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Sandcastle Help File Builder

Version 2017.5.15.0

Important Notes and Potential Breaking Changes
  • The help file builder Visual Studio package, standalone GUI, and all of the Sandcastle tools that run as MSBuild tasks have been updated to use the MSBuild 14.0 references. This was necessary to enable support for Universal Windows and the new .NETStandard format projects. If you are using the standalone GUI you may need to install the Microsoft Build Tools 2015.

    Any build components, plug-ins, etc. that reference the MSBuild assemblies may need to be updated to use the MSBuild 14.0 reference assemblies and then rebuilt.

  • Unfortunately, since I needed to upgrade to MSBuild 14.0 support, I had to drop support for the Visual Studio 2013 package as it does not work correctly with MSBuild 14.0. If you still need Visual Studio 2013 support, you will need to use the prior release. The standalone GUI from the current release may also be used.

  • A new cross-platform reflection data set file (CrossPlatform.reflection) was added. This is the preferred framework version setting to use for all .NETCore and .NETStandard assemblies and projects that you want to document. In addition, using this framework version will allow you to use any combination of .NETCore, .NETStandard, and .NETFramework Visual Studio projects or assemblies as documentation sources.

  • Added a lineBreak element topic to the MAML Guide.

  • Revised the topic on how to install the MAML schemas in the MAML guide so that it shows how to use the help file builder copies of the files so that they do not need to be copied into the Visual Studio schema cache.

Sandcastle Tools
  • Fixed an exception in BuildAssembler caused by an ill-formed cref attribute value.

  • Fixed MRefBuilder so that it does not match a nested type to an incorrect file as its source code location under certain circumstances.

  • Updated MRefBuilder to output value tuple element names to support value tuple syntax in the syntax generators.

  • Added support for value tuple syntax in the C# and VB syntax generators.

  • Updated the Resolve Reference Links Component to try and resolve missing overload IDs to an equivalent non-overload method ID if the overload ID is not found.

  • Updated the Code Block Component so that it removes the trailing REM on regions imported from batch scripts.

  • Thanks to Robert van der Hulst for providing the syntax generator to support the X# language syntax ()

Sandcastle Help File Builder
  • Fixed project file handling so that it can locate assemblies and XML comments files in .NETCore/.NETStandard projects that use the TargetFrameworks property.

  • Fixed the Version Builder plug-in so that it handles version numbers with trailing text correctly when sorting the versions.

  • Fixed the IIS Express check when starting the web server to view web output.

  • Made various updates to the build engine to handle .NETCore/.NETStandard projects and the cross-platform reflection data set.

  • Modified the build engine so that it compares the full strong name when determining whether or not to exclude reference assemblies that are in the selected reflection data set. This allows for like-named assemblies with a different version to be included as references when generating reflection information (i.e. NuGet versions of the .NETCore and .NETStandard framework assemblies).

  • Added support for resolving package references (the PackageReference element) in .NET Core and .NET Standard project files. All assemblies from the package and any dependent packages are automatically added as reference assemblies when generating reflection information.

  • XML comments files for reference assemblies with hint paths are now added to the comments file list. This allows for comments from base class members to be included from package references.

  • Removed the exception thrown in the help file builder project if an attempt is made to set a read-only or ignored property. Instead, it just ignores the attempt. Such things can happen on rare occasions and it is better to ignore it than abort loading the project.

  • Added an overload topic ID fix-up as a common fix-up expression in the Member ID Fix-Ups plug-in.

  • Added a default extension type entry when adding new files to the project in the standalone GUI.

Presentation Styles
  • Fixed the XSL transformations in the Open XML and Markdown presentation styles to prevent insertion of extraneous spaces when normalizing text.

  • Fixed the script in the VS2010 and VS2013 presentation styles so that it only inserts a trailing space after language-specific text elements when really needed.

  • Fixed the markdown content build task so that it handles duplicate in-page link target addresses and issues a warning if any are found.

  • Updated the code colorizer to support colorizing batch file script. Use bat or batch as the language ID.

  • Moved the three "Notes to" title items from the reference content files to the shared content files in all presentation styles so that they can be used in MAML topics as expected.

  • Added support for the lineBreak MAML element which inserts a line break within a body of text without creating a new paragraph.

  • Added GeneralError.htm and PageNotFound.htm to the VS2010 and VS2013 presentation styles and updated their Web.config files to use them for general errors and 404 errors respectively in website output.

  • Thanks to Holger Boskugel for providing updated German resource item files. In addition, he provided updates to the MAML schema files so that they include all known elements used by the help file builder and can be referenced directly from the help file builder installation location so that they remain current with each new release without having to reinstall them in the Visual Studio schema cache.

  • Thanks to Cyber-EX for providing a fix to the VS2013 presentation style search script so that it works correctly with non-Latin language keywords.

See Also

Other Resources