Who want to debug .NET Framework?

Raise hands!

Today from Microsoft anounced that they will be including .NET Framework libraries source code with .NET 3.5 and VS 2008 release later this year.

Here is a part from ScottGu’s post. You can read the rest here.

We’ll begin by offering the source code (with source file comments included) for the .NET Base Class Libraries (System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, System.Text, etc), ASP.NET (System.Web), Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms), ADO.NET (System.Data), XML (System.Xml), and WPF (System.Windows). We’ll then be adding more libraries in the months ahead (including WCF, Workflow, and LINQ). The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL).

You’ll be able to download the .NET Framework source libraries via a standalone install (allowing you to use any text editor to browse it locally). We will also provide integrated debugging support of it within VS 2008.

VS 2008 will include support to automatically retrieve the appropriate .NET Framework source files on demand from Microsoft. This means that the source code for the ASP.NET GridView and BaseDataBoundControl classes above do not have to already be installed on the machine before we started the debugger. Instead, when we use F11 to step into their implementation VS can automatically download the source files from Microsoft and open it within the IDE.

By downloading the files dynamically we can also ensure that the matching source files always line-up with the particular version of the .NET Framework on your machine (for example: if you have a GDR or Service Pack Patch installed on your machine, we’ll make sure to download the source file that corresponds to it).


Having source code access and debugger integration of the .NET Framework libraries is going to be really valuable for .NET developers. Being able to step through and review the source should provide much better insight into how the .NET Framework libraries are implemented, and in turn enable developers to build better applications and make even better use of them.

One thought on “Who want to debug .NET Framework?

  1. I’ve glanced at a lot of of your posts and I was itching to know if you wanted to swap blog links? I am constantly looking to swap links with blogs on very similar subjects! I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *