The best way to explore/investigate/understand class hierarchy and principle of work of new project

Imagine such situation. You get some legacy code or get some new framework. You need to investigate and understand how to work with this code as soon as possible. There is no chance to ask for help from previous developer. What are the best practices/methods/ways/steps/tools (preferred .NET Framework tools stack) to use to get maximum efficiency in investigating new to you code base.

If it is framework and there is no much documentation and unit tests, what tools you usually use to explore class hierarchy, methods, events? Is it default Object Browser, Architecture Explorer of MS Visual Studio or some other tools like Resharper hierarchy/file view?


There really isn't a best way to do this as there are so many variables and every project is different from the next.

To be absolutely honest the best way to get your head around it is to create a sandpit/test environment and, for want of a better description, play with it. Then play with it some more.

As an example of 'playing with it', using debugger and stepping through the code will tell you a lot about the flow and structure of the code. It is also worth mentioning that you should never trust comments, verify functionality yourself. Code may have changed since a comment was written.

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Ant task to build Mac OS X Package

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