Reference Source Code Availability for the .NET

Source code to .NET will be available to ISV's when Visual Studio 2008 ships later this year.

Scott Guthrie has posted an entry on his blog release of .NET Source code for ISV's who want to step into the code for debugging. His entry entitied, Releasing the Source Code for the .NET Framework Libraries includes screen shots of a Visual Studio 2008 debugging session.

You can now obtain the source code for .NET Framework libraries under the Microsoft Reference License. The license allows viewing of source code, but not modification or redistribution. The source code will be downloadable and viewable by anyone who accepts the license agreement.

There will be a capability in Visual Studio 2008 to allow .NET developers who are debugging applications, to debug not only into their own source code, but also into .NET Framework source code using Visual Studio.

This release falls under Microsoft’s Shared Source Initiative, which encompasses a spectrum of source code offerings.

We expect the debugging capability to be available to .NET developers who use the RTM version of Visual Studio 2008, when Visual Studio 2008 releases. Our current plan is to release Visual Studio 2008 before the end of the 2007.

This release will include:

  • Base Class Libraries (BCL)

  • Windows Forms


  • System.Data

  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

BCL includes many of the basic classes in the framework including collections, string and text handling, IO,serialization, remoting, and others. We plan to include additional libraries into the set as time goes on.

Developers will need to download the source code package, and accept the license agreement before unpacking the archive. At that point, the source files will be viewable in any text editor.

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