Thursday, August 28, 2008

Reflector - The beginning of the end??

August 28, 2008 Posted by Jason No comments
I woke up today to an automated email from Lutz Roeder, the infamous author of reflector for .net - an amazing utility allowing the disassembly and analysis of compiled .net assemblies. The email ushered in a new era, with Lutz announcing his retirement from the project and the passing of all development to Redgate software.

After more than eight years of working on .NET Reflector, I have decided it is time to move on and explore some new opportunities.

I have reached an agreement to have Red Gate Software continue the development of .NET Reflector. Red Gate has a lot of experience creating development tools for both .NET and SQL Server. They have the resources necessary to work on new features, and Reflector fits nicely with other .NET tools the company offers.

Red Gate will continue to provide the free community version and is looking for your feedback and ideas for future versions.

For news and updates on Reflector, sign up for the .NET Developer’s Newsletter from Red Gate. To find out more about the agreement, see the interview on Simple Talk.

Lutz is important in my mind as he is one of few blogging celebrities who shares more than insight (i am not for a second knocking insight) and provided the .NET community with a substantial body of work. I myself have used reflector many times where source code was just not available, and found it a joy to use. Likewise, i have used a number of redgate SQL oriented tools and have had mixed feelings (SQL Compare was pretty sweet but sql prompt (an older version which was offered for free) did not impress.

I read the smalltalk interview with lutz and a redgate manager and a question i would like answered is "what is in it for redgate". I see that the community version will still be available for free, but does this suggest a commercial enterprise version? We all know how that goes - the commercial project receives the organization's backing while the free version remains an unwanted sibling. If a commercial version is not on the table i'm interested to know what redgate's interest is. Afterall, if resources are to be put on this project, surely there must be a gain to balance the investment of time on their part.

Admittedly I am dismayed by the transition, but part of me definitely looks forward to seeing what the future will bring. And I cant help wondering what is next for Lutz!