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Why does MSDN help suck so much?

When I used to program in windows(back in the days of win95/98) the help
system was very good. You could find out all th details of just about
anything with usually decent explinations of what does what. Now I can't see
to find any time of descriptions that actually describe what means what. Am
I just looking in the wrong place.

For example,

I made a statusStrip control for use in my application. I put in a text box
and a progress bar and I'm trying to have the progress bar "snap" to the
right while the text box snaps to the left.

Now, I see the property "LayoutStyle" and I change it to HorizontalStack and
it *seems* to do just what I want but theres also other properties(some
obvious and some not so obvious).

So to find out what they really mean I go to the help and do a search for
statusStrip. I find several references and eventually I get to a page that
"describes" the LayoutStyle property(i.e.,
StatusStrip.LayoutStyle.Property).

BUT ALL IT IS IS A LISTING OF THE "SYNTAX",

"Remarks
Use the LayoutStyle property to get or set how items are arranged on the
StatusStrip"

and examples in VS and C#"

along with some other "useless" information. Oh, it does give a description:
"Gets or sets a value indicating how the StatusStrip lays out the items
collection. ".

But this tells me nothing about what the properties actually do ;/

Do I need to learn to use the help, say, to find out exactly what
"HorizontalStack" does or is the help really just crap now days? One of the
reasons I haven't got back into programming is simple because I can't ever
seem to find any good answers any more in the help system. I remember back
in the day with win32 API that the help system had a section that described
everything and how it all worked together along with class references and
such. Now I mainly just see class references with no description about what
the methods actually do or what the properties actually mean. ;/

Thanks,

Jon




Sep 28 '06 #1
6 3181
Jon,

MSDN is full of information, the search method is however something else.

I use forever "-forums" in my search string to find something.

Otherwise I get a bunch of non answered questions from the Microsoft
Webforums.

Cor

"Jon Slaughter" <Jo***********@Hotmail.comschreef in bericht
news:12*************@corp.supernews.com...
When I used to program in windows(back in the days of win95/98) the help
system was very good. You could find out all th details of just about
anything with usually decent explinations of what does what. Now I can't
see to find any time of descriptions that actually describe what means
what. Am I just looking in the wrong place.

For example,

I made a statusStrip control for use in my application. I put in a text
box and a progress bar and I'm trying to have the progress bar "snap" to
the right while the text box snaps to the left.

Now, I see the property "LayoutStyle" and I change it to HorizontalStack
and it *seems* to do just what I want but theres also other
properties(some obvious and some not so obvious).

So to find out what they really mean I go to the help and do a search for
statusStrip. I find several references and eventually I get to a page that
"describes" the LayoutStyle property(i.e.,
StatusStrip.LayoutStyle.Property).

BUT ALL IT IS IS A LISTING OF THE "SYNTAX",

"Remarks
Use the LayoutStyle property to get or set how items are arranged on the
StatusStrip"

and examples in VS and C#"

along with some other "useless" information. Oh, it does give a
description: "Gets or sets a value indicating how the StatusStrip lays out
the items collection. ".

But this tells me nothing about what the properties actually do ;/

Do I need to learn to use the help, say, to find out exactly what
"HorizontalStack" does or is the help really just crap now days? One of
the reasons I haven't got back into programming is simple because I can't
ever seem to find any good answers any more in the help system. I
remember back in the day with win32 API that the help system had a section
that described everything and how it all worked together along with class
references and such. Now I mainly just see class references with no
description about what the methods actually do or what the properties
actually mean. ;/

Thanks,

Jon




Sep 28 '06 #2
Personally I agree with you especially when it comes to newer functions.
There seems to be too may instances where the only comment about the class
or control are the basic parameters. I also agree with the other comment
mostly I first google the groups and then the general web, normally someone
has done something with whatever you are working on but there has been a few
times where even that does not work.

I don't use it mostly because I forget its there but you might try the MSDN
Wiki page, if nothing else you could always add your comments ;>

http://msdnwiki.microsoft.com

Regards,
John
"Jon Slaughter" <Jo***********@Hotmail.comwrote in message
news:12*************@corp.supernews.com...
When I used to program in windows(back in the days of win95/98) the help
system was very good. You could find out all th details of just about
anything with usually decent explinations of what does what. Now I can't
see to find any time of descriptions that actually describe what means
what. Am I just looking in the wrong place.

For example,

I made a statusStrip control for use in my application. I put in a text
box and a progress bar and I'm trying to have the progress bar "snap" to
the right while the text box snaps to the left.

Now, I see the property "LayoutStyle" and I change it to HorizontalStack
and it *seems* to do just what I want but theres also other
properties(some obvious and some not so obvious).

So to find out what they really mean I go to the help and do a search for
statusStrip. I find several references and eventually I get to a page that
"describes" the LayoutStyle property(i.e.,
StatusStrip.LayoutStyle.Property).

BUT ALL IT IS IS A LISTING OF THE "SYNTAX",

"Remarks
Use the LayoutStyle property to get or set how items are arranged on the
StatusStrip"

and examples in VS and C#"

along with some other "useless" information. Oh, it does give a
description: "Gets or sets a value indicating how the StatusStrip lays out
the items collection. ".

But this tells me nothing about what the properties actually do ;/

Do I need to learn to use the help, say, to find out exactly what
"HorizontalStack" does or is the help really just crap now days? One of
the reasons I haven't got back into programming is simple because I can't
ever seem to find any good answers any more in the help system. I
remember back in the day with win32 API that the help system had a section
that described everything and how it all worked together along with class
references and such. Now I mainly just see class references with no
description about what the methods actually do or what the properties
actually mean. ;/

Thanks,

Jon




Sep 28 '06 #3
Jon Slaughter wrote:
For example,
Now, I see the property "LayoutStyle" and I change it to HorizontalStack and
it *seems* to do just what I want but theres also other properties(some
obvious and some not so obvious).

So to find out what they really mean I go to the help and do a search for
statusStrip. I find several references and eventually I get to a page that
"describes" the LayoutStyle property(i.e.,
StatusStrip.LayoutStyle.Property).

BUT ALL IT IS IS A LISTING OF THE "SYNTAX",

"Remarks
Use the LayoutStyle property to get or set how items are arranged on the
StatusStrip"
Look a little closer. If you look at the syntax, it tells you that the
LayoutStyle property is an instance of the ToolStripLayoutStyle
enumeration. Also, just above the Remarks you should see this line:

Property Value
One of the ToolStripLayoutStyle values. The default is Table.

Notice that ToolStripLayoutStyle is a link to the type of the property.
If you click that it will take you to the ToolStripLayoutStyle
Enumeration docs which explains each item.

While I agree with you that the help systems of the past seemed better,
I have not had any problem finding items at msdn, at least once I got
past the initial search page which seems to return a lot of articles
that I don't want.

Chris

Sep 28 '06 #4

"Chris Dunaway" <du******@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@i42g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
Jon Slaughter wrote:
>For example,
>Now, I see the property "LayoutStyle" and I change it to HorizontalStack
and
it *seems* to do just what I want but theres also other properties(some
obvious and some not so obvious).

So to find out what they really mean I go to the help and do a search for
statusStrip. I find several references and eventually I get to a page
that
"describes" the LayoutStyle property(i.e.,
StatusStrip.LayoutStyle.Property).

BUT ALL IT IS IS A LISTING OF THE "SYNTAX",

"Remarks
Use the LayoutStyle property to get or set how items are arranged on the
StatusStrip"

Look a little closer. If you look at the syntax, it tells you that the
LayoutStyle property is an instance of the ToolStripLayoutStyle
enumeration. Also, just above the Remarks you should see this line:

Property Value
One of the ToolStripLayoutStyle values. The default is Table.

Notice that ToolStripLayoutStyle is a link to the type of the property.
If you click that it will take you to the ToolStripLayoutStyle
Enumeration docs which explains each item.

While I agree with you that the help systems of the past seemed better,
I have not had any problem finding items at msdn, at least once I got
past the initial search page which seems to return a lot of articles
that I don't want.
yes, I see that... but this is what it says:

Flow - Specifies that items flow horizontally or vertically as necessary.
HorizontalStackWithOverflow - Specifies that items are laid out horizontally
and overflow as necessary.
StackWithOverflow - Specifies that items are laid out automatically.
Table - Specifies that items are laid out flush left.
VerticalStackWithOverflow - Specifies that items are laid out vertically,
are centered within the control, and overflow as necessary.

While its better than nothing it still seems a little raw. I can gather most
of that info from the name of the property itself. Maybe I'm just being
dense here but it seems that maybe they could just go into a little more
detail. Although again, its better than nothing. I guess I'll have to pay
more attention when I search because I did miss this(and I don't think the
search returned that page).

Thanks,
Jon
Sep 28 '06 #5
Did you ever try to actually load a page from that wiki? The site is so slow
it is unbearable.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP 432'17"N 882'37"W : 432'17"N 882'37"W

"John J. Hughes II" <no@invalid.comwrote in message
news:%2***************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Personally I agree with you especially when it comes to newer functions.
There seems to be too may instances where the only comment about the class
or control are the basic parameters. I also agree with the other comment
mostly I first google the groups and then the general web, normally
someone has done something with whatever you are working on but there has
been a few times where even that does not work.

I don't use it mostly because I forget its there but you might try the
MSDN Wiki page, if nothing else you could always add your comments ;>

http://msdnwiki.microsoft.com

Regards,
John
"Jon Slaughter" <Jo***********@Hotmail.comwrote in message
news:12*************@corp.supernews.com...
>When I used to program in windows(back in the days of win95/98) the help
system was very good. You could find out all th details of just about
anything with usually decent explinations of what does what. Now I can't
see to find any time of descriptions that actually describe what means
what. Am I just looking in the wrong place.

For example,

I made a statusStrip control for use in my application. I put in a text
box and a progress bar and I'm trying to have the progress bar "snap" to
the right while the text box snaps to the left.

Now, I see the property "LayoutStyle" and I change it to HorizontalStack
and it *seems* to do just what I want but theres also other
properties(some obvious and some not so obvious).

So to find out what they really mean I go to the help and do a search for
statusStrip. I find several references and eventually I get to a page
that "describes" the LayoutStyle property(i.e.,
StatusStrip.LayoutStyle.Property).

BUT ALL IT IS IS A LISTING OF THE "SYNTAX",

"Remarks
Use the LayoutStyle property to get or set how items are arranged on the
StatusStrip"

and examples in VS and C#"

along with some other "useless" information. Oh, it does give a
description: "Gets or sets a value indicating how the StatusStrip lays
out the items collection. ".

But this tells me nothing about what the properties actually do ;/

Do I need to learn to use the help, say, to find out exactly what
"HorizontalStack" does or is the help really just crap now days? One of
the reasons I haven't got back into programming is simple because I can't
ever seem to find any good answers any more in the help system. I
remember back in the day with win32 API that the help system had a
section that described everything and how it all worked together along
with class references and such. Now I mainly just see class references
with no description about what the methods actually do or what the
properties actually mean. ;/

Thanks,

Jon





Sep 29 '06 #6
Yea, very fast here!

Regards,
John

"clintonG" <cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.comwro te in message
news:ej**************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
Did you ever try to actually load a page from that wiki? The site is so
slow it is unbearable.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://clintongallagher.metromilwaukee.com/
MAP 432'17"N 882'37"W : 432'17"N 882'37"W

"John J. Hughes II" <no@invalid.comwrote in message
news:%2***************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>Personally I agree with you especially when it comes to newer functions.
There seems to be too may instances where the only comment about the
class or control are the basic parameters. I also agree with the other
comment mostly I first google the groups and then the general web,
normally someone has done something with whatever you are working on but
there has been a few times where even that does not work.

I don't use it mostly because I forget its there but you might try the
MSDN Wiki page, if nothing else you could always add your comments ;>

http://msdnwiki.microsoft.com

Regards,
John
"Jon Slaughter" <Jo***********@Hotmail.comwrote in message
news:12*************@corp.supernews.com...
>>When I used to program in windows(back in the days of win95/98) the help
system was very good. You could find out all th details of just about
anything with usually decent explinations of what does what. Now I can't
see to find any time of descriptions that actually describe what means
what. Am I just looking in the wrong place.

For example,

I made a statusStrip control for use in my application. I put in a text
box and a progress bar and I'm trying to have the progress bar "snap" to
the right while the text box snaps to the left.

Now, I see the property "LayoutStyle" and I change it to HorizontalStack
and it *seems* to do just what I want but theres also other
properties(some obvious and some not so obvious).

So to find out what they really mean I go to the help and do a search
for statusStrip. I find several references and eventually I get to a
page that "describes" the LayoutStyle property(i.e.,
StatusStrip.LayoutStyle.Property).

BUT ALL IT IS IS A LISTING OF THE "SYNTAX",

"Remarks
Use the LayoutStyle property to get or set how items are arranged on the
StatusStrip"

and examples in VS and C#"

along with some other "useless" information. Oh, it does give a
description: "Gets or sets a value indicating how the StatusStrip lays
out the items collection. ".

But this tells me nothing about what the properties actually do ;/

Do I need to learn to use the help, say, to find out exactly what
"HorizontalStack" does or is the help really just crap now days? One of
the reasons I haven't got back into programming is simple because I
can't ever seem to find any good answers any more in the help system. I
remember back in the day with win32 API that the help system had a
section that described everything and how it all worked together along
with class references and such. Now I mainly just see class references
with no description about what the methods actually do or what the
properties actually mean. ;/

Thanks,

Jon






Oct 5 '06 #7

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