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Seeing Is Believing

One of my essential tasks in determining how well VBCommenter works was to create an application, add the class as a reference, and view it in the Object Browser. A class with the proper support should display information in the Object Browser as documentation for the various class elements. The class produced with VBCommenter comments in place works precisely as you might imagine, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2Figure 2 The Object Browser demonstrates that the comments created with VBCommenter really work.

Normally, when you create a class with Visual Basic .NET, you see just the calling syntax. VBCommenter adds the other documentation, which includes the summary, parameters, return values, and remarks in this case. Adding this kind of documentation makes your class a lot easier to use. However, many developers in the past had to create such documentation by hand, which isn't a very pleasant experience.

In addition to the Object Browser test, the class should pass the IntelliSense test. A class that lacks proper documentation won't provide any hints when used in the application environment. Figure 3 shows that the class created with VBCommenter passes this test as well. Notice the comment below the usual help information that IntelliSense provides, telling you that this is the MyMath constructor. Obviously, the hint can provide any information you want in the form of documentation.

Figure 3Figure 3 VBCommenter output even works well with IntelliSense.

The IntelliSense test works for all aspects of application building. In all cases, IntelliSense displays the summary information for a particular context, so the developer knows precisely how to use the class. For example, when working with a parameter, you see the documentation for the parameter—just as you would for any Microsoft-developed class in the .NET Framework. After you work for a while with the classes you document with VBCommenter, you begin to wonder how you lived without it.

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