This MSDN style based Windows help file did fill a gap for serious developers, developers (re)using the DNN API: almost 7.500 downloads of this help file for various versions of DNN in the past 2 years with 4 and 5 star ratings by people visiting this CodePlex
project. For me: a success in sharing my knowledge and efforts in the community
I blogged a couple of times in the past 2 years about updates (see my blog history for MSDN Style help files for DNN version X.X.X), and got positive responses on most of my blogs.
DNN Community teams
Being the Project lead for the Events module, I am, as volunteer, part of the DNN team.
At the start of 2010, the DNN team structure was reorganised by DNN, resulting in module teams (like Events) and more generic teams, such as Quality, Health, Experience and more. See this link for an overview of the DNN community teams.
I volunteered for the DNN Reference Team with a high level goal in mind: the Reference Team drives to expand and enhance the foundation of knowledge available to all DotNetNuke stakeholders; developers, administrators, users, decision makers, etc.
Goals are good, but sometimes you have to start at the bottom. And so we did.
One of my personal objectives was to make the creation of the MSDN style windows based help file become part of a release of DNN: no separate project on CodePlex. The help and documentation should be an integral part of a DNN release (and it will save me time if DNN does it ;-)).
MSDN style help file: it is here!
With the release of DNN 5.5 one of my objectives as member of the Reference team is achieved: the MSDN style help file will be an integral part of the DNN release, see this link for the version of the help file related to DNN 5.5.
Special thanks go to Philip Beadle, who integrated the MS Build structure I developed for generating the API help file into the release build process of a DNN release. Creating a MSDN style help file does take some work, especially because you have to install additional software (SandCastle help file builder) to extract documentation from the codebase and generate a help file.
What has been achieved?
In a second blog I will discuss a bit about the things that have been achieved, I will also ask for some help later. Although a lot of the (new) core code is well documented, there is room for improvement especially with the hidden treasure: the existing pre DNN 5.x code. In the seconds part of the blog I will explain how we have improved documentation over the past year.