We talked previously about the new look and feel, content integration, and controls for the Windows Dev Center. Also new is what we’ve referred to as “applications” that are components of the dev center.  The three key applications are the samples gallery, the forums, and search. Before going deep into what’s new here, I want to thank the MSDN team who has done an amazing job in engineering and designing these updates.

Samples Gallery

The samples gallery has been updated significantly for this release.  New to the samples gallery are the following:

  • New look and feel
  • 300 new samples uploaded across the Windows Desktop Samples Gallery, Windows Metro Style App Gallery, and Windows Hardware Samples Gallery
  • Improved description and details format
  • Improved scoping specific to the Windows SDK and library
  • Improved submission process to ensure that all gallery content is a valid sample.
  • Addition of the code browser / viewer
  • Sample Packs – Windows Desktop Sample Pack and Windows Metro Style Apps Sample Pack Integration with Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview – search and open samples from the new Project dialog

The following screenshot shows the new code browse/view interface. It even supports syntax highlighting!

Forums

  • The Windows Desktop Developer Forums have been updated to have a single category, we’ll be reorganizing them soon
  • The Windows Metro Style App Forums have been created to support developers for our new model
  • The Windows Hardware development forums were updated to support the new features and tools
  • The forums have a new look and feel
  • Voting – you can now upvote and downvote posts ala StackOverflow
  • Related threads – avoid asking the same question twice
  • Filtering to find posts with code and other metadata about threads
  • Improvements to core functionality such as the new threaded view

The following image shows the related threads UI.  When you begin posting a new thread, the Forums application suggests existing threads that may already address your topic.

Search

We have been continuously making improvements to the Windows Dev Center search.  New for the Windows Developer Preview release are:

  • Improvements to refinements
  • New look and feel
  • More information in results UI

Although it’s subtle, the improvements in search should make it much easier to filter through the results that you will get when you perform searches on the dev centers.  The following image shows how search reveals whether a forum result is answered or has responses:

So this pretty much concludes our short post series about what’s new in the dev center.  Thank you for reading!

See Also