Introducing EffectiveIoC

Last week I tweeted a few times about writing an IoC container in less than 60 lines of code.  I also blogged about how I thought the average IoC container was overly complex and didn’t promote DI-friendliness. Well, EffectiveIoC is the result of that short spike.  The core ended up being about 60 lines of code (supported type mappings—including open and closed generics—and app.config mappings).  I felt a minimum viable IoC container needed a little more than that, so I’ve also included programmatic configuration and support for instances (effectively singletons).  I’ve also thrown in the ability to map an action … Continue reading Introducing EffectiveIoC

Azure Table Storage and the Great Certificate Expiry of 2013

I won’t get into too much detail about what happened; but on 22-Feb-2013, roughly at 8pm the certificates used for * expired.  The end result was that any application that used Azure Table Storage .NET API (or REST API and used the default certificate validation) began to fail connecting to Azure Table Storage.  More details can be found here.  At the time of this writing there hadn’t been anything published on any root cause analysis. The way that SSL/TLS certificates work is that they provide a means where a 3rd party can validate an organization (i.e. a server with a … Continue reading Azure Table Storage and the Great Certificate Expiry of 2013

async/await Tips

There’s been some really good guidance about async/await in the past week or two.  I’ve been tinkering away at this post for a while now—based on presentations I’ve been doing, discussions I’ve had with folks at Microsoft, etc.  Now seems like a good idea to post it. First, it’s important to understand what the "async" keyword really mean.  At face value async doesn’t make a method (anonymous or member) “asynchronous”—the body of the method does that.  What it does mean is that there’s a strong possibility that the body of the method won’t entirely be evaluated when the method returns … Continue reading async/await Tips

IDisposable and Class Hierarchies

In my previous post, I showed how the Dispose Pattern is effectively obsolete. But, there’s one area that I didn’t really cover.  What do you do when you want to create a class that implements IDisposable, doesn’t implement the Dispose Pattern, and will be derived from classes that will also implement disposal? The Dispose Pattern covered this by coincidence.  Since something that derives from a class that implements the Dispose Pattern simply overrides the Dispose(bool) method, you effectively have a way to chain disposal from the sub to the base. There’s a lot of unrelated chaff that comes along with … Continue reading IDisposable and Class Hierarchies

The Dispose Pattern as an anti-pattern

When .NET first came out, the framework only had abstractions for what seemed like a handful of Windows features.  Developers were required to write their own abstractions around the Windows features that did not have abstractions.  Working with these features required you to work with unmanaged resources in many instances.  Unmanaged resources, as the name suggests, are not managed in any way by the .NET Framework.  If you don’t free those unmanaged resources when you’re done with them, they’ll leak.  Unmanaged resources need attention and they need it differently from managed resources.  Managed resources, by definition, are managed by the … Continue reading The Dispose Pattern as an anti-pattern

Introduction to Productivity Extensions

The .NET Framework has been around since 2002. There are many common classes and methods that have been around a long time. The Framework and the languages used to develop on it have evolved quite a bit since many of these classes and their methods came into existence. Existing classes and methods in the base class library (BCL) could be kept up to date with these technologies, but it’s time consuming and potentially destabilizing to add or change methods after a library has been released and Microsoft generally avoids this unless there’s a really good reason. Generics, for example, came … Continue reading Introduction to Productivity Extensions

Thread synchronization of non-atomic invariants in .NET 4.5

Now that we’ve seen how a singular x86-x64 focus might affect how we can synchronize atomic invariants, let’s look at non-atomic invariants. While an atomic invariant really doesn’t need much in the way of guarding, non-atomic invariants often do.  The rules by which the invariant is correct are often much more complex.  Ensuring an atomic invariant like int, for example is pretty easy: you can’t set it to an invalid value, you just need to make sure the value is visible.  Non-atomic invariants involve data that can’t natively be modified atomically.  The typical case is more than one variable, but … Continue reading Thread synchronization of non-atomic invariants in .NET 4.5

Thread synchronization of atomic invariants in .NET 4.5

I’ve written before about multi-threaded programming in .NET (C#).  Spinning up threads and executing code on another thread isn’t really the hard part.  The hard part is synchronization of data between threads. Most of what I’ve written about is from a processor agnostic point of view.  It’s written from the historical point of view: that .NET supports many processors with varying memory models.  The stance has generally been that you’re programming for the .NET memory model and not a particular processor memory model. But, that’s no longer entirely true.  In 2010 Microsoft basically dropped support for Itanium in both Windows … Continue reading Thread synchronization of atomic invariants in .NET 4.5

Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices published

Most of my spare time in the last few months has been taken up by writing Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices.  This has now been published and is available through publisher (no longer pre-order) at  The pre-order price is still available for a limited time.  Amazon still has it out of stock; but $39.99 at The title of the book really doesn’t do the content justice.  Least of which is “Best Practices”.  Anyone who knows me should know I don’t really like that term.  But, hopefully those looking for best practices will read the book and learn from chapter … Continue reading Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices published

Automated Testing Isn’t Just for Business Logic

I had a conversation with Kelly Sommers the other day that was partially a short support group session on the annoying tendencies of development teams to completely lose focus on the architecture and design principles of a system and let the code base devolve into a ball of muddy spaghetti. One particular area that we discussed, and it’s one area I’ve detailed elsewhere, has to do with layers.  Our gripe was that developers seem to completely ignore layering principles once they start coding and introduce cycles, put things in the wrong layer, etc.  A brief recap of layering principles:  Types … Continue reading Automated Testing Isn’t Just for Business Logic