I am progressing slowly but surely. The 3d rendering engine for the iPhone that I am using is called SIO2. I am finding it slow going because the documentation is not what I call good. There are no step by step procedures in the tutorials and the reference doc materials are very raw, with no clean summaries,except those on the front page of the website that describe, in point form, the most general capabilities. Those capabilities are great,but after putting in the time to download the engine and try out the tutorials, I am coming to a question: is a pre-existing system better than developing a system in-house, if the existing system is so time consuming that the learning curve is almost as long as the development process?
Here I am frustrated with the lack of good quality and complete learning materials, but the existence of the system is still better than developing my own system. That is because in the time it would still take to devlelop my own thing, the existing thing may (or may not) improve, and in other cases I may find some help that I had not found at first. So the learning of an existing system is better.
This experience is going into the heaping pile of experiences of bad documentation for products I have seen. There is a wiki, and I might start contributing to it.
Going forward in the future, the skill to produce good documentation may become a very valuable transferable skill in the workplace. It seems very boring in some product contexts, ie. Vacuum cleaner manuals, software application manuals, inflatable air matress instruction sheets. Yet this world needs a better, universal, written method of learning that appeals to the reader. Something like google’s API doumentation, and apple’s iPhone and iPad documentation.