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Christopher Diggins

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

From DLL Hell to Assembly Hell?

February 28, 2009

Relatively recently I have started trying to write .NET applications which share assemblies. I have run into a lot of problems, which makes me wonder if things are much better than using DLLs.

Working with DLL's has a bad reputation, because it is a challenge dealing with versioning etc. However, I am not yet convinced that writing assemblies is any better.

I recently spent about 8 hours trying to figure out why I couldn't dynamically cast a class to an interface in my class library, when I loaded the assembly dynamically. Both my main application and the add-in were supposed to be using the exact same assembly file!

 It turns out that because of a setting in my IDE the assembly file was getting quietly copied, and when I compared the names of the files I didn't notice that small difference in the path name. 

I have also had a lot of problems because I was using an "express" version of the IDE, which had some features turned off quietly (but only in release builds!!!).

Debugging this has been a nightmare. To make things worse MSDN is so broken nowadays, I can barely get any useful information out of it. 

 I know, I am just ranting, but for crying out loud, things are getting much too complicated. A cert 



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