Geeks With Blogs
Patrice Calve Life's short, have fun

Here's a feature I always wanted in help, the ability to add comments, notes, hyperlinks, FAQ.

Many times, hitting F1 in an app brings me to the right context, but the information I'm “looking for” is in another subject/help chapter.  And, in many occasions, I have to spend 15 minutes figuring out where that information is.  Adding the help page in the Favorites is nice if you don't forget to bring thoses Favorites to your other job :)

SyncIt now takes care of this Favorites synchronization and, thus, backup !

Maybe there could be a “shared“ feature of what is entered.  Link to a wiki?

The comments, notes, hyperlinks, FAQ, etc should be “user specific“, meaning saved in a place where it follows my Profile c:\Documents and Settings\Me\HelpNotes.xml.  I could then synch this file everywhere I go (SyncToy).


Example #1

Here's an example:  I'm in VS2003, I'm in a C# code, highlight the ToString() method of an Int and hit F1.  I end up in Int32.ToString Method in Help.  I would like to add a link to the “Custom Numeric Format Strings“ instead of having to search for it. 

It's always easy to get to where you want to when you know how to get there and when you know what you're looking for !


Example #2

Also, there are times where you code and find a problem/bug.  The error message is generic, and when you hit F1 on the error, it would be nice to add a “hint“ on the solution when you find it.  Here's the scenario that gave me the idea to post this blog.

I'm in a C# Web App.  I created a Base Class.  Pages that I create inherit from this base page.  I forgot to put the fully qualified namespace in front of “Base“.  When viewing the page in the IDE, I got this error:
“The designer could not be shown for this file because none of the classes within it can be designed“. 

I googled, checked a few blogs and web pages..  Checked another app I recently worked on and that had this concept of Base page.  I found the problem.  Now, I would have liked to save what I found in the help!  “Hey Pat, check if the namespace is necessary in front of the “Base“. 



Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2005 8:19 PM | Back to top

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