Sunday, July 03, 2011

ILSpy - a free .NET assembly browser and decompiler

My good friend Arno Gerretsen, developer of various famous tools for Flight Simulator model and scenery development, found a very useful undocumented parameter that can be used in one of the base FSX SDK tools, XToMdl.exe to help with scenery object manipulation.

This got me thinking: Knowing that most of the tools developed for the FSX SDK were written in a .NET language (C# or VB), would I be able to detect other undocumented goodies, or even possibly look into the source code to decipher some of the logic and/or see if there could be work-arounds available for known issues?

This led me into a search for tools that can be used to decompile .NET code. Unfortunately, all my searches came up with commercial products that were more expensive than the funds I could allocate (namely: Zero dollars) so I was running on empty, until I bumped into a news article (written in, the Greek software developers community) which explained that there is now an open-source .NET assembly browser and decompiler called ILSpy.

I downloaded and tested ILSpy and found it quite worthwhile, so I can only recommend for inquiring minds who want to know!

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