Visual Studio MS Docs Dream Classification

What is the point I am making here?

The point I am making is this: To find something one really needs in the MS Docs ocean, one needs to spend 90% of the time, in order to discard 90% of information encountered on the “path of discovery”, which I would call “path of MS Docs misery” most of the time.

And most of the time, that unneeded 90 % are generated by MS Docs “evangelists” and “ideologists”1, In MS Docs or anywhere in the Microsoft universe (as far as I know) there is no this top-level classification :

  1. Essential (aka:core)
  2. Specific (aka: additional)
  3. Nice to have (aka: vertical, aka specific architecture)

Imagine if all of the MS Docs material would be tagged with only these three simple tags? With maybe: experimental and legacy added. Then imagine you go into the MS Docs, and the first thing you do is click on the cloud on the tag “Essential”. And as a result of that, the good old dreaded MS Docs tree view is all of a sudden pruned to be manageable! Ah, sweet dreams … Back to reality.

The same is perfectly applicable to the issue of bloated software packages Microsoft and others are currently packaging and selling. I am not familiar with, let’s say Adobe CS5, but I am very familiar with Microsoft software. Thus I will use Visual Studio as a good example. Now imagine this simple classification “ideology” applied to let’s say Visual Studio packaging and installation?

Visual Studio is huge. VS Setup GUI is equally a sea of ticks and options. For example, I do want only the core of Visual C++ functionality. The barebone IDE, the compiler, and the debugger. Nothing else.
With the current Visual Studio setup, this is just a distant dream and a source of great annoyance.

Allow me to dream a little bit? So I fire up this imaginary VS setup and I choose:

  1. Essential, and then 1.1 Visual C++

And voilá. I have only essential pieces of Visual Studio C++ jigsaw, which are enough for C++ basic editing, compilation, and debugging.
I play with this for few days and then I decided I would like to use something a bit more realistic for my projects. I fire up again this alas imaginary Visual Studio setup and, it knows I have installed C++  essentials, thus it is on top of other essentials. I go into it and this time I choose:

2.specific and 2.1.ATL

And I, have added ATL to my current Visual Studio C++ IDE, without adding anything else in the process. With all the interdependencies resolved, and kept to the minimum. Something current Visual Studio, user C++ developer, can only dream of.

Who knows, maybe after reading this post, someone will develop n-Lite for Visual Studio? A tool that will allow users to have lean and functional Visual Studio installations, vs “I am taking over your machine” kind of an approach Visual Studio has.

  1. Who sometimes need to prove the point of their own existence and salaries. I understand that. But then why not just move all of the “ideological” material out of the MS Docs onto the blogs of the “ideologists”? I am talking here about all “recommended practices” and articles and all CodePlex projects.