An Easier Way To See The Rotor Code

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Have you ever wanted to take a look at the internals of the .NET Framework? Sure you can (and should) fire up Reflector and see the Base Class Libraries, but what about the fully commented source code? What about the parts implemented in C++?

A while back, Microsoft released the Shared Source Common Language Infrastructure (aka the SSCLI aka Rotor). This is a fully working implementation of the ECMA CLI standard and ECMA C# language specification. So it’s not quite the entire framework, but it is still quite a bit of code.

Traditionally, to look at this code you would download the compressed archive and play around with it locally.

Development-CostBut if you want to just quickly browse the code, you can view all of its nearly three million lines of code on its project page on

Wouldn’t it be fun to compare that development cost estimate with the real number? I doubt Microsoft is interested in disclosing that information.

To search within this project, you just need to set the search scope.

For example, here are the search results for DateTime and here is the page with the DateTime implementation complete with comments.

Koders - datetime.cs - Windows Internet

Other Great Projects to Look At

I mentioned a couple of great projects to look at over on the Koders blog, but here are some other great projects of interest to me now included in the Source Code Index.

  • DotNetNuke
    • One of the largest open source projects on the .NET Framework.
  • Subsonic
    • Some think this project should be called Sublime for how it brings fun back to ASP.NET development.
  • Subtext
    • Of course I’m going to mention this!
  • PSP Development Tools
    • Because we all want to write the next great game for the Play Station Portable.
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6 responses

  1. Avatar for Mads Kristensen
    Mads Kristensen July 12th, 2007

    This is great news! I always wanted to have the whole thing with code comments as a reference.

  2. Avatar for Member Blogs
    Member Blogs July 12th, 2007

    .NET Learning Powershell Without Leaving the Command Line Watching your computer breath using FileSystemWatcher

  3. Avatar for fabiopedrosa
    fabiopedrosa July 12th, 2007

    I don't know what take account in the development costs algorithm at Koders, but Microsoft certinally spent a lot more. This probably didn't take into account the time/money spent on designing and managing this project.

  4. Avatar for Simone Busoli
    Simone Busoli July 12th, 2007

    Congratulations Phil, Koders is getting really cool.

  5. Avatar for Sam Gentile
    Sam Gentile July 23rd, 2007

    Ever hear the story of the guy who responded to ScottW's Facebook NJ Developers and DonXML 's

  6. Avatar for WCF Community Bloggers
    WCF Community Bloggers July 23rd, 2007

    Ever hear the story of the guy who responded to ScottW's Facebook NJ Developers and DonXML 's