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Thread: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

  1. #1

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    Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    References for the API functions like the names and even descriptions of their arguments and their return values, apparently are a part of the Microsoft website that MS itself wants to get rid of. All of these thousands of pages of references for functions, structs, enums, and constants that are used by the Windows API will simply CEASE TO EXIST, after MS gets rid of its API reference pages on microsoft.com (the portion of their website formerly known as MSDN). And it will be removed in January of 2022.

    Is somebody out there backing up all of this valuable information? Without it, programmers will be FORCED to use .net for ALL of their programming, because they won't know how to use the old APIs without a reference to look at. Even the BEST programmers couldn't possibly commit all of that information to their brain's memory. Most programmers need to periodically look at actual API references from the Microsoft website. Without that, programming with the standard API will simply become impossible, thus I hope that somebody out there is backing up these thousands of pages of API references from the Microsoft website, and I hope they will be making it available on their own personal website at some point, as a replacement for what MS is taking off of their website.

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    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    All that information appears to have been migrated to the Microsoft Docs site.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...ndow-reference

    Actually, I just realised that that may only be a subset of API functions available. The rest may be there somewhere too though.

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    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?


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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    All that information appears to have been migrated to the Microsoft Docs site.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/win...ndow-reference
    Yes docs.microsoft.com is the new MSDN basically, and has been for the last several years. But that's the problem. That's the part of the website they are shutting down. If you look you will see on the left side of the screen near the bottom of the listbox on the webpage something that says "Download PDF Retiring". In other words, you better download the documentation now while you can, because it will be gone soon. I seriously HOPE that somebody is downloading it, and plans to host it elsewhere after MS deletes it from their website.

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    Isn't it only the ability to download as .pdf that's being retired? the web contents will still be there.
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    Fanatic Member Delaney's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    yes it seems that it will be just the PDF download feature that will be removed :

    Download PDF retiring
    The Download PDF feature will be removed on January 3, 2022. Your feedback will help us with future plans for offline content.
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delaney View Post
    yes it seems that it will be just the PDF download feature that will be removed :
    Ok so the online docs will remain? That's good. Especially since most of the offline documents are actually incomplete (most of them have links that instead of taking you to the correct spot in the PDF document, take you to the corresponding webpage instead).

    What I would like for my own convenience (not needing to have internet access on my development laptop, when I'm away from home working on programming) is to have the FULL Windows API documentation on my PC. Every single function, constant, struct, enum, etc, all present on my computer's harddrive. I've been rushing to download all the PDFs, but as they are incomplete they won't really help me. Most of the common functions can be found in the PDFs, but some of the less commonly used functions can ONLY be found documented on the Microsoft website. I want the FULL docs on my laptop. Is there any way to get those?

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    I don't know about now, but several years ago I had a MSDN subscription for years. Part of the CD's/DVD's that came with this subscription were those that contained the complete SDK documentation - not as .pdf but local installable and searchable. I've still got my last set from 2008 installed.

    Is this still part of an MSDN subscription - or has MSDN subscriptions gone the way of the MSDN web.
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    I haven't seen that full documentation set since about the time you are talking about. I don't believe they currently send all that out via CD anymore, though there may be some means to still get them.
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    I haven't seen that full documentation set since about the time you are talking about. I don't believe they currently send all that out via CD anymore, though there may be some means to still get them.
    VB6 comes with an old MSDN CD, but that doesn't have nearly everything I don't think.

    When I google searched MSDN subscriptions I found this https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/se...subscriptions/ which says "Visual Studio subscriptions—previously MSDN subscriptions". I wonder if a Visual Studio subscription would also give you full access to an offline copy of all of the Windows API documentation?
    Last edited by Ben321; Nov 25th, 2021 at 02:10 PM.

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    Looks like VS subscriptions are different to the old MSDN subscriptions and don't include the SDK disks anymore. Ah for the good old days of MSDN and Technet discs!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

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  12. #12

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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    Looks like VS subscriptions are different to the old MSDN subscriptions and don't include the SDK disks anymore. Ah for the good old days of MSDN and Technet discs!
    Maybe not physical disks, but what about ISO disk images? What about full API documentation available in other offline formats such as PDF files, or a local (as opposed to being on the website) HTML copy? What exactly do you getbwith a VS subscription, in terms of API documentation?

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    Frenzied Member PlausiblyDamp's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    If you are using visual studio it is included as part of the installer https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/vis...w?view=vs-2022 shows how to install the help viewer, once it is installed you can get to it from the Help menu and choose what content to add. You will need to be online to install the documentation but then you can access it offline just fine.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    Looks like VS subscriptions are different to the old MSDN subscriptions and don't include the SDK disks anymore. Ah for the good old days of MSDN and Technet discs!
    It was getting absurd. You could shingle your roof with a single month's mailings.
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    Re: Is somebody backing up the MSDN reference documentation?

    I think the very latest Platform SDK DVD I have is from 2005.

    I also have a MSDN Magazine content archive 2000-2007 DVD that I can remember. It also had an index for MSJ & Microsoft Internet Developer 1986-2000 articles, but maybe not the content.

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