Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
chapter 11
Code Documentation
with NDoc and XML
Documentation is like sex; when it's good, it's very, very good, and when it's
bad, it's better than nothing.
Dick Brandon
An important deliverable for most projects, or as simply a good thing to do, is the
creation and updating of source code documentation. Properly documented source
code can improve the overall maintainability of your project, and shorten the
amount of time needed for a new developer, or an existing developer for that matter,
to familiarize herself with the source code. The purpose of source code documen-
tation is so a developer can understand a particular component without actually
looking at the source code.
Thankfully, Visual Studio .NET has introduced a wonderful build tool for gener-
ating source code documentation, and it is built right into the IDE. A properly
configured project can be set up to export documentation expressed as XML for
the source code each time the build process is run. This exported documentation
can be plugged into an excellent open source utility called NDoc, which can take
a .NET assembly and the exported XML and build documentation in a variety of
formats. NDoc supports pluggable exporters, including the MSDN-style HTML
Help (.chm), the Visual Studio .NET format (HTML Help 2), and the MSDN
online-style web pages. This tool is very popular within the .NET community and
is the most commonly used documentation generator for .NET.
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