Once the XML comments have been added to the code, it is
useful to be able to do something with them. Although code documented in a
standard format is an obvious benefit, XML comments allow much more to be done
with the source code.
Visual Studio allows the comments to be compiled to an XML
file. Although this is a useful feature, the XML file should be considered an
intermediate documentation format rather than finished project documentation.
Simple documentation can be created by applying an XSL stylesheet to the XML
file in order to produce a more easily readable HTML version of the
documentation. Here is a simple example of how to implement a suitable XSL
stylesheet: Simple XSLT stylesheet for Visual Studio .NET
If you want more comprehensive documentation or do not want
to figure out the complex XSL syntax, there are a few other products of
interest. The open source NDOC was a
popular open source utility for generating documentation from XML commented
source code. It extended the usage of XML comments through the introduction of
a few additional tags, such as a tag for adding hyperlinks to the comments.
Unfortunately, the main developer left the project and the source code has not
been updated for several years. It also has no support for version 2.0 of the
Alternatively, a product I have been working on since 2002,
Documentation Tool creates documentation from .NET source code. It supports
XML comments in either C# or VB.NET source code. Most types of .NET project are
supported and it has been updated for version 2.0 of the .NET Framework. For
ease of reference it also includes the application's source code within the