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WTL Documentation

Written by Bjarke Viksoe.
This article was submitted .


A post in February 2002 on the Yahoo WTL newsgroup resulted in an effort to create documentation for the WTL programming library.

The reason

Since the WTL library is practically run by a single employee at Microsoft, little time is available for creating documentation. And documentation is needed and requested by many newcomers to this library. So members of the growing WTL community decided to make an attempt to document the library.

Jalal, who posted the original documentation idea on the newsgroup, quickly created an online version - simply from running WTL through doxygen.
I spent a few nights extracting the doxygen information from XML, and putting it into a nicely formatted HTML Help document, using XSLT and scripts. In addition, documentation templates were created for each and every WTL class, so these files could be added to doxygen as external documentation.

What will be included?

First of all, a complete structural layout of the WTL is included. Every method and member attribute. A lot of macros and enumerations as well. Documentation for each of them will - hopefully - be included over time.

I did contact several authors, who posted tutorials and reviews of WTL on the Internet. My goal was to include such documents as well; To include every possible bit of information ever created about WTL in one document. I even contacted Richard Grimes to get his excellent WTL tutorials included (boy, would that have been something; to write "Foreword by Richard Grimes" on the start page!). Unfortunately, none of these guys owns their work after submitting it to the web-sites. So copyright restrictions prevent me from doing this.

Help needed

Your help is needed!
Documenting the entire library is a huge task. So huge that we cannot possibly complete it alone. So we need your help. No matter if you are a WTL expert or not, a few hours of work could help a lot of your programming fellows out there, so don't hesitate to give a helping hand.

Many of the classes and methods of WTL have direct counterparts in the MFC library or (not surprisingly) in the Win32 SDK. Documenting these is usually a matter of simple cut'n'paste operations. Other classes are unique to WTL and require some more work and documentation effort.
As explained, templates have been prepared for direct inclusion with the doxygen utility. So all that is needed is to fill out the missing entries of description and argument classification. These documentation files can be used in both the web version and the HTML Help version.

How can I help?

Download the remaining class files from the link below; it contains the doxygen documentation templates for the still undocumented WTL classes. Pick a few classes that you feel comfortable with, fill in the missing blanks (a documentation guide is also included) and send them to me. I will then merge the files and recreate a new document.
Your help IS appreciated!

Notes

Please do not link directly to the ZIP file below. The filename and location will change from time to time. Instead link to the following URL: www.viksoe.dk/wtldoc/.
I'm running out of space and bandwidth on my free web-provider.

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