Packaging Apps into Single Files

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

One of the hallmarks of easy-to-use tools is simple installation, preferably no installation at all. The classic example is the Sysinternals tools. Each tool is a single executable, self contained, and can be run from anywhere, including network shares and web locations. These tools have no dependencies (except for built-in Windows DLLs), or so it seems. One canonical example is Process Explorer that hides within it two binaries. The first is a kernel driver, used to extract information from the system that cannot be done from user mode (such as reading values of kernel variables), and the other is a 64...
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Sharing Code between Windows, WinRT and Windows Phone

Monday, December 16, 2013

In recent times, I often find myself developing for more than one “Windows” platform – typically Windows Phone and Windows 8 Store and sometimes Windows (WPF) as well. In this post, I’d like to share some of the tools and techniques I’ve been using to ease code sharing. Portable Class Libraries (PCLs) PCLs came out in Visual Studio 2012 and provide an easy way to create a single project that can be referenced by multiple project types. When you create a PCL, you get the following dialog: This dialog allows you to select multiple targeted platforms (at...

MVVM View vs. Control

Sunday, November 3, 2013

In the MVVM world, Views are attached to ViewModels. How can a view be implemented? Typical answers for say, WPF, are: Window, User Control and Data Template. Similar answers exist for Windows Phone and Windows 8, where “Window” may be dropped or replaced by Page.This is certainly true, but about that User Control? Can any user control automatically be considered a View? Not quite.The distinction between view and control (user control or otherwise) is based on reusability and dependency. A View requires a ViewModel to give it context. A View cannot function without a ViewModel. Typical XAML View would...
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Using KeyedCollection<> instead of a Dictionary<>

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary<TKey, TValue> class is one of the most useful of all .NET collections. It maps a key to a value, and allows for fast retrieval based on the key, as it’s implemented as a hash table, calling GetHashCode on the key object to get to a specific “bucket”, and then looks up the actual value (with Object.Equals or a specific IEqualityComparer<Tkey>.Equals).One feature that Dictionary<> doesn’t support is the ability to access items by integer index. That is, insertion order is not maintained. For most cases, this may be ok, but some cases require fast search and index based...
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Extreme DevCon 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Next week, John Bryce Training, along with some of its partners, set up a two day conference named Extreme Dev Con 2013, on the 22nd and 23rd of July in Hertzliya (Israel). The conference consists mainly of full one-day seminars, several happening at the same time (naturally).I will be presenting a full day seminar, titled something like “.NET deep dive for performance”. The rough topics are listed in the above link, but basically I will cover various topics that somehow relate to that elusive thing called “performance”. From process and AppDomains, through the garbage collector and friends, threads and...

Build 2013 Summary

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Microsoft Build 2013 conference is now over, so it’s time for some summaries and impressions. All the following is my personal thoughts from my viewpoint, and may not reflect the way things actually are. Last caveat – some of the information is based on the sessions I attended. Naturally, I couldn’t attend most sessions, and I may not even remember all info given in the session I attended. Still…The conference was 3 days in length. With about 14 sessions going on at the same time slot, this is too short a conference; 4 days would have been better....

WDCIL Presentation and Demos

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This evening I gave a talk on the Task Parallel Library (TPL) and the asynchronous programming features of C# 5.0 & .NET 4.5 at the Israeli Web developers user group. Thank you all for coming, I had a lot of fun!Although the TPL has been around in release for for more than 3 years, I’m still surprised to find developers who know little about and don’t use it. This is unfortunate, as I consider the TPL one of the best parts of .NET. I wish more developers learn it and use it. The same goes for C# 5.0. For...

My C# 6.0 Wish List

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I’m on a wish list streak, so why not wish myself new features in C# 6.0?There has been no public talk about C# 6.0 (or the next version of .NET, for that matter). Still, I imagine someone is working on that at Microsoft (maybe not Anders, who seems to prefer the JavaScript world, with his TypeScript language); hopefully, others have taken the lead for the future of C#.Firstly, it must be well understood that adding features to a language is a big deal. Once added, these can never be removed. Whereas features to the .NET framework itself can be...
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My Wish List for Windows “Blue”

Friday, May 17, 2013

Many rumors are flying around at this time about the upcoming release of Windows 8.1 (code named “Blue”, which represents a wave of product updates, including Windows Phone and others). I thought I‘d state my hopes for this release, not just in terms of user features, but also from a developer’s perspective. As a developer, I spend most of my time on my trusty laptop, not some tablet based device. Naturally, the desktop world is my friend. The Windows 8 Start screen is close to perfect for tablet devices, but for the desktop – it’s practically useless. With many...

XAML as DSL

Sunday, May 5, 2013

About 3 years ago, when .NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 were just released, I’ve blogged (part 1, part 2) about the changes that took XAML from its WPF inception to the System.Xaml namespace and System.Xaml.Dll assembly, to be available more generally, not just for WPF. I’ve shown that XAML is just a declarative way of creating objects, setting their properties – sometimes in interesting ways. I did promise at the end of that second post that I’d show how to use attached properties, but never did have the time to deliver. 3 years later, it’s high time I...
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