[UPDATED] Tweaks to PowerShel v3 Updatable Help

I've written before about how PowerShell v3 won't come with help "in the box," but will instead require you to download help from Microsoft's servers. 

ASIDE: Technically, any module author can provide updatable help on their own Web server; you just have to tag your module manifest with the appropriate information so that PowerShell can locate your online content and download it.

Now that Windows PowerShell v3 Release Candidate is out, I've noticed a slight tweak to the help system. Previously, if you looked at a command's help prior to downloading the help content, you still got the basic syntax and a reminder that you hadn't yet downloaded help. That still occurs, but when you first try to ask for help (if you haven't downloaded it), you actually get an interaction-required Yes/No prompt, reminding you to run Update-Help to get the help content to your computer.

UPDATE: And, if you hit "Y" on that prompt, it runs Update-Help. So... this is pretty smart.

I think this is a great compromise. Now, there's no way you can possibly not realize that you haven't downloaded help, and you're told exactly how to do so, and Microsoft (and other authors) are able to provide more accurate, continuously-updated content.

About the Author

Don Jones

Don Jones is a Windows PowerShell MVP, author of several Windows PowerShell books (and other IT books), Co-founder and President/CEO of PowerShell.org, PowerShell columnist for Microsoft TechNet Magazine, PowerShell educator, and designer/author of several Windows PowerShell courses (including Microsoft's). Power to the shell!