Entity Framework and many WHERE clauses

So today, I needed to get Entity Framework to return me a list of Products from the database based on a list of Product.Name and Product.Version values (not Ids). If it were Product.Id, it would have been simple as I could have used an IN statement, but it wasn’t.

The query might get many (maybe hundreds at a time) products based on the list. Here is the query I imagined.

So when doing a query like this, since there could be hundreds, I have a couple of options.

  1. Query the database once for each product.
    SELECT * FROM dbo.Product
    WHERE (Name = 'Product 1' AND Version = '10.0')

    Repeat this same query once for each Product.

  2. Query the database one time with an or clause for each Product.Name and Product.Version.
    SELECT * FROM dbo.Product
    WHERE (Name = 'Product 1' AND Version = '10.0')
       OR (Name = 'Product 2' AND Version = '10.0')
       OR (Name = 'Product 3' AND Version = '10.0')
       OR (Name = 'Product 4' AND Version = '1.0')
       -- There could be hundreds
  3. Query the database once and get all products and use code to find the ones I wanted.
    SELECT * FROM dbo.Product

Option 1
I didn’t like this option because I could end up doing hundreds of single queries. That doesn’t sound like a good idea. What would the performance impact would be when doing hundreds of single queries? The overhead of traversing over the network to the database would prevent this option from scaling.

Option 2
This is the option I imagined in my head. My gut said to use this option.

Option 3
This would work. We only have about two thousand products today and querying them all would, right now, not be bad at all. However, we just bought a company and will be adding more products. We plan to buy more companies. Also, we have two companies that we have already bought and have yet to add those products in. When would the number of Product rows in the database make the SELECT * and invalid option? Doing this would work now, but it leave a time bomb for some future developer encounter and have to fix.

Winner: Option 2

Entity Framework doesn’t really have an easy way to create the Option 2 query.

So, how do I create this query with many where statements?

Here are the two options I’ve found:

Inline SQL Query with Entity Framework

        private static List<Product> GetProductsByNameAndVersion(ActivationDbContext dbContext, IEnumerable<ProductRequest> products)
            if (!products.Any())
                return new List<Product>();
            var query = "Select * FROM Product WHERE ";
            var or = "";
            var template = "(Name = '{0}' AND Version = '{1}')";
            foreach (var prod in products)
                query += or;
                query += string.Format(template, prod.Name, prod.Version);
                or = " OR ";
            var dbProducts = dbContext.Products.SqlQuery(query).ToList();
            return dbProducts.ToList();

This option means I have to create magic strings and make sure that I handle the strings correctly. It has bugs already. Such as what if a product only has a name and not a version (version could be null or empty, who knows) or vice-versa? How would this affect my query string?


Predicate Builder from the LinqKit library which is available as a NuGet package.

        private static List<Product> GetProductsByNameAndVersionPredicate(ActivationDbContext dbContext, IEnumerable<ProductRequest> products)
            if (!products.Any())
                return new List<Product>();

            var predicate = PredicateBuilder.False<Product>();

            foreach (var prod in products)
                var inner = PredicateBuilder.True<Product>();
                inner = inner.And(p => p.Name== prod.Name);
                inner = inner.And(p => p.Version == prod.Version);
                predicate = predicate.Or(inner);
            var dbProducts = dbContext.Products.AsExpandable().Where(predicate).ToList();
            return dbProducts;            

PredicateBuilder isn’t very intuitive. For starters, what is the different between these methods:

  • PredicateBuilder.True() – from what I understand this would be more appropriate and understandable as PredicateBuilder.And()
  • PredicateBuilder.False() – from what I understand this would be more appropriate and understandable as PredicateBuilder.Or()

Also, you have to remember to call AsExpandable() on the first call to a table in order to use it.


I am going to go with PredicateBuilder for now. It feels cleaner than rolling my own string query. But both solutions ultimately worked. That means that Entity Framework ultimately provided me a solution without an extra library. However, LinqKit saved me from magic strings. My only question is this: Why isn’t a predicate builder built into Entity Framework?

10+ Reasons why Java needs C#’s property syntax

Written in response, to all the Java developers who claim that Java doesn’t need C#’s property syntax.

The truth is most C# developers can’t quantify all the benefits to C# properties because there are so many. Most arguments I have seen from C# developers have been weak at best. These arguments fail to provide the Java development team a good enough reason to implement C#-like properties.

A proper analogy would be the Pyramids. You can’t point to one brick and say, “That brick makes the pyramid,” because every brick is small (relative the size of the who pyramid), but together, each brick is important to making the pyramid and altogether, they are one of the seven wonders of the world. Similarly, C# Properties provide many little features that together improve the language far more significantly than most can’t quantify.

Properties are quite awesome and provide some great features that Java cannot do now.

1. Easy refactoring when moving from a simple member variable to a property.

Properties using the same syntax as a member variable enable more than one feature, but we are going to talk about only this feature here to start.

public class MyObj
   public int Id;
   public String Name;

The program starts off with this because for years simplicity is all that is needed.

Note: A getter and a setter provide little to no benefit for a model object. If you aren’t encapsulating code on get and set, using a getter and setter gets in the way. Also, a using a getter and a setter is only a convention anyway, and not forced by the language. As such, getters and setters can’t be relied upon.

A year later, you find that you need to add some feature on name set. You change your class. In Java, you have to create getters and setters.

public class MyObj
   public int id;
   private String _Name;
   public String getName(){return _Name;}
   public void setName(string value) {
      _Name = value; 
      // More work here

Now every single line of code that calls MyObj.Name is broken. However, with properties, this wouldn’t the case.

public class MyObj
   public int id;
   private String Name {
      get { return _Name; } 
      set {
         _Name = value;
         // more work here

None of my existing code broke using the property example. This sounds trivial but what if you are an API that hundreds of other tools consume and use. Now this a breaking change that has a massive impact on a business. This feature is huge.

Can Java change a class today from a member variable to a method without breaking an API? No, it cannot. Does this happen often? No, but when it does, it is a breaking change without properties, while with properties, it works without a second thought.

Important: This feature is also why so many hacks that suggest that Java adds a language construct that creates getProperty and setProperty methods are still broken. I’ve seen recommendations such as this where the suggestion is for the compiler and IntelliSense to just convert these to getProperty and setProperty:

public class MyObj
   @get @set String Name;
   public MyObj()
      setName("Rhyous");// Default value

That syntax doesn’t solve the problem. In order to solve this problem, the syntax still has to be this:

public class MyObj
   @get @set String Name;
   public MyObj()
      Name = "Rhyous";// Default value

However, even with this, the suggested syntax is not the right suggestion. While the above syntax works for auto properties, how would code be added to the get or set method? The above syntactical sugar, while better than what java has now, is lacking compared to C#’s implementation and would result in fewer features.

2. Replacing an object that uses member variables with an interface

This is similar to #1. You have an object and need to create a layer of abstraction and use an interface for that object. But the object uses only member variables? How can you create an interface for the following syntax in Java?


You can’t. So to add a layer of abstraction, you now have to first refactor code. Again, as mentioned in #1, moving from MyObj.Name to MyObj.getName() and MyObj.setName() is a breaking change, especially in a API. It can have a massive impact.

Now, before you argue that you would never need to add a layer of abstraction for a simple object, let me remind you that all objects are not simple. I agree, on a simple model object, abstraction wouldn’t be necessary. However, the problem is certainly with a method on an object that also has public members. But you need the whole object, not just the method. And interface with only methods won’t be enough.


Well, we can’t use the CallServer() method as is in a Unit Test. We need to use and interface and dependency injection and good language architecture. We have to refactor some. But we with properties we don’t need to make a breaking change. Without properties, we do. We have to change from MyObj.Name to MyObj.getName().

3. Properties are different than member variables and methods and reflection reflects that.

C# has reflection. You can loop through all members, properties, and methods separately. In Java, you have something similar. But no way to get properties separate from other methods.

When you only want to loop through getters and setters in Java, how do you do that? Unless every getter and setter is perfectly named getProperty setProperty, you can’t.

Can you loop through only properties today in Java? Maybe. Java cannot guarantee this ability.

4. Sharing objects between Java and C#.

This feature goes beyond properties, but the lack of a Property syntax is the biggest barrier.

In order to do this today, the object has to be written in Java and C#. C# developers have to live with the more verbose getProperty() setPropert() syntax. For example: MyObj.Id++ is nice and clean but the equivalent in java is MyObj.setId(MyOjb.getId() + 1);

Some tools, such as Hibernate/NHibernate, would benefit greatly from this feature.

5. Properties let you write with cleaner and shorter syntax.

You save programming time. You save lines of code. Look below, as three lines become one.

private String _Name;
public String getName() { return _Name; };
private void setName(String name) { _Name = name; }


public string Name { get; set; }

Java is not just a little more typing, it is a lot more typing. While you can argue that snippets or IDE code generator tools take care of this, I’d argue that C# has snippets and code generators, too. I can type prop tab in Visual Studio and have property pretty quickly so at best, snippets help Java almost catch up in development speed.

Also, let’s not forget that this is one single feature. I could write a whole article about all the ways that C#’s property syntax is cleaner and shorter than Java’s syntax.

How about adding one to an int?


vs in Java

MyObj.setId(MyObj.getId() + 1);

Again, a shorter and simpler syntax probably is a few dozen features as it will be used in so many different ways for so many different language benefits, not just one.

6. Most the property data is in one place.

This provides multiple features:

  • Easier to rename
  • Easier to copy and paste
  • Easier to identify as a property
public string Name { get; set; }

And in C#, a new syntax was added to make it so you no longer need to break this out to a backing field to set a default value.

public string Name { get; set; } = "Rhyous";

In java, there is no guarantee that properties are all together. I have seen code like this where the properties are not together in java.

public class MyObj 
  // Members
  private Integer _Id;
  private String _Name;

  // Getters
  public Integer getId() { return _Id; };
  public String getName() { return _Name; };

  // Setters
  public void setId(int id) { _Id = id; };
  public void setName(String name) { _Name = name; }

While this is fine, it makes renaming have to occur in 7 places in three lines that are separated and could be anywhere in the class file. (Count all the times Name or Id is used and it is 7 times.) In C#, it is once with an auto property and only four times with a property with a backing field. Of course, C# has the same problem once you use a backing field. The backing field isn’t always together with the property, that is only two items that can be separate, not three. In Java, keeping it together would have to be by convention. I use this convention in C# to keep backing fields together.

public string Name 
  get {return _Name; } 
  set {_Name = value;}
} private string _Name;

7. In Aspect-oriented programming (AOP), you can inject code into only Properties.

Using tools like AspectJ, can you do a pointcut only on properties in java? No, you cannot. You can do it on methods and filter it on methods that start with “get” or start with “set”, but we all know that get and set are only conventions and so any method that doesn’t follow convention won’t get the injected code (point cut in AspectJ).

8. Names of properties in a class match when doing Xml or Json serialization

Xml and Json serialization are very common. In C#, for newly developed code, there is no need to decorate the code with any C# Attributes as the names will serialize to JSON and Xml as is.

Imagine we want to get this following Xml from code.


Or the following JSON.


In C#, we create this poco class. Note: Poco = plain old class object.

public class Person
   public string FirstName { get; set; }
   public string LastName { get; set; }

In Java, the class is not so simple. There is not an easy or a guaranteed to work way to do this without a lot more code and without annotations. Here is the same object in Java and what you would have to do to have both getters and setters, private members and serialize using Simple. See my article on Java’s Simple Xml Serialization library.

public class Person
   private String _FirstName {get;set;}
   public String getFirstName() { return _FirstName; }
   public void setFirstName(string value) { _FirstName = value; }

   private String _LastName {get;set;}
   public String getLastName() { return _FirstName; }
   public void setLastName(string value) { _LastName = value; }

So in Java, names don’t match, requiring the developer to add a fourth line, an annotation, just to make this work. And this is new code, not legacy code.

So when Java developers tell me that they don’t need properties, they are saying that they prefer four lines of code per property over one line per property when doing serialization. There is no argument. Of the two serializable class syntaxes above, C# is the winner by a long way.

Now some serializers other than Simple are made by using magic strings, where they hope that the get and set convention is used and if it is used, everything after the get or set is serialized. So getPerson() will serialize to Person. Still, this leaves the names not matching, and it requires magic strings of “get” and “set” and a hope (or requirement) that convention was followed.

C# also allows for taking of property of one name and serializing it to another name.

public class Person
   public string FirstName { get; set; }
   public string LastName { get; set; }

Yes, both C# and Java have this feature. The difference is, this is only needed to accommodate existing or legacy systems and not needed for brand new code and systems.

9. Names of properties in a class match when using a database ORM (or CSV or Excel headers)

Ok, this is almost an identical reason as #8, but serialization for JSON and Xml is vastly different than using a database ORM. But the same issue applies. And really Json and Xml are separate reasons and used often, so I could have broken those out into two features instead of one. But let’s not forget that this also benefits Excel output and CSV output as well as database table output. So, yes, this is a big, huge separate feature than serialization.

If you have a table:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[User]
	[Id] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
	[Username] [nvarchar](255) NULL,
	[CreateDate] [datetime] NOT NULL,
	[LastUpdated] [datetime] NULL,
	[CreatedBy] [int] NOT NULL,
	[LastUpdatedBy] [int] NULL

With properties, the naming scheme matches exactly.

public class User
   public int Id { get; set; }
   public string Username { get; set; }
   public DateTime CreateDate { get; set; }
   public DateTime LastUpdated { get; set; }
   public int CreatedBy { get; set; }
   public int LastUpdatedBy { get; set; }

That is simple and pretty with the six members making up six lines. What do we do in Java?

public class Person
   @Column(name = "Id")
   private String _Id {get;set;}
   public String getFirstName() { return _Id ; }
   public void setFirstName() { _Id = value; }

   @Column(name = "FirstName")
   private String _FirstName {get;set;}
   public String getFirstName() { return _FirstName; }
   public void setFirstName(string value) { _FirstName = value; }
   // Sorry, it is too tedious to even type out the rest of the java example, 
   // I would have to create 16 more lines of code for remaining four columns. Ugh!!!

10. Making convention a language construct and not just a convention

Multiple times, we have mentioned that trying to require the get and set convention and having tools key of magic strings (starts with “get” or starts with “set”) is not really a good practice. The convention cannot be enforced. I will say that Java has done a tremendous job of trying to enforce this convention. But in the end, it is still a questionable practice that keys off of magic strings that are guaranteed to be there.

However, by implementing simpler properties, the convention goes away. Everyone who wants property features gets them. Tools no longer have to key off of magic strings.

One might argue that in C#, you can still write the Hava way, by writing out getProperty() setProperty(Property value) methods, and that using Properties instead of methods is also only a convention. But that is not true and is shortsighted. Properties are properties. Whereas java only has two object members: member variables and methods; C# has three: member variables, properties, and methods. Properties are not just methods. As noted earlier, properties are separate in reflection, in a different list in the object type information. There is a clear and distinct difference between properties and methods and member variables and how they behave in C#. Because of this, magic strings are not needed to execute code.

Don’t just copy, improve too

Salesforce added C# like properties to Apex, their originally java-based language. Only they enhanced the properties by not requiring a separate backing field. In C#, if you call a property from the get, you create an infinite loop. In Apex, any calls to the variable inside the get don’t create an infinite loop. They copy and improved. Java should do the same.

From the Apex documentation on properties:

Apex properties are based on their counterparts in C#, with the following differences:

  • Properties provide storage for values directly. You do not need to create supporting members for storing values.
  • It is possible to create automatic properties in Apex. For more information, see Using Automatic Properties.

This is outdated information as C# has had the second item, auto properties, for many years now. However, C# doesn’t have the first improvement yet. Good job Salesforce and Apex. They didn’t just see a good thing and copy it, they saw it, copied it, and improved on it.

Properties Provide More Features

The benefits are many and far more valuable than Java developers or even most C# developer realize. The Pyramid analogy is really accurate. There are so many little features of C# properties that the sum of the feature set is, like sum of bricks in a pyramid, huge.

I surely missed many such features that properties provide.

What features do properties give you that would benefit the Java language?
What shorter syntaxes do properties give you over Java’s getter setter syntax?

Microsoft announces it is acquiring FreeBSD for $300 Million

FreeBSD-BoxToday Microsoft® has announced that it has acquired FreeBSD®. FreeBSD is an open source operating system known for its very enterprise friendly license. Microsoft has recently embraced open source, moving .NET Core to GitHub, as well as announcing that a bash port that will run in Windows 10. However, this move was quite unexpected.

Microsoft is paying the FreeBSD Foundation approximately 300 Million for the FreeBSD brand, the open source operating system’s source repository, all forks, sub-brands (OpenBSD and NetBSD), websites, and communities.

Microsoft is in the process of negotiation full-time salaries for many of the developer volunteers.

Rumor has it that iXSystems may also be acquired either as part of this deal or as a separate deal. Interestingly enough, Microsoft is not paying for the source itself because that is already free for everyone.

In an interview with the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, he made the following comment:

“With Apple using so much of FreeBSD’s source in their OS X operating system, we felt owning part of the OS X operating system’s source code could really help our Office development team to write a better Office port of OS X.”

We further questioned Nadella on how this affected their recent relationship with Canonical, who ported bash to Windows 10 for Microsoft.

“Canonical is behind Ubuntu, who is moving away from the Linux Kernel. Canonical has recently embraced the idea of UbuntuBSD. With this aquisition, Cononcial and Microsoft are going work close together over the next few years.

There used to rumors that older Windows Operating Systems used some FreeBSD code, we commented to Nadella. He responded with this quip:

“Only older ones? Where do you think we get all our great ideas for our networking stack. I would expect a lot of integration between Windows and FreeBSD, especially on the networking stack.”

Is there anything that FreeBSD has that you want to pull in as soon as you can.

“Well, we are jealous that they have ZFS and Windows does not. Unfortunately, this aquisition doesn’t help bring ZFS to windows. Oracle has the copyright on ZFS. I guess we’ll have to acquire Oracle next.”

That last statement, Nadella laughed.

We were also able to contact the President of the FreeBSD foundation, Justin T. Gibbs and discuss with him the acquisition.

Has Microsoft made any exciting promises to the FreeBSD Foundation in light of this acquisition? Gibbs quipped:

“You mean besides promising to not lay us all off? No, in seriousness, Microsoft has committed to the FreeBSD copyright. They are looking for improvements in IPv6 that we have already implemented. We are looking to make .NET a first class citizen and make C# the primary development language for Web Services, Cloud Services, and Desktop apps written for FreeBSD.”

Does Mono or Xamarin have a big play in that? Gibbs responded:

“Yes, it does. In fact, expect to see FreeBSD added to the list of projects creates when you start a new Xamarin Forms project in Visual Studio. Soon, when you write an App, it will run universally on Windows devices, as well as Android, iOS, OS X, and FreeBSD.”

What does the future look like for FreeBSD under Microsoft’s reign?Microsoft announces it is acquiring FreeBSD

“The future looks promising for FreeBSD under Microsoft.”

Xamarin Free 4 All

We’ve been talking about the fact that Microsoft could make a huge move in enhancing the Windows App ecosystem simply by doing two things:

  1. Buy Xamarin
  2. Make it free

Recently, Microsoft bought Xamarin, checking off one of the two things they needed to do. I speculated on whether Microsoft would make Xamarin free for everyone. I believed that Microsoft would include Xamarin in different tiers for different levels of Visual Studio. But I noted that only by making it free for everyone, including the Visual Studio Community Edition Users, would Microsoft get the full community benefit.

They did it: Xamarin 4 all

Why you should avoid multiline string literals in C# with Git

Recently I started using Continuous Integration (CI) for my open source C# projects on GitHub. I found a http://www.AppVeyor.com would provide me this for free for my open source projects. I setup a few of my projects on the AppVeyor’s CI.

Unfortunately, one of my projects, Rhyous.EasyXml, failed four out of ten unit tests on the CI server. This made no sense. I had the code checked out on a work desktop and a laptop and all ten tests passed in both places.

I had a string that my EasyXml code generates. I had the expected Xml in the following multiline string literal.

        public string PrettyUtf8Xml =
@"<?xml version=""1.0"" encoding=""UTF-8""?>
  <MiddleName>Al Leon</MiddleName>

The test results were not helpful because the string results in the test output were identical.

Starting test execution, please wait... 
Passed   TestMethodLinearize 
Failed   TestMethodPretty 
Error Message: 
   Assert.AreEqual failed. Expected:<<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <MiddleName>Al Leon</MiddleName>
</Person>>. Actual:<<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <MiddleName>Al Leon</MiddleName>
Stack Trace: 
   at Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests.XmlTests.TestMethodPretty() in C:\projects\easyxml\src\Unit Tests\Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests\XmlTests.cs:line 102

My first guess was that somehow my UTF-8 vs UTF-16 code wasn’t working and I set up to figure out how to compare the strings in a way that shows me the difference. I quickly found a wonderful string extension method ShouldEqualWithDiff for Unit Tests by Phil Haack. Phil Haack’s extension method is extremely helpful because it provides a verticle character by character output of the string if the comparison fails.

This provided the following output and pointed the finger of the problem directly at Git. See the highlighted lines 59 and 60 below that show that characters 38 and 39 fail to match up.

Failed   TestMethodPretty 
Error Message: 
   Assert.AreEqual failed. Expected:<<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <MiddleName>Al Leon</MiddleName>
</Person>>. Actual:<<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <MiddleName>Al Leon</MiddleName>
Stack Trace: 
   at Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests.StringExtensions.ShouldEqualWithDiff(String actualValue, String expectedValue, DiffStyle diffStyle, TextWriter output) in C:\projects\easyxml\src\Unit Tests\Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests\StringExtensions.cs:line 50
   at Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests.StringExtensions.ShouldEqualWithDiff(String actualValue, String expectedValue) in C:\projects\easyxml\src\Unit Tests\Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests\StringExtensions.cs:line 12
   at Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests.XmlTests.TestMethodPretty() in C:\projects\easyxml\src\Unit Tests\Rhyous.EasyXml.Tests\XmlTests.cs:line 102
Standard Output Messages: 
     Idx Actual    Expected
     0   60   <    60   <  
     1   63   ?    63   ?  
     2   120  x    120  x  
     3   109  m    109  m  
     4   108  l    108  l  
     5   32   \u20;  32   \u20;
     6   118  v    118  v  
     7   101  e    101  e  
     8   114  r    114  r  
     9   115  s    115  s  
     10  105  i    105  i  
     11  111  o    111  o  
     12  110  n    110  n  
     13  61   =    61   =  
     14  34   "    34   "  
     15  49   1    49   1  
     16  46   .    46   .  
     17  48   0    48   0  
     18  34   "    34   "  
     19  32   \u20;  32   \u20;
     20  101  e    101  e  
     21  110  n    110  n  
     22  99   c    99   c  
     23  111  o    111  o  
     24  100  d    100  d  
     25  105  i    105  i  
     26  110  n    110  n  
     27  103  g    103  g  
     28  61   =    61   =  
     29  34   "    34   "  
     30  85   U    85   U  
     31  84   T    84   T  
     32  70   F    70   F  
     33  45   -    45   -  
     34  56   8    56   8  
     35  34   "    34   "  
     36  63   ?    63   ?  
     37  62   >    62   >  
   * 38  13   \r   10   \n 
   * 39  10   \n   60   <  
   * 40  60   <    80   P  
   * 41  80   P    101  e  
   * 42  101  e    114  r  
   * 43  114  r    115  s  
   * 44  115  s    111  o  
   * 45  111  o    110  n  
   * 46  110  n    62   >  
   * 47  62   >    10   \n 
   * 48  13   \r   32   \u20;
   * 49  10   \n   32   \u20;
   * 50  32   \u20;  60   <  
   * 51  32   \u20;  70   F  
   * 52  60   <    105  i  
   * 53  70   F    114  r  
   * 54  105  i    115  s  
   * 55  114  r    116  t  
   * 56  115  s    78   N  
   * 57  116  t    97   a  
   * 58  78   N    109  m  
   * 59  97   a    101  e  
   * 60  109  m    62   >  
   * 61  101  e    74   J  
   * 62  62   >    111  o  
   . . .

The cause is carriage returns. Why would AppVeyor’s tests have only \n while running the tests on any of my machines has \r\n? Yes, Git is the reason. Git normalizes carriage returns when you check in and check out your code. On a Windows box, \r\n is converted to \n on check-in. On checkout \n is converted to \r\n. When AppVeyor checks out my code, the conversion from \n to \r\n doesn’t occur.

So my options to fix this are these:

  1. Change Git to:
    1. use \r\n and not change line endings at all
    2. Change my code to be a single line string

    I chose the second option. I did not want to mess with the Git settings. Different people could have difference Git settings and if anyone else forked my code, and ran the tests, I wanted them to work. So I changed my code. Now the string literal is on one line and the new lines are indicated with \r\n.

            public string PrettyUtf8Xml = "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>\r\n<Person>\r\n  <FirstName>John</FirstName>\r\n  <MiddleName>Al Leon</MiddleName>\r\n  <LastName>Doe</LastName>\r\n</Person>";

    And now my Continuous Integration on AppVeyor is building and passing tests.

A simple C# factory class

I have a project that is pretty small. Despite the small size, it is well-designed, using multiple layers, and interfaces, dependency injection, and unit tests. I need to create a production object at runtime and a mocked object at test time. I could easily use an IOC container. The problem with that is that most IOC containers (Autoface, Castle Windsor, Unity, etc.) are larger than my entire project. While I am a proponent of using IOC containers in large projects, I’m not a big proponent of using them in very small projects.

To make my code more unit testable, I am using a project called SystemWrapper that wraps standard system calls in an Interface and a Wrapper. Again, because my project is small, I didn’t bring in the SystemInterfaces and SystemWrapper dlls. This wrapper includes an ISmtpClient and an SmtpClientWrap object and I only brought in those two class files. The business logic uses the interface, ISmtpWrapper. This allows for me to unit test it by injecting a mock ISmtpClient.

I needed a simple factory that creates a new SmptClient in production runtime but allows for my unit test to create and use a mock ISmptClient during unit test time.

Here is what my factory should do:


  1. Create a new SmptClientWrap object (which wraps an System.Net.SmptClient oject).
  2. Use setting from the app.config or web.config for the mail server, domain, user, and password.

Unit Test

  1. Create an mock of ISmptClient (using Moq).

Here is the simple factory class that I wrote:

using System.Configuration;
using System.Net;
using SystemInterface.Net.Mail;
using SystemWrapper.Net.Mail;

namespace Rhyous.System.Factory
    public class SmtpClientFactory
        public ISmtpClient GetNewSmtpClient()
            return CreateCredentialsMethod();

        public delegate ISmtpClient CreateCredentialsDelegate();

        public CreateCredentialsDelegate CreateCredentialsMethod = () => new SmtpClientWrap(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpServer"])
            Credentials = new NetworkCredential
                Domain = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpDomain"],
                UserName = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpUser"],
                Password = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpPassword"]

In the above class, the GetNewSmptClient returns an ISmtpClient. I use a delegate to create a concrete ISmtpClient called SmtpClienWrap. The default delegate implementation gets the data from the app.config or web.config.

Now I can inject a concrete ISmtpClient into my code:

    using (var smtpClient = SmtpClientFactory.GetNewSmtpClient())
        var mailer = new Mailer(smtpClient);

Note: I could make SmptClientFactory static or make it a singleton. I’m thinking about both.

Now in a test, I am able to create a mock ISmtpClient. Here is an example.

        public void ReplacingTheCreateCredentialsDelegateWorks()
            var factory = new SmtpClientFactory();
            bool _wasCalled = false;
            factory.CreateCredentialsMethod = () =>
                _wasCalled = true;
                return new Mock<ISmtpClient>().Object;
            var client = factory.GetNewSmtpClient();

The one problem with my factory is that it is pretty specific to one class. It might be interesting to make it more generic.

using System;

namespace Rhyous.Factory
    public class ObjectFactory<TInterface, TObject>
        where TInterface : class
        where TObject : TInterface, new()
        public TInterface GetNewObject()
            if (!typeof(TInterface).IsInterface)
                throw new Exception("The first generic, TInterface, must be an interface.");
            return CreateObjectMethod();

        public delegate TInterface CreateObjectDelegate();

        public virtual CreateObjectDelegate CreateObjectMethod
                return _CreateObjectMethod ?? (_CreateObjectMethod = () => Activator.CreateInstance<TObject>());
            set { _CreateObjectMethod = value; }
        public CreateObjectDelegate _CreateObjectMethod;

Now I move my delegate (which is creation method of the factory) upstream to where I instantiate the factory.

    var smtpClientFactory = smtpClientFactory = new ObjectFactory<ISmtpClient, SmtpClientWrap>
                        CreateObjectMethod = () => new SmtpClientWrap(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpServer"])
                            Credentials = new NetworkCredential
                                Domain = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpDomain"],
                                UserName = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpUser"],
                                Password = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmtpPassword"]

    // Then later use the factory...

    using (var smtpClient = smtpClientFactory.GetNewSmtpClient())
        var mailer = new Mailer(smtpClient);

Anyway, have fun with this mini-factory. It might be useful on small projects where you don’t want an entire IOC container.

The oft forgotten Middle Trim

Two Most Popular Ways to Trim

It has become ubiquitous to trim whitespace from data. Data should almost never have whitespace at the front or at the end. This fact is nearly ubiquitous throughout the industry.

  • Front Trim (also called left trim) = Remove leading whitespace, whitespace (space, tab, new line, carriage return) at the front of text.
  • Back Trim (also called left trim) = Remove trailing whitespace, whitespace (space, tab, new line, carriage return) from the back of data. Trailing whitespace.

What does this mean? Look at the following data example:

"  White space at front"      <-- space
"	White space at front" <-- tab
White space at front"         <-- new line or carriage return
"White space at back   "      <-- space
"White space at back	"     <-- tab
"White space at back
"                             <-- new line or carriage return

When extra white space is added to the front or back of data, it should almost always be trimmed.

The Third Way to Trim – Middle Trim

There is a third type of trimming that should be done for many fields. It is not as popular and many developers forget about it. (Marked in green below.)

  • Front Trim (also called left trim) = Remove whitespace (space, tab, new line, carriage return) from the front of data.
  • Back Trim (also called right trim) = Remove whitespace (space, tab, new line, carriage return) from the back of data.
  • Middle Trim (also called center trim) = Remove extra whitespace (space, tab, new line, carriage return) from between words of data.

Note: Extra whitespace could mean different things depending on the field. In this post, it means more than one space. However, if we were dealing with names of objects in code that should not have any middle spaces at all, then even one middle space could be considered an extra space.

Perhaps “Middle Trim” is not something you have heard of before. Front and back trim involves only removing characters if they exist. Middle Trim involves either removing or replacing characters if they exist. Because of this, some might argue that Middle Trim is an incorrect phrase. From a certain point of view, I would agree. However, to properly link the task to front trim and back trim, the phrase Middle Trim makes a lot of sense.

"Extra     white space in middle"      <-- space
"Extra 	white space in middle"          <-- tab
white space in middle"         <-- new line or carriage return

This one actually takes some thought. Because it doesn’t apply to every field as often as front trim and back trim do. However, for many fields, middle trim is just as valid.

  • Address Lines (When there is one field per line)
  • City
  • Country
  • Name (Pretty much any type of name)
    • Account
    • Business
    • Contact
    • Company
    • Course
    • Customer
    • First
    • Last
    • Middle
    • Part
    • Partner
    • Product
    • School
    • Spouse
    • Street
    • User
  • Order Identifiers
  • State
  • etc…

Names should not have extra whitespace at the front, end, or middle. State or Country names should never have extra whitespace at the front, middle, or end. Many types of input should be cleaned of extra whitespace in the front, middle, or end.

"Awesome     Company LLC"  <-- space
"Washtington	D.C."      <-- tab
"United States of
America"                   <-- new line or carriage return

All of the above are wrong. I could quote First Normal Form to you, but really common sense should be enough. These spaces make the data wrong.

Now, each field may be different. You may not want middle trim if your field is a blob of text, that has paragraphs. In that case, you certainly want to leave carriage returns.

Implementing Middle Trim in C#

Middle trim isn’t exactly easy to implement. Some languages have features, such as Regex, which make it easy. Others do not.

Why isn’t Middle Trim extremely common and more easily implemented? Perhaps middle trim is forgotten because there isn’t a clear method for it like there is with String.Trim() and so it is often left out?

Many languages, like C#, make front and back trimming easy. In C#, you can simply call String.Trim() and it will trim whitespace from the front and back. However, it doesn’t clean up extra whitespace in the middle.

Doing all three trims in C# is most easily done with Regex and an extension method.

Note: Get the Rhyous.StringLibrary from NuGet or check out the Rhyous.StringLibrary project on GitHub.

public static class StringExtensions
    public static string TrimAll(this string value)
        var newstring = value;
        newstring = myString.Trim(); // This removes extra whitespace from the front and the back.
        newstring = Regex.Replace(LastName, @"\s+", " "); // Replaces all whitespace with a single space

If you want to avoid regex, you could roll your own like this:

public static class StringExtensions
    public static string TrimAll(this string value)
        var trimmedValue = new StringBuilder();
        char previousChar = (char)0;
        foreach (char c in value)
            if (char.IsWhiteSpace(c))
                previousChar = c;
            if (char.IsWhiteSpace(previousChar) && trimmedValue.Length > 0)
                trimmedValue.Append(' ');
            previousChar = c;
        return trimmedValue.ToString();

You would use either method the same way.

  var newstring = " This string     has extra whitespace in the      front, middle and the end.   "
  newstring = nestring.TrimAll();

Implementing Middle Trim in MSSQL

MSSQL also has LTRIM (left trim) and RTRIM (right trim), but middle trim doesn’t exist. Middle Trim is even harder to write in MSSQL because there is no Regex. So you have to replace whitespaces characters with spaces, then remove multiple spaces.

Here is what it looks like to add a name to a person and to do all three trims: front, back, middle. Wow! It is ugly.

							, char(9), ' '
						),  char(10), ' '
					),  char(13), ' '
				),'  ',' '+CHAR(7)
			), CHAR(7)+' ',''
		), CHAR(7),''

This does right trim, left trim. Then it replaces tabs, new line, and carriage returns with spaces. Then it uses the bell character (because bell is basically never used) to replace any double spaces, char(32)+Char(32), with space bell, char(32)+char(7). Then it replaces any instance of char(7)+char(32) with ”, an empty string. Then that might leave a few space bell sequences, so we only need one more replace of bell, char(7), with ”, an empty string.

How to know which type of trimming you need?

This is very simple. Just ask questions:

  • Front trim – Will extra whitespace at the front ever be valid?
  • Back trim – Will extra whitespace at the back ever be valid?
  • Middle trim – Will extra whitespace in the middle ever be valid? Are middle spaces allowed? If so, should they always be a single space?

If the answer to any of those questions is “no,” then you need to do that type of trim. However, it is clear that Middle Trim has more questions as it is more complex.

Victoria’s Secret Swim Special not available to Ad Blockers

If you are like many of internet users, you probably use an Ad Blocker. If so you have unwitting joined what I call the Ad Blocking Arms Race. This arms race is extremely interesting. Unlike real war, this arms race doesn’t include a body count, making it extremely interesting and fun to watch. I keep an eye out to see how this arms race progresses.

Ad Blocking has caused a significant hit to the bottom line of many Ad-sponsored websites. It is well-known that Forbes.com has taken a stand against Ad Blockers. Their actions have made a clear statement:

“Our content is not free, it is paid for and sponsored by ads. Block those ad, and you will be blocked from our content.”

I previously discussed 6 Reasons Why Ad Blocking Is A Short Term Fad, even though I not against ad blocking. In this article, I discuss how soon, almost no site will work unless you disable your Ad Blocker. If that happens, Ad Blockers will be rendered quite ineffective.

Today, CBS joined Forbes.com in the Ad Blocking Arms Race, taking a stand and fighting back against Ad Blockers. If you try to watch free CBS content, then Ads are required. Those who go to CBS.com to catch up on shows that they might want to catch up on, such as Victoria’s Secret Swim Special, will receive the following denial:

“This Video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors. If you are using ad blocking software please disable it and reload the page.”

CBS is giving a similar message as Forbes.com. Here is what it looks like when you go to their web site and try to watch the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special with an Ad Blocker enabled. This is not subtle and makes it clear that the Ad Blocker is not acceptable on their site. Instead of feeling like an ad blocker is effective, this makes it feel like the Ad Blocker simple got in the way.

CBS Blocks Victoria's Secret Swim Special to Ad Blockers


Turning off Ad Blocking is easy enough, but that is not the interesting part of this. The interesting part of this is the effect this has on the Ad Blocker Arms Race. As a techie myself, I probably won’t stop using an Ad Blocker, but many average users will soon be annoyed enough by these constant denial of content to Ad Blockers, that they may stop using Ad Blockers altogether. It may take time as they may not uninstall an existing Ad Blocker, but next time a user switches to a new device, might they simply forgo installing an Ad Blocker. If that happens, Advertisers will soon win this arms race.

However, in an Arms Race, there are two sides who continually escalate. Content providers, who are sponsored by ads, are just starting to fight back.  These are their first punches.

Besides the ubiquitous feature to disable the Ad Blocker for a certain site, what is going to be the Ad Blocker’s response? Are they going to try to disguise themselves somehow? Technically, that seems difficult.

With so many sites being funded primarily by ads, are Ad Blockers really good for the Internet? There are multiple points of view. On one side, Ad Blockers are having a small but positive effect on the quality and legitimacy of ads. However, already some sites are shutting down, or if not shutting down, going inactive, do to Ad Blockers. Others are simply blocking users who have Ad Blocking software enabled.

All I can say is, this: The battle is on, and this arms race is fun to watch.



NuGet for Source Using Add As Link (Part 1)

Update: Projects using NuGet for Source with Add as Link. If you have a project using this please comment and let me know.

  1. https://github.com/rhyous/SimpleArgs
  2. https://github.com/rhyous/EasyXml
  3. https://github.com/rhyous/EasyCsv
  4. https://github.com/rhyous/SimplePluginLoader
  5. https://github.com/rhyous/StringLibrary

So I have a project on GitHub called SimpleArgs. This project makes command line arguments easy in a C# project. However, one of the requirements is to have an option to use the SimpleArgs dll or to have a single file executable. Yes, everything in one single exe, so referencing a dll is not an option.

So I created two separate NuGet packages from this project:

  1. SimpleArgs – This NuGet package uses a dll
  2. SimpleArgs.Sources – This NuGet package adds source

I use SimpleArgs.Sources the most. I quickly realized that NuGet for source does not scale. I have a Solution with four different projects where each project is a single file executable. The result was many copies of the SimpleArgs code.

    /Packages    <-- Copy of SimpleArgs source
    /SingleExe1  <-- Copy of SimpleArgs source
    /SingleExe2  <-- Copy of SimpleArgs source
    /SingleExe3  <-- Copy of SimpleArgs source
    /SingleExe4  <-- Copy of SimpleArgs source

That is 5 copies of the SimpleArgs source. Now at first, this doesn’t seem to be a big problem, in fact, it seems little more than an annoyance. One of the first changes I made, was to exclude the duplicate copies of source from Git. This helped but not enough. There are still problems that occur with multiple copies of source. For example, I ran into a bug with SimpleArgs. I fixed it, and then some time later I ran into the same bug with another project in the same solution. Oh, yeah. I only fixed the bug in one copy of the SimpleArgs source.

I decided the best solution was to reference the source using Add as link. Add as link is the ability to include a file into your Visual Studio project but without making a copy of the file in your project.

See: How to Add As Link in Visual Studio

I quickly changed the projects so the source was included not as copies but using the Add As Link capability. I manually did this. Then I finally pushed my changes to SimpleArgs Git repository and released a new version of the SimpleArgs.Sources NuGet package. That basically wiped out my manual work to Add As Link.

I needed the NuGet packages include the source using Add As Link for me.

How to create NuGet package using Add As Source

Well, to my dismay, NuGet didn’t have this feature built in. At first I was exciting about the possibility that this feature would be added as part of NuGet 3.3 and the contentFiles feature, but unfortunately, this feature is for Universal Windows projects, and not for Console Application, Windows Forms, or WPF projects.

However, NuGet does run a PowerShell script on install and another on uninstall, called install.psi and uninstall.ps1. It took some work, I even gave up once, but eventually I found the right library and the documentation for it to help me solve this.

Step 1 – Create a NuGet Packager Project in Visual Studio

  1. Open Visual Studio and go to File | New Project.
    Note: Steps 2 thru 7 installs the NuGet Packager project from online. If you have already done this, then you probably can create your project without these steps. 🙂
  2. At the bottom of the list on the right, click Online to expand it.
    Note: For some reason, Visual Studio hung for about ten to twenty seconds when I clicked this.
  3. In the search bar on the top right, enter NuGet.
  4. Select NuGet Packager.
  5. Give your project a Name.
    Note: Mine is named SimpleArgs.Sources.
  6. Give your solution a Name.
  7. Click Ok.
    See steps 2 – 7 in this image:
    NuGet Package Visual Studio Project Template
    When you click OK, the template will install. It will prompt you a few times but once installed, your project will be created.Note: From now on, you can find the NuGet Packager project in Installed | Templates | Visual C# | NuGet.

Step 2 – Fill out the Package.nuspec file metadata

The package.nusepc is an Xml file. It is created as follows:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<package >
    <description>A long description of the package. This shows up in the right pane of the Add Package Dialog as well as in the Package Manager Console when listing packages using the Get-Package command.</description>
    <summary>A short description of the package. If specified, this shows up in the middle pane of the Add Package Dialog. If not specified, a truncated version of the description is used instead.</summary>
    <copyright>Copyright  2016</copyright>
        <group targetFramework="net40">
          <dependency id="log4net" version="1.2.10" />
    <file src="lib\" target="lib" />
    <file src="tools\" target="tools" />
    <file src="content\" target="content" />
Package.nuspec Changes

I can’t go over every possible nuspec setting. That is in the Nuspec Reference. However, I’ll give you the basics of what I changed.

  1. id – Set this to your package name. If you named your project correctly, this is already named correctly. I’ll leave the above unchanged.
  2. version – This is your version. If this is your first release, 1.0.0 is perfect. I am changing mine to 1.1.0 as my last version was 1.0.9.
  3. title – Often the same as the id, but not always. I’ll leave mine as is.
  4. authors – This is me. I want something other than the Visual Studio username. I changed this to Jared Barneck (Rhyous)
  5. owners – This is me or my business. I’ll change this to Rhyous Publishing LLC
  6. description – Long description. This is defined in the Xml. Change it to describe your NuGet package.
  7. releaseNotes – I just put a link to the release notes in my GitHub repo: https://github.com/rhyous/SimpleArgs/blob/master/ReleaseNotes.txt
  8. summary – Short description. This is also defined in the xml. This is usually shorter than the description.
  9. language – This is the 5 digit language IETF language tag. I left mine at en-US.
  10. projectUrl – I changed this to my GitHub location: https://github.com/rhyous/SimpleArgs
  11. iconUrl – I changed this to the icon file in my GitHub source. Unlike the release notes and the license file, I used the raw GitHub link for the image: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rhyous/SimpleArgs/master/Docs/Images/SimpleArgs.Logo.png
  12. requireLicenseAcceptance – I left this as false. Only set this to true if your license requires an agreement.
  13. licenseUrl – I set this to the license file in my GitHub repository:
  14. copyright – I set this to Copyright Rhyous Publishing LLC
  15. dependencies – This project has no dependencies, so I deleted this entire section.
  16. references – I deleted this tag. Source NuGet packages probably won’t have any references.
  17. tags – Since my project is for command line arguments, I set my tags to: args, arguments
  18. files – This was preconfigured, however, I replaced the libs\ with src\ because I didn’t have any libs but I have source.

You can see my final nuspec file in the GitHub repo: SimpleArgs.Sources Package.nuspec

Step 3 – Add Shared Source Files

Default Items in Solution Explorer for a NuGet Packager ProjectIn Visual Studio, in Solution Explorer, you should see that there are already four folders provided for you. See the image to your right. ———–>

  • content – This is what is going to be copied to your project. Since we don’t want all our source copied, we aren’t going to put our source here.
    Note: I would delete this folder, but it turns out, I have one source file that isn’t shared. ArgsHandler.cs will be customized in each project, which makes sense because each project will have different args and handle args differently. ArgsHandler.cs will go here.
  • libs – I have no libs. I can delete this folder and the associated xml for it in the nuspec.
  • src – Stuff I put here isn’t copied to my projects. I am going to put all my shared source in this folder.
  • tools – this has the PowerShell scripts: init.ps1, install.ps1, and uninstall.ps1

Now that we understand our folder structure, let’s get to work.

  1. In Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer, create a folder called App_Packages under the src directory.
    Note: I was going to use App_Sources but NuGet recommends that we follow what other community members follow and others have already started putting source files under App_Packages, so I am following that community convention. Also, this is important for the PowerShell scripts, as this convention plays a part in them. If you don’t follow this convention, you will have to edit the and uninstall.psi PowerShell scripts, which I’ll be providing later.
  2. In Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer, create a Folder with the project name and version. In my case, the folder name is this: SimpleArgs.Sources.1.1.0.
    Note: Again, this was by community convention. Others were doing this. You don’t have to follow this exactly, again, If you don’t follow this convention, you will have to edit the install.ps1 and uninstall.psi PowerShell scripts, which I’ll be providing later.
  3. In Windows Explorer, not in Visual Studio, put your source under the project name and version directory.
    Note: In Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer, I only have these two directories: App_Packages/SimpleArgs.Sources.1.1.0.
    Note: In Windows Explorer, My directory structure ended up as follows:


    Note: There is a good reason that I don’t include these in the NuGet Packager Visual Studio project, which I will explain later.

Step 4 – Add Source Files

As mentioned earlier, the ArgsHandler.cs file isn’t shared. Each project does need its own copy of this file. So we need to add it so that it supports Source Code Transformations.

  1. In Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer, copy any source files into the Content directory. You may put them in sub directories if you wish. I created an Arguments folder.
  2. Add .pp to the end of any source files.
  3. Change the namespace to $rootnamespace$ in any source files. You may also add a sub namespace to the end of $rootnamespace$ as I did.
using SimpleArgs;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace $rootnamespace$.Arguments
    // Add this line of code to Main() in Program.cs
    //   ArgsManager.Instance.Start(new ArgsHandler(), args);

    /// <summary>
    /// A class that implements IArgumentsHandler where command line
    /// arguments are defined.
    /// </summary>
    public sealed class ArgsHandler : ArgsHandlerBase
         // content snipped see full file here: https://github.com/rhyous/SimpleArgs/blob/master/NuGet/SimpleArgs.NuGet/content/Arguments/ArgsHandler.cs.pp

Step 5 – Add As Link in NuGet using PowerShell scripts

There are three PowerShell scripts.

  • init.ps1
  • install.ps1
  • uninstall.ps1

We are only going to modify install.ps1 and uninstall.ps1.

Note: The following are written to be very generic and have been tested in various Visual Studio projects, which means some common bugs are already fixed, such as not failing on creation of App_Packages just because it is already there.

  1. Update install.ps1.

    Note: For the latest versions of install1.ps1 and uninstall.ps1, go to the tools directory on my GitHub repo.

    # Runs every time a package is uninstalled
    param($installPath, $toolsPath, $package, $project)
    # $installPath is the path to the folder where the package is installed.
    # $toolsPath is the path to the tools directory in the folder where the package is installed.
    # $package is a reference to the package object.
    # $project is a reference to the project the package was installed to.
    # Variables
    $src = "src"
    $packageName = [System.IO.Path]::GetFileName($installPath)
    write-host "project: " $project.FullName
    write-host "installPath: " $installPath
    write-host "toolsPath: " $toolsPath
    write-host "package: " $package
    write-host "project: " $project
    $srcPath = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($installPath, $src)
    write-host "srcPath: " $srcPath
    $solutionDir = [System.IO.Path]::GetDirectoryName($dte.Solution.FullName)
    $projectDir = [System.IO.Path]::GetDirectoryName($project.FullName)
    write-host "solutionDir: " $solutionDir
    write-host "projectDir: " $projectDir
    $areSameDir = $solutionDir -eq $projectDir
    write-host "areSameDir: " $areSameDir
    function AddLinkedFiles($path, $addLocation, $canLink) 
        write-host "path: " $path
        write-host "addLocation: " $addLocation.FullName
        write-host "canLink: " $canLink
        foreach ($item in Get-ChildItem $path)
            write-host "item: " $item $item.FullName
            if (Test-Path $item.FullName -PathType Container) 
                if ( $canLink) {
                    $addFolder = $project.ProjectItems|Where-Object {$_.FullName -eq $item.FullName}
                    if (!$addFolder) {
                        $addFolder = $addLocation.ProjectItems.AddFolder($item)
                    write-host "addFolder: " $addFolder.FullName
                    AddLinkedFiles $item.FullName $addFolder $canLink
                } else
                    AddLinkedFiles $item.FullName $addLocation $canLink
                write-host "Adding " $item.FullName " to " $addLocation.FullName
    write-host "Calling AddLinkedFiles"
    AddLinkedFiles $srcPath $project (!$areSameDir)
  2. Update uninstall.ps1.
    # Runs every time a package is uninstalled
    param($installPath, $toolsPath, $package, $project)
    # $installPath is the path to the folder where the package is installed.
    # $toolsPath is the path to the tools directory in the folder where the package is installed.
    # $package is a reference to the package object.
    # $project is a reference to the project the package was installed to.
    # Variables
    $packages = "Packages"
    $app_packages = "App_Packages"
    $src = "src"
    $packageName = [System.IO.Path]::GetFileName($installPath)
    write-host "project: " $project.FullName
    write-host "installPath: " $installPath
    write-host "toolsPath: " $toolsPath
    write-host "package: " $package
    write-host "project: " $project
    $srcPath = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($installPath, $src)
    write-host "srcPath: " $srcPath
    $solutionDir = [System.IO.Path]::GetDirectoryName($dte.Solution.FullName)
    $projectDir = [System.IO.Path]::GetDirectoryName($project.FullName)
    write-host "solutionDir: " $solutionDir
    write-host "projectDir: " $projectDir
    $areSameDir = $solutionDir -eq $projectDir
    write-host "areSameDir: " $areSameDir
    if ($areSameDir) {
        $packagesItem = $project.ProjectItems|Where-Object {$_.Name -eq $packages}    
        write-host "packageFolder: " $packagesItem.Name
        $item = $packagesItem.ProjectItems|Where-Object {$_.Name -eq [System.IO.Path]::GetFileName($installPath)}
        write-host "item: " $item.Name
        if ($packagesItem.ProjectItems.Count -eq 0) {
    } else {
        $app_packagesItem = $project.ProjectItems|Where-Object {$_.Name -eq $app_packages}
        write-host "app_packagesItem: " $app_packagesItem.Name
        $app_packagesFolder = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($srcPath,$app_packages)
        foreach ($subDir in (Get-ChildItem $app_packagesFolder)) {
            $item = $app_packagesItem.ProjectItems|Where-Object {$_.Name -eq $subDir.Name}
            write-host "item: " $item.Name
            if ($item) {
        if ($app_packagesItem.ProjectItems.Count -eq 0 -and (Get-ChildItem ([System.IO.Path]::Combine($projectDir, $app_packages))).Count -eq 0) {

    Step 6 – Build the solution and NuGet package

    The NuGet Packager project template is pretty awesome. When you use it, it builds the NuGet package for you on build. Also, if you build in release mode, it will try to upload the NuGet package to the public NuGet Package Gallary.

    1. In Visual Studio, make sure the Solution Configuration is set to Debug.
    2. Choose to Build | Build Solution.
    3. In your project directory, you should have a NuGet package built. Mine is called SimpleArgs.Sources.1.1.1.nupkg.

    Stay Tuned

    Stay tuned for NuGet for Source Using Add As Link (Part 2 – Testing & Deploying)

    If you subscribe, you will never miss a post.

How to Add As Link in Visual Studio

There may be times when you need to share source between projects but you can’t reference a dll. This would happen if you are writing multiple single file executables and you wanted to share source between them. By definition, a single file executable doesn’t reference a dll or it would not be a single file.

You can still share source using Visual Studio’s Add As Link feature.

To use Add As Link in Visual Studio, follow these steps.

  1. Right-click on your project in Solution Explorer and choose Add | Existing Item.
    Visual Studio Add Existing Item
  2. Next navigate to your shared file and click to highlight the file.
  3. Next click the drop down arrow next to Add and choose Add As Link.
    Visual Studio Add As link
  4. Verify that the file was added as a link. You can tell because it has a different icon to distinguish it from other source files.Icon for Add As Link Source
  5. Verify that the Build Action is set to Compile. It should be as this is the default Build Action for a .cs file.
    Visual Studio Build Action Compile

You can now share source without using a dll.

Microsoft to Acquire Xamarin

XamarinMicrosoft is to acquire Xamarin. Read the article here. Xamarin is far and away the best tool for writing cross-platform mobile apps, but their business model greatly slowed the company’s customer acquisition.

A new mobile developer could easily install Eclipse for free and develop a mobile app without zero cost. The minimum Xamarin fee cost $25 a month but it did not work with Visual Studio. The minimum Xamarin version that worked with Visual Studio cost $1000 a month.

Better business models existed. I long recommended that Xamarin be completely free to for developers to download and use, but the compiled code should have been time-bombed for one day. Of course, with IL editors such time-bombing could be removed, but doing so would not be easy. This model would have allowed them to gather all the indie developers who had an idea and quickly get their application to work on iOS, Android, and Windows. Then at release time, charging a fee to publish the app would have been more palatable. In the long run it would have resulted in more customers and users. It would have skyrocketed the number of xamarin developers. I believe Xamarin would have ended up making far more money by charging less to way more users. But Xamarin disagreed.

Microsoft sees the need to make Xamarin the go to language from cross-platform apps. The flaky and hacked together html5 stack is the only other option for true cross-platform development. Microsoft and Visual Studio has a marge larger user base than Xamarin. If Microsoft’s intention to maintain Xamarin’s model, they would be making a huge mistake.

Microsoft should immediately add Xamarin to the Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers. Enterprise is the top-level and should get everything. There will be some loss of revenue as some Xamarin customers are also Enterprise subscribers, but that loss in negligible and would probably be made up by higher renewal rates and less downgrades. However, if Miocrosoft were to add all of Xamarin also to their Visual Studio Professional subscribers, Xamarin might lose a huge portion of revenue, as most Xamarin customers are also Visual Studio Subscribers. If they want to keep this revenue, then they could easily add a mobile subscription level for mobile only developers and then a professional plus mobile subscription level entices current professional developers to upgrade.

However, what if Microsoft doesn’t care about Xamarin’s revenue at all. What if what they care about is getting mobile developers to primarily use Visual Studio. What if they give Xamarin in its entirety away free in Community Edition so everyone at any Visual Studio level would have it. And what if they open source it?

How many more users would flock to Visual Studio Community Edition? This could be the catalyst to dethrone JavaScript. To bring thousands of users to the Microsoft development ecosystem that also includes Azure. What types of increases in their cloud users could this bring? Perhaps the Xamarin acquistion is not intended to continue to make its own revenue. Perhaps the acquisition is nothing more than a feature add to their existing technology stack.

Were I Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, I would go the Community Edition route. But I’m not him and I do not know what he is going to do. We are left to wait and see.


Your project’s ‘Getting Started’ tutorial sucks – Why time to success matters

I recently started to learn a new open source JavaScript library. It looked great at first. It had documentation on the library. It had a comprehensive demo. I immediately started through their “Getting Started.” After the first hour, with nothing successful, my excitement began to dim. I’d followed the documentation exactly. I did everything I was supposed to do. And it wasn’t working. After three hours, it still wasn’t working and I started looking for different JavaScript libraries that do the same thing.

How many of you have run across someone’s “Getting Started Tutorial”, felt an initial rush of excitement to learn something new, only to be dismally lost in errors and unclear examples a few hours later?

This isn’t the first time that I have experienced this. I experienced it with C# tutorials for years long before I experienced it with a JavaScript library tutorial. I’ll experience it in whatever language I learn next.

Are you running an op en source project? If so, there is a good chance that your example code sucks.

Why your example code sucks

Well, first off, you are a developer, not a technical writer. There are many little nuances that go into a good piece of technical writing and whether you think so or not, your “Getting Started Tutorial” is technical writing. But you don’t need a technical writing degree to understand why your example tutorial sucks. It is far simpler than that.

You example code sucks for four reasons. The first three are extremely well-known reasons to technical writers, but probably not to developers. The fourth is, for some reason, not obvious or well-known.

  1. You don’t know who your target audience is.
  2. You skip steps you assume are too easy.
  3. You didn’t focus and minimize your tutorial.
  4. *NEW* Your time to success in your tutorial is too long.

Knowing Your target audience

Look, this isn’t hard. If you are an open source project, or just writing a Getting Started tutorial, you need to know your audience. Do you know who they are? For a code tutorial, the audience is almost always the same, with very few exceptions.

Target Audience: Any Developer from one who is just starting out, either in college or in self-learning, to one that has been doing it a few years, to other who have been coding all their lives, and to the old codger who swears at your new modern techniques and bitterly talks of how Cobol is still the best language. Basically, any and all developers.

So now that you know your target audience, you may be confused. Which developer do I write for if I’m supposed to write for all of them?

Well, do you remember in math what you had to do to add or subtract fractions with different denominators. What did you do? You found the lowest common denominator. Yeah, it is the same when dealing with a target audience. You write to the lowest common knowledge level. If you are writing a tutorial or explaining example code assuming an experienced developer only, then your Getting Started tutorial sucks.

Remember the Easy Steps

If you are doing an example in an specific IDE (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc) and your first step is to create a project in the IDE, but you feel you can leave this step out. So your first step in your tutorial is what to do in the project. You just made your tutorial suck!

What if your user has never used Eclipse and your tutorial is their first experience? How successful are they going to be? The reader is going to be stuck trying to figure out how to even get to step 1.

Don’t skip steps. It doesn’t matter if it is an step-by-step tutorial or a video. If you skip the first step, your started off wrong.

Focus and Minimize Your Tutorial

This is often the worst mistake a tutorial writer can make.

Let’s start off with a bad JavaScript example. You just created a JavaScript library. It is the next best thing. It is going to replace JQuery, Knockout, and Angular. It is the bomb. So naturally your Tutorial for your demo code needs to include other libraries to properly demo your stuff, right? It needs Bootstrap, right? Wrong! If your getting starting example uses any other libraries that is not required for your tutorial, you are failing to minimize. Adding Bootstraps sounds awesome. And there is nothing wrong with a “My Library with BootStrap.js” tutorial. It just shouldn’t be your “Getting Started” tutorial. If you project isn’t Bootstrap or a library that requires bootstrap, leave it out. Minimize.

I recently saw a tutorial on the basics of WCF (Web Services in .NET). The author assumed that the reader already had a project created, an ORM (Entity Framework) installed and referenced, and a database available. Even if this was a more complex tutorial and not a “Getting Started” tutorial, skipping these steps is not good. He was trying to teach how to do something that only related to WCF. An ORM and a database were not necessary. His tutorial limited his audience and had tons of comments from users that were lost, had errors, and couldn’t get his code to work.

Time to Success

Probably the most important factor to a tutorial is time to success. How long does it take your readers to reach success using your project? This is your “Getting Started” tutorials time to success. How long is yours?

If your “Getting Started” tutorial has a time to success of one hour. Your tutorial probably sucks. Why do you think the first thing that every development languages uses as example code is the Hello, Word program? Authors of programming languages long ago inadvertently stumbled onto the fact to time to success matters. Most do it because “Hello, World” is common, not because they understand that time to success is probably the most important factor in their getting started tutorial.

There is not right answer for time to success. The more complex your project, the more dependencies your project has, the more difficult your getting started tutorial will be. However, for a JavaScript library with no dependencies, your time to success should be five minutes or less.

Also, you don’t have to finish your tutorial. You can put multiple success points in your tutorial. Often in coding tutorials, you will see the author tell you to compile and run and see what happens before moving on. This is important, because these compile and run steps are actually there to show that your are succeeding in the tutorial and these steps bring the time to success forward from the end of the tutorial to early on in the process.

Finding out your time to success

The easiest way to find out your time to success is to have a non-developer do it. I recommend you find some one still in High School who isn’t a self-taught coder. Any average high school student will do. My technically writing instructor in college had a daughter in Cheer leading. We had to write a tutorial and they had to successfully follow it. If they couldn’t follow the tutorial in under twenty minutes, we failed. If they could we passed. It was that simple.

An almost perfect example

Would you like an example of a really fast time to success tutorial? I have one for you. It is another JavaScript library. Of the four items above, it does all but skipping steps flawlessly. It has three for four. And the time to success is amazingly short.

In your browser, go here: https://qunitjs.com

Check out QUnit’s Getting Started tutorial. They have an html file and a javascript file. That is it. They know their audience. The example is focussed and minimal. Their time to success is about two minutes.

They do skip steps though. Would a newbie know what that the first step is to create an html file with the html content displayed? No, they wouldn’t. However, QUnit’s project is unique in that it is a library for testing other javascript. So before anyone would hit this library, they are likely already writing web code. See, QUnit knows its audience. And by knowing their audience, they knew (or got lucky) that they are an exception. Because their libraries tests other javascript code, only javascript developers are going to go their page. QUnit will never be the first javascript library a person learns. So they don’t need to cater to the first time newbie. So while, they did break #2 and forget easy steps, they are unique and they get away with it, mostly.

More importantly, their time to success if phenomenal.

Now please, go forth and alter your “Getting Started” tutorial to be equally as awesome.

6 Reasons Why Ad Blocking Is a Short-Term Fad

Recently there has been an influx of people who want to use Ad Blockers. They are great tools, especially when the site is obnoxiously add-filled. Who hasn’t hit a site that had an annoying blinking ad. Or worse, an Ad that suddenly starts music and a loud video. Ugh. Nobody like this.

However, how effective will Ad Blockers be? They will reach peak usage sometime in early 2017 and then almost completely disappear from use by 2020. They will be nothing more than a passing fad.

  1. Ads fund the majority of the internet world
    Content is provided for free if you view the ads. Web site owners have started adding javascript code that refuses to show content if an Ad Blocker is installed. These aren’t just small sites. Very large and popular sites, including Forbes.com, are starting to do refuse to show their content.
    This isn’t out-of-the-box simple to do yet (only simple for a skilled JavaScript developer), but it is getting simpler. See #2.
  2. Countering ad blockers will soon be easy and ubiquitous
    WordPress runs 25% of the websites in the world. There are already Ad Blocker detectors plugin, such as the cleverly titled Ad Blocking Detector plugin. It won’t be long until a JavaScript library exists that is easy to use on custom web sites. One might argue that this will start an “arms race” between Ad Networks and Ad Blockers, where each side improves continually. But I see this as a short term Arms race. In this arms race, the money to be made is far greater on the side of the Ad Networks. Such an Arms race will be too costly for Ad Blockers, causing them to either close up shop or stop improving.
  3. Ads can be static or injected server side to appear static
    Ad Blockers won’t block static content. If they do, they will cross a line. Right now Ad blockers are blocking ads based on JavaScript. But what happens when the Ads change to be server side? The content appears static and inline.
  4. Most people don’t even know about block Ads
    So far, the majority of people don’t even know Ad Blockers exists. By the time knowledge of them has spread beyond your average “techie,” their effectiveness will be already countered. Ad Blockers already have a large user base, but compared to the Billions of internet users, their user base really hasn’t penetrated the market.
  5. Most people don’t care enough to install an Ad Blocker
    People are used to ads, and are already used to ignoring them. Some people even like that Google figures out what they like and shows them ads about it.
  6. The Ad Blockers are already no longer blocking all Ads
    The Ad Blockers are now white-listing certain ads. That means that the Ad Blockers are now in the game for money, not for you, because the Ad Blocker is free. So how are Ad Blockers going to make money? By allowing Ads. I know, it sounds crazy. Ad blockers are going to show you Ads to make money. This sounds like a good short term move. The plan is to make their money and get out because soon, by displaying ad, ad blockers are going to alienate their own users.

For all the reasons above, Ad Blockers won’t last long. They will soon lose their effectiveness, and be forgotten. One that happens, after Ad Blocker users get their next phone and next PC/Tablet/Hybrid, users probably won’t even remember to install an Ad Blocker again.

Ad Blockers Will Play an Important Role for Change

However, Ad Blockers will have played an important role. A role for change. So what about Ads are going to change?

  1. Ads Standards will Slightly Improve Ad Quality on Valid Sites
    Advertisers have been able to put out ads unchecked on the internet for almost two decades. Ad networks have risen up. However, the industry as a whole has done a poor job with ad quality.
  2. Ads Will Slightly Improve in Honestly on Valid Sites
    They have also done a poor job with ad honestly. Advertisers have gotten away with ads intended to trick and fool users. Ad blockers are already leading to Ad Networks creating more stringent rules.
  3. Ads Will Be Less Distracting on Valid Sites
    Nobody likes distracting, blinking ads. Some of these are even hard on the eyes. Such ads will no longer exist in the post Ad Blocker world.

Will Ad blockers ever go away?

No. They will always have a niche market, especially among “techies,” some of whom can even write their own ad blockers. But the market will be 1% or less. It might have a small impact and Ad Network’s bottom line, but long term, but not much.

Expect Google To Take Advantage

Google isn’t going to favor sites that use Google Ads over sites that don’t. However, Google could implement a standard of quality for Adsense ads. Then once the majority of ads have complied with those standards, then Google (the search engine) could suddenly include “Ad Quality” as a way to rank sites. Since sites using Adsense will already meet this quality, all sites using Adsense over another Ad network will be ranked higher. Google will profit hugely from this as 3rd party Ad Networks take years to adjust.

How to easily access a web.config AppSettings value with a Type and a default value?

I wanted to make it easier to get a value from AppSettings in the web.config (or the app.config if you aren’t doing web) while converting to the proper type and having a default value.

Here is the syntax I started with that I didn’t like at all.

public static int MaxRetryAttempts = (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmptRetries"]))
    ? int.Parse(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SmptRetries"])
    : 3;

I decided I wanted to have the following syntax:

ConfigurationManager.AppSettings.Get<T>(string key, T defaultValue)

I found a blog post that got me started. His syntax was very close to what I wanted already. He didn’t have the default value and he wasn’t an extension method, but wow, was this a real help. I was unaware of TypeDescriptor.GetConverter and was going to basically roll my own with an massively ugly case statement. So I am very happy I found his post.

I created the following NameValueCollectionExtensions.cs file.

using System.Collections.Specialized;
using System.ComponentModel;

namespace Rhyous.Extensions
    public static class NameValueCollectionExtensions
        public static T Get<T>(this NameValueCollection collection, string key, T defaultValue)
            var value = collection[key];
            var converter = TypeDescriptor.GetConverter(typeof(T));
            if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(value) || !converter.IsValid(value))
                return defaultValue;

            return (T)(converter.ConvertFromInvariantString(value));


  1. ConfigurationManager.AppSettings is of Type System.Collections.Specialized.NameValueCollection. So my extension method must be for that type.
  2. I changed the author’s method to be an extension method using the “this” keyword.
  3. I changed from using ConfirationManager.AppSettings to use the first parameter, collection, defined by the “this” keyword.
  4. I added a parameter for a default value.
  5. I changed the method code to return the default value, instead of throwing an exception, if the setting in the web.config is missing or empty.


I have to retry sending emails. I want the SmtpRetries to be an int obtained from the web.config’s AppSettings and have a default value of 3.

public static int MaxRetryAttempts = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings.Get("SmptRetries", 3);

Unit Tests

I really only wrote unit tests for int conversion. I expect that is sufficient. But if you want to write tests for a double or a other type feel free.

using System;
using System.Collections.Specialized;
using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting;

namespace Rhyous.Extensions.Tests
    public class NameValueCollectionExtensionsTests
        private const string Name = "Retries";

        public void IntValueExistsTest()
            // Arrange
            const int defaultMaxRetries = 2;
            const int value = 3;
            var collection = new NameValueCollection { { Name, value.ToString() } };

            // Act
            var actual = collection.Get(Name, defaultMaxRetries);

            // Assert
            Assert.AreEqual(value, actual, "Valid value should return the valid value.");

        public void IntValueDoesNotExistTest()
            // Arrange
            const int defaultMaxRetries = 2;
            var collection = new NameValueCollection();

            // Act
            var actual = collection.Get(Name, defaultMaxRetries);

            // Assert
            Assert.AreEqual(defaultMaxRetries, actual, "Missing value returns default.");

        public void IntValueIsEmptyStringTest()
            // Arrange
            const int defaultMaxRetries = 2;
            var collection = new NameValueCollection { { Name, string.Empty } };

            // Act
            var actual = collection.Get(Name, defaultMaxRetries);

            // Assert
            Assert.AreEqual(defaultMaxRetries, actual, "Empty string returns default.");

        public void IntValueIsWhiteSpaceStringTest()
            // Arrange
            const int defaultMaxRetries = 2;
            var collection = new NameValueCollection { { Name, "  " } };

            // Act
            var actual = collection.Get(Name, defaultMaxRetries);

            // Assert
            Assert.AreEqual(defaultMaxRetries, actual, "Whitespace string returns default.");

        public void IntValueIsDoubleTest()
            // Arrange
            const int defaultMaxRetries = 2;
            const double value = 3.5; 
            var collection = new NameValueCollection { { Name, value.ToString() } };

            // Act
            var actual = collection.Get(Name, defaultMaxRetries);

            // Assert
            Assert.AreEqual(defaultMaxRetries, actual, "Invalid value returns default.");

        public void IntValueIsCharsTest()
            // Arrange
            const int defaultMaxRetries = 2;
            const string value = "abc";
            var collection = new NameValueCollection { { Name, value } };

            // Act
            var actual = collection.Get(Name, defaultMaxRetries);

            // Assert
            Assert.AreEqual(defaultMaxRetries, actual, "Invalid value returns default.");

Authentication Token Service for WCF Services (Part 6 – A JavaScript client)

Drum roll please . . . This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The JavaScript client has finally arrived. In the past articles we have taken control of Authentication in WCF. The token authentication service was designed specifically for ReST like WCF services to be used by modern web and mobile apps. For modern web, that means the Basic Token Service for WCF Services has to work with JavaScript! Of course, it does. That is what it was designed for.

As for the WCF Services, I made a few improvements and fixed some bugs. I am not going to go over those changes. Just know it is a better example than what was delivered in part 6, but not much different.

Download this project here: WCF BTS JS Client

OK. So here is my little html and javascript example. I created a single html file, mostly. I added jquery and knockoutjs from NuGet. The rest is all in the TestPage/Index.html. Really, all you need to know is that there are three buttons. One to test authentication, one to test using the token for calling the test service, and one for using Basic Authentication instead of the token to call the test service.

Here is an image of the page rendered in a browser.

AuthenticationTokenService html and JavaScript

Here is the source code.

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>JavaScript Client</title>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/Scripts/jquery-2.1.4.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/Scripts/knockout-3.4.0.debug.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        var ViewModel = function () {
            var _vm = this;
            _vm.user = ko.observable();
            _vm.password = ko.observable();
            _vm.basicAuth = ko.computed(function () {
                return "Basic " + btoa(_vm.user() + ":" + _vm.password());
            // I am just sticking the token in a local variable,
            // but you might want to save it in a cookie.
            _vm.token = ko.observable();
            _vm.getResponse = ko.observable();
            _vm.postResponse = ko.observable();
            _vm.onAuthClick = function () {
                    method: "POST",
                    url: "/Services/AuthenticationTokenService.svc/Authenticate",
                    contentType: "application/json",
                    context: document.body,
                    data: JSON.stringify({
                        User: _vm.user(),
                        Password: _vm.password()
                    success: function (data) {
                    failure: function (err) { alert(err.responseText); },
                    error: function (err) { alert(err.responseText); }
            _vm.onTestGetWithTokenClick = function () {
                    url: "/Services/Test1Service.svc/TestGet",
                    contentType: "application/json",
                    context: document.body,
                    beforeSend: function (request) { request.setRequestHeader("Token", _vm.token()); },
                    success: function (data) {
                    failure: function (err) { alert(err.responseText); },
                    error: function (err) { alert(err.responseText); }
            _vm.onTestPostWithBasicAuthClick = function () {
                    method: "POST",
                    url: "/Services/Test1Service.svc/TestPost",
                    contentType: "application/json",
                    context: document.body,
                    beforeSend: function (request) { request.setRequestHeader("Authorization", _vm.basicAuth()); },
                    success: function (data) {
                    failure: function (err) { alert(err.responseText); },
                    error: function (err) { alert(err.responseText); }
        $(function () {
            ko.applyBindings(new ViewModel());
        <input type="text" data-bind="value: user" placeholder="Enter your username here . . ." />
        <input type="password" data-bind="value: password" placeholder="Enter your password here . . ." />
        <input type="button" value="Authenticate" data-bind="click: onAuthClick" />
    <p>Token: <span data-bind="text: token"></span></p>
    <input type="button" value="Test Get w/ Token" data-bind="click: onTestGetWithTokenClick" />
    <p>Test Get Response: <span data-bind="text: getResponse"></span></p>
    <input type="button" value="Test Post w/ Basic Auth" data-bind="click: onTestPostWithBasicAuthClick" />
    <p>Test Post Response: <span data-bind="text: postResponse"></span></p>