MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center-VBForums
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

  1. #1

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Does anybody know the logic behind (a.) Microsoft maintaining a clumsy duplicate of the MSDN Library by the name "Windows Dev Center" and (b.) why Google turns up these awful results links now?

    The traditional MSDN pages have their disadvantages, but at least the navigation tree at the left is useful compared to the flat "list of peers" that replaces the tree in "Dev Center."

    The traditional pages are also readable instead of having that Windows 7 washed out colors theme used by the Dev Center.


    Compare and contrast with this example.

    MSDN Library: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...90(VS.85).aspx

    Dev Center: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...(v=vs.85).aspx

    I hope you have your strongest reading glasses on.


    This travesty seemed to rear its head first about the time Microsoft began preparing for the Win8-centric BUILD conference. To me it seems like another example of the Windows Entropy we're seeing with Phone 7 and Windows 8.

    Not only are the traditional pages easier to read (can you say contrast?), but the treeview at the left makes it a whole lot easier to start by reading about a Property, then go find a Method you need to review, etc. etc. etc.


    Why has the company so forsaken the notion of "user experience" in favor of fad and fashion? And has anybody found a trick that makes Google (or Bing, or...) return the good pages?

  2. #2
    PowerPoster Nightwalker83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    13,119

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Maybe it's for people who are unable to access the MSDN Library for what reason.
    when you quote a post could you please do it via the "Reply With Quote" button or if it multiple post click the "''+" button then "Reply With Quote" button.
    If this thread is finished with please mark it "Resolved" by selecting "Mark thread resolved" from the "Thread tools" drop-down menu.
    Please consider giving me some rep points if I help you a lot.
    Links to my code examples can now be found on my website: My websites
    Please rate my post if you find it helpful!
    Technology is a dangerous thing in the hands of an idiot! I am that idiot.

  3. #3

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    The MSDN Library was once a subscription-only CD service. MSDN Library Online was a later paid-only service, requiring an MSDN subscription, that parallelled the CD-based period. Some programming tools began to come with a "snaopshot" release of the MSDN Library on CDs, and one year of updates. This became the online Help in VB6.

    Later the MSDN Library Online became a free service. Much of the software and tools that are part of an MSDN subscription now are ISO downloads instead of shipped CDs, but they were never free.


    So that's the MSDN Library. Are you suggesting that these Win Dev Center pages are a mirror site or something? Even if so, why the poor navigation system and washed-out color scheme?

  4. #4
    Administrator brad jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    6,030

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    My guess is that the pages / sites are done by different groups within Microsoft. Alternatively (or additionally), the Win Dev Center is more focused and another presentation that might get people who are more interested specifically in Windows topics, versus the broader "MSDN" topics.

    I'm just speculating though. If you really want to know, we could ask Microsoft....

    Brad!

  5. #5

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Well I've tried asking, assuming it was an error when I first noticed it. Never got a reply but perhaps I never asked via the right "door."

    The new layout is more "spacious" (lots of white space) but the main font's color results in low contrast = lower readability, and using the breadcrumbs at the top of tha page instead of a tree make "browsing" for the next topic you need to see pretty clumsy.

    I don't mind change, and we've grown to expect it. But the new presentation (of the same info) changed in some ways that aren't very helpful. I'd be glad to ignore the Dev Center entirely if Google and Bing searches didn't keep sending me there.

  6. #6
    PowerPoster RhinoBull's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    New Amsterdam
    Posts
    24,135

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    I see what the problem is here: I don't suppose you are looking for a flashy site, only info.
    Either way you're getting what you want - it just looks a bit different, so what? You may navigate mto MSDN and search it directly.

  7. #7

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    My point was I'd be glad to ignore the Dev Center entirely if Google and Bing searches didn't keep sending me there.

    "Behind the music" I'm worried they plan to phase out the legible and navigable pages in favor of the new "artsy scheme" pages.

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    No, my concern isn't with twice the results, but that I get ONLY the "washed out colors, non-navigable" results in most cases. Quite often you can only get to the legible and navigable pages by manually going to the MSDN Library and manually drilling down.

    Even the search there turns up the "Win7-ish graylady" pages.

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    24,421

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    For my part, I do see what you mean, but I have never seen the dev center come up as a result for any search. I agree with your criticisms of the look, as it is clearly low-contrast and less readable, I just didn't even know that dev center existed before that thread. And there ends any serious comment I have on the subject. On to my conclusion: Both Bing and Google do a certain amount of tailoring of their results to the searcher. In your case, they have noted your preferences, and are serving you dev center pages. You have angered the gods and are being punished accordingly.
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

  12. #12

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    You have angered the gods and are being punished accordingly.
    Yes indeed. I seem to be quite good at that.

    Well no more looking at Metro stuff for me then, maybe with time that search engine curse will wear off.

  13. #13
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    24,421

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    How about posting a search term that is giving you that dev center. I really haven't ever seen it, and would like to do the same search to see what I get.
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

  14. #14
    Super Moderator RobDog888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    LA, Calif. Raiders #1 AKA:Gangsta Yoda™
    Posts
    60,134

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    The Dev center is definately less readable and doesnt contain a full navition tree. Sure it lists some items on the left but you cant tree up or drill down.

    I hope they dont phase out MSDN
    VB/Office Guru™ (AKA: Gangsta Yoda®)
    I dont answer coding questions via PM. Please post a thread in the appropriate forum.

    Microsoft MVP 2006-2011
    Office Development FAQ (C#, VB.NET, VB 6, VBA)
    Senior Jedi Software Engineer MCP (VB 6 & .NET), BSEE, CET
    If a post has helped you then Please Rate it!
    Star Wars Gangsta Rap Reps & Rating PostsVS.NET on Vista Multiple .NET Framework Versions Office Primary Interop AssembliesVB/Office Guru™ Word SpellChecker™.NETVB/Office Guru™ Word SpellChecker™ VB6VB.NET Attributes Ex.Outlook Global Address ListAPI Viewer utility.NET API Viewer Utility
    System: Intel Core 2 Extreme Ed., 2 WD Raptor 10K RPM 300 GB HDs, 2 GBs DDR2 667 MHz RAM, 2 Viewsonic 24" LCDs, Windows 7 SP-1/Windows 8.1, Office 2010, VS 2013

  15. #15
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    25,528

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Looks like it's a work in progress... if you start from the main "traditional" MSDN page... click on the "Windows" block... it takes you to the new dev center. So it seems to me that it's a work in progress roll out... not too keen on it myself. It's very hard on my eyes, the white is too white & too much of it.

    -tg
    * I don't respond to private (PM) requests for help. It's not conducive to the general learning of others.*
    * I also don't respond to friend requests. Save a few bits and don't bother. I'll just end up rejecting anyways.*
    * How to get EFFECTIVE help: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Getting Help at VBF - Removing eels from your hovercraft *
    * How to Use Parameters * Create Disconnected ADO Recordset Clones * Set your VB6 ActiveX Compatibility * Get rid of those pesky VB Line Numbers * I swear I saved my data, where'd it run off to??? *

  16. #16

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Many searches return these hits. Here is a Google search:

    field object site:msdn.microsoft.com

    The site modifier is used to help exclude some junky returns like those from w3schools.

    First hit: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...(v=vs.85).aspx

    Second and third are Office and CDO hits I didnt want.

    ado field object returns poor results with or without the site modifier.

  17. #17

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    The Dev Center style with the flat navigation and left, breadcrumbs at the top, and low-contrast high whitespace theme overall reminds me of what some people think of as "classy" in a blog skin.

    But thats another pet peeve: Hard to read blog skinning plus the general lack of prominent posting dates adjacent to blog post titles. Un-dated material can be quite frustrating when looking for something authoritative and relevant and having to comb blogs to get it. Why such datestamping isn't universal has always escaped me.

  18. #18

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Another: Google richedit

  19. #19
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    24,421

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Ok, I'm beginning to see what you mean. They all say msdn, but the links are all to dev center, and I totally agree that it is an ugly, hard to read, washed out, poorly designed, mess of a page.
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

  20. #20

    Thread Starter
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    11,442

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Thanks. Then perhaps I'm not quite as insane as I thought.

  21. #21
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    4,998

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Ive been getting that Dev center thing alot lately when looking up APIs and I agree with the OP...It is annoying but not because the page is ugly or anything but just because I've grown accustomed to the MSDN template. I cant exactly describe it but the Dev center just feels uncomfortable.

  22. #22
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    24,421

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    I can live with the washed out colors. I don't approve of that, but I can live with it. The navigation appears to be considerably less efficient than the older style. That's not really a surprise, though. .NET had an awesome help right up through 2008, but when 2010 came out, the help that was included was horrid. Eventually, there were sufficient complaints, including complaints by several members of this site, that they came out with the new help tool that is currently in 2010. It's better, though not integrated as tightly as it was in 2008 (which is both good and bad, to be fair).

    The point being: MS is willing to try different approaches to providing documentation, including bad ones.
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

  23. #23
    Fanatic Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    651

    Re: MSDN vs. Windows Dev Center

    Notwithstanding the pale washout in dev centre the thing I miss is the tree on the left which tells you a lot about how deep you have navigated and related stuff at the same level as the document being viewed. The 'across the top menu' does not provide a quick check for the context for the document being viewed amoung its peers.
    Last edited by Magic Ink; Jan 25th, 2012 at 04:36 PM. Reason: spellin

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Featured


Click Here to Expand Forum to Full Width

Survey posted by VBForums.