A (Microsoft) code name a day: Sandcastle

I was thrilled to see Mary Jo Foley, from ZDNet, blog about Sandcastle at her “Microsoft Codenames” page. I met Mary at TechEd 2006 in Boston when my team was presenting a chalk talk on MSDN Wiki. I remember asking her after our talk to blog on MSDN Wiki.


Mary had the following about Sandcastle in her blog on code name:

Meaning/context of the code name: No idea. (Anyone out there know why Microsoft chose this particular code name?)


Sure Mary and I will be happy to explain. When Microsoft shipped VS 2005 (code named “Whidbey”) we internally used a "beach theme" code base called “Coronado” to build and ship our conceptual and managed reference content. As a part of this beach theme, the managed reference reflection and build engine portion of the Coronado code base was called Sandcastle. Internally Sandcastle was used by developers across teams to document their /// comments. You can read more about the evolution of Sandcastle here - http://blogs.msdn.com/sandcastle/archive/2006/08/06/689946.aspx. Please see below a schematic of the internal documentation process using Coronado.



I will provide more details about our internal documentation process in a separate blog.



Comments (3)

  1. SandCastle is a documentation compiler for managed class libraries, that will output your comments/documentation

  2. melissa_burpo says:

    Re: "I will provide more details about our internal documentation process in a separate blog."

    Has this been posted yet? I’d love to read more about your API documentation process – i.e. the doc QA process, monitoring code comment quality, dev team responsibility versus tech writer responsibility, etc. Do you know of another resource to find out more about Microsoft’s process?

  3. Garry Trinder says:


    I will spend some time this starting this week to blog a series of articles on all of this.


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