Let’s do this scientifically

For a long while, I’ve been meaning to spend some time investigating how much optimisation the .NET jit does to your program, and in particular how it trades off the debugging experience against the performance of the running application. I was recently given some time at work to look into improving the debugging experience when people use the pdb files generated by Reflector Pro.

There are various blog posts by Microsoft people spread across the internet that give snippets of information, but it was really nice to get a couple of days to run some experiments on a .NET application which was built in retail mode to see what you need to do to turn off enough optimisations to see the values of local variables, get a faithful stacktrace and be allowed to set the next statement as you can in a debug build with a debugger attached. What I found out I wrote up here.

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