Programming

Flow control: If/else, switches and….dictionaries?

Flow control: If/else, switches and….dictionaries?

.NET languages have a variety of forms of flow control, if statements are easily among the most noticeable. When having to compare multiple statements it is common practice to utilize switch statements due to it’s improved performance, but is there another way? It turns out there is!  We can actually use a dictionary and delegates for flow control! Before we delve into this, how exactly are switch statements utilized by the compiler?

TLDR;

You can use dictionaries in place of large switches and the code is found here.

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Posted by DCCoder in General, Programming, 0 comments
Code Lint – What is it? What can help?

Code Lint – What is it? What can help?

So what exactly is code lint?  I’m sure we’ve all heard of a linter but how many out there have actually taken the time to sit down and use one?  What are they used for?  Well, getting rid of code lint, of course!  A linter is defined by Wikipedia as:

A linter or lint refers to tools that analyze source code to flag programming errors, bugs, stylistic errors, and suspicious constructs.

So obviously feeding off of the definition of a linter, a good explanation for the lint itself could possibly be clearly defined as:

Code lint is a software programming “smell” that is identified by programming errors, bugs, stylistic errors and/or suspicious constructs.

I personally believe that this is a good explanation to those.  There are linters out there for nearly every language, however; I’m going to focus on JavaScript for soon-to-be apparent reasons.

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Posted by DCCoder in Design and Best Practice, Programming, 0 comments
Building a self-hosted API with OWIN

Building a self-hosted API with OWIN

So it’s Friday and I haven’t published anything this week yet.  Figured I’d push out a short and quick tutorial on OWIN and give everyone something to play with over the weekend!

What is Owin?

OWIN is an acronym that stands for Open Web Interface for .NET and is meant to define a standard interface between web servers and applications. The goal of OWIN is to decouple servers and applications.  Due to this it encourages the development of simple modules for .NET web development.  Because of this OWIN is great for building small, simple, self-hosted applications.  It’s ability really shines when it comes to the creation of micro-service APIs.  Within this tutorial I will take you through the basic process of creating a small self-hosted API.  We will go from inception all the way to implementation and discuss possible use cases.

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Posted by DCCoder in Tutorials, 0 comments
Hello C# 8, goodbye null reference!

Hello C# 8, goodbye null reference!

Say hello to C# 8.0 and goodbye to those nasty little null-reference exceptions!   That’s right, Microsoft is getting ready to release yet another major version of the language!  This has been common knowledge for a little while now, so I may be slightly behind.  Behind or not, I still wanted to bring it up.  I am excited about all of the changes and features coming in the new C#.  I don’t have the time or the space here to cover all of them but I will touch on some of the most drastic and useful features being added in.

 

Null references

Brace Yourself, NullRef Exception incoming

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.  Everything compiles, we run our program eagerly awaiting it’s output.  Then BAM!  A big nope screen is thrown in your face, saying something about a NullReferenceException.  Believe it or not Null References were suppose to be a thing of the past a long time ago.  Thankfully the C# designers have finally gotten around to trying to get rid of them.   Currently by default all reference types as well as variable types are nullable, this is all about to change.

Non-nullable by default

Starting with C# 8.0 reference types, by default, will be non-nullable.  Now this isn’t to say that you can’t make them that if you so choose, but again this is by default.  The C# compiler is also going to help you on this quest by throwing some helpful warnings if you forget to check for nulls or forget to make them nullable.   Take a look at the example below:

 

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ISomeType notNull;
ISomeType? mayBeNull;

notNull = null; //This will throw a compile warning
mayBeNull = null; //This won't

Another nice aspect about this is now it will also throw a warning if you forget to check if a nullable is actually null. This is a feature I believe is going to come in very handy. Take a look below:

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ISomeType notNull = GetSomeType();
ISomeType? mayBeNull; = GetSomeType();

mayBeNull.Execute(); //This will throw a warning (we didn't make sure it wasn't null!)
notNull.Execute(); //This will run fine

if(mayBeNull !=null){
  mayBeNull.Execute(); //This won't throw a warning (because we checked)
}

 

Records

I’m sure most of us have worked with POCOs, creating numerous classes that are simply just going to be used to define a data structure and hold it.  Traditionally this meant writing out a whole new class and defining it’s properties.  Thanks to C# 8.0 we now have records!  With records you can easily and quickly create these “container classes” with one line of code!  For example, instead of having to type of this:

 

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public class Person: IEquatable<Person>{
  public string FirstName { get; }
  public string LastName { get; }

  public Person(string firstName, string lastName){
    this.FirstName = firstName;
    this.LastName = lastName;
  }

  public bool Equals (Person other){
    return Equals(FirstName, other.FirstName) && Equals(LastName, other.LastName);
  }

  public override bool Equals(object obj){
    return (obj as Person)?.Equals(this) == true;
  }

  public override int GetHashCode(){
    return FirstName.GetHashCode() + LastName.GetHashCode();
  }

  public void Deconstruct(out string FirstName, out string LastName){
    FirstName = this.FirstName;
    LastName = this.LastName;
  }
}

 

Now you can just do this and get the same results!

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public class Person(string FirstName, string LastName);

Now, I don’t know about you but this is definitely one of the more helpful features that I’ve seen.

 

And many more!

 

These are just two examples that I decided to speak on simply because I find them fascinating but there are many other features in C# 8.0!  Check out the links below to find out more!

3 New C# 8 Features We Are Excited About

Posted by DCCoder in News, Programming, 0 comments
Automated UI testing with Selenium [Part 2]

Automated UI testing with Selenium [Part 2]

In Part 1 we set up Selenium and created our first test showing a browser being opened and then immediately closing.  While that was interesting, I don’t know many people that would be super exciting by that alone.  Since the whole point of these tutorials is UI testing, why don’t we actually test a UI?  In this article we’re going to walk through creating a few more tests to actually log in to a website and verify that only a user with the right credentials can log in, we don’t want just anyone logging in now do we?

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
Automated UI testing with Selenium

Automated UI testing with Selenium

It seems everyone is making the move towards automated testing these days, and why shouldn’t they? How many times have you been working on a web project and had to constantly retest the same thing over and over simply to verify that it works? Or maybe you’re an analyst on the surface but a code monkey at heart and would like to blend the two together? Enter Selenium.

What is Selenium? Selenium is a browser automation framework. I was exposed to it a few years ago when I was still heaving into web scraping. Selenium is perfect for UI testing as it can easily mimic an actual browser with human input. You can even change the type of browser you want! Ok, so hopefully by this point you’re interested (or maybe not) and want to get started.

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
C# for Beginners [Part 2]

C# for Beginners [Part 2]

In the previous tutorial we covered some basic structure of a C# program and what it looks like.  I would like to build upon that knowledge and cover some of the basic syntax of C#, some of this may be slightly repetitive from the previous tutorial but it is important to get this basic syntax down. Continue reading →

Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
C# for Beginners [Part 1]

C# for Beginners [Part 1]

Ok so yesterday I received a request to do a C# tutorial covering the basics of the C# language. This will be a short multi-part tutorial on the basics of C#. In Part 1 we’re going to cover some basic structure and syntax.  I do not intend to get too in-depth but cover just enough to allow others to be able to start writing simple programs and get comfortable with the language syntax.

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
SQLite in C#? [Part 2]

SQLite in C#? [Part 2]

Building off the previous tutorial  SQLite in C# [Part 1] we are going to get a little more in detail with SQLite and populate our database with some information that we can pull back out later.

Lets start off with inserting information into our database.  We will do this in a similar fashion as we did creating our database table.  By creating a query string, passing it to a SQLiteCommand, and then executing the command.

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
SQLite in C#? [Part 1]

SQLite in C#? [Part 1]

I can’t tell you how many times I am working on an application that I want to store data in an organized fashion but I don’t want the dependency of an external server.  Maybe I want to be able to use the application offline?  Or maybe the device I am running it on doesn’t have the ability to hold a database server.

Enter the realm of SQLite.  I have used it extensively in the past with simple Python and PHP applications, but now I figured I’d give a good overview of using it with C# and .NET.

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments