In 2008 Microsoft released Source Analysis a tool to help solve the thorny problem of coding standards in C# projects, soon afterwards they re-launched it using it’s original internal Microsoft name, StyleCop (to avoid confusion with the TFS Code Analysis tools), along with an SDK that allowed the community to extend the product. In May 2010 Microsoft released StyleCop as an Open Source project on CodePlex. In March 2011 Microsoft handed control of the project over to the community; the new project coordinator is the rather awesome Andy Reeves.
I’ve always believed that it’s very easy to point out someone’s faults; the real challenge is in helping correct them. At first, I just wanted developers writing code in Visual Studio to have the same experience as authors writing documents in Microsoft Word – I wanted red and green squiggly lines to highlight bad coding standards rather than spelling mistakes and bad grammar. But once I had this feature working I realised the actual real benefit would be to supply functionality to help people correct those errors, until they trained themselves not to make them in the future. This is where ReSharper and it’s incredibly powerful API enters the picture.
StyleCop + ReSharper are a dream combination and so it’s with great pleasure that I can announce that we have decided to merge the two projects together. The SCfR source code has been folded into the main StyleCop repository and I’ll be migrating documentation and issues across in the next few weeks.
This will bring quite a few advantages to the users, including a unified installer (SCfR# is now an install option), an auto updater, tighter integration of the two products which will allow us to finally solve many of those nagging bugs and feature requests that have been made over the last few years that have, up until this point, been impossible to solve.
In the last 3 years StyleCop has had over 100,000 downloads and StyleCop for ReSharper has had over 60,000 – I’m hoping that all those users are as excited as we are about this announcement and continue to download, post issues and contribute!