Jul 16 2008

Hammett goes to Microsoft

Tag: Castle,Open SourceSymon Rottem @ 10:59 pm

For those didn’t know already there’s some interesting news floating around out on the grapevine…apparently Hamilton Verissimo (aka Hammett) has joined the Microsoft team – congratulations Hammett!

Hammett has been the founder and guiding light behind the Castle stack which includes the popular MVC container MonoRail, the Windsor IoC Container and Dynamic Proxy (which is used extensively in the NHibernate project as well).

While this most likely bodes well for Microsoft MVC and Unity IoC I do have to wonder what impact this will have on the the future direction of the Castle stack. My assumption was that Hammett would be stepping back from the project due to a conflict of interest, although according to his blog this isn’t going to be a problem so he’ll stay involved.

As there are many committers on the Castle development team I certainly don’t imagine that it’s going to go away event if he has to step back, but having a someone who is passionate, actively involved and provides a leadership for a project goes a long way to keeping it healthy; look at NHibernate as a good example – when Sergey stepped down as the lead things got a little muddy for a while.

I do believe that it’s important that open source alternatives remain active and viable alternatives for the health of the software development community, so I hope that, if required, someone else can take up the reins with the same level of passion and commitment shown by Hammett in his long history with the project.

Does anyone have an inkling of what’s going to happen next?

Apr 08 2008

MonoRail ‘Getting Started’ Docs Refactored

Tag: CastleSymon Rottem @ 10:22 pm

Well, that’s that done for now. *dusting hands*

I’ve been working my way through the Getting started chapter of the MonoRail documentation and have refactored a lot of the content, fixed the links so they land where they’re supposed to and added a few extra explanations. The current version can be viewed online here:


Thanks to a patch from Louis DeJardin (who provided the Windows Workflow Foundation facility in Castle) there are now navigation links at the top of the page to allow you to choose chunked, single or CHM versions of the content.

There appear to be a lot of problems with the DocBook syntax highlighter – it’s very fragile and not nearly as flexible as I’d like. I think I’m going to have to take a hack at the xslthl package and see if I can figure it out. Or if anyone else out there feels like it… :)

I’d love comments, suggestions or patches for anything that’s not clear or incorrect so feel free to dive on in.

Mar 19 2008

DocBook MonoRail Docs in Contrib

Tag: Castle,Open SourceSymon Rottem @ 12:19 am

For those who don’t lurk on the Castle Development mailing list, the new DocBook version of the MonoRail documentation I’ve been working on has now been submitted to the Castle Contrib repository. If you want to download a copy of the source to build and play with you can find it here:


This initial checkin contains only the MonoRail DocBook source files in their initial, unedited state, NAnt build scripts to generate the output and the toolchain required to do the build.

At this stage output generated includes single page HTML, multi-page HTML (one page per chapter) and a CHM file. I anticipate the addition of PDF and VS 2005 add in documentation formats in the near future. The following links provide a sample of the current generated output:

To build the documentation you will need to have a Java runtime installed, however you can easily use IKVM.NET as an alternative as long as you don’t mind making some minor changes in the build files. Each book can be built by executing NAnt against its build file (monorail.build for MonoRail, for example) or the whole tree can be built by using the default.build file. Keep in mind that right now there are only MonoRail docs, so either way it’s essentially the same thing.

Right now the content is only basically styled and only some code blocks have been set up for syntax highlighting. There are also likely to have been a couple of errors in transferring the data and several internal and external links are still broken. Since I have now got an initial buildable version in place I should be able to return my focus to fixing these and other content issues as well as continue work on migrating other frameworks in the Castle stack to the DocBook format.

Any feedback is welcome.