Tip for using static in C# 6

Friday, January 1, 2016

One of the new features introduced in C# 6 is the "using static" keyword that is aimed at simplifying repeated access to static members of a particular class. A classic example is using Console.WriteLine a lot. In this case it can be simplified. Instead of: class Program {    static void Main(string args) {        Console.WriteLine("Hello, world!");        Console.WriteLine("This is C# 6 in action!");    }}  We can write: using static System.Console; class Program {    static void Main(string args) {        WriteLine("Hello, world!");        WriteLine("This is C# 6 in action!");    }}  Another common example might be using a lot of math calculations with the static methods of the System.Math class. Here's some method calculating points along the circumference of a circle: static IEnumerable<Point> CalcPoints(double radius, int count) {    for(int i = 0; i < count; i++) {        var x = radius * Math.Cos(2 * Math.PI * i / count);        var y = radius * Math.Sin(2 * Math.PI * i / count);        yield return new Point(x, y);    }}  All that Math stuff can be simplified like so: using static System.Math; … static IEnumerable<Point> CalcPoints(double radius, int count) {    for(int i = 0; i < count; i++) {        var x = radius * Cos(2 * PI * i / count);        var y = radius * Sin(2 * PI * i / count);        yield return new Point(x, y);    }}  Certainly convenient. One feature that is still missing, in my humble opinion, is allowing "using static"...
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Launching Windows Store Apps Programmatically

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Windows Apps (a.k.a. Store apps or Metro apps) run in a dedicated sandbox, providing “extra protection” from outside apps and OS as opposed to classic Windows applications. One consequence of this is that launching a Windows App using a classic CreateProcess call will generally fail. For example, if we run the Weather app that comes with Windows and look at the command line that was used to start the process (e.g. using Task Manager or Process Explorer), this is what we see: "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.BingWeather_4.6.169.0_x86__8wekyb3d8bbwe\Microsoft.Msn.Weather.exe"      -ServerName:App.AppX2m6wj6jceb8yq7ppx1b3drf7yy51ha6f.mca Clearly, there...
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How should the Next WPF Version Look Like?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Microsoft has announced the next WPF version, as part of the new .NET 4.6. I’ve heard the news that WPF is back in development and it made me pretty happy; it was about time! A few months back, Microsoft started to talk about what to expect in this new update. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to see that there’s really nothing new. The feature list is mostly performance enhancements (which should have been done a long time ago), allowing interop with Direct3D 11/12 instead of Direct3D 9 (this was overdue as well), some improvements to the default control templates and...
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Windows 10 Developer Readiness Live Session

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Next week, on June 8th, I’ll be presenting a live session (with my colleague Alon Fliess) on developing with the new Windows Universal Platform on Windows 10, focusing on apps with C# and XAML. This is just one of several such sessions happening all over the world on the week of June 8-12 by MVPs. My session will be in Hebrew with Q&A interactively possible and encouraged. You are all invited! Learn about Windows 10 and the universal windows platform with Visual Studio 2015 with slides and code samples. Register for the session here. The main page for all...
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Build 2015 Impressions

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Build 2015 conference just ended. It was one of the most important Build/PDC conferences since the Build/PDC inception. Most (if not all) sessions are available on channel 9, and even those that attended Build (myself included) were in only a fraction of the sessions since there were about 10 of them in each time slot. To get a good overview of the various announcements and get links to important downloads, you should head to this post in the Visual Studio blog. What follows are my own impressions and opinions on some of what I experienced at this year’s...
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Building a Cross Platform Game with MonoGame – Part 2

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In the first part we’ve seen how to install MonoGame for use with Visual Studio and how to create a new project. We’ve seen some of the boilerplate code created by the project wizard and discussed briefly the game asset file. We are now ready to put our own special stuff into the game. We’ll start by doing some cleanup, as our project has the default spinning cube. I’ve also renamed the Game class from Game1 to InavdersGame and the C# file correspondingly. Open InvadersGame.cs and remove all the code in the Draw method except the Clear call:protected override void Draw(GameTime...
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Building a Cross Platform 2D Game with MonoGame (Part 1)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ever since Microsoft ditched the XNA framework (for whatever reason), it didn’t provide any viable alternative for .NET developers. Microsoft attempted to encourage developers to switch to native DirectX to do game development (and other apps that would otherwise benefit from XNA). But DirectX is not a real alternative “out of the box” for .NET (and even C++) developers; DirectX is very low-level, and it’s almost impractical to create a full-fledged game with DirectX directly; DirectX is a great base for game engines. For writing an actual game, developers typically use some framework that sits on top of...

File Open Picker in Windows Phone 8.1

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Windows 8 Store model introduced the FileOpenPicker class, which is kind of the modern replacement for the classic Windows open file dialog. Technically, it’s more than that – it can get files from “virtual” locations such as Facebook and OneDrive; and besides, it looks much better than the classic open file dialog. Showing the FileOpenPicker is just a matter of calling PickSingleFileAsync or PickMultipleFilesAsync and awaiting for the result: var picker = new FileOpenPicker {         FileTypeFilter = { ".jpg", ".png" },         ViewMode = PickerViewMode.Thumbnail }; var file = await picker.PickSingleFileAsync();   When Universal apps came along, it...
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Introduction to Win2D

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Windows Runtime UI stack uses XAML for general 2D layout and graphics. It provides various controls, such as TextBox, ItemsControl and DatePicker. It even provides shape-like elements such as Line, Ellipse, Rectangle and Path. However, the XAML layout and rendering engine, while flexible, may not be performant enough for certain kind of applications and games. Also, it does not support general “drawing” functions (WPF for example, does provide that with the DrawingContext class). Win2D is a new Windows Runtime library that is currently in development by Microsoft that provides a WinRT wrapper over Direct2D. Direct2D is a DirectX...

WRL Class Library Template for Windows Phone 8.1

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Windows Runtime Library (WRL) is a C++ class library that can be used to author Windows Runtime components in standard C++, without resorting to the C++/CX extensions. The flip side is that it’s much more verbose than C++/CX, looks somewhat similar to authoring COM components with the Active Template Library (ATL). Also, WRL can be used to consume WinRT types without any special extensions. Visual Studio does not provide a project template out of the box for authoring WinRT components with WRL. The team at Microsoft, however, created such a template back in the Windows 8, Visual Studio...
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