Surprize Back-End Loading

Here’s a scenario that many developers have faced: You finishwork for the night or whatever, and take advantage of the downtimeby running an install of some sort of product thatintegrates itself within MSDN Help (usually other Microsofttools or technologies). Presumably its addition sets a dirty bit inthe help indicating that the index and search corpus needs to berebuilt.

The next day you’re programming away, and then realize that youneed the docs for Xyz. You launch the MSDN Library, to be met by ahelp update inprogress dialog. In recent iterations this can take manyminutes to complete (I’ve timed it at over 15 minutes in somescenarios), during which you have no access to the help, and yourPC is overloaded. Generally one doesn’t plan downtime around thelaunching of help, so this is entirely disruptive.

What an annoying oversight. It’s pretty clear the indexingshould happen during an actual downtime activity (e.g. installing),at the very least as a checkbox option. Back-end loading it likethat, as a suprize to be unleashed at the most inconvenient oftimes, is a very, very poor design decision.