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MVP Summit 2008 - Part 3

Tues 16/4/2008

Help sessions today - we meet the new help team doing the MSDN  Help.
View from my hotel room, The arch is the Washington State Conference Center (where we had some sessions and ate)
Breakfast has been organized at our hotels. So just a quick walk down stairs in the Sheraton.
One if the MVPs found a piano to play. I of couse am drawn like a magnet to the piano and skip breakfast with the others (although I did have organic
porridge and hot lemmon drink in the room - Frank take note ;-)
Down to the bus, and off to the MS campus in Redmond for the Help meetings.
The Help Experience team is very small at the moment - April Reagan and programmer David Wright.
Here we are between sessions. Dana, Paul (now with beard), David Wright (MS in green), Paul O'Rear (MS), Bill, Char and Rick. We are in Building 41 Room 2585

Session 1 - Help - Future of Developer and ISV Help  (Bld41.2585)

9.00- 10:30
NOTE: These are early days. Things will change.
April Reagan talks to the group (we have a few extra MVPs and managers responsible for Dev Help). April and Paul's boss Martina attends as well.
  • April talking about wanting feedback (same sort of stuff she said on Channel9).
  • Gave some history of VS Help 2.0 and how we aim to improve. 
  • The old help team moved out of dev div. So new help team formed within DevDiv.
  • Want a complete rewrite of MSDN Help. HelpEx team will be (to begin with - Expanding this summer)
  • Hiring: General Manage, 3x Dev, 3x PM, 1x Test
  • Focus on the basics. F1 and Search. Filtering. Faster. Use more efficient algorithms.
  • Local storage strategy.
  • Disconnected scenarios.
  • Looking at Silverlight  / WPF.
  • Plan is to use common components. Don't want to spend time reinventing the wheel.
    Search: Looking at using WDS - Windows Desktop Search. Container: Zip file. Fast, open, small.
Me and April Reagan. She's a good sport. That slide is the logo for this conference.

Session 2 - Help Brainstorming (Bld41.2585)


April and David deep dive

Each Meta Tag will probably have some sort of prefix
<meta name="XHELP:keywords" content="HTML, XHTML, CSS, tutorials, tizag" />

TOC entry would be created using Meta.. something like:
<meta name="XHELP:TOC-Order" content="1" />
<meta name="XHELP:TOC-Parentr" content="some_assetID" />

The TOC could be build in stages as the user drills into the TOC.

Rob: Note that WDS was not available when Help 1 and Help 2 were done.
  And AP Help is just a close relation to Help 2.



Every day we have lunch magically appear outside the room.

Outside Building 41 (Where Paul works). Char talking to family back in Boston.

Session 3 - Help - Help requirements Review (Bld41.2585)


Review of MVP ideas. We talked though the 2005 Help brainstorm with April and Paul.

I thought this was very useful and showed April the sorts of things that interests Help Authoring people -- Since April is mostly focused on MSDN in the short term.

April wanted to join our discussion group and Wiki. All good.

Session 3 - Help - Bringing localized VS and .NET Framework to the new markets through the new MSDN Translation Wiki (Bld41.2585)


This group is from all over the world. Apart from the core languages (Spanish, French?) which are translated by expert 3rd parties, they now have an MSDN online with an Eng / Foreign Lan split screen. And the wiki interface allows them to edit the MSDN foreign language sentence by sentence. Very interesting work.
All done by volentees around the world. You and I could do it if we knew how.
Christina and her team. Christina is Italian. The girl on the right is spanish. They also had French and Brazilian staff and many more.
See the split screen - Eng on left.
This is a page I've never seen before. It uses the strings that have been translated and stored in the database to translate your text
If you check that box (left bottom) you leverage the MS translations strings. Leave unchecked to use a third party app to translate.
Dana and Cristina (right) and Spanish speaking team member.

Dinner - with Windows Client Group

Later we had dinner with the windows client group

Paul playing the drunk here  :-)