Freshly Baked: EA build 3 – A Festive Package

What are we doing?

Acting on some conversations we’ve had with the guys at Microsoft, we’re currently in the process of changing how we integrate with Visual Studio. Specifically, we’re moving away from being a Visual Studio add-in, and towards being a Visual Studio package.

Visual Studio Package

But why?

The short answer is that it gives us a whole lot more flexibility in terms of what we can do within Visual Studio. If you’re interested in a few more specifics, you should check out the series of articles written by Keyvan Nayyeri, discussing the differences between visual studio add-ins and packages.

What’s the catch?

We’re putting out these builds every two weeks and we’re in the middle of a fairly large chunk of work, so there are bits of Reflector which look pretty ugly, and bits of functionality which flat out do not work. These include:

  • Resource viewer isn’t displaying
  • The menu items from previous versions of Reflector are not currently automatically cleaned up

There is also a small bug in the Visual Studio integration: If you’ve previously integrated the Reflector package with Visual Studio (i.e. if you grabbed the EA build last week, before we’d had a chance to catch a few trailing issues), attempting to integrate this latest package will cause a (fairly generic) error. This is because we haven’t quite got the automatic updating process working, but there is a very simple work-around. Before you integrate this latest build of Reflector with Visual Studio, open VS, go to the Extension Manager, and uninstall the previous Reflector extension. Problem solved.

What’s Shiny?

We just added Visual Studio 11 integration, which you’ll be able to find in Reflector ->Tools ->Integration options. It’s pretty new, so if you run into any problems please let us know. Clive has also exposed some more interfaces in the Reflector API (to do with byte code manipulation).

Data-Driven Development

We’ve implemented Feature Usage reporting by default in all the EAP builds – essentially, it dramatically changes the way we develop and improve the product by giving us quantitative feedback we just can’t get any other way. The technology exists in all of our builds, but it is only turned on by default in our EAP. Rest assured that all reports are completely anonymous, and only contain information about Reflector itself (i.e. nothing about what you’re using it to decompile etc.). If you have any questions about this, feel free to get in touch.

Of course, we still need your input! Please do keep letting us know about bugs you find, improvements we could make, and what you think of our new package & integration. Drop us a line in the EAP forums or to, and keep track of what’s been updated via our EAP gateway.

As always, if you want to be kept up to date on what we’re working on, you should join us on twitter or Google+.

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