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The folks at O'Neill are asking Windows developers to blog about their favorite tools.  Here are mine:

This first batch of tools is well known, and deservedly so.

  1. Process Explorer - Peer deep into all the running processes.  A major problem solver.
  2. Process Monitor - What the #*%^@! is going on?  Process monitor reports on every disk I/O, registry access, and threading activity happening.  Many problems can be diagnosed by seeing where file system and/or registry access is failing.
  3. Reflector - MSDN doesn't explain what something does?  Not a problem!  Use Reflector to reverse engineer the .NET Framework.  This will give you hyperlinked source code so you can understand what the framework really does.

This batch isn't as well know, but they're still great.

  1. Fiddler - If I were a rich man... What is being passed between your app and the browser?  Fiddler will show you.  A user called me the other day, getting a 603 error (whatever that is).  I monitored the traffic using Fiddler and quickly found out she was missing a hosts file entry.
  2. Wireshark - Fiddler show you all the HTTP traffic, but what about the other protocols?  Wireshark will show you everything the NIC sees.  It understands hundreds of protocols and can parse the data into a readable format.
  3. Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar - A great way to understand complex web pages once they've been delivered to the browser.  View the DOM, CSS, image, link information, and more.
  4. Notepad++ - Great replacement for that wimpy notepad.
  5. frhed - Notepad++ is a great text editor, but it isn't a very good hex editor.  Frhed is a very full featured hex editor.
  6. WinMerge - Excellent file diff and merge tool.
  7. .NET Webservice Studio - The web service test page generated by ASP.NET doesn't allow you to test all possible function signatures (it doesn't support arrays at all).  .NET Webservice Studio supports all signatures and gives you more information than the generated page.
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 7:49 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Favorite Tools

# re: Favorite Tools
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Thanks for contributing to Tools Day!

You've got a great list with a couple interesting things I've not used before. I'm all over great sniffers, so I'm going to go grab Wireshark right now!
Left by Jim Holmes on Jan 22, 2007 6:48 AM

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