Creating a custom PostSharp aspect (with IL transformation)

Last time I wrote about my efforts to create minidumps with PostSharp aspects. I showed some ways of achieving that, but the main conclusion was that no out-of-the-box aspect in PostSharp provides a transformation that would allow inserting minidump generation code in the optimal place: just before throw instructions. Fortunately, it isn’t too hard to create such an aspect, even though the required PostSharp SDK is unsupported and undocumented.

Let’s start by analyzing how PostSharp aspects are architected. Then we’ll move to implementing the actual IL transformation required to temporarily store the exception about be thrown, pass it to the aspect code, and then actually throw it expected.

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Writing minidumps with PostSharp aspects

In the comments for one of my previous posts, Writing an automatic debugger in 15 minutes, a reader suggested creating minidumps with PostSharp aspects. Although I proved (by the very scientific method of guesstimation – see Performance impact of running under MDbgEngine) that running under a debugger introduces only a 25% performance penalty, it is reasonable to try to avoid it altogether. Today’s post will be an investigation into using PostSharp as a means of injecting minidump creation code into exception handlers.

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