There has been some confusion and a few mixed messages coming out of Microsoft since the release of StyleCop, most notably around extensibility support for the tool, and licensing. We've gotten a lot of great feedback from the community, and in the last few weeks there have been some good discussions between various teams internally about how to position this tool, and how to best support extensibility.

Brian Harry, a Technical Fellow leading the VS TFS team, has recently written a great blog post explaining the context of these discussions and the decisions that have been made. You can read it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/bharry/archive/2008/07/19/clearing-up-confusion.aspx.

To summarize:

  • StyleCop is not part of the VS Code Analysis suite, and in fact has been developed outside of the VS team. It should be viewed as a complementary tool which focuses on code style and consistency. To help clear up this confusion, we are retiring the "Source Analysis" name and will be referring to the tool from now on as StyleCop, which is the original name of the tool!
  • We are planning to release an update which will introduce the naming change, and fix bugs that have been discovered by the community after the original release. This release will also include a handful of new rules which did not make it into the first release, and will incorporate some other great suggestions from the community.
  • We will be releasing a small SDK for the tool, describing the extensibility interface used to create custom rules, and explaining how to plug the tool into command-line based build tools.
  • We will be releasing documentation describing all of the default rules.

I would like to personally extend a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to give us feedback about this tool. It's been very valuable and very much appreciated. A big thank you also goes out to Brian and others in the VS team who have been working hard to solve the issues around this tool.

We will spend the next couple of weeks getting the next version of the tool ready to ship, and getting all of the documentation ready to publish, and we'll get it out to you as quickly as we can!

Thank you!