A trick to jump directly to a Cmdlet’s implementation in Reflector

Fellow PowerShell MVP and developer all-round expert administrator Brandon Shell asked me how he could navigate to a Cmdlet’s implementation in Lutz Roeder’s Reflector -- which has now been acquired by Red-Gate Software btw. At first I was going to explain to him how snap-ins work and how to figure out where things are, and then a really simple trick hit me that uses some fairly secret command-line parameter that Reflector can accept, namely the /select parameter:

  1. function Reflect-Cmdlet {  
  2.     param([Management.Automation.CommandInfo]$command)  
  3.     if ($input) {  
  4.         trap { $_; break }  
  5.         $command = $input | select -first 1  
  6.     }      
  7.          
  8.     # resolve to command if this is an alias  
  9.     while ($command.CommandType -eq "Alias") {  
  10.         $command = Get-Command ($command.definition)  
  11.     }  
  12.       
  13.     $name = $command.ImplementingType      
  14.     $DLL = $command.DLL  
  15.       
  16.     if (-not (gcm reflector.exe -ea silentlycontinue)) {  
  17.         throw "I can't find Reflector.exe in your path." 
  18.     }  
  19.        
  20.     reflector /select:$name $DLL 

Just pipe the output of get-command to it, like: gcm dir | reflect-cmdlet and Reflector will open up with the class selected (it takes a few seconds).

Update: Doug pointed out in a comment that the gcm reflector.exe line could benefit from an erroraction to keep it silent on failure, so only the throw message shows. Thanks Doug!

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Irish, PowerShell MVP, .NET/ASP.NET/SharePoint Developer, Budding Architect. Developer. Montrealer. Opinionated. Montreal, Quebec.

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