Xamarin Forms – Jumpstart Your App With Autofac

I love dependency injection frameworks ever since I started using them. Specifically, I'm obsessed with using Autofac and I have a hard time developing applications unless I can use a solid DI framework like Autofac! I've recently been working with Xamarin and found that I wanted to use dependency injection, but some of the framework doesn't support this well out of the box. I' was adamant to get something going though, so I wanted to show you my way to make this work. Disclaimer: In its current state, this is certainly a bit of a hack. I'll explain why I've taken this approach though! In your Android projects for Xamarin, any class that inherits from Activity is responsible for being created by the framework. This means where we'd usually have the luxury of passing in dependencies via a constructor and…

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Autofac Modules and Code Organization

What are Autofac Modules? I've been writing a little bit about Autofac and why it's rad, but today I want to talk about Autofac modules. In my previous post on this, I talk about one of drawbacks to the constructor dependency pattern is that at some point in your application, generally in the entry point, you get allllll of this spaghetti code that is the setup for your code base. Essentially, we've balanced having nice clean testable classes with having a really messy spot in the code. But it's only ONE spot and the rest of your code is nice. So it's a decent trade off. But we can do better than that, can't we? Autofac modules! We can use Autofac modules to organize some of the code that we have in our entry point into logical groupings. So an…

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Stitching – Combining Unity3D And Autofac

Before We Talk About Stitching... In Unity3D, the scripts we write and attach to GameObjects inherit from a base class called MonoBehaviour (and yes, that says Behaviour with a U in it, not the American spelling like Behavior... Just a heads up). MonoBehaviour instances can be attached to GameObjects in code by calling the AddComponent method, which takes a type parameter or type argument, and returns the new instance of the attached MonoBehaviour that it creates. This API usage means that: We cannot attach existing instances of a MonoBehaviour to a GameObject Unity3D takes care of instantiating MonoBehaviours for us (thanks Unity!) ... We can't pass parameters into the constructor of a MonoBehaviour because Unity3D only handles parameterless constructors (boo Unity!) So what's the problem with that? It kind of goes against some design patterns I'm a big fan of,…

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Using Autofac With Unity3D

Why Consider Using Autofac With Unity3D? I think using a dependency injection framework is really valuable when you're building a complex application, and in my opinion, a game built in Unity is a great example of this. Using Autofac with Unity3D doesn't need to be a special case. I wrote a primer for using Autofac, and in it I discuss reasons why it's valuable and some of the reasons you'd consider switching to using a dependency container framework. Now it doesn't need to be Autofac, but I love the API and the usability, so that's my weapon of choice. Building a game can result in many complex systems working together. Not only that, if you intend to build many games it's a great opportunity to refactor code into different libraries for re-usability. If we're practicing writing good code using constructor…

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Dependency Injection with Autofac – A Primer

Before Autofac... I've written before about IoC and dependency injection, but these are older posts and my perspective and experience with these topics has fortunately been growing. I think they're incredibly important when you're building complex systems, but the concepts can offer some benefits in all of your programming! When you get in the habit of practicing this kind of thing, you can get some pretty flexible code... for free. So a quick recap on what I mean by dependency injection here... I'm mostly focused on passing interfaces into constructors (and yes, I'm going to be using C# terminology as I do in most of my programming examples, but these concepts are generally the same in other languages). The benefits here: You can write implementations that don't depend on other implementations... Just an API. Not depending on an interface means…

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ProjectXyz: Why I Started a Side Project (Part 1)

ProjectXyz Alright, I'll admit it... Even for a placeholder name on a side project it's pretty terrible, right? Well, my apologies. So, if you made it to this post you might be wondering what ProjectXyz is and why I started it up. From a high level, I started working on ProjectXyz so that I could have a hobby programming project to tinker with and I figured I'd blog about my adventures in bringing it all together. I plan on making this a mini-series documenting some of the things I'm learning or experimenting with, so this will serve as the intro to the series. Before we get too far, here's the link to the GitHub site:¬†https://github.com/ncosentino/ProjectXyz Why Have a Side Project? Here's the main thing I want to talk about in part 1 of this series: Why should you have a…

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Dependency Injected Singletons… What?

Background Previously I wrote a bit about singletons. I'm not afraid to say that I think singletons have a time and a place... Okay, I'm afraid to say it, but it's actually how I feel :) After learning more and more about inversion of control design patterns and programming by interfaces, I started to notice just how inflexible singletons are. When you consider using a singleton, you should be considering both the pros and cons without jumping right into it. Here's an example of my approach for mixing singletons, programming by interfaces, and a bit of inversion of control. The Setup I'm actually surprised you got this far. I'm sure you're probably just sticking around to see how messed up this could possibly be. I'm actually proud that this little pattern has worked out so well when I've used it,…

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