DotNet Manuals aims to provide developers an easy way to create, manage and distribute manuals and various documentation for their tools, libraries and apps. At the moment, the project can only render manuals for console applications (in a way similar to the UNIX “man” command), but it's expected very soon to be able to render also in HTML/TXT formats, to parse and extend your libraries XML documentation, and to use them (as well as manually-written content, of course) to create fully embeddable documentation for your solutions.

What does DotNet Manuals currently provide? What could I expect from it?

The solution gives (and is going to give) you:

  • A redistributable library (dotnetmanuals.dll) compiled for MSIL, x86 and x64 architectures, which can be added as reference to any project made for the .NET framework (the compatibility with Mono runtime hasn't been tested yet). Its classes allows you to:
    • Write manuals for your command-line applications, that will be rendered within a separate zone in your application buffer (in a way similar to Unix's man command) or in an external Text/HTML file.
    • Write manuals for your libraries, extending or generating externally their XML documentation, that will be rendered in external Text/HTML files ready to be hosted on a website or deployed directly to your users (future).
    • Write manuals for your Windows Forms and WPF applications, that will be embedded in your applications itself or rendered in external Text/HTML files, ready to be hosted or deployed.
    • It also provides useful utilities and functions, like:
      • Distinguishing command line parameters in positional parameters (which assume a different meaning on the base of their position), properties (expressed as key-value pairs, which assume a different meaning depending on their key) and flags (which modify the meaning of the command simply with their presence or absence state).
  • The source of most of the classes of the library can be simply embedded in your C# projects, if you don't want to redistribute the library itself with your products.
  • A tool for previewing your manuals within the console renderer (UNIX man like).
  • A tool for rendering your manuals as text files.
  • A tool for rendering your manuals as HTML pages or websites.

Last edited Oct 27, 2013 at 9:51 PM by cav94mat, version 4