Back in November I blogged about the motivation behind our newest MSDN library view – Lightweight. You can view that post here. To summarize, Lightweight came about as a result of the feedback we received on the Script Free view, which we developed to address world-wide response times for page loads. The feedback tended to be something like: “Script Free would be perfect if you just added …”. Based on your input we set out to develop a site experience that incorporated the most popular feature requests, while preserving most of the response-time gains we delivered with Script Free.
Since then, the team has been hard at work and we’re just about ready to launch Lightweight as the default view of the MSDN Library. Here are some of the benefits we hope you’ll see from our work over the last few months:
Easier access to the information on the page. We’ve simplified the Table of Contents and the topic presentation so that it is easier to find the information you need on the page. We’ve incorporated new controls like the tabbed code block, which allow you to focus only on the information you are interested in.
Integrated search. Classic has it, Script Free doesn’t, Lightweight does. Use library search to easily find the information you need.
Community Content. Like the Classic view, Lightweight allows you to enhance MSDN topics with code samples and comments, and to view the contributions of others.
For those of you who provided feedback on the Lightweight beta release – thank you! We received over 25,000 comments and changed a number of features as a direct result of your feedback – search results, font selection, and the site feedback mechanism, to name a few. You can also expect to see additional changes based on your feedback after the launch, in areas like resizing the left panel and additional enhancements to the Table of Contents.
Of course, Lightweight doesn’t provide everything that the Classic view does, for example the “deep tree” table of contents, and side-by-side viewing of machine translated and English content for certain locales. For those of you who prefer the Classic view or rely on features that are not in Lightweight, we have made it easy for you to still use the Classic view. To switch between library views from Lightweight, simply click on ‘Preferences’ or ‘Lightweight View’ at the top right of the library header and select the view you want.
Our goal is for Lightweight to deliver the right balance between features and page load response time. Your feedback is valuable to us. Please use the feedback button on the bottom of any page in the MSDN library, or post your thoughts here.