The best way to find the right WDK documentation for your needs is to download the latest version of the WDK from http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/DevTools/WDK/WDKpkg.mspx. If you want, you can download only the docs. Or visit the WDK docs page at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/wdk/wdkdocs.mspx# to check for a newer version of the documentation download. We will also provide new versions of the full WDK CHM as it is available, if you prefer using the CHM Help format.
When you install the docs you get rapid search as well as a full index. With the index all you have to do is type in the first few letters or words of a topic, or include typical keywords that describe the topic you’re interested in, and you’ll immediately see a list of all applicable topics. We build a set of keywords for each topic that allows for this rapid indexing capability.
For example, if you’re new to network drivers, you can start by typing "network drivers" into the index and you’ll get a list of most of the high-level network topics of interest, including architecture, NDIS, wireless networking, and so on. Each of these topics is then just a click away with no further guesswork.
If you’re looking for a function that you can’t quite remember, but you know it has to do with starting a display device and reads something like, "DxgkDdiStart," just type this string into the index pane and you’ll immediately see DxgkDdiStartDevice among the list. Click on this entry in the index and you’re there.
When you’re stuck offsite without an installation of the WDK docs, or you otherwise can’t access installed docs, or you need the very latest WDK docs that were recently posted to MSDN, the online docs are a good option. Here are some tips to get the most out of online searches for driver development information.
Start by searching on the main WDK Documentation page: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff557573(VS.85).aspx.
Try typing the first few letters of the DDI name into the Bing search window on MSDN. Click on the name that matches what you’re looking for. In the full search results window that comes up, click on the first matching DDI name.
For example, say you are looking for the DxgkDdiStartDevice function. In the MSDN Bing search window, type dxgkddis. As you type, the search window lists possible matches to the entered string. Keep typing until you see the full name of the function. When you click on dxgkddistartdevice, you’ll be taken to a search results window with "DxgkDdiStartDevice (Windows Driver Kit) " as the first result. This is the correct link to the desired topic.
You can easily restrict your search results to only the WDK by including "Windows Driver Kit" (with quotes) in your search query, for example, MiniportInitialize "Windows Driver Kit". This drastically reduces the number of search results on MSDN. Another benefit is that the search results only apply to WDK documentation, not to other products such as Windows CE.
If you want to use a search engine directly without going to MSDN, constrain your searches by adding site:msdn.microsoft.com to the end of your search string.
In Bing.com search results, you can quickly view the first few lines of the document text by hovering the cursor over the topic of interest until you see a gray bar with an arrow appear on the right; then hover over the gray bar. The short summary of the document also includes some of the links that are provided on the topic.
You’ll undoubtedly find other neat tricks to hone your searches. If you want to share some tips with other WDK users, please drop us a line.
Mark LawlerProgramming WriterWindows Driver Kits