A Visual Studio 2005 Team System Glossary – Yes or No?


We’ve asked for your feedback before on product design decisions. Now, I’d like to ask about something for my area of the product – documentation. Here goes:

If Visual Studio Team System included a glossary with the documentation, would you use it when you came across an unfamiliar term?

The glossary would be a separate topic, like a dictionary, as opposed to a tooltip-style definition that displays when you hover the mouse over a term.

Comments (16)

  1. Absolutely… I think it’s a great addition to the documentation. Think of how many new terms have been introduced with this solution…

  2. Frederik says:

    No, I wouldn’t. I would just search the help for a tearm I don’t know, so only if the glossary page ranks high, I would see it.

    Even then, I would probably go right to a more detailed page with more information about the specific term I’m searching for.

  3. Dave Bost says:

    I don’t think I would flip to something that would take me away from what I was reading. The tool-tip implementation works best for me.

  4. I’d like to see something like that incorporated into the index. I use the index all the time. If when I clicked on the word in the index, in addition to providing me a list of possible index results in the index results pane, it always filled in the viewing pane with a glossary definition, perhaps as a collapsable section at the top or bottom, that would be great. You would have the ability to hide or show it, pinned or not. This would mean, assuming you had it open all the time, you would have one click access to the definition of any term you type into the index.

  5. Tim Weaver says:

    Yes. I would also suggest that any terms that were previously some codename (e.g Burton, Whitehorse and so on) be listed with both their codename and the current name as used throughout the documenation.

  6. Curt says:

    It’s helpful to understand the jargon used in product documentation *before* you start reading it, and a glossary facilitates this handily. Sometimes what *I* think a word or phrase means differs from how *you* use it. 🙂

  7. MS Schkeptik says:

    Yes. I would use a glossary.

  8. ak.net says:

    YES! I think so. Especially given there is going to be lot of new terms being introduced this will help alleivate any mis-interpretation of what I think means as opposte what it actually means.

    Thanks

  9. Terri Morton says:

    Would I have to alt-tab or otherwise leave what I was doing? If so, then realistically, NO.

  10. Kris Gray says:

    I wouldn’t, every time I tried to use a glossary it just told me that the Consolidate() function Consolidated things and that a virtual function is virtual.

    Waste of time.

  11. Scott Lee says:

    I think it would be very useful for people who are new to Team System and it’s concepts. There are so many new terms, this would be helpful as a one-page catch-all for all of the new items.

    Thanks!

  12. I would, if it was a ‘What is a …’ type feature like the ‘How do I…’ option in some products currently. If it’s just a long alphabetised list of words with brief descriptions, then no, google would do a better job.

  13. Ian says:

    +1 to peter’s comment.

  14. A glossary for this product is a tacit admission of failure. The concepts are so {muddled, different, non-standard, obtusely complex, whatever} that people won’t understand them in context. If you really need to communicate the definitions separately from the normal documentation, write a short story that shows how all the terms you would have put in the glossary relate to real tasks that your users perform. That would be far more effective at communicating the meaning of the terms.