Introducing OfficeWiki.net - An experiment in community Office PIA documentation
You may be aware that there isn't documentation available right now for the Office PIA's (Microsoft.Office.Interop.Word.dll, Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.dll, and Microsoft.Office.Core.dll). There will be official Microsoft documentation available at some point in the future, but there's kind of a gap there right now. Also, as I've blogged about some things I've run into using the PIAs, I've seen a lot of great comments and tips and tricks on how to use various methods and properties in the Office PIAs--stuff that seems too good to lose track of. Finally, it's hard to browse the PIA and know what you should code against--especially if you are using the object browser in a C# project which shows you a great deal more than you'd like to see about the PIA.
So, inspired by Adam Nathan's pinvoke.net wiki, I decided to create a wiki at officewiki.net that serves several purposes.
(BIG DISCLAIMER--This site is not associated with Microsoft in any way and because it is editable by the community it cannot be guaranteed to be correct)
1-It provides simple documentation for the Office PIAs by providing doc pages (with VB.NET and C# syntax) for all the objects, properties, methods, events, enums in the PIAs. I've generated over 11,000 wiki pages to doc the Word, Excel and Core PIAs--this will hopefully help to get more people productive using the Office PIAs and programming against Office using .NET.
2-It is a “wiki” powered by flexwiki--so anyone in the community can edit it and add things like tips and tricks, comments, code samples. This is where I'm really excited about to see what happens--you can edit the doc page for any object, property, or method page in the Office API.
3-It has a system to link each page on the wiki into the existing VBA documentation on your machine. So when you are looking at the doc page for say Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Areas, there is a link to quickly get to the VBA docs for that object which will tell you a whole lot more about the object. There's an intermediary step to do this right now unless someone can tell me a way to get around this--you have to right click on the documentation link, choose “Copy Shortcut“, then paste into the browser address bar. This is because I'm linking directly into the VBA CHM file documentation. For more information on making this work see http://www.officewiki.net/default.aspx/Index.DocumentationHelp
A couple of caveats--consider this sort of a beta test for the first week or so. Since I wrote a program to generate the 11,000+ pages on the wiki, it is possible someone will find a bug in my generated documentation and I'll have to regenerate a bunch of those pages--I'll try to preserve the additions you have made in the pages during the first week or so if this happens, but I can't guarantee it. Hopefully no one will find anything universally wrong in the generated pages, but it is possible.
The site currently has documentation for Word, Excel, and the “Core“ PIAs. I might add other Office PIAs in the future if there is interest.
Also, I just set up the site this week--the DNS updates may still be propagating across the network so try again later if you can't see the site right away. Note--if you're having problems seeing www.officewiki.net, try www.officewiki.org instead.
Finally, I'm still learning about flexwiki--so there might be some configuration issues that I haven't got quite right that I'm hoping people will point out and help me fix. And if you are a web wizard and are interested in helping out with site leve/flexwiki configuration type things, please contact me.
So what are you waiting for?--go check it out (www.officewiki.net) and let me know what you think!