IMHO, Reflector is probably the single most important .NET software development tool next to Visual Studio itself. Don’t believe me? See Scott Hanselman’s “The Big 10 Life and Work-Changing Utilities” list from 2007. I use it constantly when trying to decompile someone’s existing .NET code to fix a bug or rewrite it, etc.
So today I got an email in my inbox today from Lutz Roeder mentioning that he was ceasing development and that the tool was being taken over by Red Gate Software. Before I make any comments, I’d like to first express my gratitude to Lutz for 8 long years of development on a tool that he shared with everyone for free. The tool has been indispensible to me over the years.
Now on to my thoughts:
First I think that something like Reflector might be best served by being opened up to the open source community rather than existing within the realm of a commercial entity. That being said,Red Gate software has already agreed to continue making a community edition of Reflector (and plugins) available for free from it’s website. While I always question the motivation of a commercial entity behind free versions of software, I also have a lot of respect for Red Gate software as they make some really cool tools. My personal hopes are that they do continue development of Reflector and continue to increase the features in the community version that they make available for free. I just hope they don’t require people to purchase in order to get new features.
Click here to read an interview with Lutz and James Moore (Red Gate) about the new ownership of Reflector.
Again, a million thank you’s to Lutz for all the years of hard work on this indispensible tool.