This isn't about the woeful help facilities in most "modern" software. That's another rant for another day. With the advent of Desktop Search as a core operating system feature for Vista, I've been asking some pointed questions. Without saying more than that, I'd like to conduct an unscientific straw poll (what other kind is there?) about your usage of reference material. I get to observe a new development shop every couple of weeks (such is the life of a consultant), so I've already gathered lots of anecdotal evidence by observation, but I'd like to hear from a much broader audience. Were I a program manager for something, I'd make every effort for the poll to have some sort of statistical validity, but I'm not – I'm just curious.
There are several different reference libraries that we publish via subscription and downloadable updates: MSDN, TechNet, Books Online, ephemeral SDKs out the wazoo, etc. They're pretty good in each niche. In my opinion, they're much better and cheaper than the alternatives that you can beg, borrow or steal for other competing products (when such documentation can be had at all). But I wonder what fraction of the developer communities actually bothers to install them and keep them up to date?
Well, you know what they say about curiosity and the cat. Good thing that I'm a dog person, eh?
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