.NET Framework source code is now open to the public

I know that we all have been waiting for this great news for a long time. Now you can download symbols for .NET Framework source code and you can see or even debug the framework’s itself.

ScottGu has a long post describing how you can access this feature in Visual Studio 2008.

This is what he says:

Last October I blogged about our plan to release the source code to the .NET Framework libraries, and enable debugging support of them with Visual Studio 2008. Today I’m happy to announce that this is now available for everyone to use. Specifically, you can now browse and debug the source code for the following .NET Framework libraries:

.NET Base Class Libraries (including System, System.CodeDom, System.Collections, System.ComponentModel, System.Diagnostics, System.Drawing, System.Globalization, System.IO, System.Net, System.Reflection, System.Runtime, System.Security, System.Text, System.Threading, etc).
ASP.NET (System.Web, System.Web.Extensions)
Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms)
Windows Presentation Foundation (System.Windows)
ADO.NET and XML (System.Data and System.Xml)
We are in the process of adding additional framework libraries (including LINQ, WCF and Workflow) to the above list. I’ll blog details on them as they become available in the weeks and months ahead.

To read the rest of the post, please follow this page.

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1 Response

  1. Just Grab Your Copy From:

    .NET Mass Downloader

    Welcome to the .NET Mass Downloader project. While it’s great that Microsoft has released the .NET Reference Source Code, you can only get it one file at a time while you’re debugging. If you’d like to batch download it for reading or to populate the cache, you’d have to write a program that instantiated and called each method in the Framework Class Library. Fortunately, .NET Mass Downloader comes to the rescue!

    Using .NET Mass Downloader
    Open a command or PowerShell prompt and navigate to where you extracted the current release. The tool itself is NetMassDownloader.exe and when run without parameters shows the following help screen:
    .Net Mass Downloader – (c) 2008 by Kerem Kusmezer, John Robbins

    Batch download the Microsoft .NET Reference Source code.

    Usage: NetMassDownloader [-file ]
    [-directory <directory]
    [-output ]
    [-vsver ]
    [-force] [-nologo] [-verbose] [-?]

    -file – Download an individual file’s PDB and source code. You can
    specify multiple file parameters. (Short -f).
    -directory – Download all the found PDB and source code for all files in
    the specified directory. You can specify multiple
    directory parameters (Short -d).
    -output – The output directory for PDB and source files. The default
    directory is the cache directory set in Visual Studio 2008.
    By using the cache directory, you’ll have the PDB and source
    files available to Visual Studio 2008. However, to use the
    .NET Reference Source Code with VS 2005, use the -output
    switch and in the Options dialog, Debugging, Symbols property
    page, add the specified output directory to the “Symbol file
    (.pdb) locations.” Also, add the directory to the Solution
    Properties, Common Properties, Debug Source Files, Directories
    containing source code location. The Visual Studio 2005
    debugger will automatically load the source code. (Short -o)
    -vsver – The Visual Studio version number to use for finding the cache
    directory. The default is Visual Studio 2008,
    but if you want to use the cache directory for Visual Studio
    2005, you would pass ‘-vsver 8.0′ (without quotes) (Short -vs)
    -force – If specified, forces the downloading the PDB files into the
    symbol server. When downloading to a symbol server if the PDB
    exists, it’s not downloaded. Using the -output switch will
    always download and process the PDB. (Short -fo)
    -nologo – Don’t show the logo information. (Short -n)
    -verbose – Do verbose output. May be worth turning on as the downloading
    source code can take a long time. (Short -v)
    -? – This help message.
    The only required arguments are –file or –directory, both of which can be specified as many times as you’d like. When you specify a directory, only the .DLL and .EXE files from that directory will be processed. If you wanted to download all the source code from binaries in the .NET 2.0 32-bit and 64-bit directories, the command line you’d pass is: -d C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727 –d C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727.

    The main purpose of Net Mass Downloader is to populate the source code download cache for debugging, the default download location is the cache you specified to Visual Studio 2008. The –vsver switch to account for future Visual Studio versions so Mass Downloader could work with future CTPs and versions.

    While it’s great to see the .NET Reference Source Code in Visual Studio 2008, there are a lot of developers out there who can’t upgrade yet, but would love to be able to debug into the .NET Reference Source Code. If you specify the -output parameter, the PDB and .NET Reference Source Code will be written to the specified directory. In Visual Studio 2005, place that directory in the Options dialog, Debugging, Symbols property page. In the “Symbol file (.pdb) locations” list box as the first item. Also in the Options dialog, Debugging, General property page, uncheck “Require source files to exactly match the original version.” Finally, in each Visual Studio 2005 project go into the solution property pages, Common Properties, Debugging Source Files, and in the “Directories containing source code” add the output directory to the top of the list. That’s enough for Visual Studio 2005 to debug into the .NET Reference Source Code.

    When you first run Net Mass Downloader, you will be prompted with the current EULA for accessing the source code. If you don’t agree with the Microsoft EULA, clicking the Decline button will not download the source code.

    The code download includes a detailed documentation about the steps required to use it with VS2005

    If none of the files can be downloaded please download and install the RTM Version of the .NET Framework 3.5

    According to the Shawn’s blog the following DLLs are enabled for the .NET Reference Source Code:
    WPF (UIAutomation.DLL, System.Windows.DLL, System.Printing.DLL, System.Speech.DLL, WindowsBase.DLL, WindowsFormsIntegration.DLL, Presentation.DLL, some others)

    Net Mass Downloader will download any additional DLLs Microsoft configures to use with .NET Reference Source Code in the future, provided Microsoft doesn’t change the download engine.

    The original .NET Reference Source Code announcement can be found here:
    Shawns Announcement

    Downloading .Net Framework 3.0 And 3.5 Libraries

    The framework v3.5 and v3.0 assemblies are located under c:\program files\reference assemblies\microsoft\framework\v3.0 and c:\program files\reference assemblies\microsoft\framework\v3.5

    so to download them issue the following command pointing netmassdownloader to target folders:

    netmassdownloader -d “C:\Program Files\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.5”
    -d “C:\Program Files\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.0”

    Check the discussion How to download v3.0 and v3.5 Source Codes about this.

    Thanks to the Developer Division at Microsoft. First they released the .NET Reference Source Code, and second for allowing a couple of developers to have some fun and provide a utility for the community. Thank you for using .NET Mass Downloader. We just ask that you log any bugs and features into the project Issue Tracker.

    Contact Information
    You can reach us via the discussions or you can directly mail Kerem at [email protected]

    Development Details
    If you have questions about particular pieces of the code, Kerem Kusmezer did the following parts: the PE (Portable Executable) Parser, the PDB Parser, the Webclient Class. and the SrcSrv class. John Robbins did the console driver, testing, and served as Kerem’s code monkey.

    Kerem Kusmezer and John Robbins

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