This past week Microsoft released a portion of the .NET Framework library to enable debugging support at the source code level in Visual Studio 2008. The announcement was made by Scott Guthrie on January 16, 2008. For the most part this has been well received within the developer community and more source libraries are currently being prepped to be made available over time. While a separate download of the source libraries is not currently available it will be made available in the near future.
Shawn Burke provides a very detailed account of how to install the source libraries and have them make friendly with a developer’s current debugging configuration using his own Visual Studio setup as an example.
From Shawn Burke:
"It's finally here - the launch of the .NET Reference Source project. Over the past few weeks, we ran a pilot of this feature and collected lots of great data that helped us work through some issues and understand where people were likely to have problems.
First, though, if you have any problems, please make sure you've followed all of the steps exactly as described. If you're still having problems, please check the FAQ/Troubleshooting section at the bottom. If that doesn't work, post a comment below and I'll look into it.”
Several developers have run into issues installing the libraries like developer Brian Waring.
When installing the QFE I received a fatal error. The following was detailed in the QFE log file:
"An installation package for the product  cannot be found. Try the installation again using a valid copy of the installation package". I inserted the VS2008 installation DVD into my computer and re-ran the QFE, this time, it installed successfully. This is a known issue and Shawn indicates they are considering a work around soon to be released.
The list of libraries currently made available includes:
- .NET Base Class Libraries (System, System.CodeDom, System.Collections, System.ComponentModel, System.Diagnostics, System.Drawing, System.Globalization, System.IO, System.Net, System.Reflection, System.Runtime, System.Security, System.Text, System.Threading, etc).
- ASP.NET (System.Web, System.Web.Extensions)
- Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms)
- Windows Presentation Foundation (System.Windows)
- ADO.NET and XML (System.Data and System.Xml)
The list of libraries which will soon be made available and committed to by Scott Guthrie:
- Windows Workflow
I think Bill Needels provided the best summary of the general sentiment of most .NET developers:
Holy Shepherd and Wingo, Batman! .Net Internals at last!
Global ISV Technical Evangelist