NDoc meet Sandcastle

I’ve been using NDoc on all of my production .NET software that delivers API-level documentation to customers. NDoc is a great tool!

Earlier this week a disheartening email from NDoc’s creator made its way around the internet. While I’m sorry to see him hang up his cleats, I understand the decision Kevin Downs has made. Phil Haack puts a good challenge to all of us who benefit from open source software like NDoc.

Also this week, Microsoft has apparently decided to reveal what looks to me like an “NDoc v2″ offering: “Sandcastle.” According to the new Sandcastle blog, a CTP is soon to be released.

To me, Sandcastle is a mixed bag. While I’m glad to see that some form of better-than-POX documentation will continue to be producable with relative ease for .NET into the future, I wish that there would be a better environment in which to acknowledge critical success and build upon it. For example, instead of investing in a Sandcastle that duplicates much of what NDoc has been providing for years now, why doesn’t Microsoft instead invest in a Sandcastle that leverages NDoc at its core and builds upon it, while helping to strengthen the core as well?

Perhaps copies of The Success of Open Source need to make the rounds in Redmond…