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Sandcastle’s Team Manager Dismisses Rumors About Project Termination

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To dismiss any rumors about the termination of the Sandcastle project, Anand Raman, Group Manager within the Microsoft Developer Division, has posted an update on the current status of the project. Sandcastle is a tool used for generating MSDN-like documentation by reflecting over the source code of a .NET project.

Sandcastle’s source code was released on CodePlex about 6 months ago following protests after the project was posted there without the source code. After that, Anand said that his team worked on including the MSDN Library with VS 2008 SP1. Currently, their plan is to release a series of fixes by the end of January:

  • I did not provide a SLN file for the projects.  You could create your own, but it would be more convenient to provide one in the source distribution.
  • In the SLN file created from the previous source distribution, users encountered the following when trying to build this way:
    • Each project has TFS source control information which is not valid for people outside my team.  This will be stripped for the source distribution.
    • Most projects specify a strong name key file which doesn't exist in the package.  The project files should disable signing, or a dummy key.snk should be provided.
    • The MoreComponents project doesn't build; has errors such as "'Microsoft.Ddue.Tools.BuildComponent' does not contain a constructor that takes '1' arguments".  It seems that this is a non-essential project and maybe should not be included at all.
    • The MrefBuilderStatic project doesn't build; has errors such as "The type or namespace name 'RootFilter' could not be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)".  I will remove this project.
    • BuildAssemblerConsole references the CommandLine project at an incorrect path.
    • The BuildAssembler and BuildAssemblerConsole projects appear to be duplicates and BuildAssemblerConsole doesn't build.
  • After unloading the problematic projects, users able to get everything built.  Unfortunately, there are 115 warnings in the build.  These should really be fixed as a best practice.

  • There are lots of Code Analysis (FxCop) warnings.  We should set a good example by eliminating such warnings from the code we ship.

  • There are many files that pertain to the NT build system and should be excluded from the source distribution (makefile,, placefile, etc.).

Anand said the team will focus on a new set of features and fixes after VS 2010 Beta 1 is released:

1. Version we will be using to ship .NET Framework 4.0

2. Support for F# syntax

3. XSD documenter

4. Attributes supporting Microsoft Help 3 viewer.

Sandcastle is released under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).

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