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Add a reference to the API documentation and introduce the concept #822

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@cgaylord-vt cgaylord-vt commented May 14, 2020

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Clark Gaylord and others added 2 commits Apr 26, 2020
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@cgaylord-vt cgaylord-vt commented May 14, 2020

In my experience, when novices first see something like add_subplot they find it to be magic: "how did you know that's how to use it", etc. I think this is a good place to introduce the concept that there are reference materials to refer to when writing code, both to understand the process of finding functionality as well as specifics of how that functionality works.

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@ldko ldko commented May 19, 2020

Hi @cgaylord-vt thank you for your contribution of opening this pull request. I agree with your noted experience of novices wondering how you know how to use a function or method. I think your explanation ties in with the Mystery Functions in IPython callout that is in episode 2 where the solution given there is to get information via help or ?. I think it might be helpful to bring up documentation here. There is also an issue open (#769) about possibly moving this explanation earlier and a comment about changing the name of the callout. I am wondering what you @cgaylord-vt and other maintainers @maxim-belkin @annefou think about putting the explanation of documentation with this content and possibly moving it earlier (and renaming).

Regarding the text you have included about documentation, I think if we mention "API" we perhaps need to link it to an entry in the glossary, as I suspect this is a term that novices may not know. Let's see if we can get other feedback about this. Thanks again for your work on this @cgaylord-vt !

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