some whining about msdn

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chot 101 Dec 09, 2005 at 21:10

i came across this article: http://www.flipcode.com/articles/article_dx9skinmeshmod.shtml
in which the author says (among other): “.. so the D3DXFRAME_DERIVED and D3DXMESHCONTAINER_DERIVED types only serve to make initial understanding more difficult” and “.. the DX 9.0 SDK SkinMesh sample is tightly coupled to the application, such that adding a skinned character to another sample is quite a bit of work”
and in the end it says the author worked with developing directx, and the documentation.

wtf did the guys at microsoft intend the samples and the documentation to be non-understandable (as they are)?? it also says the guy did about 50% of the documentation between 2000 and 2002, no wonder its a complete mess (considering how big a project directx is)!

oh god i so hate msdn…

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wazoo 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 06:30

@chot

i came across this article: http://www.flipcode.com/articles/article_dx9skinmeshmod.shtml
in which the author says (among other): “.. so the D3DXFRAME_DERIVED and D3DXMESHCONTAINER_DERIVED types only serve to make initial understanding more difficult” and “.. the DX 9.0 SDK SkinMesh sample is tightly coupled to the application, such that adding a skinned character to another sample is quite a bit of work”
and in the end it says the author worked with developing directx, and the documentation.

wtf did the guys at microsoft intend the samples and the documentation to be non-understandable (as they are)?? it also says the guy did about 50% of the documentation between 2000 and 2002, no wonder its a complete mess (considering how big a project directx is)!

oh god i so hate msdn…

:wallbash: Yeah…there definitely ARE days.

My biggest beef is that you hit the MSDN homepage 99.9% of the time to search for docs on an API function….so why on earth can’t they make the stupid input focus land on the search input box right when the page loads?

It’s a small thing, but when you’re trying to look up a lot of functions, it gets to be a real PITA mousing over to the input box and clicking it to make it active..

Hello?! Is this thing on?! :)

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Twixn 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 07:16

The main problems i have is that DXSDK samples are just too complicated.. i mean
a heavily overcomplicated generic sample framework just for shadow mapping?
If you want to learn something quickly you have to turn to a third party sample.
I wish they would just strip it and keep simple samples, imagine actually trying to
learn Direct3D from the official samples…ugh!

And the MSDN Homepage…if you need to use it, make a big jug of coffee or something, you will be there for awhile. :P

-Twixn-

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_oisyn 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 11:08

@chot

oh god i so hate msdn…

yeah, a teeny weeny sample is very representative for the whole MSDN library, isn’t it?

Get real, the msdn documentation is one of the best documentation libraries out there, you’re just spoiled. Although I agree that the online website sucks, but that’s not “the msdn”, it’s just one of it’s representations.

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ProgramWizard 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 11:13

@.oisyn

Get real, the msdn documentation is one of the best documentation libraries out there, you’re just spoiled.

Seconded. I love having the MSDN Library integrated with Visual Studio; it’s gotten me out of plenty of holes.

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anubis 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 13:34

And the MSDN Homepage…if you need to use it, make a big jug of coffee or something, you will be there for awhile. :P

Use Google then…

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chot 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 15:16

@.oisyn

yeah, a teeny weeny sample is very representative for the whole MSDN library, isn’t it? Get real, the msdn documentation is one of the best documentation libraries out there, you’re just spoiled. Although I agree that the online website sucks, but that’s not “the msdn”, it’s just one of it’s representations.

yeah i know, im whining to much, if msdn would be an open sorce project i wouldn’t have said a word
but since its the largest software company in the world thats responsible for it, i kind of expect quite a better standard on their documentation
i mean theres a lot of opensource projects out there with better documentation, and they don’t have like $100000000000 backing them up

and for the samples; i have only had a look at the directx samples, and yes, i’d say they all way to complex and hard to understand

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_oisyn 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 15:20

Man, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about :wacko:

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monjardin 102 Dec 13, 2005 at 15:27

Name one open source project that even comes close to the scale of MSDN!!! I’ve complained about it too, but I wouldn’t want to live without it either. Besides, it is called the Microsoft Developer Network, not “DirectX for Dummies”. :p

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wazoo 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 15:32

It’s too bad the Direct3D samples have gotten so complicated, but I guess maybe that’s also a reflection of the complexity of the new algorithms.

I did however, find the samples that came with the DirectX8.1 SDK to be the bomb. I learned much more from them than any of the books I bought on using that version.

I think the sample framework in the latest SDK only looks confusing because of the callback system that’s now used, rather than deriving an app from D3DApplication…

btw. The DirectX team is VERY open to hear good quality feedback on the SDK including the sample code.

And the original OP was just talking about the msdn website. The MSDN docs that bundle into Visual Studio has saved my bacon on more than one occasion as well.

:yes:

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chot 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 15:38

@monjardin

Name one open source project that even comes close to the scale of MSDN!!! I’ve complained about it too, but I wouldn’t want to live without it either. Besides, it is called the Microsoft Developer Network, not “DirectX for Dummies”. :p

id say that both lua and boost got better documentations
and yeah i know that they don’t “need” to explain how to use their lib, and i cant demand that neither, but when they make an effort to do samples, cant they at least do them good? and they got 5 tutorials for direct3d, with that budget, couldn’t they have made a few more at least?

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monjardin 102 Dec 13, 2005 at 17:48

How do you know what their documentation budget and schedule for those tutorials was? I’d bet good money that the boost and lua people took MUCH longer. Time is money after all.
Boost almost has a developer per class too. If you take into account all of the contributors, the staff for boost could be a lot bigger or comparable to that of DirectX.
Micro$oft is running a business. The more they spend on making tutorials, the less profit the make. That is with the exception of generating more customers with the quality of their documentation, but it’s all a big balancing act. The MSDN isn’t perfect by a long shot, but it’s usable.
:devil: I can’t believe I’m defending a Microsoft product! :devil:

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chot 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 18:07

I don’t know how much they spent on documentation, and im sure that boost and lua took longer took longer to document, but as a company in whole, microsoft surely must have the resources to document their product better.
i can understand that they dont want to spend more money on the documentation (if they wanted to they would have already done it right?), im just saying that is a shame they dont, because the documentation is a very important part of any library.
i think we fundamentaly got the same view of things, just approaching from different directions :)

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anubis 101 Dec 13, 2005 at 21:54

I’m not a heavy directx user, but each time I did use it found the documentation to explain everything in the needed detail. What I’ve seen from the samples also seemed solid.

Maybe the problem is that the documentation and the samples are written for people who maybe have a degree in computer science and need to learn this stuff for work. I guess there is little motivation for Microsoft to write learning material for hobby programmers.

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_oisyn 101 Dec 14, 2005 at 10:48

This is pointless, you are taking a simple directx sample, and basing your judgement for the entire MSDN Library on it. Have you read the entire MSDN? No, because there’s way too much information, and it’s all there in a single place. And that is the power of the MSDN, good documentation (oh yes it is!) about everything related to programming windows.

That you find the DirectX API or the samples confusing is firstly something personal and secondly has nothing to do with the documentation itself.

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eddie 101 Dec 14, 2005 at 17:39

Sorry chot, but I agree with .oisyn. :)

My main gripe with MSDN/Visual C++ is the integration in the IDE. It’s goddamn SLOW. I usually use a google search on MSDN over using their own inbuilt crap. Maybe it’s just my machine, but the pain in waiting for my machine to unlock is terrible.

Probably explains why I code in vim. :)

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chot 101 Dec 14, 2005 at 18:10

.oisyn: yes this is pointless, from the start i just wanted to point out to you that article in which a person that has actually work on creating the documentation says that the samples is to complex, and that they didn’t do anything about that (untill he published that article, that is, but again, why doesn’t it come with directx sdk then?).
i am not refering to just one of the samples and making conclusions about the whole documentation from that, but refering to all the samples.
and im not talking about the whole of msdn, just the directx documentation, but i realise that ive been a bit unclear about that, please excuse me.

now before we take this any longer: this is all obviusly just an issue of taste and personal preference, you like it i dont, theres nothing more to argue about really

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_oisyn 101 Dec 15, 2005 at 11:35

@eddie

My main gripe with MSDN/Visual C++ is the integration in the IDE. It’s goddamn SLOW. I usually use a google search on MSDN over using their own inbuilt crap. Maybe it’s just my machine, but the pain in waiting for my machine to unlock is terrible.

I prefer the external help, but I agree it’s a bit of a pain to get it started. The MSDN library for 2005 should be faster, or so they said, but it still takes about 10 seconds to pop up, which is a very long time to wait for an application. But once it has started, I don’t see any problems with it (the search could be better though, this _is_ actually a lot better in the 2005 edition). Anyway, at work I just don’t shut down my computer overnight and keep the MSDN library open, so I’m good to go anytime of the day :)

chot: Right, ok, got it. Just as long as you know that whenever you make false accusations in general about windows, visual studio or the MSDN I’ll be all over you like the boston molasses flood of 1919 ;)