Recently I submitted two pieces of feedback to the MSDN Help team. Then I second guessed myself as to whether other customers feel the same way I do. So, I propose my feedback and you can tell me what you think.
1) I feel that it’s very difficult for a “green field” .NET developer to find the right help topics. Let’s say I migrate 100% to Visual Basic .NET. Or assume that I’m starting out as a pro dev and begin with Visual Basic .NET (or any language for that matter). I install all of the MSDN Help like I think I’m supposed to. Then I go to the Help topic to learn my dims from my redims and I type in “Visual Basic”. Whelp, low and behold here comes a blast from the past with everything from what I want (Visual Basic .NET) to what I don’t (previous versions of Visual Basic, which are notably different). Suggestion: Make it easy to exclude legacy versions, or “interview me” based on what types of development I’ll be doing.
2) Elimate the “Stones Way” series (and anything else along those lines). I mean, seriously… enter “stupid” into an MSDN Library search and it’s the first hit you get. Now this is the one that really made me second-guess myself. I went to the online MSDN Library collection and they were rated extremely high! 7, 8 out of 9 with a right-weighted distribution. Huh? Well, I guess customers actually like this material then.
Here’s the Stones Way article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnstone/html/stone05092000.asp?frame=true
So you tell me. Good ideas? Bad ideas? I promise to pass anything I get on to the MSDN Help team (unless you tell me not to).