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Scott Swanson - How do you get updates out to help users?

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Getting new updates in the hands of customers is hard. Hear how the Visual Studio help team will handle help updates in Visual Studio 2005, code-named Whidbey.

One thing Scott wanted everyone to know is "install the updates!" Yes, there are regular updates to the help system in current versions of Visual Studio and they'll make your help system more useful.

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  • If you want to get "fancy" you could make the content system to look the "diffs" of the help content between the version user has now installed and the one he is about to upgrade to (instead of first requiring uninstall of the previous content). Then the content install/update program would either create new files/file that contains the differences or re-render the new content with some Diff tag so that the help system could highlight the changes between new and previously installed content if user so wanted.

    What good that would be ? Well it could be even bad, if the customer would notice there hasn't been changes to things he uses he could think that the update is not worth the time in future. Okay so this was a pretty stupid idea indeed, sorry for wasting your time.
  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    If there are updates to the vs.net help system why do they not show up when I go to Help -> Search for updates?
  • Is there any possibility [or logic] in allowing only an 'index' of the help system to be on a user's machine and having this refer to an external source eg. Microsoft's site or a network drive?

    Furthur to this having the option of storing [only] previously viewed content locally would be interesting.

    The senerios for the above are: saving space on developer's machines and allowing an easily updatable central storage for help.
  • [If there are updates to the vs.net help system why do they not show up when I go to Help -> Search for updates?]

    I second the motion.
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