What about the docs?

It's been a little over a week since Silverlight 2 Beta 1 was released and I find myself wondering if anyone is reading our docs.  I see all the action on the forums and the blogs, which is great, but when I see blog posts like this (More Ways to Learn Silverlight 2), I start to wonder.  Does anyone remember that our docs are out there?


I like to think so.  We've got a team of writers who really care about getting the most useful, relevant, up-to-date content out.  But it feels like our content isn't very discoverable and its certainly not as much fun as a blog post.  You can put whatever you want on a blog. But we are constrained by lots of rules around what MSDN allows us to put on their site, what the HXS (built doc files) can do with index and search, making the content easy to localize (i.e. translate into other languages), and lots of other process overhead which has reasons but does make things less fun.


The good news about the Silverlight 2 docs is that we are early in the product cycle and actively working on all the Silverlight content as you read this.  So, now is a great time to come over, check out our docs and tell us what you think! 


Do you like what you see?  Or not?  What were you looking for?  Did you find it?  What types of content do you find most useful – API pages, conceptual overviews, How To's, Tutorials, advanced overviews, samples, code snippets?


At the top of every page in MSDN, there are 5 starts in the upper right-hand corner.  You can select the level of stars you think a page deserves or better yet, fill in the feedback box that opens up with details.  So far in March, we've gotten exactly 9 comments on the docs.  That's right, 9.  And I've read them all.  So go ahead, give us your opinion, knowing we'll actually read it and attempt to address it in future doc releases.


Click Here to jump to the Silverlight 2 Beta 1 docs.

Comments (4)

  1. I’ll spread the word..Thanks!  😉

  2. tmilker says:

    MSDN needs a major overhaul.  It is has an extremely annoying interface.  It is too cumbersome to click three or four times just to get information about a method or constructor in a class.  The search constantly spits out the oldest versions of the documentation.  It is too difficult to get search to spit out just documentation hits instead of forums, articles, blogs, whatever it can think of.  None of the documentation is consistent, XNA is different from .NET, for instance.  Examples need to be broken up into individual languages with options to remember your favorite language and collapse the rest.  The annoying and extremely unhelpful tree on the left needs to be reorganized and made usable with the extremely long namespaces .NET has.  I could go on and on.  I use MSDN every day and I hate it more and more.

  3. Jeff Paries with OOJS part 2, Chrishayuk with a fix to a listbox stretch problem, Karen Corby gives up

  4. ccchai says:

    I agree with tmilker, I read blog posts more than MSDN docs because MSDN contains too many links, I click here and click there nd still haven’t get to the information I want.

    I think the the SDK should include one Getting Started tutorial, and tons of how-to documentations. Because I always do searching with a specific problem in mind. Only until I have found a solution, I will study the specific properties, methods or events in greater details.

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