.NET sources to be available with Visual Studio 2008 [Inbar Gazit]

Have you ever wanted to look inside some of the BCL methods? Have you ever wondered about some exception thrown by our code? Are you curious to see what comments BCL developers write in their code?

Well, soon you’ll be able to do all of these things. Starting with the release of Visual Studio 2008 it will be possible to “step into” most of the .NET Framework code and see the same code our developers are using!

The sources will be available for reference only and the only way to obtain them is while debugging using Visual Studio 2008. Once you step into any .NET Framework method — VS will use information in the pdb to download the particular source file so that you can step into that code.

However, you will not be able to rebuild or modify the code or redistribute it.

Please see the official announcement in Scott Guthrie’s blog

If you have any questions about this — feel free to let us know.

Comments (6)

  1. Jon Skeet says:

    "The only way to obtain them is while debugging using Visual Studio 2008."

    That doesn’t sound quite right to me – from Scott’s blog:

    "You’ll be able to download the .NET Framework source libraries via a standalone install (allowing you to use any text editor to browse it locally)."


  2. Inbar Gazit says:

    Hi Jon, thanks for pointing out the inconsistency. This was news to me and apparently we just decided to also ship a package with all the sources that does not require VS 2008. This should only make you even happier, right?

  3. Tom Kirby-Green says:

    Will the code be the same in that it will have the same comments in it that devs in Microsoft can see? I’m just thinking of something Michael Howard says in Writing Secure code, to wit when designing secure systems assume the bad guy has a copy of your source code. We’ll now we do (will do). Sure much of this information (in terms of insight into the internal flow of control within the BCL), given with not so nice a nice a debugging workflow, has always been available using a round tripping disassembler like Reflector never the less I’m interested to know if for security reasons these are in fact *almost* the same sources or if you have had to censor at least the out of band stuff like textural comments and inline documentation?


  4. Bob says:

    Please consider getting a subset of the BCL (file, system, directory, IO, imaging, sockets, etc) into an Ansi/ISO standard.

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