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Magento Helper and API Reference

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Happy 2012! I’m pleased to announce a new release of the Magento Developer Manual extension, available for free via Magento Connect or the Pulse Storm GitHub repository. The three big takeaways for the 1.1 release are some behind the scenes route refactoring, a helper reference contribution by Edwin van Maastrigt, and an always up to date Magento API reference.

Refactoring

Developer Manual was started before I had a full understanding of the assumptions in Magento’s routing system. It used a customized frontname for its admin console controllers. While this didn’t hurt anything specific to the module, the de-facto standard is to share the admin frontname with the other admin console controllers. The Developer Manual controllers have been jiggered accordingly, and the change should be seamless for end users.

Pro Tip: When a developer says should be, they’re saying “This might break, let me know if it does”.

Helper Reference

Edwin van Maastrigt created a fork of the Developer Manual on github a while back, and I’ve only just gotten around to merging his contributions back into the master branch.

Edwin added a nifty code browser that will let you drill down to a specific helper class, and then display the reflected method, property, and constant information.

Magento Core API Reference

You’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot about the “Magento Core API” from me and Pulse Storm in 2012. It’s one of those systems that’s heavily used, but little understood by many Magento developers. To that end, the Developer Manual now includes an interactive API reference, as well the ability to generate full documentation for each method of the Magento API.

Beyond documenting each API resource and method, the api reference will also list out any method parameters needed for a particular API call, point the the the PHP class and method where the API call has been implemented, and optionally display the method that implements a particular call. It’s vital to have this information at your finger tips when you’re creating and debugging API based solutions. Here’s a sample Magento API reference.

Wrap Up

If you’re interested in contributing to the Develoepr Manual module feel free to fork it or get in touch. Just remember the driving philosophy behind the extension is to document a particular Magento system via reflection and examination, and not to write general documentation.

Happy 2012, and here’s to making the new year what you want it be.

Originally published January 2, 2012