On 23rd August, 2008 Lutz Roeder gave .NET Reflector development to Red Gate Software. At that time Red Gate agreed to provide free community version and everything seemed same. There was paid version available with Visual Studio integration but for occasional need you could always count on free one. This is bound to change with 1st March. Red Gate Software decided to require $35 for what was once known as freeware.
I remember .NET Reflector as a great tool for debugging assemblies that you have no source for. It helped me more than once to navigate my way around some obscure bug that would trigger in other people’s library. I will not even mention how much I learned by viewing other people’s code. :)
I will not go into blaming anyone for killing free version of this tool. Lutz was quite in his rights to give it to Red Gate and I assume that Red Gate is allowed to ask money for it. I also think that most of attacks on Red Gate’s forum are unfounded and uncalled for. Reality sucks, learn to live with it. I am just sad that this beautiful tool will leave my toolbox for now.
Will I buy a licence? Maybe some time, but not right now.
[2012-11-07: Licence for .NET Reflector is $95 these days but there is freeware alternative from JetBrains: dotPeek]