We’re doing a refresh on the search functionality; below you can see the old search pane. One of the main problems with this is that when you open it up, it eats up the space you would normally use to look at code.
So to try to address this we started working on a filtering solution for the assembly tree. We got some way into development and put it out in a beta. We also got straight into user testing with a number of volunteers.
Download the latest beta release
Version 7.7 of .NET Reflector was released only a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve been working on many changes. The most prominent of these was integrating the power commands into the tool (you can find details of the earlier release here). We’ve since been working on the next version of Reflector, version 8. The goals here are making it easier and faster for people to find bugs and understand third-party code by improving the static code analysis inside the desktop version of the tool and improving the route into debugging. The current beta is a step forward towards achieving this goal for Reflector 8.0.
One of the most significant improvements we’ve made to Reflector is attaching a search filter to the assembly browser. You can now dynamically search for any implementation within the list of assemblies loaded in the assembly tree view.
If you’ve tried the .NET Reflector 7.7 release, you’ll notice some new commands have appeared across the program. These are the remains of the Power Commands we integrated into the tool a while back, and as part of my work on add-ins I’ve moved the most useful ones into the foreground to make them more accessible and easier to use. These commands could previously be enabled from the options menu, but they hadn’t been worked on in a long time and had run into disrepair; some were confusing and others downright broken.
Here’s a rundown of the updated commands and how to access them from within Reflector.
.Net Reflector 7.7 is going to have a fairly quick turn around and a short beta period, as we’re looking to release later on this month. We’ve mostly been fixing bugs and tidying things up but there are probably a couple of things of note that are worth mentioning.
If you want to try out 7.7 now, it’s available as the latest EAP build
We released the latest Early Access release yesterday afternoon, and we’ve made some improvements to the installation process. However, before we jump into the details a recommendation:
Before you install this latest release, please uninstall the previous one (build 184.108.40.2064). More on this later.
And now, on with the walkthrough….
This EAP build is about testing our new installer, so you won’t see massive functional difference.
We’ve also added a bit more support for SharePoint assemblies, fixed some bugs, polished up the Async support, and added a welcome screen and splash screen.
The splash screen is part of our work to look into startup time and performance, and we’re hoping to improve that as we work towards a full release. The welcome screen is a bit sparse at the moment. We’re still reviewing the designs. But the aim is to include some getting started information to help users when they’re evaluating Reflector for the first time, and to try and elicit more user feedback.
The installer is the biggest difference in this build. We’ve based it on the standard Red Gate installer, and it’ll let you install install both the standalone Reflector application, and the Visual Studio add-in, or just choose one. We’re hoping this will provide a better experience, and make it easier to manage updates in future.
It’s worth noting that the installer currently does not elevate permissions – so you’re recommended to install to a location where you have the appropriate permissions.
With the final release, we’ll probably continue to provide the traditional .zip file as well as the installer.
As usual, we’d love you to tell us what you think.
In the past we’ve been mentioned quite a bit in conjunction with SharePoint. There are plenty of blog posts out there about using Reflector to get your head around it, and a lot of you have told us about your SharePoint experiences, but we haven’t really done any dedicated development around it.
We’ve added some SharePoint content to the main .NET Reflector site, which hopefully you’ll fine useful:
We also thought we’d try to do something in the tool itself, to help those of you who have this particular challenge in your lives.
We’ve heard that some of you are having problems with 7.5 at the moment. So rather than make you wait for us to finish 7.6, we thought we’d put out fixes for some of the more common issues. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Reflector not working well with other visual studio add-ins and swallowing the Outlining > Collapse to Definitions command. This issue was particularly plaguing users who also had Coderush installed.
- Visual Studio Crashing when debugging with the add-in installed, particularly when attempting to step into or over.
- Problems installing the Visual Studio Package. Users were reporting a variety of largely generic errors in forum posts. We think we’ve fixed the majority of these cases but we would obviously like to know if you encounter any issues in this area.
The new build is live on the site and available to download right now.
Do let us know if you have any problems, and feel free to try out the EAP if you want to see what’s coming up in the next release of Reflector.
Given that .NET 4.5 is available as part of the beta for Dev11, we have added some new support functionality to .NET Reflector (this is already available in our EAP releases).
First, Reflector will now notice if you have .NET 4.5 installed on the machine. As 4.5 is an in-place installation, we notice the presence of certain files to trigger this.
We’ve been a bit quiet on the EAP front recently, and there’s a reason for that. The rest of the team and I feel like we’ve spent the last fortnight locked in a meeting room. In hindsight, that’s substantially because we have. All I can see when I close my eyes is post-it notes, but we’re getting a lot closer to scoping out version 8 of Reflector.
V8 is all kinds of exciting, but still very much at the on-paper stage. But somehow, in the midst of all the planning, and sketching, and brainstorming, and well-intentioned bickering, Clive, Nigel, Ruchika, and Nick have shipped a new EAP.
The version 7.6 EAP is the first slice of our support for Visual Studio Dev 11, .NET 4.5, and C# 5
Reflector’s Visual Studio integration is now working in Dev11, so you can decompile code and start to debug it within the new VS beta. You can explore the changes in the .NET 4.5 framework too, and Clive has a blog post coming about this shortly.
Because it’s our first EAP, it’s not all up and running yet. For example, we aren’t currently decompiling the new C# async/await construct, but we’ll be fleshing out the C# 5 support in the coming releases.
To get an idea of what’s planned for Reflector 7.6, take a look at the EAP page