Rob Kraft's Software Development Blog

Software Development Insights

Archive for the ‘Resources and Tools’ Category

JustDecompile set to dethrone Reflector

Posted by robkraft on June 16, 2011

Telerik will be releasing the tool many of us have been waiting for, a replacement for Reflector.  Reflector was, and still is, a great and helpful tool for analyzing .Net code, but every since RedGate renigged on their promise to keep it free forever, we have been upset and worried about our options for the future.

JustCompile from Telerik is your new alternative to Reflector.  Telerik declares the tool will be free forever.

I tried it out and the basic features are very similar to Reflector, so it will succeed it doing what I almost always want from it.  I don’t see support yet for add-ins, but this is just a beta of a free product.  Who knows what else is to come.  I only mention the add-ins because I had one I liked for Reflector that gave a diagram of the Cyclomatic Complexity score of all my classes and methods, which I occasionally made use of.


Posted in Free tools | 1 Comment »

Find bugs in your javascript using Closure

Posted by robkraft on June 5, 2011

Just in case you have not found the Closure tool from Google yet, I’m making this little post to help you discover it.  Closure is a free online tool at that will examine your javascript for bugs and compact it for you.  If you write javascript and are not using any tools to assist you in finding coding errors, check out closure.  It is online and it is free.

Posted in Code Design, Dev Environment, Free tools | Leave a Comment » is your online alternative to Visio

Posted by robkraft on May 24, 2011

I just recently started making use of the online charting tool and I highly recommend it as your alternative to Visio.  I used IE9 and found the charting tools to work very much like a Windows desktop application.  It is very easy to click and drag, copy and paste, draw connector lines, change captions and do so many of the core tasks that you can do in Visio.  I believe this product is much better than the open source and free products such as OpenOffice Draw or Dia.  There appears to be no direct print option, but I am 100% happy without that feature because you can save to PDF and print from the nice-looking PDF document.  I am also impressed by the number of templates available at start and that I can use the product for free.  I can even share my diagram with 2 other people under the free model.  LucidChart offers several free priced plans and we are evaluating the tool now to determine a pricing plan to follow, but you can use the free version indefinitely if you would like.  Finally, you can import your existing Visio diagrams into LucidChart, though I did not try this.

If you want to make any diagrams and you don’t own Visio, or even if you do own Visio, you should spend a few minutes to check out

Posted in Free tools | Leave a Comment »

Use MailChimp for a great free mailing list

Posted by robkraft on February 22, 2011

I have maintained a few mailing lists for some non-profit organizations for the last ten years using a .Net program I wrote.  I was proud of my little program and the features I provided, but I recently discovered and am now using it instead.

With MailChimp I can send 12,000 emails per month for free.  I can upload a list of existing email addresses from an Excel spreadsheet.  I get feedback and statistics about who has opened the email, when it was opened, and where it was opened from. They also provide dozens of email templates to make your emails look great!

If you manage small email lists and are using your own excel spreadsheets, or just a blob of emails you send to from within outlook, you owe it to yourself to take a few minutes and get to know

Posted in Free tools, Web Sites | Leave a Comment »

Better Software Magazine and Dev Pro Connections New Issues

Posted by robkraft on January 28, 2011

The latest issue of Better Software magazine is now online at:

The latest issue of DevPro Connections magazine is online at:

These both may require an account to access the magazines, but they are both full of good articles and the price of the account is free!

Posted in Magazine Online | Leave a Comment »

Clean up all the old versions of DLLs on your development PC

Posted by robkraft on December 24, 2010

Sometimes I desire to clean up all the old copies of my DLLs from my computer in order to insure that I am testing the correct and current version.
Using the great tool “Search Everything” from, I have found that I often have a lot of detritus in the following folders:
1) The Global Assembly Cache (GAC)
1a) In .Net 2.0, I could find the GAC at c:\windows\assembly and delete my files
1b) In .Net 4.0, the GAC is at C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\assembly in multiple sub-folders
2) The temporary ASP.Net file cache
2a) This is located at a folder with a name like C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files
3) If you develop with Silverlight, then you may find a history of every version of Silverlight DLL file you created at:
C:\Documents and Settings\%loggedInUser%\Local Settings\Application Data\assembly\dl3
4) Clear your browser cache
5) Look for DLLs in all of your bin and obj folders.  “Search Everything” is great for this purpose.

I clean up much of this with a batch file like this now:

cd “C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files”
rd /S /Q root
rd /S /Q vs

cd “C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files”
rd /S /Q root
rd /S /Q vs

cd “C:\Users\rkraft\AppData\Local”
rd /S /Q temp

cd “C:\Users\rkraft\AppData\LocalLow”
rd /S /Q temp

cd “C:\Users\rkraft\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\Designer”
rd /S /Q ShadowCache

cd “C:\Users\rkraft\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio Services\5.0\”
rd /S /Q Cache

Posted in Coding, Free tools, Visual Studio 2010 | Leave a Comment »

Determine your Silverlight version at

Posted by robkraft on December 22, 2010

The simplest way to determine the version of silverlight installed in any browser is probably to navigate to this web site:

Posted in Free tools, Online Resources | Leave a Comment »

.Net Portal – Links to .Net Resources

Posted by robkraft on July 19, 2010 is a simple web site that provides links to some of the best .Net resources including podcasts, videos, tutorials, conferences, books, blogs, and tools.

Posted in Online Resources | 2 Comments »

June 2010 issue of DevConnections

Posted by robkraft on June 6, 2010

The June issue of DevConnections is available online at this link:

Posted in Magazine Online | Leave a Comment »

How to group files in partial classes under one file

Posted by robkraft on May 9, 2010

I’ve always liked that the separate files (designer and cs) comprising my aspx pages were grouped together under one aspx. Did you know that you can group any files together under one specific file? You can modify the project file and add the DependentUpon element to any include file and specify the name of the file it is dependent upon.

In Visual Studio 2010, you can do this more easily with an Extension. Go to Tools/Extension Manager, Online Gallery, and find VSCommands 2010 and install it.
This should open a web page with a quick description of the features this add-in provides. (Grouping files, open in blend, copy as link, etc.).

Posted in Free tools, Visual Studio 2010 | 1 Comment »