Reflector – The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

There was enough of responses for Red Gate announcement about free version of .NET Reflector. Neither there’s a need to explain how useful the tool is for almost any .NET developer. There were a lot of talks about the price – $35 is it something to make noise about or just accept it and move on. Honestly, I couldn’t make my mind and was sitting on a fence.

Today I learned some really exciting news – two (not one), two different initiatives to replace Reflector.

  1. A completely free ILSpy from SharpDevelop
  2. Commercial later to be stand-alone free decompiler tool from JetBrains

These are great news.

First – ILSpy is already doing what I need – you can download it and start using. Having experience with a few projects from SharpDevelop I believe it will be a great tool to have. One of immediate things that I found is reflecting obfuscated assemblies. Reflector blows up and closes, where ILSpy takes it gracefully and just shows an exception with no additional popup windows.

JetBrains – company I highly respect. This is the case where I would continue paying money for their product and get more productivity. I am heavily relying on R# to do my job, and having a reflecting option would only add oil into fire of convincing others to use the tool. Though what I was excited was the statement JetBrains boldly put out:

it’s going to be released this year, and it’s going to be free of charge. And by saying “free”, we actually mean “free”.

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