newbie Sandcastle questions ...

Apr 10, 2009 at 8:22 PM
(a) I see Sandcastle frequently referencing VS2005 but never VS2008 ~~ anything special
     one has to do to use Sandcastle with VS2008?

(b) a number of codeplex projects have one or more stable versions and versions still under development.
     What is the most current stable version of Sandcastle?

(c) I ran SandcastleGui under Vista and it gives a "
Sandcastle has stopped working" error.
      I'm surprised.  It's in c:\sandcastles\Examples\generic.  v 1.0.10111.0, May 23, 2008 11:25 149KB;
      Is this a

(d) I'm using the Sandcastle 2.4.10520  from
      Is this a "complete" distribution, I'm not sure if I need extra parts?  2.4.10520 has the following .exe and .bat files.:


Gerry (Lowry)
Apr 10, 2009 at 9:40 PM
Edited Apr 10, 2009 at 9:42 PM
Hi Gerry,

a) Where do you see Sandcastle referencing VS 2005?  Sandcastle is used to generate reference documentation for assemblies built on the .NET Framework 2.0.  Since 3.0 and 3.5 are extensions to 2.0, Sandcastle will work against all assemblies built by VS 2008.

b) Sandcastle's latest version is available on the Downloads tab.  At the time of writing, it's the Sandcastle May 2008 Release (Version 2.4.10520).  If you're referring to downloads that are available for other projects instead, then you may want to ask in their dedicated Discussions areas; e.g., Sandcastle Help File Builder or DocProject.

c) I have Vista and the program opens for me.  I didn't try building anything with it though.

d) See b for a link to the latest version of Sandcastle.  For related software, see Sandcastle Help.

- Dave
Apr 10, 2009 at 11:08 PM
Edited Apr 10, 2009 at 11:09 PM
Hi Dave, thank you for answering my questions.

(a) vs2005 references:
     Sandcastle - Version 2.4.10520


Sandcastle produces accurate, MSDN style, comprehensive documentation by reflecting
over the source assemblies and optionally integrating XML Documentation Comments.
Sandcastle has the following key features:

  •  Supports Generics and .NET Framework 2.0  <============
  •    Optional Software: 
    • Visual Studio 2005  <=============  2008 is not mentioned

         Because of the mention of Framework 2.0 and vs2005 without mentioning
         later framework versions and vs2008, I got the impression that Sandcastle may
         have stopped evolving after vs2005.

         I think I saw a few other references but, sorry, I can not remember where.

         (c) this is a problem for me ... does Sandcastle require vs2008 (or vs 2005)
              to be present to run?  i.e., could I put Sandcastle on a computer with any
              version of Visual Studio, copy the .sln to that computer, then run Sandcastle?

          (b) if I understand you correctly, Version 2.4.10520   is  stable.

          (d)  Version 2.4.10520 is the version I installed on Vista.~~ do not know why
                 SandcastleGui.exe is giving me grief.

    Thank you Dave for the reassurance that Sandcastle will work with vs2008 and .Net Framework 3.5.

    Apr 11, 2009 at 5:51 AM
    Hi Gerry,

    a) I'm not sure why VS 2005 is even mentioned.  Sandcastle itself doesn't have any relationship with Visual Studio in particular.  It only requires managed assemblies and XML documentation files, which can be built via notepad and a managed compiler if you'd like :)

    Your letter labels got all wierd after a), so I'll just loosely respond to your other points:

    • Stable releases of Sandcastle are available here on CodePlex.
    • Sandcastle does not use Visual Studio at all.  It also does not understand Visual Studio solution files (.sln) and projects.  The example tool that you are using (SandcastleGui) uses MSBuild projects, which may appear to be similar to VS projects because VS projects are in an MSBuild format as well, but still these example projects have nothing to do with VS.
    • To build API documentation with Sandcastle it simply needs to know about your assemblies, any dependencies that they may have, and your loose XML documentation files, which are generated by various compilers directly from special types of code comments.  You can find more information in the article that I mentioned in my original response.
    • If you'd like to build documentation using Sandcastle from within Visual Studio 2005 or 2008, then try DocProject.
    - Dave