I am not an MS employee, and never have been
Mark & David are
Mark & David's contribution to 5th and 6th Edition is primarily through their existing work in the earlier editions -- when Mark was not an employee and did not have source access. David is still not an employee, and likely never will be. New content in 5th and 6th Edition is primarily written by me, with no source access. So the point remains: 99% of 5th and 6th Edition was written without source code access/inside access/etc... I cannot speak for earlier as I was not involved.
MS Press decides that in 2011, their diagrams will have a new "style"
Metro style :D ?
As you said you are programmer so you should use your engineering skills. You could
* place whole book/all sub-chapters in some kind of CVS and make simple script to detect changed/added areas for editors/reviewers
* for each screenshot image place in CVS AutoIt script so you will able to produce whole set of images on new windows version automatically
* for each citation from windbg you also could place in CVS windbg script and also produce all examples automatically
* etc etc - I am sure there are lots of cases for similar automation
As you see it just some common sence and nothing to patent :lol:
1st suggestion is already done
2nd suggestion works assuming that the way to get to that screenshot hasn't changed. Most of our trouble is how MS re-designs the UI/shortcuts in each new version. So in Vista you right-click on "My Computer" and click "Settings" and then click the "Hardware Tab", in Windows 7 you right-click on "Computer" and choose "Manager" and then click the "Device Manager link". Also Process Explorer UI changes, and in each new book edition there are new fields to describe in text, etc. So it's not that simple unfortunately. There are also subtleties in Windows themes and sizing/fonts, which means that for each screenshot the window must usually be resized to specific sizes/layouts, and columns/rows inside the application must be chosen to convey the best possible information while not showing too much nor too little. These decisions are not automatable.
3rd suggestion is actually pretty good, unfortunately it does not cover the text that describes the experiment. For example if the output of the new extension now has new fields, or fields were removed, the text must also be updated. And if any pointer/values are described in the text, they must now be updated to the experiment output. *Most* of this could be automated with a tool if we used a very fixed style for experiment walkthroughs, I guess, but I'd be concerned to let a script write a book...
So I don't disagree the process could be better but it's not as easy as it sounds especially with 1200 of legacy pages.
And in this case, when MS Press decided to re-do diagrams Metro style, that is not something the authors have any power of, nor something that can be "automated", unless they have an Adobe Illustrator Metro-izer plug-in or something like that.
I hope that 7th edition will be released before 2015 :roll:
I hope so too. Nobody likes how long each revision is taking... but it's not part of some secret plan to piss people off and/or make money, trust me.