Infragistics NetAdvantage Visual Studio 2010 Help Issues

Tom Puglisi / Tuesday, May 4, 2010

VS2010 Help Issues

The new Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Help system is built upon a completely new system. The Visual Studio 2010 IDE ships with the first version of the new help system. There are several known issues in the help system that results in a less than optimal experience when viewing Infragistics NetAdvantage help content. We are attempting to resolve these issues by a combination of workarounds as well as waiting for fixes to be made to this first iteration of the Microsoft help system.
This topic outlines some of these known issues.


No Horizontal Scrolling

The new Microsoft help system renders content into a user interface assembled with HTML. Within this user interface, you do not have the ability to scroll content horizontally. Because of this change in user interface design, any content that exists within <pre> tags combined with line breaks no longer wraps into the viewable area of the user interface. In certain cases, code does not wrap into view, nor can you scroll horizontally to view it. The workaround is to double-click the line of code to select it, then copy and paste the content into a text editor. As another workaround, if you have two monitors, you can move the help viewer to your left monitor, then resize the window so that it extends to the right monitor.

Code Shredding

Line Breaks and Non-breaking spaces within code blocks that worked in the previous help system no longer work the same in the new help system. Any code content within <pre> tags that contains multiple non-breaking spaces or line breaks is subject to this issue. This problem is more apparent with markup based code.

Microsoft plans on shipping an updated version of the help software that addresses this issue.

The workaround is to use the code coloring scheme to differentiate between code and comments.

Installing on non en-US versions of Visual Studio 2010

You may experience issues when installing the NetAdvantage Visual Studio 2010 help on non en-US versions of Visual Studio. In some cases, the installation may be successful,    however you may not be able to load any of the NetAdvantage content. If this happens, you can try to manually register the help files as described in this blog post:
Follow steps #4 and up

Additional end-user experience changes

Microsoft has also designed a new end-user experience for navigating and searching through the help. The following items describe some of these changes:

Table of Contents (TOC)
In previous versions of the installed help, the TOC was an interactive, infinitely expandable tree-like node structure that represents all topics and sub-topics. The new experience is slightly different. The new TOC represents the current topic’s sibling nodes as well as the current topic’s child nodes. The new TOC browsing experience will be to click on TOC nodes and then view the child topics. You then click on the child topics that interest you and then further drill down by continuously clicking. You cannot expand other sibling nodes simultaneously. You must navigate back to the higher level TOC nodes and then drill down through the sibling child nodes.  This new design is to promote a positive low-bandwidth usage experience. This new design is also intended to promote an increased usage of the help system’s search functionality, where the end-user types in search criteria and performs a search rather than navigating and discovering content through the TOC.

Search Results
Search results cannot be filtered as was possible in the previous help system. When reviewing search results, you will essentially page through as many results as needed until you locate the topic that you are interested in. It is also possible that your search results will contain content from multiple libraries (E.g., Microsoft content, Infragistics content, etc).

Search Index
The new help system currently does not have a keyword index. In the previous help version, you can type in a few letters of what you believe to be the search criteria and immediately, you can see a list of keywords that are similar to your text. This functionality currently does not exist in the new help system. In the new help system, you type in the search criteria and then press the Search button.

Help Library Agent
The new help system is hosted by a local service that serves up help content via a mini web server. This service must be running when using the new help system. In most cases, the service will be launched when you view help content through Visual Studio or through the start menu shortcut to the Infragistics NetAdvantage help.