Monday, 11 February 2019

Find where an object is unintentionally being converted to a string

I've been applying the Replace Primitive with Object pattern to a code base - changing what used to be strings into a custom type (which not only makes the code more readable, but now ensures through type safety that you can't accidentally pass in any old random values to methods that used to just take strings.

The code has tests, and after applying the refactoring, I have a failing test - which hints that somewhere there's an implicit conversion from the new strongly typed object back to a string. The test's failing assertion says it received "MyNamespace.TypedThing" (which is what the default implementation of ToString() returns), rather than the wrapped string value that TypedThing encapsulates.

My initial suspicion is that there's probably code similar to this that's causing the problem:

TypedThing thing = new TypedThing("thingy"); 
string s = $"{thing}";

ReSharper has a cool utility - "Structural Search and Replace". Unfortunately it doesn't work for single expressions like "{thing}".

If I was cluey, I might be able to write a Roslyn tool to search the code and find instances like that, but that's going to take a bit more effort than I want.

What about this: temporarily override the ToString() method on my custom type, and make it throw an exception!

It's a bit of a sledgehammer, but it worked!

As it turns out my suspicion was not quite correct. The offending code was actually assigning the custom type to an Object type (which explains the lack of compiler type warnings), which later on must be converted to a string.

Now that I could see an example, I could use ReSharper's SSR to confirm that was the only instance of that kind of assignment (SSR can be used as I'm searching for an assignment statement, not just a single expression). Just for good measure, I'll also re-run the entire test suite to make sure there aren't any other similar problems still hiding.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Choco list -localonly (Feb 2019 Edition)

What software / applications am I using on my laptop (February 2019 Edition) according to Chocolatey? Here's an edited list of the output from choco list -localonly:

PackageVersionComments
7zip18.6
7zip.commandline16.02.0.20170209
audacity2.3.0Audio editor
becyicongrabber2.30.0.20161027Icon extractor (for creating Chocolatey packages)
beyondcompare4.2.9.23626My favourite file comparison tool
beyondcompare-integration1.0.1Configure Beyond Compare for TortoiseGit/Svn
dellcommandupdate-uwp3.0.0Dell's driver update app
dns-benchmark1.3.6668.0Useful DNS checker
docker-for-windows99.0.0.0
dotnetdeveloperbundle2.3.0.2563RedGate's .NET tools
dropbox41.4.80
fiddler5.0.20182.28034
FiraCode1.206Nice developer font
Firefox57.0.4
git2.20.1
GoogleChrome63.0.3239.132
iTunes12.9.3.3
keepass2.41Password manager
microsoft-teams1.1.00.2251
mousewithoutborders2.1.8.105Share mouse across laptop and desktop PCs
msbuild-structured-log-viewer2.0.61
nodejs11.9.0
notepadplusplus7.6.3Using this less now compared to VS Code
nuget.commandline4.9.2
obs-studio22.0.2Video / screen recording
OctopusTools5.2.0
Office365ProPlus2016.20170321
paint.net4.1.5
PDFXchangeEditor7.0.328.2My favourite
Pester4.4.1PowerShell unit tests
pingplotter5.8.10Useful visual ping network status
powershell-core6.1.2
procmon3.50SysInternals Process Monitor
resharper-clt.portable2018.3.2ReSharper's free command-line tools
resharper-ultimate-all2018.3.2
screentogif2.16Handy screen recorder
skype8.38.0.138
snagit2019.1.0Screen grabber
sql-server-201714.0.1000
sql-server-management-studio14.0.17289.1
tailblazer0.9.0.536Text/log file viewer
tortoisegit2.7.0.0
tortoisesvn1.11.1.28492
ubiquiti-unifi-controller5.9.29Software for managing UniFi wireless access points
vagrant2.2.3Manage virtual machines
visualstudio2017enterprise15.2.26430.20170605
visualstudiocode1.19.3
vsts-cli0.1.4.20190126Command line tool for managing Azure DevOps
vswhere2.6.7
wifiinfoview2.42
windirstat1.1.2.20161210Where's all that disk space being used?
wireshark2.6.5
x-lite5.4.0.94388VoIP client
yarn1.13.0
zoomit4.50.0.20160210Great for presentations

This is also a good basis for refreshing my Boxstarter scripts.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

TimeoutException (aka Tour Down Under 2019 and a week off)

Back at work for a couple of weeks of 2019 and I don't want to rush things too much, so I organised to take an extra week off after this year's Tour Down Under bike ride.

David, his son and his dad after completing the TDU
Last year's community ride (the 'Challenge Tour') had to be cancelled due to hot weather. We've had our share of hot weather again this year, but fortunately Saturday (previously Friday) turned out to be ideal. This year I rode with my dad and my son - 3 generations of Gardiners! Very proud of my son, who completed the 100km distance (his furthest ridden) plus (impressing a lot of our fellow riders) he did it on a mountain bike (as he doesn't have a road bike).

I didn't need the week off to recuperate from the ride - instead I was catching up with relatives visiting Adelaide! It was great to see them lots of time during the week.

We all just made it through the 46.6°C record maximum temperature for Adelaide on Thursday (that was a really, really hot day).
A ropes course
I watched as my son and his cousin did the ropes course at West Beach

Vanilla slice
Yum!

French monopoloy game board
French Monopoly - Relying on my niece to translate


I'm finishing off the mini-break with the Australia Day long weekend. Caught up with the visiting rellies one last time (before they flew home) for morning tea/lunch/kicking the footy in the park (how Aussie is that!) following by dinner with my folks. A really nice day!

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Installing .NET Core SDK for Azure Pipelines builds

How do you ensure that the correct version of .NET Core SDK is installed for your Azure Pipeline builds? You could install it manually on your build agents, but wouldn't it be better to automate it?

The .NET Core Tool Installer Task can be used for this, and if you don't change the version of the SDK that you require frequently, very often that's enough.

When you're developing .NET Core applications, you can indicate which version of the SDK you require to build with by using a global.json file.

Unfortunately, the Installer Task doesn't currently know about global.json, so you might feel like you're doubling up - specifying the required version not only in that file but also in the configuration of the Installer Task. Don't do that!

With a bit of PowerShell, that can be done.. Create a PowerShell Task that runs before the Installer task and use it to set a variable that can then be used by the following task(s).

If you're using YAML, the task definitions would look something like this:

steps:
- powershell: |
    $PathToGlobalJson = Join-Path -Path $Env:BUILD_SOURCESDIRECTORY -ChildPath "global.json"
    $GlobalJson = Get-Content -Raw -Path  $PathToGlobalJson | ConvertFrom-Json
    $Version= $GlobalJson.sdk.version
    
    Write-Host ("##vso[task.setvariable variable=SdkVersion;]$Version")
  displayName: 'Parse global.json'

- task: DotNetCoreInstaller@0
  displayName: 'Use .NET Core sdk $(SdkVersion)'
  inputs:
    version: '$(SdkVersion)'

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

2018 draws to a close..

Stone stairway, with sunlight casting shadows
2018 is almost done. It's the day after Christmas, about 38°C outside (just over 100°F in the old money - not uncommon for this time of year in Adelaide). As I sit here under the cooling, gentle breeze from the air conditioner, I've compiled some of my 2018 highlights. (Let me know in the comments if I've missed something obvious)

Work

RL Solutions are/have merged with Datix. No changes yet, other than getting to meet a couple of people from the Datix side (including from their Melbourne office).

Our Adelaide team also grew this year with some new hires. We do miss Tom (having lost him to Toronto), but we've managed to survive, and it was great to have him back for a week last month. A part from my coding and team lead responsibilities, Tom's move has meant I've picked up additional roles of office grocery/supplies organiser and local IT support.

One particular recent highlight was upgrading the office to a 1G fibre Internet connection, taking advantage of the 10G Adelaide initiative. That's been a huge win - bandwidth is essentially no longer a constraint on getting things done.

Tarts and fruit mince pies
Toronto sent a lovely Christmas present to the Adelaide office. Yum!

User Group

The Adelaide .NET User Group has finished on a positive note. We've had increased attendances the last few months which is really encouraging. We've also had a sponsor come on board, which means we can run meetings for free now that our pizza costs are covered.

People seated, watching a presentation


It would be great to have others join me in organising the group - it does concern me that I'm the 'single point of failure' at the moment.

In addition to monthly meetings, I'm looking forward to some announcements in the new year about a bigger developer event for Adelaide.

Presentations

Managed to do some user group talks locally as well as while I was in Toronto, but the highlight for the year was being picked to present as part of .NET Conf.

Travel

A bit less this year - two weeks in North America in March (Toronto for work and then Seattle/Redmond for the Microsoft MVP Summit). Coming down with a nauseous gastro-type bug for the last couple of days and the flight home was not a highlight. Definitely an incentive to remember good hand hygiene!

We also had a family holiday interstate and flew (instead of driving all the way). More costly, but quicker and less stressful.

Christmas

A significant time of year, and one I really enjoy. I have many happy memories of Christmases as a child, and I hope we're creating them for our kids now.

Our family traditions include taking part in our Church's Road to Christmas 'Bethlehem re-enactment', joining with friends to sing carols at a local hospital, attending a Christmas Eve church service, and then gathering with family for a meal on Christmas Day.

Bonus tip: My aunty told me that she buys a platter/plate from a 2nd hand shop for the food that she brings. That way she doesn't need to worry about having to remember to bring it home.

Turtles

We bought my son a turtle for his birthday the previous year. 'Nibbles' is now fast outgrowing his tank, so the current project is to build a pond out in the garden where he can live (the turtle, not my son!)

The pond shell/liner, redgum wood sleepers, a pump and filter, shade-cloth all add up to be a surprising amount. Not to mention the manual labour of digging the hole in the ground!

I think Nibbles will appreciate it when it's all done.
Person lowering a turtle into a pond
Nibbles the turtle, about to give the pond a test drive/swim

Sevenfold

That's the band I play in. We've had a few gigs this year, and might be doing some recording in 2019. I was sad when Jane (our violin/mandolin player) retired as that left me as the sole string player on 'Cello. I've had to pick up some of Jane's parts in some of our songs. Our last gig for the year was something a bit different (and special) - playing for Liz (who also sings in our band) as part of her service of ordination to become a Deacon.

David at a band soundcheck
Sound check, with Pete and Keith photo-bombing

When you're young, you sometimes dream about being a rock-star. Well that hasn't happened! But I do get to play instruments and sing on stage with good friends, and people seem to like our music, so while I'm not giving up my day job, it is a lot of fun.

Cycling

I try and get out for a ride when I can. Seemed to be less commute riding this year, but got out for a few Saturdays with the Mud, Sweat and Gears mob. Looking forward to the Tour Down Under in January and riding in the Challenge Tour with my Dad and my Son (3 generations of Gardiners) as well as brother-in-law James.
Bicycle sitting next to a fence, overlooking green rolling hills

Family

I tend not to post much about my family here. If you know me personally then I might have shared a bit more about how we're all going. Needless to say, the kids are growing up fast!

Thanks for reading, see you in 2019 :-)

David

Monday, 3 December 2018

Top 10 source code files by line count

What are the top 10 source code files (by number of lines)?

gci -Recurse *.cs -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | % { $file = $_; Get-Content $_ | Measure-Object -Line | Add-Member File $_ -PassThru } | Sort-Object -Descending -Property Lines | Select-Object -First 10 -Property File, Lines

Note the use of Add-Member to capture the filename so we can display it in the output

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Migrating npm packages to Azure Artifacts

Azure Artifacts is the new name for VSTS Package Management. It's a "one stop shop" for storing NuGet, npm, Maven, Gradle and "Universal" packages.

I'd previously been using another private npm registry server and wanted to shift over to using the Azure Artifacts npm registry instead. As part of this move, I needed to somehow grab the packages that were currently stored in the old registry and then re-publish them to the Artifacts one. Here's how I did it. Artifacts do support configuring 'upstream' sources, but that's not really a long term solution for migration.

Downloading packages

npm pack "@myscope/mypackage@^1.2.3456" --registry http://my.oldnpmserver

You'll now have a file with a name similar to myscope-mypackage-1.2.3456.tgz

Repeat this for all the packages you need.

Re-publishing packages


First off, create a new file named .npmrc and enter in the details for your Artifacts registry url. If you have packages with scopes (like I did above), then add in those as well.

@myscope:registry=https://myorg.pkgs.visualstudio.com/_packaging/MyArtifacts/npm/registry/
registry=https://myorg.pkgs.visualstudio.com/_packaging/MyArtifacts/npm/registry/

always-auth=true

Azure Artifacts are password-protected, so you'll need to authenticate. Your options here are to either make use of the vsts-npm-auth tool or generate credentials that can be pasted into the .npmrc file. Click on the Connect to Feed button from the Azure Artifacts page in the DevOps portal to find out the details.

Now use npm publish to push all the .tgz files up to the Artifacts repository (with a bit of help from PowerShell)

Get-ChildItem *.tgz | ForEach-Object { npm publish $_ }