For those that have downloaded Visual Studio 2008 to get the latest version of SQL Server Compact and Sync Services for ADO.NET, you'll notice that we don't install the documentation for these products with Visual Studio.
Why? Well, our documentation process here at Microsoft can be quite complex. With all the integration and multiple languages we support, we have to lock things down very early. We had some tough choices to make. Deliver less content, but ship "in the box", or take some more time, get the latest and greatest we can provide, ship at the same time as Visual Studio, but make the documentation available as a web download. We decided to go for the web download, and will continue to update the docs as we have time to integrate the latest and greatest.
Behind the scenes
Blogs do a great job to get to know some of the folks behind the scenes. So you know the people responsible for the docs, let me thank Sonal Mangrulkar who's been developing our SQL Server Compact docs and Michael Blythe for the Sync Services documentation. They've done a herculean effort, while juggling many other deliverables as well. Writing documentation while the product is evolving and changing is difficult enough. Trying to write samples that are constantly breaking, or trying to get time with the developers to explain how this works is a constant effort. While we could always do more, Michael and Sonal are very dedicated to helping you out. They do listen to feedback and incorporate as much as possible. Many of you know Bill Vaughn, and Sonal certainly knows Bill. Bill has provided frequent, and passionate <g> feedback, as well as many other folks from our device community.
We should have the SQL Server Compact MSI's available soon so that developers using Visual Studio 2005 and .NET FX 2.0 can get started for the low, low price of just 2mb. ...stay tuned...