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MSDN Library Documentation A Shambles RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Microsoft use to have excellent documentation.  Every C function had clearly defined arguments and options, all of them with nice descriptions.  Then they went web based, and it has completely fallen apart.  It's messy, disorganized, and incomplete.  The same people who do Microsoft's websites must be doing the MSDN docs these days.

    Example:  go try to find "HttpContext.Current.Request.Url.AbsoluteUri" through the left doc panel.  You'll go to a bunch of dead ends.  Even using the search bar is futile.  I can find Microsoft programming reference documentation faster on Google and other people's websites than I can on the MSDN website.  That's pathetic.  And forget about the Help screen in Visual Studio.  That's even messier.  It looks like Go Daddy's website.

    Microsoft, PLEASE GET THIS MESS ORGANIZED.

    Michael
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:31 PM

All replies

  • Michael,
    Can you provide the URL for HttpContext.Current.Request.Url.AbsoluteUri page. I will investigate on the scoped search issue you are seeing with the MSDN search bar and on the dead ends. Please see http://blogs.msdn.com/sandcastle/archive/2009/03/29/seventeenth-annual-writersua-conference-for-software-user-assistance-march-29-april-1-seattle-washington.aspx for some of the screen shots I have provided on the new version of Help screen in Visual Studio.

    We are also redesigning our help content in MSDN. I will be happy to provide more details.

    Anand..
    Group Manager| Developer Division| Microsoft Corp.| http://blogs.msdn.com/sandcastle/
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 5:57 PM
  • Michael,
    Can you provide the URL for HttpContext.Current.Request.Url.AbsoluteUri page. I will investigate on the scoped search issue you are seeing with the MSDN search bar and on the dead ends. Please see http://blogs.msdn.com/sandcastle/archive/2009/03/29/seventeenth-annual-writersua-conference-for-software-user-assistance-march-29-april-1-seattle-washington.aspx for some of the screen shots I have provided on the new version of Help screen in Visual Studio.

    We are also redesigning our help content in MSDN. I will be happy to provide more details.

    Anand..
    Group Manager| Developer Division| Microsoft Corp.| http://blogs.msdn.com/sandcastle/

    You do realize how funny this sounds, right?  If I could provide you with a URL, I wouldn't have a complaint.  We'll I again searched MSDN for this, and came up with nothing in fhe form of reference documentation.  Talk about frustrating.  Even searching on HttpContext.Current.Request.Url turned up nothing.  Why can't we just have searchable reference libraries, and filter out all the rest of it?  Sometimes I just want the library docs, and one's that are complete.  May I request that you try out the search I tried?

    Michael

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 5:36 AM
  • Michael,

    It sounds like you're just looking in the wrong place.  I've found that the search function on MSDN gets me to the documentation I need in one or two queries, in the top one or two results.  You just have to be searching in the right context.  Abstract what you really want out from the code in your program.

    In your case, HttpContext.Current is a property of HttpContext that refers to the current context, and is itself an HttpContext object.  Request is a property of that HttpContext object, so from there you could try searching for HttpContext.Request, and see that it is an HttpRequest object.  If you click through to HttpRequest, you will see that it has a property called Url, which is a System.Uri object -- which in turn has an AbsoluteUri property.

    Here are a few links in that chain:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.web.httprequest.url.aspx
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.uri.aspx
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.uri.absoluteuri.aspx

    There's no way MSDN could index every possible combination of classes and properties.  If "HttpContext.Current.Request.Url" meant Url was a class in the HttpContext.Current.Request namespace, it would have found it, but that's not what that code means, and it's unsurprising that MSDN was unable to figure out exactly what you wanted from that query.

    Josh
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 6:05 PM