After more than half a year of work, Microsoft has reached an important stage with its plans to refresh the resources offered under the Windows Driver Kit umbrella to developers. Jim Travis, group content publishing manager Windows Hardware and Devices, explains that the end of March was synonymous with the republishing of all the Windows Driver Kit documentation on MSDN Library. The move is designed to align the source docs to the same XML-based content management and authoring system leveraged by the Windows SDK team. However, Travis underlined that the refreshed documentation was not only set up to kick up a notch the authoring and content management system for Microsoft, but to also benefit developers by offering them updated syntax and header information, enhanced abstracts for search results, and better content formatting.

“The kit documentation contains over 32,000 topics. The former system, which we called CAPE, used a hybrid of Microsoft Word and a very loose XML schema. Without a straightforward way to map between XML elements in the old and new schemas, transforming that much content introduced all sorts of issues. It took at least 30 people to get us to the point where we’re comfortable republishing this content, and much of what they had to do ended up being painstaking, manual, page-by-page repairs,” Travis stated. More »

A new release of the Windows Driver Kit documentation associated to the latest iteration of the Windows client from Microsoft is currently available for download. According to the Redmond company, the next update to the Windows Driver Kit resources will take some time to be released as the infrastructure behind creating and offering the documentation to developers is being reworked. The software giant did not say when the next refresh for the WDK documentation will be offered, however, the latest update was made available at the end of 2009.

“It’ll be a little while before we do another update, because we’re taking some time to rework our authoring and publication systems. Stay tuned. You can download the offline version of the documentation (in HxS and CHM!!! format) here,” revealed Jim Travis, senior content publishing manager, Microsoft.

The Redmond company usually updates the Windows Driver Kit documentation both MSDN and Windows Hardware Developer Central (WHDC) in bi-monthly intervals, especially between major releases. It sounds like the updates are going to be put on hold, at least for a while. The latest MSDN Library documentation can be accessed here. More »

With Windows 7 client and Windows 7 Server (Windows Server 2008 R2) available in Beta as of early January 2009, Microsoft has now also started serving the Sensor Windows Driver Kit Beta resources. The Windows 7 Sensor Windows Driver Kit Beta documentation has been published on MSDN and can be accessed by developers that are looking to integrate sensor or location products with the next version of the Windows operating system. “If you have been wondering about how to support your sensor or location device on Windows 7, wonder no longer! The Windows 7 Sensor WDK documentation is live on MSDN,” Microsoft’s Gavin Gear stated. “We’re experiencing some issues with rendering bulleted and numbered lists and working diligently to resolve this issue. Thanks for being patient,” added Jim Travis, senior content publishing lead, Microsoft. Microsoft is offering developers access to the Design Guide, Windows Sensor Reference and Sensor Samples. More »