Microsoft made the first Beta for the next iteration of its development platform and tools available for download in mid-May 2009. The Redmond-based company accompanied the release of Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 with the associated documentation designed to deliver a deep insight on the product to users. Now, the tool used to ship the Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 documentation is available for download from the software giant. Sandcastle - Documentation Compiler for Managed Class Libraries is a project published on CodePlex, and available to developers under Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL), a Microsoft open source license.
“I have released the source code for the latest version of Sandcastle. This release was used to ship Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 documentation. I am in the process of generating the .MSI and will be providing additional details on the release shortly,” revealed Microsoft's Anand Raman.
Developers can turn to Sandcastle in order to create documentation for software products in the same style as the resources featured on MSDN. In this regard, the documentation made available with the Beta development milestone of Visual Studio 2010 is an illustrative example of just how the tool can be used, and what it is capable of. According to Microsoft, Sandcastle will produce documentation that can feature authored comments, but will work just as well without them. The tool has been set up to deliver support for both Generics and .NET, the software giant informed.
“Sandcastle is a documentation compiler for Managed class library that generates Microsoft-style Help topics, both conceptual and API reference. It creates API reference topics by combining the XML documentation comments (/// in C# or ' in VB) that are embedded in your source code with the syntax and structure of the types, which it acquires from reflecting against the associated .NET Framework assembly. Skeletal topics are created by using reflection on your project assembly (.dll) file. Additional content, such as remarks and parameter descriptions, is derived from text in the /// comments in your c# source code or comments in your VB source code. Conceptual topics are created by converting XML documents that you author,” reads an excerpt of Sandcastle's introduction.
Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 is available for download here.
.NET Framework 4.0 Beta 1 is available for download here.