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B.3.1 ID string format

Visual Studio .NET 2003

The documentation generator observes the following rules when it generates the ID strings:

  • No white space is placed in the string.
  • The first part of the string identifies the kind of member being documented, via a single character followed by a colon. The following kinds of members are defined:
    Character Description
    E Event
    F Field
    M Method (including constructors, destructors, and operators)
    N Namespace
    P Property (including indexers)
    T Type (such as class, delegate, enum, interface, and struct)
    ! Error string; the rest of the string provides information about the error. For example, the documentation generator generates error information for links that cannot be resolved.
  • The second part of the string is the fully qualified name of the element, starting at the root of the namespace. The name of the element, its enclosing type(s), and namespace are separated by periods. If the name of the item itself has periods, they are replaced by # (U+0023) characters. (It is assumed that no element has this character in its name.)
  • For methods and properties with arguments, the argument list follows, enclosed in parentheses. For those without arguments, the parentheses are omitted. The arguments are separated by commas. The encoding of each argument is the same as a CLI signature, as follows: Arguments are represented by their fully qualified name. For example, int becomes System.Int32, string becomes System.String, object becomes System.Object, and so on. Arguments having the out or ref modifier have an @ following their type name. Arguments passed by value or via params have no special notation. Arguments that are arrays are represented as [ lowerbound : size , ... , lowerbound : size ] where the number of commas is the rank less one, and the lower bounds and size of each dimension, if known, are represented in decimal. If a lower bound or size is not specified, it is omitted. If the lower bound and size for a particular dimension are omitted, the ":" is omitted as well. Jagged arrays are represented by one "[]" per level. Arguments that have pointer types other than void are represented using a * following the type name. A void pointer is represented using a type name of System.Void.
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