Visual Studio Integration

Topics: Developer Forum
Jan 2, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Hello, Eric.

It has been a while since I upgraded SHFB and from what I see there have been some major changes while I was away. :-P

Anyway, I've noticed that Visual Studio integration is one of the planned fetures for a future release, and while I really appreciate the time and effort you put on SHFB I also know that building VS integration is a P.I.A.

So, because I have knocked my head on the wall a few times doing such integration, I'm volunteering myself to help you out with such endeavor.

I'm going to start building something up and as soon as I have anything passable as a early-pre-alpha version, I'll post it up.


Paulo Santos

Jan 4, 2011 at 1:19 AM

Hi Paulo,

There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you decide to tackle this.  I plan on freezing the current .NET 3.5 version in its current state apart from a few bug fixes I've made since its release.  All future releases will be built with .NET 4.0.  SHFB will contintue to build documentation for all versions of .NET as before since that's a function of Sandcastle and isn't dependent on any particular version the tools are built against.  The build API in MSBuild 4.0 is significantly different and trying to support two separate code bases is just too much work.  For similar reasons, I am only planning on supporting VS2010 and later for the VS integration.  The plan is to use the MPFProj available here on CodePlex.  I got a basic project system up and running as a test quite a while ago.  I just haven't had time to get back to it and make it work with the latest version of SHFB.



Jan 4, 2011 at 4:07 PM


Great minds do think alike... That's exact the approach I was planning on take. :-P

I have some free time now, if you want, I could take a look at your project and iron it to work.


Paulo Santos

Jan 6, 2011 at 7:23 PM

I'll have to find the project and see what state it's in.  It may take me a few days to get to it.



Jan 7, 2011 at 1:39 AM

Take your time.

Whenever you can is fine.

Mar 16, 2011 at 4:57 PM

I'd be willing to put a couple hours a week into this project.


Just to solve some issues I keep having:

1.  Probably once a week I fail the CI Build because I check code into TFS and forget to add new files, like images, etc. because I'm manually managing the files in source control instead of having Solution Explorer integration.

2.  Whenever I add images to SHFB project, it defaults them to 'Content' and it 3 double-clicks to change it to image, etc.

I'm sure there's other minor aggravations but these are two I commit weekly.

Mar 16, 2011 at 10:40 PM


What's the status on the project?

I do have a few hours a week too now to join forces.

Mar 17, 2011 at 2:24 AM

I finally got the .NET 4.0 version out so I've just got to go back and take a look at the old proof of concept package I did quite some time ago and get it running under VS 2010.  I'll try and get to it this weekend.  As a first pass, I'll probably just get it up and running with the basic project explorer support and check it in to let people play around with it.

Regarding #2 above in Rick's post, I'll probably just switch images over to being added with the Image BuildAction by default.  The older additional content model has been deprecated now so Image is the more appropriate default.



Mar 17, 2011 at 2:30 AM

That's nice to know Eric.

I just really like to know how I can contribute to the project, as I've been a user -- on again and off again, to be quite frank -- for a long time, and I feel I could contribute.

One of the things I'm attempting to implement is a new Hiearchical TOC plugin as I've mentioned in another post, but right now is only the early prototype as I'n working on a tight deadline on my day-job. :-\

As soon as I have something ready for beta I'll post on here.