; if all else fails, we are glad to be of help here or you can tweet/mail me any time! :smile:

  • EasyGoingPatEasyGoingPat GBMember ✭✭✭

    I take your point, Gerald. No programmer I know (including myself) enjoys spending ages on documentation.

    I did try to follow approximately your method for investigating sound. I can't recall exactly the steps I went through now, but, as I said, I ended up down a complete blind alley. It would have been nice just to have a small pointer to the place I should have been looking.

    Thanks for your help again. All running nicely now, on both platforms.

    • Patrick
  • JamesMontemagnoJamesMontemagno USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team, Developer Group Leader Xamurai

    The best place to go for any and all Windows documentation is from the source: this will always have your most up to date information from Microsoft.

    I will talk to the docs team to add a link to MSDN documentation on our portal:

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