Why Another 3rd Party Book?
Friday, 18 May 2007
Gerd recently posed a good question on the PowerShell blog:
I'm really surprised to read about another 3rd party book from a member of the PS team. To me PS is the most intriguing MS innovation for years and Bruce's book is really excellent and answered almost all my questions, but maybe I'm not the only one wondering why PS team members write that busy for the bookstore shelf, as long as the official MS documentation on PS is less than adequate. I would expect the essential information needed to master PS from MSDN and not from Manning or O'Reilly, sorry.
The answer is that we're trying to tackle this from all angles.
The question considers MSDN as a sole learning resource, but it's just one avenue for most people. PowerShell installs tutorial-style documentation with the product itself, and we are continually working to improve both user-focused and developer-focused help content. But that’s just the start.
What we write goes into the product help, MSDN, and Script Center. It also goes onto blogs, newsgroups, and books. There’s also Podcasts, screen casts, LiveMeetings! And, of course, there’s also training sessions, keynotes, conferences, interviews, and mailing lists.
Books are the preferred information delivery vehicle for a lot of people. They travel well, and have an aesthetic appeal that many desire. In fact, I've heard from several people that they have literally been waiting for the O'Reilly book — filling that need with quality content is important to us as well.
That said, if you see holes in the documentation, please let us know. We’re continually working to improve it, but we may miss areas. We use the Microsoft Connect website (http://blogs.msdn.com/powershell/archive/2006/05/09/filing-bugs.aspx) to help gauge priority, so we would really appreciate your input (via document bugs and suggestions) there.