Nima Dilmaghani’s Technology Blog

Back to the future with source code viewing with Visual Studio 2008

Posted in .NET, ASP.NET, engineering, Microsoft, programming, software, Technology and Software by nimad on October 4, 2007

Today Microsoft announced that it will be releasing many of the .NET Framework libraries under the Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL).   Scott Guthrie’s post details what this means.  We have been able to see this source code using Reflector for a number of years so while getting the code in one big chunk is nicer (and now properly licensed) it is not that big of a deal.   A feature that has been lacking since the days of MFC is the ability to step into Microsoft source code in the Visual Studio debugger from your own code.  This was a great feature in MFC and I among others had asked Microsoft’s product team for it in 2005.  Today, my wish has been granted.  Starting with VS2008 you can actually step into Microsoft source code from your own code.  This will help developers everywhere better understand how Microsoft code works and write their code better.  It also puts Microsoft source code more in the spotlight and I hope this visibility will cause Microsoft developers to write better code.

My new wish is that future pieces of source code released in this manner should have the signature or alias of the developer who wrote it so if they did a poor job, the whole world would know.  While this wish coming true is very unlikely for many many reasons, I thought I put it down in writing none the less.

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