IEnumerable in C# – A Simplified Beginners Guide

In C# and .NET, as programmers we have access to an interface that is called IEnumerable (or IEnumerable<T> for the generic version). Using IEnumerable allows us to iterate from a collection or data source by moving one element at a time. It's also important to note that all collection types in C# inherit from IEnumerable so collections you are familiar with like arrays and lists implement IEnumerable. I have been trying to help educate around IEnumerable usage for many years now so this is a renewed effort to help get more junior developers understanding how they work. As a bonus, if you're interested in working with the code that you see in this article you can clone it down from GitHub by visiting this link. Simple IEnumerable Example Let's consider the following code example that will create an array of…

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Multiline Strings

Working with strings is probably one of the earliest things we get to do as C# developers. In fact, if you consider that most of us start with the "Hello, World!" example, you're being exposed to the string type right away. But as you continue to use strings, you'll quickly find that you want to work with strings that span multiple lines and how we define multiline strings might be a tricky topic for beginners. No sweat! In this article, we'll look at some simple code examples that demonstrate how to define multiline strings. I'll also link over to GitHub where you can see this code committed and pushed up to a public repository. Finally, the last example contains a special bonus that I think you'll like (even if it's a slightly more advanced topic). Read until the end! The…

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Simple Secrets for Access to the dotnet Record Type

In C# 9.0 we received access to a great quality of life type called the record. You can read more about that from Microsoft here. Record types allowed us as dotnet programmers to skip a lot of boiler plate code, thereby saving us time and making code more readable. Wins all around! Before record types, we might have simple data transfer objects (called DTOs) that would look something like the following: public sealed class MyData { public MyData( string value1, int value2) { Value1 = value1; Value2 = value2; } publc string Value1 { get; } publc int Value2 { get; } } And for a simple class with two properties... I think we can all agree that the verbosity here is just over the top. With the record type that we were given access to, we can now write…

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Tasks, BackgroundWorkers, and Threads – Simple Comparisons for Concurrency

(This article is intended to be a spiritual successor to this previous entry, and now includes Tasks!) Even if you're new to C#, you've probably come across at least one of Tasks, Threads, or BackgroundWorkers. With a bit of additional time, it's likely you've seen all three in your journey. They're all ways to run concurrent code in C# and each has its own set of pros and cons. In this article, we will explore how each one operates at a high level. It's worth noting that in most modern .NET applications and libraries you'll see things converging to Tasks. The Approach I've gone ahead and created a test application that you can find here. Because this is in source control, it's possible/likely that it will diverge from what we see in this article, so I just wanted to offer…

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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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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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What Makes Good Code? – Should Every Class Have An Interface? Pt 2

Should Every Class Have an Interface? This is part two in the sub-series of "Should Every Class Have an Interface?", and part of the bigger "What Makes Good Code?" series. Other Peoples' Code So in the last post, we made sure we could get an interface for every class we made. Okay, well that's all fine and dandy (I say half sarcastically). But you and I are smart programmers, so we like to re-use other peoples' code in our own projects. But wait just a second! It looks like Joe Shmoe didn't use interfaces in his API that he created! We refuse to pollute our beautiful interface-rich code with his! What can we do about it? Wrap it. That's right! If we add a little bit of code we can get all the benefits as the example we walked through originally. It's…

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C# Dev Connect 1 – Intro To Threading

C# Dev Connect 1: Intro to Threading In my last post, I mentioned we'd be hosting a C# Dev Connect meetup at our Magnet Forensics HQ in Waterloo. I figured I'd post to talk about how the event went so that if you couldn't make it, you'll have an idea for next time (and if you did make it, maybe you can comment on how you thought the event went). Our first Dev Connect was lead by a colleague of mine, Chris Sippel, who wanted to give a talk on threading basics in C#. Threading can quickly become a really complex topic, so Chris wanted to keep it high level and talk about the different approaches you can use to start threading in your C# applications. https://twitter.com/Chris_Sippel/status/557655585492328450 Dev Connect: Before the Talk Before Chris gave his talk on threading, we…

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Controlling a Myo Armband with C#

Background Thalmic Labs has started shipping their Myo armband that allows the wearer's arm movements and gestures to control different pieces of integrated technology. How cool is that? My friend and I decided we wanted to give one a whirl and see what we could come up with. We're both C# advocates, so we were a bit taken back when we saw the only C# support in the SDK was made for Unity. We decided to take things into our own hands and open source a Myo C# library. We're excited to introduce the first version of MyoSharp! The underlying Myo components are written in C++, and there's only several functions that are exposed from the library that we can access. In order to do this, we need to leverage platform invocation (PInvokes) from C# to tap into this functionality. Once you…

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