Saturday 6 October 2007

Microsoft Releases .NET Base Class Library Source Code

According to an email from Scott Guthrie and announced Wednesday AM -, the .NET framework 2.0 source code has been released under a limited license.

According to Scott:

"As part of our first source release we'll be including the source for the BCL (base class libraries), ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, and ADO.NET. We'll then be enabling more libraries next year. All source will be released under a reference license (which means the source is for reference use only - not for modification, rebuilding, rebranding, copying, etc)."

So it is nice to now have the source code in an easily accessible fashion (Java has had source code opened up for years). However, we could already use .NET Reflector (one of my favourite .NET tools) to see the source code. So what does it mean to have access to the source code?

  1. The big plus is for use in debugging when you need to step through and see what a framework is class is doing. An awesome feature in the final release of 2008 will be the option to download the framework source code while you are debugging! -
  2. It is good to learn how things are written so you can write better code in a consistent manner,such as the Provider model when Microsoft opened that up for users to create their own.

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