My Experience With the VS 2008 Documentation…..

I was using Visual Studio today, like I do most days J, and I wanted context sensitive help. I thought, maybe I’ll try it – I haven’t used it in a while and I know Document Explorer 2008 is installed as well (this is a newly built Win 7 development box). I remember the value of the MSDN Library back in the VB 6 days, but as we got into VS.NET, VS.NET 2003 and so on, it seemed the MSDN Library took a wrong turn somewhere. It was slow and typically gave us pretty irelevant infrmation.

So, I was looking for help on a .NET method I was planning on using (I don’t recall the exact method) and I clicked on F1 to bring up help in the MSDN Library. I knew the .NET MSDN Library files were not installed, but I set the MSDN Library to look online first for content. I figured this should work ok without having to install the files locally as it was looking online. Wrong! “Information Not Found!” L Crap…..

So, I thought – meh – I’ll just suck it up and install the entire .NET MSDN library to my hard drive. After installing a couple gigs of data to my hard drive I was ready to roll…. I thought….

I wanted to take it for a trial run, so I started selecting code in the Visual Studio editor and pressing the F1 key. I selected Add from the Data Dictionary object of the Exception class hoping that it would be accurate and give me context help on the IDictionary.Add method.

To my disgust :), I got help for some Add method in the Office API L

Grrr. After trying a few more and noticing I was getting completely irrelevant results, I thought I must be missing something.

I tried it again, and in this example I left the carot on Add but didn’t highlight the text and then clicked F1.

Presto! Well not quite, because the documentation gave me results for Silverlight for some reason – but hey – it’s pretty close!



About dandouglas
Dan Douglas is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is a professional independent Software Consultant and an experienced and proven subject matter expert, decision maker, and leader in the area of Software Development and Architecture. His professional experience represents over 15 years of architecting and developing highly successful large scale solutions. Dan also believes that properly empowering teams with trust and responsibility yields the greatest results. | For inquiries about Dan's software consulting practice, please see the contact page.  Dan has also built up a network of highly successful and professional Software Developers and Architects who are highly respected and can be called upon and used in conjunction with his own consulting practice to handle the largest of consulting projects.

One Response to My Experience With the VS 2008 Documentation…..

  1. Yeah, I’ve stopped using F1 in VS2008 completely in favour of Google. Sigh.

    Turbo C++ 2.0 (1989) had WAY better contextual support and virtually every topic had a complete little code example!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s