This post is for the C# developers out there and takes a look at the interesting conjunction of [CallerArgumentExpression] and static extension methods – a mix that at first seems too convenient to pass up.
A quick recap: [CallerArgumentExpression] landed as part of the C# 10.0 language update and helps to reduce the (often brittle!) boilerplate involved in, among other uses, creating useful error messages capturing the names of variables or the text of expressions. You tag an optional string method parameter with [CallerArgumentExpression("argName")] where argName is the name of the method argument you want stringified, and the compiler does the rest.
Hot on the heels of an update to our rust port of PrettySize we have a new release of PrettySize.NET that brings new features and capabilities to the best .NET library for formatting file sizes for human-readable output and display.
PrettySize 3.1, available on GitHub and via Nuget, has just been released and contains a number of improvements and requested features and newfound abilities to make handling file sizes (and not just formatting them) easier and more enjoyable.
If you’re still stuck on .NET 2.0, 3.0, or 3.5 for any reason and don’t have access to the .CopyTo method for System.IO.Stream objects, the Stream.CopyTo extension method, available as a small NuGet package will make manually allocating buffers and other boilerplate associated with copying a buffer from one stream to another a thing of the past.
Continuing our promise to open source parts of our libraries and applications where possible, we’ve just released PrettySize, a C# and .NET library for representing file sizes in a human-readable (pretty) format. PrettySize is available for free (MIT-licensed) on GitHub and via NuGet for those that are interested, and forks, contributions, and pull-requests are actively encouraged.1
One of the best benefits of open-sourcing code is that it requires you to take a critical eye to what your code does and how it’s structured. Haphazard code interspersed throughout a dozen different files is cleaned up and re-organized in a way that can only bring benefits all around, from performance to ease-of-use, security, and future maintenance.
We are proud to present the latest addition to our open source portfolio, the Unicode.net library! We’ve extracted a number of encoding- and emoji-related namespaces and functions from a few of our projects going back many years and split them off to create Unicode.net: an open source library that can be used to aid in the safe processing and manipulation of (possibly) internationalized strings and non-ASCII characters (and then some).
Unicode.net is designed from the ground-up as a modern approach to text processing and text encoding, with only support for the most popular Unicode encodings: UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32. Additionally, Unicode.net is designed to complement .NET’s existing (albeit extremely limited) Unicode support, instead of supplanting it, which primarily translates to embracing rather than shunning the System.String type wherever possible. Unlike many other text-processing libraries, Unicode.net does not want you to stop using the system types for string representation and to switch over to custom datatypes 😁.
This post is chiefly directed at .NET developers and others involved in the various stages of .NET deployment, in particular, anyone that’s been keeping tabs on the situation with the new cross-platform, open-source .NET Core initiative or .NET Standard, which came about as Microsoft’s response to the increased fragmentation of the .NET Platform as a result of the myriad of different deployment targets now available. If you’re not into that kind of stuff, feel free to skip this post, or read on and we’ll try to explain things sufficiently as we go through.
When a new Microsoft, with Satya Nadella at the helm, first open sourced the .NET Platform on November 12, 2014 it became clear that they fully intended to put everything they had into the initiative and that great things and big changes were coming to the .NET Framework and its languages. But what it also signaled was the inevitable beginning of a new level of fragmentation for the Framework, which had thus far – by and large – resisted any major fragmentation for the past 12 years of its existence.1 But taking a framework that was cobbled together from parts old and new, built atop of WIN32, GDI, and various Windows-specific anachronisms meant that porting the .NET Framework as-is to other platforms was nigh-impossible — and that major changes would have to be made to support this gargantuan effort.
There are notable exceptions to this, namely the .NET Micro Framework, the .NET Compact Framework, and Mono; however, these “members” of the .NET ecosystem – one not even by Microsoft – were never considered to be first-class .NET Targets within or without Microsoft. ↩
SecureStore is our open-source (MIT-licensed) solution to secrets management for .NET developers. It’s intended to be dead simple and boldly embraces the KISS principle. We’ve been using it in production for a while now (years, actually!), but hadn’t gotten around to officially releasing it despite its public availability on our GitHub page.
Around a month ago, Herb Sutter gave a talk on why C++ is once more gaining relevance in the world of programming, and how after a decade of neglect and abandonment, it is set to pave the way into the future. I downloaded it a while ago and finally had a chance to watch it last night; the talk itself is most-excellent and is around 40 minutes long, you can stream it online or download it in a higher-resolution format on Channel 9. Or click below to watch:
As someone that’s been using both C/C++ and .NET extensively over the past years, I found there was one very important point that Sutter glanced on, danced around, and did everything short of actually naming in his talk and it’s that if you’re doing anything remotely intricate or complicated, leaky abstractions in managed languages will bite you in the ass, and end up lowering your productivity, some times (and if what you’re working on is truly complicated, often times) to a point where you’d have been more productive using C or C++ in the first place.
The concept of leaky abstractions isn’t anything new and I’m hardly the first to point out how it can turn a knight in shining armor into a harbinger of doom and destruction. It’s the number one problem fundamentally present in almost any framework, but even more so in managed languages where the framework is all you have, and you’re not allowed to side-step it and build your own foundations to work with (p/invoke and interop aside). But lately it’s becoming more and more of a problem as the “push” for innovation that Sutter speaks of has become a fundamental requirement in just about all corners of the industry.
Although we try our best to be impartial when it comes down to OS wars, and we have, throughout the years, presented the pros and cons of Windows, Linux, and other operating systems, you’ve probably noticed that NeoSmart Technologies isn’t too big on Apple. Well, color us purple, but this we have to talk about.
Apple [[AAPL]] has a new technology due to ship in Leopard that is pretty damn impressive to hear some of the developers (or at least those at liberty to discuss what they’ve been told) talk about it. According to this Wired News article, this framework will focus on making it easy for developers to add Next (Delicious) Generation graphics to their applications, bringing the concept of UI to a whole new playing field.
While it sounds just plain awesome, we can’t help but look at it with mixed feelings. Since this is Apple and not Microsoft we’re talking about, we’re pretty darn sure everything they say can and will be found in the RTM release of OS X Leopard *cough* WinFS *cough*, but whether or not it will revolutionize the concept of user interfaces everywhere remains to be seen.
Granted, the effects are supposed to be astounding. But that’s not the question, next-gen UIs (hereby dubbed “Desktop 2.0”) are almost always a matter of how and not what. As the Wired article states, these same “amazing” graphical innovations with the UI do already exist in certain programs (like Disco, the CD burning utility for OS X), the only difference is, Apple promises to make it much easier to get the same end results.