When I found out yesterday that one of my top 5 development tools .NET Reflector will no longer be free at the end of February, I thought I'd see if work had started on a good open source alternative...and guess what...work on ILSpy is already well underway!!

There seems to be a difference of opinion on what Red Gate said when they purchased .NET Reflector from Lutz Roeder in 2008. They say that they would try to keep it free, where as others think they promised to keep it free. Either way at the time I thought it was a smart purchase by Red Gate as it would raise their profile overnight within the .Net community.

But not only are they going to charge $35 for v7 (which is up to them), they have also time-bombed v6 to force users to pay. This I think will lower their profile overnight within the .Net community!!

Maybe they are been slightly naive in thinking the community wouldn't just write an alternative?

UPDATE: JetBrains now has a free decompiler called dotPeek:


  1. Decompiling .NET 1.0-4.5 assemblies to C#
  2. Support for .dll, .exe, .zip, .vsix, .nupkg, and .winmd files
  3. Quick jump to a type, assembly, symbol, or type member
  4. Effortless navigation to symbol declarations,
    implementations, derived and base symbols, and more
  5. Accurate search for symbol usages
    with advanced presentation of search results
  6. Overview of inheritance chains
  7. Support for downloading code from source servers
  8. Syntax highlighting
  9. Complete keyboard support
  10. dotPeek is free!