Is it just me or does anyone else not like the new search features in the help system in Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005? What don't I like:
- Paging. Breaking down the search results into pages means I can't scan the entire resultset. Yes you can change the number of records per page, but that means I have to set it artifically high to automatically include all results.
- There are no paging controls at the bottom of the search pane. What if the controls at the top are off the screen?
- Sorting. There are no headings, so I can't sort the results how I want. What if I want to sort on the topic heading? Or language? And I do frequently, because the "best match" type of search often doesn't order items in the most intuitive way.
- Almost every result has the filtering bit at the top of the page expanded and shown in the result. Not only is this a waste of space, but also makes it harder to read.
- Multiple lines rather than a grid style. This is probably one of those personal preference things, but when results span more than one line it's hard to glance down through the results looking for details. With a grid you can quickly scan the topic headings because they all appear directly underneath each other.
- The filtering options take up valuable space on the screen. There are three combo boxes for filtering on langauge, technology and topic type, all a couple of inches wide, yet they are underneath each other. The area to the right is blank - wasted space, unless of course you select filters in which case they appear on the right. Sure I've got a big screen, but I'd rather have another result visible.
- The results show some images relating to languages. What do these mean? That there are samples on those language. This ignores the fact that I have my langauge filter set to only one language. I never use C++ or J# (they aren't even installed), so why do these show up? I don't care about them.
OK, rant over. Carry on.