Recent problems with Reflector VSPro

In late December we released .NET Reflector 8.3, adding analysis capabilities to Visual Studio, as well as fixing a number of bugs. Unfortunately there were two separate issues with this release which caused problems for several users, and we’d like to apologize if you were affected.

Firstly, in some scenarios, the new Analyzer Pane in Visual Studio would open itself every time Visual Studio started regardless of whether it had previously been closed, which was obviously a nuisance. That issue was understood and fixed within a few days.

Secondly, for some users the fix to one of the bugs addressed by this release introduced a separate performance problem when debugging in Visual Studio. The cause was more difficult to identify, so it took us longer than we would have liked to get it fixed. We released an updated version (8.3.3.115) last week resolving the problem, which you can get from the VS Gallery.

Ultimately these problems stemmed from us not taking enough extra time for testing given the scope of the changes. We’ll be careful not to let that happen again in the future, and will also spend more time expanding tested scenarios before future releases.

We’re really sorry for the problems this update caused for some of you. If you continue to experience any issues after updating, please get in touch.

A little support for open source projects

We’ve been thinking a bit about open source software lately at Red Gate. Supporting the Glimpse project has really helped keep it in our minds, especially with Nik and Anthony in the building, banging the OSS drum.

A couple of weeks ago, at NDC Oslo, Nik presented a session on getting up and running with open source development. He talked about the challenges and pitfalls, and gave some good, solid advice for starting and maintaining OSS projects. The video’s here, if you’re interested.

As part of his the talk, Nik and Anthony launched OSS Zero to Sixty, a set of resources to help get open source projects started, and OSS Perks, a directory of tools and services that are free for open source development.

We’re going to list .NET Reflector on there, along with a few other Red Gate tools.

If you’re working on an open source project, we’re happy to offer free licenses of:

If you get in touch (info@reflector.net, for .NET Reflector inquiries) and tell us a bit about what you’re doing, we’ll sort you out with a free license.

Open source on .NET doesn’t feel like it’s really taken off in the same way as other platforms. That can’t all be about tooling, but tooling is an area where we can help out a bit. It’s an extension of the idea behind OSS Perks, really – hopefully making some of the industry standard development tools available will help the .NET OSS crowd get going.

Oh, and if you’re interested in getting more involved in OSS, Glimpse is always looking for contributers, and Nik and Anthony are speaking at Monkeyspace this week.

Announcing .NET Reflector 8.2

This morning we’ve shipped another version of .NET Reflector. This release contains support for Visual Studio 2013 and .NET 4.5.1 (still currently in preview), and some of the new analysis features we’ve had in beta.

Version 8.2 is a free upgrade, so anyone with a version 7 or version 8 license can just download and use it.

.NET Reflector version 8.2 contains:

New: code map view in .NET Reflector 8.2

Code map: new navigation view & variable highlighting.

  • Support for Visual Studio 2013
  • Support for .NET 4.5.1
  • On-hover hex/decimal value conversion in Reflector Desktop
  • Local variable highlighting in Reflector Desktop
  • Code Map view in Reflector Desktop
  • Fix for the Enable just my code bug in the Visual Studio extension.

 

You can get .NET Reflector 8.2 via check for updates in the tool, or download it here

 

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.NET Reflector 8.1 release

At the end of last week we released version 8.1 of .NET Reflector.

Sadly, this doesn’t include Clive’s new code analysis prototypes, but it does have a couple of bug fixes that we hope will help people out.

Version 8.1 addresses the issue some users had reported around Visual Studio crashes, so if you’ve had any problems with reflector and VS stability, you should upgrade right away. This release also corrects a small but irritating licensing bug that left inconsistent (and confusing) version numbers displayed when you activated your Reflector license.

You can download version 8.1 via check for updates in-product, or from the website here

Heading in the right direction – new analysis features

A long while ago in developer years – sometime last year in real time – the Reflector team decided to do a spike to see if we could spice up the Reflector code pane.

JS-highlight-1

The Reflector code pane

At the time we were focussed on making it easier for someone to take decompiled code and understand it, in order to get to the root cause of their debugging problem. When you edit code in Visual Studio there are many tools for helping you understand the flow of data of data through the methods. Since we generate the decompiled code, we know lots of information about the code and its relationship to other decompiled methods, and so we should be able to make this information available to users of Reflector in the form of some kind of head up display.

(If you want to try it out, you can download it here)

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A little something we’re prototyping

Here’s a quick preview of something Clive is busily prototyping:

Translating values on hover

Translating values on hover

It’s an idea we’ve had for a while – JavaScript in the Reflector code view pane theoretically lets us offer some extra analysis information on the fly. Over the next week or so, we’re taking some time out to see how feasible it is to build this into the desktop tool, and look at what we could add.

Toggling values in and out of hex for easier comprehension was a small but frequent request in user tests, and it felt like a nice place to start. So here it is on hover – we’ll keep you posted on how we get on.

There’s some other stuff we’re considering, too: something to highlight data flow, maybe, or make it easier to see variables move through decompiled code. But this was a good, simple place to start.

Let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see.

An update to the Obfuscation Checker

A couple of days ago, David pushed out an update to the .NET Obfuscation checker.

It’s a fairly small update – he’s bumped the version of Reflector it uses so it’s now completely up to date, fixed a crash on startup that some people had seen, and made a few other small tweaks and bug fixes.

If you’d missed it, the Obfuscation Checker is a simple free tool that uses Reflector to scan through a directory and check the contents for obfuscation, strong naming, signing, and so on.

The idea is that it should make the release process a little easier if you need to obfuscate and protect your IP, so hopefully people will find it useful. And of course, we’re happy to hear any feedback.

You can download it from the Red Gate labs site

Version 8 check for updates issue

On Thursday we released version 8.0 of Reflector. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go according to plan, and it looks like we’ve confused a few people.

The Check for Updates notification for version 8 incorrectly lists it as a free trial:

The bad news is that currently it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to fix that.

The good news is that you can just ignore it.

Version 8 is a free upgrade to version 7 users, and when you update, you’ll get the full version, not a free trial.

For more on what’s included in v8, check out the release blog post

For a bit more on why this happens, keep reading.

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