What's in your OSS box?

Following on the heels of Jeremy Miller and JP, here's a list of my open source tools in my tool chest. My list may be surprising to some.

  • Enterprise Libraries. Some people hate 'em and there's people that blast them for being "too big" but it works. Free logging, exception handling (via policies I dictate through an XML file), and other goodies. Version 3.0 adds some business validation framework and even more stuff.
  • Composite Application UI Block (CAB). A library that provides a framework for building composite applications. It lets me modularize things and not worry about the plumbing to make things talk to each other (thanks to an easy to use event broker system). It also includes ObjectBuilder to boot which is a framework to build dependency injection systems.
  • Smart Client Software Factory. Another framework (and collection of guidance packages) that jumpstarts building Smart Client applications. Basically provides a hunk of code I would normally have to write to locate services, load modules, and generally be a good Smart Client citizen.
  • NAnt. Can't stand MSBuild and wouldn't give it the time of day. NAnt is my savior when I need to automate a quick task.
  • NUnit. Again, MSTest just dosen't measure up when it comes to integration with my other tools and most everything is written these days with NUnit examples. Okay, so NUnit isn't as powerful as say MbUnit but I just love the classics.
  • CruiseControl.NET. The ThoughtWorkers are awesome dudes of power and CC.NET is just plain simple (see my struggle with Team City recently).
  • TestDriven.NET. A great tool that I can't live without.
  • NCover/NCoverExplorer. I just love firing up TestDriven.NET with covage and seeing 100% in all my code. Where I'm lacking, it points it out easily and I just write  a new test to get my coverage up.
  • Subversion. I have a local copy of Subversion running so I can just do quick little spikes and maybe file the code away for a rainy day on an external drive.
  • TortoiseSVN. And CVS I guess when I have to access CVS repositories out there in internet land. I'm still waiting for a TortoiseTFS.
  • RhinoMocks. I started writing mocks last year and haven't looked back since. While it does take some going to set things up, if you start writing mocks and doing TDD with them you'll end up with a better looking system (rather than trying to mock things out after the fact). Rhino is the way to go for mocking IMHO.
  • Notepad++. Lots of people have various notepad replacements, but I prefer this puppy.
  • WinMerge. Great tool for doing diffs of source code or entire directories.

This is what's in my toolbox today and I use on a daily basis (and there's probably more but I haven't had enough Jolt tonight to bring them out from the depths of my grey matter). I've glossed over and checked out various other tools like NHibernate, Windsor, iBatis, and even Boo but they're not something I use all the time.

While I don't have as many as the boys, I think I have what I need right now. What's surprising looking at the list is that some of my stuff is Microsoft which just flys in the face of any comments from people that "We only use Microsoft" means you *can* use OSS tools even if they're from the evil empire. Even with the MS list of items I use, I'm covered with things like dependency injection and separation of concern although the MS tools don't fare nearly as well as say Windsor or StructureMap, they still do what I need them to.


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