June 04, 2008

Sandcastle Styles Project on CodePlex

The Sandcastle Styles project is now live on CodePlex.  From the project's home page:

The goal of this project is to improve Sandcastle by providing a rolled-up solution to various presentation style issues in a manner that is highly visible to the Sandcastle community and also involves community feedback.

This project was started by Paul Selormey, Eric Woodruff and myself.  Currently we're the only active contributors but we'll be happy to take any feedback you have to offer.  Let us know by starting a discussion.

Sandcastle features and issues should be submitted directly to the Sandcastle Issue Tracker so that the Sandcastle team will be notified.

What's Inside?

Eric has included his presentation style patches from the SHFB project - we're now deploying them as a part of Sandcastle Styles.  There are additional bug fixes and modifications that were made for the May 2008 release of Sandcastle as well.  He has also included a new MAML guide as a separate download and custom code providers for VB and C# that can be used to extract assemblies and XML documentation files from Visual Studio Web Site projects.

We've also added some new features to each presentation style, such as support for the MAML glossary document type, image placement support in MAML, enhanced <autoOutline> in MAML, and also an auto-generated bibliography for both conceptual and reference topics.  Tools such as DocProject and SHFB support these features with the patches applied.

I've started an Examples project that shows the typical usage of XML documentation comments (all tags supported by Sandcastle) and common MAML markup, such as linking, tokens, code snippets and media.  I've also included DocProject's MAML document templates for those that are using a different tool.  Lastly, there's an API that can be used to test Sandcastle filtering capabilities in our automation tools, which also provides some nice examples of how to add XML documentation to code and how to use the <include/> tag to share comments and keep code neat.

We expect to improve our library of examples and include additional languages and project types in the future, and I hope to make it available as a separate download as well.  Also, if people will donate language packs for Sandcastle we'll tidy them up and host them.

Hopefully the community will find this project to be a valuable Sandcastle resource.  Any feedback will be appreciated :)

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