Stepping through Catel code while debugging

It is now possible to step through the Catel code while debugging your software starting with version 4.0 (and the nightly builds for 4.0 already available via NuGet). The image below shows how an application steps into the Catel code:

GitHubLink_example

In very old versions of Catel, it was possible to step through the code while debugging your software. This was accomplished with the help of SymbolSource.org, a website that can host symbols and source code. To use this features, users would have to add SymbolSource as symbol server. Then Visual Studio would download the right symbols when required (but this could be slow).

About 2 years ago, suddenly the SymbolSource feature broke and despite how we tried to contact the SymbolSource.org team (with extensive error details), we got no support. However Catel users kept requesting the feature, but we saw no other option than to leave it out (we don’t have the resources to host the symbols ourselves).

With the move to GitHub about a year ago, Catel is now hosted on a much more professional and capable platform. This also means additional features such as the option to view the source code of each commit in raw format.

With this feature in mind, Geert van Horrik built GitHubLink, a console application that will modify the PDB files with redirects to the raw formats of the code on GitHub. This means that Visual Studio will automatically go to GitHub to get the right source code of the release (even nightly builds) you are currently debugging.

To enable stepping through the source code, it is no longer required to set up the SymbolSource.org symbol source. The only thing a developer has to do is the enable the source server support checkbox as shown in the image below.

visualstudio_enablesourceserversupport

We hope to make a lot of people happy with bringing back this feature. It will definitely provide more information while debugging applications that use Catel.