Saturday, September 03, 2005

XML documentation in Visual Basic.NET applications

By default VB.Net in is missing support for automated generation of the documentation from with in the source, Like Recommended Tags for Documentation Comments.
Here 'VBCommenter' PowerToy from the Got Dot Net Web site can help us. With VBCommenter plug-in, they can create XML documentation as they are writing code.
To use this facility, it's first necessary to install VBCommenter. The download is a ZIP file that includes a standard Setup.exe file with an accompanying .msi file; it's trivial to unpack and install and should take no more than two minutes. Configure VBCommenter settings from the Tools VBCommenter Options menu. Here, make sure the checkboxes for both "Create .xml files when projects are built" and "Insert XML comments in source" are checked.
Once the plug-in is running and configured, simply key three apostrophes into the Start Page for any class definition, property, member variable, or method.

Because documenting as you go is the best way to make sure all the nuances of the code are captured, this technique (and the VBCommenter tool) are highly recommended for those seeking an easy way to add structured documentation to their work.

For a bit advance work, VBCommenter can be customized as described here : Customizing The VBCommenter Power Toy