I recently stumbled on Scott Guthrie blog where he explains that Microsoft is releasing the source code of the .NET Framework Libraries. Finally was my first impression. A bit latter and a bit disappointed, I saw it was a blog post from 2007 when MS realized a link between VS 2008 and a website with the debug symbols for framework classes.
For some of the hardest bugs I had to solve as a consultant, the last resort was the use reflector to check the libraries’s code to understand what is really happening. Having access to the debug symbols we are able to simple step through.
Anyway I’m very pleased with the effort MS puts into documenting their libraries and providing additional information. Compared to the early days it is a vast improvement. I remember creating C coded OLE ActiveX objects to run Delphi application against. Not a lot of fun!
I always wonder why Microsoft does not allow some Open Source licensing schema for his core libraries. It is not that the content is hidden. Reflector easily reveals what is in these libraries. It is probably my academic flower power period where I thought everything could be open and free, that is catching up.