Recently our documentation team hosted a survey on how you use VS and .NET Framework documentation.  Here are a few things that I thought was interesting.  I'd love to have your comments as well...  Any thoughts from you on this?

 

It seems that the the majority of developers in our community are using the latest (3.5) version of the .NET Framework.  Most are also using 2.0 as well...

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On the question of how you would like to see .NET version information in the docs, it seems most folks want to see it all, with a filter! 

  • Documentation should be specific to the .NET Framework version I am developing with
  • Documentation should be cumulative (including all versions of the .NET Framework with version specific information inline)
  • Documentation should be cumulative (including all versions of the .NET Framework with the ability to filter on specific versions)

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In terms of what folks use the docs for in their daily development, the .NET Framework reference is the winner by far! 

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And how do you find information?  Well, not surprising, web search engines win out by a high margin.  Although, it does seem from the feedback that if we could improve performance of offline Help and F1 folks wouldn’t need to search online as much.  Does that seem right to you?

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And, as always, the verbatim comments were very helpful as well.  Here are a couple I thought was valuable both positive and constructive:

  • Mostly good, mostly accurate, certainly better than most of the competition.
  • First let me say that the overall quality of the documentation is very, very high.  In general, Visual Studio / .NET documentation is the gold standard for technical documentation.
  • I would like to be able to specify my preferred language(s) so I do not see language examples that are not relevant to my needs.
  • I would like to see more tutorials - for new technology.   ScottGu's blog if often a better source of information.
  • Help loads way too slowly. Pressing F1 often brings up the wrong article.   Entering a search term also brings up the wrong articles. The only way to navigate help is to use Related links, or "See also" at the bottom of each article