Been going blind looking for the Dynamic Help window in the new VS 2010 Beta 2? Me too… until I learned this bit of bad news from a inside source.
Like many of you, I’ve been messing around with the Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2. VS 2010 contains a number of long-awaited IDE improvements, like multiple monitor support, new editing and design tools, and a cleaner, more responsive WPF-based interface.
So far, I’m loving all of it. Well, almost all of it.
I happen to be a huge fan of Visual Studio’s Dynamic Help feature. This is a window containing links to related Help topics based on where you are in the IDE.
In fact, I recently wrote a blog post explaining how to integrate exception handling into the development cycle. The process I presented in that post makes good use of this handy feature.
In previous versions of Visual Studio, I’ve always placed the Dynamic Help window to the right side in Auto-Hide mode, ready at a moment’s notice. However, when I went to set up VS 2010 in the same way, I noticed that the Dynamic Help window appeared to have been left off the Help menu.
"Okay, no big deal," I thought. It is beta software after all. You can't really complain if a beta appears a little half-baked, right?
Nevertheless, this was still disappointing to me. I was tempted to report this as a bug, but just didn’t feel like dealing with the massive vortex of suck that is Microsoft Connect. So instead, I did what most other malcontented developers do – I complained on Twitter.
A few hours later - much to my chagrin - I received the following reply:
Whaaaaaa? This made absolutely no sense to me. I figured it couldn’t be true… until I learned that Charles Christian is actually a Project Manager on the Visual Studio Help Experience Team. So, there you go. I guess if anyone would be in a position to know, he’d be the guy.
Sure enough, a quick visit to the MSDN seemed to confirm it. Check it out below – no link to 4.0 up there near the top.
It looks like Visual Studio 2010 will definitely take some getting used to – because of all the new features added, and for at least one that was taken away.
I’ve asked Charles to provide an explanation as to why Dynamic Help was removed. As soon as I get a reply, I’ll update this post. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Charles' explanation appears below in the comments.