March 8, 2021
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Framework Source Code Stepping

  • By Nick Wienholt
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There is no greater source of documentation than the actual source code of a function. By configuring Visual C++ to be able to step through the ATL, MFC, and .NET Framework libraries, it is possible to gain a much greater depth of understanding about problems that are occurring, and why certain libraries behave like they do. Although it is never safe to rely on undocumented behaviour or implementation specifics, the actual source code can provide a great supplement to the MSDN documentation, and significantly enhance developer productivity. With a little effort and attention to detail, setting up Visual C++ to be able to step into the source code of any of Microsoft's libraries is easily achievable.

About the Author

Nick Wienholt is an independent Windows and .NET consultant based in Sydney. He is the author of Maximizing .NET Performance and co-author of A Programmers Introduction to C# 2.0 from Apress, and specializes in system-level software architecture and development, with a particular focus of performance, security, interoperability, and debugging.

Nick is a keen and active participant in the .NET community. He is the co-founder of the Sydney Deep .NET User group and writes technical article for Australian Developer Journal, ZDNet, Pinnacle Publishing, Developer.COM, MSDN Magazine (Australia and New Zealand Edition) and the Microsoft Developer.

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This article was originally published on September 8, 2008

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