Maybe they should *write* the freaking manual!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/04/23 15:05 +00:00, original URI:

It was about a decade ago that I wrote about The book idea that didn't happen

You can read all about it, but no publisher wanted to get behind it. The idea of a book entitled RTFM interested many of them, but not even one of them believed that *any* book could deliver on the promise of better strategies to find information in Microsoft's documentation.

They were probably right.

In my heart, I only started with the official documentation and white papers. From there, I moved on to

It was those kinds of spelunking exercises that taught me a great many of the things that I eventually wrote blog posts about, all based on publicly accessible information that nobody in the public was finding on their own.

Now I wasn't trying to hone a more cogent book proposal so much as looking for the inspiration for future blog posts, but at least I knew that I was on a track in which I could believe.

And then Microsoft took my Blog down and a few determined fans/friends/colleagues helped me to reconstitute it.

At this point, I can look at WordPress stats on sites referring to specific blog posts and searching for more information that they may or may not be finding. Each such point is one that Microsoft really ought to seriously consider covering if they want to be able to credibly claim that they are focused on what their customers need.

There is literally not a single day that goes by that people don't come for more information on MSKLC, MSLU, keyboard layouts in general, diacritic stripping, and more, including a particular blog post that has without fail been getting at least dozens and occasionally hundreds of hits a day:

Private fonts: For members only

This entire area is an undocumented mess that I am willing to let them just take the text and use it.

Because if I can't write a book named RTFM, then maybe someone from Microsoft could take a moment out their busy schedule to WTFM (or at least one of these under documented chapters from it!).

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