Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Reflector 5.0 is out - awesome!!!

Usually, you don't feel much difference when Lutz Roeder releases a new version of his can't-live-without-it tool. You open it, it says that there is a new version, you click OK, and you don't feel any difference. You're using a new version of Reflector, but don't see where the big deal was.

Today, however, things went completely differently. I downloaded the new version (using the Automatic Update feature which works like a charm), and was already surprised that the downloaded files was so big (1 MB).
Then I opened it... This guy is a genious:

  1. Integrated help from MSDN - when you look at a method's decompilation, you automatically see, at the bottom of the screen, the MSDN information about that method. Even cooler - the links inside that pseudo-MDSN pane work inside Reflector, and navigate to the correct place showing you the decompilation automatically!
  2. Expand Methods - When you look at a class, there is a link at the bottom called "Expand Methods" which will expand all the methods in one screen, effectively providing you with a complete decompiled class.
  3. Enhanced Analyzer feature - I LOVE the "Assigned By" feature, which shows you which methods change a field!
  4. Integrated search in MSDN and Google (I wonder how long it will take for Microsoft and Yahoo! to go complaining about the lack of configurability of the search engine...)
  5. Shell integration - run reflector.exe /register in a command prompt. Do it! NOW!!! You did it? Sure?!?! Well, assuming you're smart enough to have taken this advice - from now on, when you right-click on a managed dll, you'll have a "Browse with .NET Reflector" option, which will automagically open the dll with, huh, well Reflector of course. Actually, you don't even have to go through right-click - it's set as default when you double-click the dll...
  6. More features here. I wouldn't be able to put it better - The Best Tool Ever Got Even Better!!!


Thanks Yossi for pointing it out.

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