This is what I use to view Apple’s documentation:
The application is OmniWeb. I have a series of entry points bookmarked in the (hidden) Favorites bar:
- Foundation: ⌘1
- AppKit: ⌘2
- WebKit: ⌘3
- Core Foundation: ⌘4
- Carbon: ⌘5 (Leopard-only)
- Core Services: ⌘6
- Core Graphics: ⌘7
- Core Image: ⌘8
(Someday, Carbon will perish from the list, the ones after it will move up, and another framework—probably either QTKit or Core Animation—will become the new ⌘8.)
And yes, those are all file: links.* Your web browser is perfectly capable of displaying web pages stored locally, and that’s all the Apple documentation is: locally-stored web pages.
With this arrangement, I can get to the reference information I’m looking for faster, and I can have multiple references (even multiple definitions) open at once because OmniWeb supports tabbed browsing.
Here are some other pages worth bookmarking:
- All Cocoa Guides (Leopard-only)
- All Carbon Guides (Leopard-only; includes Core Services, Application Services, etc.)
- All Core Foundation Guides (Leopard-only)
- All Objective-C-based framework References (Leopard-only; includes the Cocoa frameworks)
- All Carbon References (Leopard-only)
- For iPhone programmers, the iPhone Reference Library (I don’t have a file: URL for this one)
You can use these and other bookmarks with a nice feature of OmniWeb which has also, more recently, appeared in Google Chrome: You can type any substrings from your bookmarks’ names and URLs into the address bar, separated by whitespace, and it will know what you mean. So, for example, I can type “kt kit”, and OmniWeb knows I mean “QuickTime Kit”; I simply hit return, and it takes me to that framework reference.
UPDATE 2009-09-07: Updated links to Snow Leopard’s docset name (where possible).
* On Leopard, change the docset name to com.apple.ADC_Reference_Library.CoreReference.docset. ↶