Thursday, August 03, 2006

Use the tool, tool part 5

I haven't covered the most useful .NET tool yet, the wonderful Reflector. If you haven't got this yet, download it now. One of the great things about Delphi development was the fact that Borland provides the source to the whole component library, which really helps tracking down weird bugs and work out how their stuff works. Microsoft don't provide the source to the .NET Framework, but with Reflector it doesn't matter. It can reverse-engineer any .NET assembly and you can see how it works. Yes, some class library developers obfuscate their libraries, but Microsoft don't and that's the most important library. Reflector also has several add-ins that do useful things like reverse-engineering a whole assembly which is useful for, er, more nefarious deeds. There are also plug-ins to generate Delphi code and other languages. So, as I said before, if you haven't got it, get it NOW!

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