Gripes about VS 2010 Help System

doingITBeta

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Joined
Jan 9, 2012
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5
Programming Experience
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Not sure if this is the right place, but I thought I would point out a few aspects of the 2010 help system for Visual Basic that work "differently" to how I would like.

Context Sensitive Help is not that sensitive

I've noticed for a couple of methods that when I hit F1, I am not taken to the right help page for the method. For instance, when I move my cursor over the word "select" in the statement answerBox.Select(0, lengthofAnswer) and hit F1, VS opens a help page for the Control.Select method, not the NumericUpDown.Select method, which is the variable type of answerBox. Having to bring up the help for the NumericUpDown control separately and scroll through it to find the right method is time consuming.

Help doesn't appear in a convenient location

By default, the help loads in the browser, which means I have to switch between my browser and the IDE to refer to the help. It would make much more sense if the help page opened within the IDE itself. When I set the help system to work locally, the IDE opens Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1 and then reports "Can't find requested content on your computer". Very helpful, not.

In essence, VS demonstrates a lot of built in intelligence when it comes to the features of intellisense, but these features are not being utilized properly by the help system. Why can the help system not identify the correct object type for my method? Intellisense knows because it displays the right tooltip. Why can the local help viewer not give me a clue of where to download the help if it's not available locally?

If MS would fix these small defects, it would certainly ease the learning curve for new devs.
 

Menthos

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
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276
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I suspect both this post and your other regarding the internal browser 'tabbing' would be better suited being posted to one of the official Microsoft forums where the Visual Studio devs might take note.
 
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