.NET Framework Source Code Libraries now available

Check out Scott Guthrie’s blog post for information and screenshots.  

Yes, you’ll have to sign a license for it (reference license), but this is huge and a big request from customers to be able to step into actual .NET/BCL code. Currently available is Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, Base Class Libraries (BCL), and more coming soon (ex: LINQ).

BIG KUDOS to Shawn Burke for driving this, getting executive support and making it happen and on such a huge scale. This all started back in 2004 with Kit George, Brad Abrams, (and me) wanted to release the PDB (debugging files) for the BCL, and we did end up doing a private drop to MVPs, but due to resources, it never got off the ground. Shawn not only resurrected the effort, but he also got more parts of the .NET Framework added and he also solved the bigger issue which was the implementation.

Implementation: The way this works is using the symbol server, a built-in feature of Visual Studio 2005 that enables you to effectively point where the source code is for the .NET Framework. The real value here is that instead of releasing a ton of downloadable versions (.NET Framework x64 SP1 with GDR 123 attached), the Symbol server will “automagically” know what framework/SP/GDR you’re running and show you the appropriate code.This means you don’t have to worry about not having the right PDB files setup or if you have the latest refresh as it’s all taken care of you and you get full debugging support.

This is just awesome!

Comments (5)

  1. Matt Ellis says:

    But isn’t there already a symbol server out there with these pdb files on? Or are they different pdbs?



    PS. Top news, well done!

  2. Dave R. says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought this was a VS2008 feature only, plus one that isn’t yet released in the beta bits. I’d certainly love for it to be back-ported to 2005, but for such a must-have feature, I suspect MS will keep it just for the new releases.

  3. R.D.Rush says:

       This seems to be a little ambiguous as some of the plain English usage of such a feature has been an oversight in this post. I think a few elaborations would serve the intermediate level developers, like myself, to understand the baser implications of such an inclusion of accessibility.

     This type of feature could inevitably help .Net Developers in several ways like: backwards compatibility with previous releases of the .Net Framework at compile time increasing systems durability as well as survivability while also supporting the aspects of intuitive programming and modularity of the system in question.

     (nothing like run on sentences to exasperate ya’)

     I believe that this support with the .Net Framework has indeed been an issue for the respective development community of this technology and while this release of technology seems limited the issues that I have addressed in this post are to come in the near future.

     This particular release of accessibility to the .Net Framework is the first step in a much more advanced approach to the .Net Framework for .Net Developers and Microsoft has to address the technology in a secure and modular fashion. This approach offers the best and most stable fashion for access to the .Net libraries for consistency, reliability and hence systems stability for developers and MS obviously understands these things.

     Let’s face facts here…MS systems are constantly under attack from hackers and MS takes this into account with service pack releases and the like. The same must be addressed for concurrent developers of systems that use MS system resources or every system will suffer the same abuse.

     It seems like a political struggle with copyright and patent issues but be rest assured it is truely about security and breadth of services for the end user developer of Microsoft branded development tools and programmers in general that deploy to MS systems. The .Net SDK’s and the Express Ed. of all of their major tool sets are valid proof supporting this point as well as the fact that the development tools allow developers to commercially release all the products that they designed with those tools. Microsoft is certainly in an understanding that these conventions support their platform more than hinder establishing their credibility as a commercial entity.

     What many overlook is that this fact also says that they logically think things through which also applies to the design and accessibilty to the .Net Framework from a developer’s vantage in retrospect to the opening of my post here.

     Give MS a little time…they’re working on it, you can be assured of that.

     C# Junkie;


  4. sutapa says:

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