Archive for the ‘Visual Studio’ Category.

How to create a copy of a control’s default style?

Sometimes you need to make some advanced styling changes to a default control, such as a RadioButton, ListBox, DataGrid, Button, etc. However, you may want to keep the majority of the default style the way it is.

In Expression Blend, this is easy to do. If you don’t have Expression Blend and you are developing in WPF, get it immediately. There is a trial version you can test out.

Here is how to get your copy of any control’s default style….

Read more on my new WPF Sharp site
How to create a copy of a control’s default style?

10 Step process for developing a new WPF application the right way using C#

It makes a difference if you do something the right way from the beginning.  Everything seems to work out so much better and takes less time over all.

Here are some basic steps that I have learned will help you do it right the first time. These steps are from my experience, mostly because I did it wrong the first few times.  These are not exact steps. They are subject to change and improve.  In fact, you might have improvements to suggest immediately when you read this. But if you are new to WPF, then reading these steps before you start and following them, will have you closer it doing it the right way the first time.  It is much more pleasant to tweak a pretty good process than it is to go in with no idea for a process and do it wrong.

Step 1 – Prepare the idea

  1. Some one has an idea
  2. Determine the minimal features for release 1.
  3. Determine the minimal features for release 2.
    1. Alter minimal features for release 1 if it makes sense to do so.
  4. Determine the minimal features for release 3.
    1. Alter minimal features for release 1 and 2 if it makes sense to do so.

Step 2 – Design the Application’s back end business logic (simultaneous to Step 3)

  1. Design the backend
  2. Apply the “Keep it simple” idea to the business logic and makes changes as necessary.
  3. Apply the “Keep it secure” idea to the business logic and makes changes as necessary.
  4. Repeats steps 2 and 3 if necessary.
  5. Backend development can start now as the UI and the back end should not need to know about each other, though this coding is listed as the Step 5 item.

Step 3 – Design the UI using WPF (simultaneous to Step 2)

  1. Determine what development model should be used to separate the UI from the business logic.
    1. Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) is the model I recommend for WPF.
    2. Gather libraries used for the model (such as common MVVM libraries that include the common ViewModelBase and RelayCommand objects)
  2. Consider using a 3rd party WPF control set will be used.  Many 3rd party companies provide WPF controls that are better and easier to use than those included by default.
    1. If you decided to use 3rd party controls, purchase or otherwise obtain the libraries for these 3rd party controls.
  3. Consider designing two WPF interfaces or skins (I will call these Views from here on out) for each screen. This will help drive the separation of the back end code from the WPF code. Also if developing two Views is not simple, it indicates a poor design.
  4. Design the interface(s) (you may be doing two Views) using SketchFlow (take time to include the libraries for the 3rd party WPF Controls in your SketchFlow project and design with them)
    1. SketchFlow allows you to design the UI, which is commonly done in paint, but instead does this in XAML, and is actually the WPF code your application will use.
  5. SketchFlow allows you to deliver the design (or both Views if you did two) as a package to the customer.
    1. Deliver it immediately and get feedback.
    2. Make changes suggested by the customer if in scope.
  6. Take time to make the XAML in SketchFlow production ready.
  7. Deliver the XAML to the customer again, to buy of that the design changes are proper.
    1. Make changes suggested by the customer if in scope.

Step 4 – Determine the delivery or install method

  1. Determine the delivery method.
  2. Determine when to develop the delivery method.
    1. The easier the application is, the longer you can wait to determine the installer or delivery method.
    2. The more complex the install or delivery method, the sooner this should be started.

Step 5 – Develop the business logic

  1. Develop the application designed in step 2.
  2. Get the application working without UI or silently. Note: Start the next step, Develop the UI, as soon as enough code is available here.

Step 6 – Add Bindings to the UI

  1. Start the UI project by copying the XAML from the SketchFlow document to your Visual Studio or Expression Blend project.
  2. Determine a method for setting the DataContext without linking the View to any ViewModel or Model dlls.
  3. Create a project for the ViewModel code and develop it to interact with the business logic using Binding.
  4. Remember to develop two Views for every UI screen as this will help, though not guarantee, that the the MVVM model was correctly used.

Step 7 – Develop the View Model

  1. You should now have a backend code and a View, and now you start creating the View Model.
  2. This should be in a separate dll than the View or ViewModel.
  3. The ViewModel should never link to the View but can link to Model and Business libraries, though you may consider interface-based design and only link to an interface library.
  4. Make sure to use the properties that the View is binding to.

Step 8 – Consider a other platforms

Macintosh

Macintosh owns a significant market share.  Determine if this application needs to run on Macintosh as well. Sure, since we are running C# your options are limited to either rewriting in objective C and Coca, or using Mono with a MonoMac UI.  I recommend the latter.

Note: It is critical that the UI and business logic are separated to really make this successful.

  1. Completely ignore the WPF design and have Macintosh users users assist the design team in designing the new UI.  Macintosh’s have a different feel, and trying to convert the same UI is a mistake.
  2. Create the MonoMac UI project.
  3. Create a project similar to the ViewModel project in Windows, to link the UI to the business logic.

BSD/Linux/Unix

BLU (BSD/Linux/Unix) doesn’t exactly own a significant market share. However, it is still important to determine if this application needs to run on on BLU as well. Sure, since we are running C# your options are limited to either rewriting in C++, or using Mono with a GTK# or Forms UI.

  1. Completely ignore the WPF and Macintosh designs and have Linux users assist the design team in designing the new UI. Linux have a different feel, and trying to convert the same UI is a mistake.
  2. Create the GTK# project.
  3. Create a project similar to the ViewModel project in Windows, to link the UI to the business logic.
  4. GTK# doesn’t support binding, but still keep the UI separate from the business logic as much as possible.
  5. Also, don’t develop for a single open source flavor, but use standard code that compiles and any BSD/Linux/Unix platform.

Mobile Platforms

  1. Do you need to have this app on IOS or Android or Windows Phone?
  2. Completely ignore the WPF and Macintosh and Linux designs and have Android or IOS users assist the design team in designing the new UI. Mobile platforms have a different feel, and trying to convert the same UI is impossible as the screens are much smaller.

Step 9 – Develop the delivery method

Again, you may need to do this way sooner if the application is complex.

  1. Develop the install or delivery method.
  2. If you decided to deploy to Macintosh or BLU you may have to develop separate install or delivery methods for those platforms as well.
  3. Remember to have a plan and a test for your first patch even if you have to mock a sample patch before you release.
  4. Remember to have a plan and a test for upgrading your application even if you have to mock a sample upgrade version before you release.

Step 10 – Deliver the finished Products

  1. Once finished, deliver this product.
  2. If you decided to create a Macintosh or BLU version, deliver them when ready as well.  It is OK and maybe preferred to deliver these at different times.

Visual Studo Power Tools

I just installed Visual Studio Power Tools.

Visual Studio Power Tools | MSDN

I will see if there are features that I actually use.

How to read the 64 bit registry from a 32 bit application or vice versa

I found out that I needed to read the 64 bit registry from a 32 bit app today.

Why you might ask?

Well, I need to get the RegisteredOrganization value from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion and unfortunately Microsoft has a bug where the WOW6432 version of this key always says Microsoft, so a 32 bit application would always return Microsoft as the RegisteredOrganization, regardless of what the user entered when they installed the OS. This is hardly desired.

Note: This is also why all Visual Studio projects created in Windows 7 64 bit have Microsoft in the project’s Assembly Information. Change the WOW6432 version of the RegisteredOrganization and you fix this Visual Studio issue.
Well, turns out C# doesn’t have functionality until .NET 4, so prior to .NET 4, to choose the 64 bit hive when running a 32 bit app, so we have to do use a DLLImport and use RegOpenKeyEx, RegCloseKey, and RegQueryValueEx.

I don’t have this well commented, and it is not very newbie proof, but here are three different ways to do this. Hopefully you can understand one or more of these.

Example 1 – .NET 4 Example

Here is how to do this in .NET 4.

using Microsoft.Win32;

namespace Read64bitRegistryFrom32bitApp
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string value64 = string.Empty;
            string value32 = string.Empty;

            RegistryKey localKey = RegistryKey.OpenBaseKey(Microsoft.Win32.RegistryHive.LocalMachine, RegistryView.Registry64);
            localKey = localKey.OpenSubKey(@"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion");
            if (localKey != null)
            {
                value64 = localKey.GetValue("RegisteredOrganization").ToString();
            }
            RegistryKey localKey32 = RegistryKey.OpenBaseKey(Microsoft.Win32.RegistryHive.LocalMachine, RegistryView.Registry32);
            localKey32 = localKey32.OpenSubKey(@"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion");
            if (localKey32 != null)
            {
                value32 = localKey32.GetValue("RegisteredOrganization").ToString();
            }
        }
    }
}

.NET 3.5 SP1 and Prior

This can also be done in .NET 3.5 and prior but it is not easy.
We have to do use a DLLImport and use RegOpenKeyEx, RegCloseKey, and RegQueryValueEx. Here are some examples.

Example 1 – A console application to read the 64 bit registry from a 32 bit application or vice versa

Here is the code in a simple one file project:
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Text;

namespace Read64bitRegistryFrom32bitApp
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string value64 = GetRegKey64(RegHive.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, @"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion", "RegisteredOrganization");
            Console.WriteLine(value64);
            string value32 = GetRegKey32(RegHive.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, @"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion", "RegisteredOrganization");
            Console.WriteLine(value32);
        }

        public enum RegSAM
        {
            QueryValue = 0x0001,
            SetValue = 0x0002,
            CreateSubKey = 0x0004,
            EnumerateSubKeys = 0x0008,
            Notify = 0x0010,
            CreateLink = 0x0020,
            WOW64_32Key = 0x0200,
            WOW64_64Key = 0x0100,
            WOW64_Res = 0x0300,
            Read = 0x00020019,
            Write = 0x00020006,
            Execute = 0x00020019,
            AllAccess = 0x000f003f
        }

        public static UIntPtr HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = new UIntPtr(0x80000002u);
        public static UIntPtr HKEY_CURRENT_USER = new UIntPtr(0x80000001u);

        #region Member Variables
        #region Read 64bit Reg from 32bit app
        [DllImport("Advapi32.dll")]
        static extern uint RegOpenKeyEx(
            UIntPtr hKey,
            string lpSubKey,
            uint ulOptions,
            int samDesired,
            out int phkResult);

        [DllImport("Advapi32.dll")]
        static extern uint RegCloseKey(int hKey);

        [DllImport("advapi32.dll", EntryPoint = "RegQueryValueEx")]
        public static extern int RegQueryValueEx(
            int hKey, string lpValueName,
            int lpReserved,
            ref uint lpType,
            System.Text.StringBuilder lpData,
            ref uint lpcbData);
        #endregion
        #endregion

        #region Functions
        static public string GetRegKey64(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, String inPropertyName)
        {
            return GetRegKey64(inHive, inKeyName, RegSAM.WOW64_64Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        static public string GetRegKey32(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, String inPropertyName)
        {
            return GetRegKey64(inHive, inKeyName, RegSAM.WOW64_32Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        static public string GetRegKey64(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, RegSAM in32or64key, String inPropertyName)
        {
            //UIntPtr HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = (UIntPtr)0x80000002;
            int hkey = 0;

            try
            {
                uint lResult = RegOpenKeyEx(RegHive.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, inKeyName, 0, (int)RegSAM.QueryValue | (int)in32or64key, out hkey);
                if (0 != lResult) return null;
                uint lpType = 0;
                uint lpcbData = 1024;
                StringBuilder AgeBuffer = new StringBuilder(1024);
                RegQueryValueEx(hkey, inPropertyName, 0, ref lpType, AgeBuffer, ref lpcbData);
                string Age = AgeBuffer.ToString();
                return Age;
            }
            finally
            {
                if (0 != hkey) RegCloseKey(hkey);
            }
        }
        #endregion
    }
}

Example 2 – A static class to read the 64 bit registry from a 32 bit application or vice versa

Or if you want this in its own separate class, here is a static class you can add to your project.
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Text;

namespace Read64bitRegistryFrom32bitApp
{
    public enum RegSAM
    {
        QueryValue = 0x0001,
        SetValue = 0x0002,
        CreateSubKey = 0x0004,
        EnumerateSubKeys = 0x0008,
        Notify = 0x0010,
        CreateLink = 0x0020,
        WOW64_32Key = 0x0200,
        WOW64_64Key = 0x0100,
        WOW64_Res = 0x0300,
        Read = 0x00020019,
        Write = 0x00020006,
        Execute = 0x00020019,
        AllAccess = 0x000f003f
    }

    public static class RegHive
    {
        public static UIntPtr HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = new UIntPtr(0x80000002u);
        public static UIntPtr HKEY_CURRENT_USER = new UIntPtr(0x80000001u);
    }

    public static class RegistryWOW6432
    {
        #region Member Variables
        #region Read 64bit Reg from 32bit app
        [DllImport("Advapi32.dll")]
        static extern uint RegOpenKeyEx(
            UIntPtr hKey,
            string lpSubKey,
            uint ulOptions,
            int samDesired,
            out int phkResult);

        [DllImport("Advapi32.dll")]
        static extern uint RegCloseKey(int hKey);

        [DllImport("advapi32.dll", EntryPoint = "RegQueryValueEx")]
        public static extern int RegQueryValueEx(
            int hKey, string lpValueName,
            int lpReserved,
            ref uint lpType,
            System.Text.StringBuilder lpData,
            ref uint lpcbData);
        #endregion
        #endregion

        #region Functions
        static public string GetRegKey64(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, String inPropertyName)
        {
            return GetRegKey64(inHive, inKeyName, RegSAM.WOW64_64Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        static public string GetRegKey32(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, String inPropertyName)
        {
            return GetRegKey64(inHive, inKeyName, RegSAM.WOW64_32Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        static public string GetRegKey64(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, RegSAM in32or64key, String inPropertyName)
        {
            //UIntPtr HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = (UIntPtr)0x80000002;
            int hkey = 0;

            try
            {
                uint lResult = RegOpenKeyEx(RegHive.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, inKeyName, 0, (int)RegSAM.QueryValue | (int)in32or64key, out hkey);
                if (0 != lResult) return null;
                uint lpType = 0;
                uint lpcbData = 1024;
                StringBuilder AgeBuffer = new StringBuilder(1024);
                RegQueryValueEx(hkey, inPropertyName, 0, ref lpType, AgeBuffer, ref lpcbData);
                string Age = AgeBuffer.ToString();
                return Age;
            }
            finally
            {
                if (0 != hkey) RegCloseKey(hkey);
            }
        }
        #endregion

        #region Enums
        #endregion
    }
}
Here is an example of using this class.
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Text;

namespace Read64bitRegistryFrom32bitApp
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string value64 = RegistryWOW6432.GetRegKey64(RegHive.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, @"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion", "RegisteredOrganization");
            string value32 = RegistryWOW6432.GetRegKey32(RegHive.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, @"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion", "RegisteredOrganization");
        }
    }
}

Example 3 – Adding extension methods to the managed RegistryKey object that read the 64 bit registry from a 32 bit application or vice versa

You know what else is a cool idea? Making it an extension class to the normal managed registry C# code. So you can create a regular managed RegistryKey and then just call an extension function off it.
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Text;
using Microsoft.Win32;

namespace Read64bitRegistryFrom32bitApp
{
    /// <summary>
    /// An extension class to allow a registry key to allow it to get the
    /// registry in the 32 bit (Wow6432Node) or 64 bit regular registry key
    /// </summary>
    public static class RegistryWOW6432
    {
        #region Member Variables
        #region Read 64bit Reg from 32bit app
        public static UIntPtr HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = new UIntPtr(0x80000002u);
        public static UIntPtr HKEY_CURRENT_USER = new UIntPtr(0x80000001u);

        [DllImport("Advapi32.dll")]
        static extern uint RegOpenKeyEx(
            UIntPtr hKey,
            string lpSubKey,
            uint ulOptions,
            int samDesired,
            out int phkResult);

        [DllImport("Advapi32.dll")]
        static extern uint RegCloseKey(int hKey);

        [DllImport("advapi32.dll", EntryPoint = "RegQueryValueEx")]
        public static extern int RegQueryValueEx(
            int hKey, 
            string lpValueName,
            int lpReserved,
            ref RegistryValueKind lpType,
            StringBuilder lpData,
            ref uint lpcbData);

        [DllImport("advapi32.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode, EntryPoint = "RegQueryValueEx")]
        private static extern int RegQueryValueEx(
            int hKey,
            string lpValueName,
            int lpReserved,
            ref RegistryValueKind lpType,
            [Out] byte[] lpData,
            ref uint lpcbData);
        #endregion
        #endregion

        #region Functions
        public static string GetRegKey64(this RegistryKey inKey, String inPropertyName)
        {
            string strKey = inKey.ToString();
            string regHive = strKey.Split('\\')[0];
            string regPath = strKey.Substring(strKey.IndexOf('\\') + 1);
            return GetRegKey64(GetRegHiveFromString(regHive), regPath, RegSAM.WOW64_64Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        public static string GetRegKey32(this RegistryKey inKey, String inPropertyName)
        {
            string strKey = inKey.ToString();
            string regHive = strKey.Split('\\')[0];
            string regPath = strKey.Substring(strKey.IndexOf('\\') + 1);
            return GetRegKey64(GetRegHiveFromString(regHive), regPath, RegSAM.WOW64_32Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        public static byte[] GetRegKey64AsByteArray(this RegistryKey inKey, String inPropertyName)
        {
            string strKey = inKey.ToString();
            string regHive = strKey.Split('\\')[0];
            string regPath = strKey.Substring(strKey.IndexOf('\\') + 1);
            return GetRegKey64AsByteArray(GetRegHiveFromString(regHive), regPath, RegSAM.WOW64_64Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        public static byte[] GetRegKey32AsByteArray(this RegistryKey inKey, String inPropertyName)
        {
            string strKey = inKey.ToString();
            string regHive = strKey.Split('\\')[0];
            string regPath = strKey.Substring(strKey.IndexOf('\\') + 1);
            return GetRegKey64AsByteArray(GetRegHiveFromString(regHive), regPath, RegSAM.WOW64_32Key, inPropertyName);
        }

        private static UIntPtr GetRegHiveFromString(string inString)
        {
            if (inString == "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE")
                return HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE;
            if (inString == "HKEY_CURRENT_USER")
                return HKEY_CURRENT_USER;
            return UIntPtr.Zero;
        }

        static public string GetRegKey64(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, RegSAM in32or64key, String inPropertyName)
        {
            //UIntPtr HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = (UIntPtr)0x80000002;
            int hkey = 0;

            try
            {
                uint lResult = RegOpenKeyEx(inHive, inKeyName, 0, (int)RegSAM.QueryValue | (int)in32or64key, out hkey);
                if (0 != lResult) return null;
                RegistryValueKind lpType = 0;
                uint lpcbData = 1024;
                StringBuilder strBuffer = new StringBuilder(1024);
                RegQueryValueEx(hkey, inPropertyName, 0, ref lpType, strBuffer, ref lpcbData);
                string value = strBuffer.ToString();
                return value;
            }
            finally
            {
                if (0 != hkey) RegCloseKey(hkey);
            }
        }

        static public byte[] GetRegKey64AsByteArray(UIntPtr inHive, String inKeyName, RegSAM in32or64key, String inPropertyName)
        {
            int hkey = 0;

            try
            {
                uint lResult = RegOpenKeyEx(inHive, inKeyName, 0, (int)RegSAM.QueryValue | (int)in32or64key, out hkey);
                if (0 != lResult) return null;
                RegistryValueKind lpType = 0;
                uint lpcbData = 2048;

                // Just make a big buffer the first time
                byte[] byteBuffer = new byte[1000];
                // The first time, get the real size
                RegQueryValueEx(hkey, inPropertyName, 0, ref lpType, byteBuffer, ref lpcbData);
                // Now create a correctly sized buffer
                byteBuffer = new byte[lpcbData];
                // now get the real value
                RegQueryValueEx(hkey, inPropertyName, 0, ref lpType, byteBuffer, ref lpcbData);

                return byteBuffer;
            }
            finally
            {
                if (0 != hkey) RegCloseKey(hkey);
            }
        }
        #endregion

        #region Enums
        public enum RegSAM
        {
            QueryValue = 0x0001,
            SetValue = 0x0002,
            CreateSubKey = 0x0004,
            EnumerateSubKeys = 0x0008,
            Notify = 0x0010,
            CreateLink = 0x0020,
            WOW64_32Key = 0x0200,
            WOW64_64Key = 0x0100,
            WOW64_Res = 0x0300,
            Read = 0x00020019,
            Write = 0x00020006,
            Execute = 0x00020019,
            AllAccess = 0x000f003f
        }
        #endregion
    }
}
Here is an example of using these extension functions.
using Microsoft.Win32;

namespace Read64bitRegistryFrom32bitApp
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string value64 = string.Empty;
            string value32 = string.Empty;

            byte[] byteValue64 = new byte[1024];
            byte[] byteValue32 = new byte[1024];
            RegistryKey localKey = Registry.LocalMachine;
            
            localKey = localKey.OpenSubKey(@"SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion");
            if (localKey != null)
            {
                value32 = localKey.GetRegKey32("RegisteredOrganization");
                value64 = localKey.GetRegKey64("RegisteredOrganization");

                // byteValue32 = localKey.GetRegKey32AsByteArray("DigitalProductId"); // Key doesn't exist by default in 32 bit
                byteValue64 = localKey.GetRegKey64AsByteArray("DigitalProductId");
            }
        }
    }
}
If anything is confusing please comment.
Resources:
  • RegOpenKeyEx Function – http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724897%28v=VS.85%29.aspx
  • RegQueryValueEx Function – http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724911%28VS.85%29.aspx
  • http://www.pinvoke.net/default.aspx/advapi32/RegQueryValueEx.html
  • http://www.pinvoke.net/default.aspx/advapi32/RegOpenKeyEx.html
  • http://www.pinvoke.net/default.aspx/advapi32/RegCreateKeyEx.html
  • http://www.pinvoke.net/default.aspx/advapi32/RegCloseKey.html
  • http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1470770/accessing-registry-using-net
  • http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/400597/registeredorganization-reg-key-on-x64-vista-7

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A Visual Studio snippet for a class with #region sections

Here is a simple snippet to add to Visual Studio if you want:

Place it here for Visual Studio 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC#\Snippets\1033\Visual C#

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<CodeSnippets  xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/2005/CodeSnippet">
	<CodeSnippet Format="1.0.0">
		<Header>
			<Title>classr</Title>
			<Shortcut>classr</Shortcut>
			<Description>Code snippet for class with prepopulated regions.</Description>
			<Author>Microsoft Corporation</Author>
			<SnippetTypes>
				<SnippetType>Expansion</SnippetType>
				<SnippetType>SurroundsWith</SnippetType>
			</SnippetTypes>
		</Header>
		<Snippet>
			<Declarations>
				<Literal>
					<ID>name</ID>
					<ToolTip>Class name</ToolTip>
					<Default>MyClass</Default>
				</Literal>
			</Declarations>
			<Code Language="csharp"><!&#91;CDATA&#91;class $name$
	{
	#region Member Fields
	#endregion
	
	#region Constructor
	/// <summary>
	/// The default constructor
	/// </summary>
	public $name$()
	{
	}
	#endregion
	
	#region Properties
	#endregion
	
	#region Functions
	#endregion
	
	#region enums
	#endregion
		$selected$$end$
	}&#93;&#93;>
			</Code>
		</Snippet>
	</CodeSnippet>
</CodeSnippets>

A Progress Bar using WPF’s ProgressBar Control, BackgroundWorker, and MVVM

WPF provides a ProgressBar control.  But there isn’t really a manual for it, especially if you want to follow MVVM.

So I am going to make a little application that counts from zero to ten and tracks the progress.  You are going to see when it is OK to use the foreground and when it is not OK but better to use BackgroundWorker.

While much of this code may be production ready, you should be aware that this code intentionally implements a foreground process that is an example of what not to do.

Prerequisites

  • Visual Studio

Step 1 – Create a new WPF Application Project

  1. In Visual Studio, create a new Solution and choose WPF Application
  2. Give it a name.
  3. Hit OK.

Step 2 – Add two base MVVM files

There are two basic classes used for MVVM.

  • RelayCommand
  • ViewModelBase

These are found on different blogs and different posts all over the internet, so I would say they are public domain, or free and unlicensed.

  1. Download them zipped here. MVVM
  2. Extract the zip file.
  3. Add the MVVM folder and the two class under it to your project.

Step 3 – Create a ProgressBarViewModel class

  1. Create a new Class called ProgressBarViewModel.
  2. Adding a using MVVM statement at the top.
  3. Make the class inherit ViewModelBase.
    class ProgressBarViewModel : ViewModelBase
    {
    }
    

This will be populated as we create our View.

Step 4 – Design the GUI in MainWindow.xaml

Ok, so lets create the GUI.

  1. Add a local reference. (Line 4)
  2. Add a ProgressBarViewModel object as a resource. (Lines 6-8)
  3. Create a StackPanel in the default Grid to put everything in. (Line 10)
  4. Add a one character label in great big text to display our number. (Line 11)
  5. Add a ProgressBar element. (Line 12)
  6. Create buttons to manipulate the label. (Lines 13-16)
  7. Configure the DataContext of each element to be the the ProgressBarViewModel using the Key PBVM we gave it when we added it as a resource. (Lines 11-16)
  8. Think of and create Binding Paths for each element. Yes, we can basically just make these Path names up and add them to the ProgressBarViewModel later. (Lines 11-16)

Here is the XAML.

<Window x:Class=&quot;WPFProgressBarUsingBackgroundWorker.MainWindow&quot;
        xmlns=&quot;http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation&quot;
        xmlns:x=&quot;http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml&quot;
        xmlns:local=&quot;clr-namespace:WPFProgressBarUsingBackgroundWorker&quot;
        Title=&quot;MainWindow&quot; >
    <Window.Resources>
        <local:ProgressBarViewModel x:Key=&quot;PBVM&quot; />
    </Window.Resources>
    <Grid>
        <StackPanel>
            <Label Content=&quot;{Binding Path=Value}&quot; DataContext=&quot;{StaticResource ResourceKey=PBVM}&quot; HorizontalAlignment=&quot;Stretch&quot; HorizontalContentAlignment=&quot;Center&quot; Name=&quot;labelNumberCounter&quot; VerticalAlignment=&quot;Center&quot; FontSize=&quot;175&quot; />
            <ProgressBar Margin=&quot;0,3,0,3&quot; Height=&quot;20&quot; Name=&quot;progressBar&quot; Value=&quot;{Binding Path=Value}&quot; DataContext=&quot;{StaticResource ResourceKey=PBVM}&quot; Minimum=&quot;{Binding Min}&quot; Maximum=&quot;{Binding Max}&quot;/>
            <Button Command=&quot;{Binding Path=IncrementBy1}&quot; Content=&quot;Manual Count&quot; DataContext=&quot;{StaticResource PBVM}&quot; Height=&quot;23&quot; IsEnabled=&quot;{Binding Path=IsNotInProgress}&quot; Name=&quot;button1&quot; Width=&quot;Auto&quot; />
            <Button Margin=&quot;0,3,0,3&quot; IsEnabled=&quot;{Binding Path=IsNotInProgress}&quot; Command=&quot;{Binding Path=IncrementAsForegroundProcess}&quot; DataContext=&quot;{StaticResource ResourceKey=PBVM}&quot; Content=&quot;Count to 10 as a foreground process&quot; HorizontalAlignment=&quot;Stretch&quot; Height=&quot;23&quot; Name=&quot;buttonForeground&quot; VerticalAlignment=&quot;Top&quot; Width=&quot;Auto&quot; />
            <Button Margin=&quot;0,3,0,3&quot; IsEnabled=&quot;{Binding Path=IsNotInProgress}&quot; Command=&quot;{Binding Path=IncrementAsBackgroundProcess}&quot; DataContext=&quot;{StaticResource ResourceKey=PBVM}&quot; Content=&quot;Count to 10 as a background process&quot; HorizontalAlignment=&quot;Stretch&quot; Height=&quot;23&quot; Name=&quot;buttonBackground&quot; VerticalAlignment=&quot;Top&quot; Width=&quot;Auto&quot; />
            <Button Command=&quot;{Binding Path=ResetCounter}&quot; Content=&quot;Reset&quot; DataContext=&quot;{StaticResource PBVM}&quot; Height=&quot;23&quot; IsEnabled=&quot;{Binding Path=IsNotInProgress}&quot; Name=&quot;buttonReset&quot; Width=&quot;Auto&quot; />
        </StackPanel>
    </Grid>
</Window>

Step 5 – Populate the ProgressBarViewModel

  1. Create the following member fields.
    • Double _Value;
    • bool _IsInProgress;
    • int _Min = 0;
    • int _Max = 10;
  2. Create a matching property for each member field. Make sure that in the set function of the property you call NotifyPropertyChanged(“PropertyName”).
  3. Create a function for each of the four buttons and populate these functions with the code. See the functions in the code below:
    • Increment()
    • IncrementProgressForeground()
    • IncrementProgressBackgroundWorker()
    • Reset()
  4. Create and populate the functions for the BackgroundWorker.
    • worker_DoWork
    • worker_RunWorkerCompleted()
  5. Create the following RelayCommand instances as member Fields.
    • RelayCommand _Increment;
    • RelayCommand _IncrementBy1;
    • RelayCommand _IncrementAsBackgroundProcess;
    • RelayCommand _ResetCounter;
  6. Create matching ICommand properties for each RelayCommand, instantiating the RelayCommand with the correct function.

Here is the code for the ProgressBarViewModel.cs

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Threading;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Input;
using MVVM;

namespace WPFProgressBarUsingBackgroundWorker
{
    class ProgressBarViewModel : ViewModelBase
    {
        #region Member Fields
        Double _Value;
        bool _IsInProgress;
        int _Min = 0, _Max = 10;
        #endregion

        #region Member RelayCommands that implement ICommand
        RelayCommand _Increment;
        RelayCommand _IncrementBy1;
        RelayCommand _IncrementAsBackgroundProcess;
        RelayCommand _ResetCounter;
        #endregion

        #region Constructors
        /// <summary>
        /// The default constructor
        /// </summary>
        public ProgressBarViewModel()
        {
        }
        #endregion

        #region Properties
        /// <summary>
        /// Used to mark if the counter is in progress so the counter can't be started
        /// while it is already running.
        /// </summary>
        public bool IsInProgress
        {
            get { return _IsInProgress; }
            set
            {
                _IsInProgress = value;
                NotifyPropertyChanged(&quot;IsInProgress&quot;);
                NotifyPropertyChanged(&quot;IsNotInProgress&quot;);
            }
        }

        public bool IsNotInProgress
        {
            get { return !IsInProgress; }
        }

        public int Max
        {
            get { return _Max; }
            set { _Max = value; NotifyPropertyChanged(&quot;Max&quot;); }
        }

        public int Min
        {
            get { return _Min; }
            set { _Min = value; NotifyPropertyChanged(&quot;Min&quot;); }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This is the Value.  The Counter should display this.
        /// </summary>
        public Double Value
        {
            get { return _Value; }
            set
            {
                if (value <= _Max)
                {
                    if (value >= _Min) { _Value = value; }
                    else { _Value = _Min; }
                }
                else { _Value = _Max; }
                NotifyPropertyChanged(&quot;Value&quot;);
            }
        }

        #region ICommand Properties
        /// <summary>
        /// An ICommand representation of the Increment() function.
        /// </summary>
        public ICommand IncrementBy1
        {
            get
            {
                if (_IncrementBy1 == null)
                {
                    _IncrementBy1 = new RelayCommand(param => this.Increment());
                }
                return _IncrementBy1;
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// An ICommand representation of the IncrementProgressForegroundWorker() function.
        /// </summary>
        public ICommand IncrementAsForegroundProcess
        {
            get
            {
                if (_Increment == null)
                {
                    _Increment = new RelayCommand(param => this.IncrementProgressForeground());
                }
                return _Increment;
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// An ICommand representation of the IncrementProgressForeground() function.
        /// </summary>
        public ICommand IncrementAsBackgroundProcess
        {
            get
            {
                if (_IncrementAsBackgroundProcess == null)
                {
                    _IncrementAsBackgroundProcess = new RelayCommand(param => this.IncrementProgressBackgroundWorker());
                }
                return _IncrementAsBackgroundProcess;
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// An ICommand representation of the Reset() function.
        /// </summary>
        public ICommand ResetCounter
        {
            get
            {
                if (_ResetCounter == null)
                {
                    _ResetCounter = new RelayCommand(param => this.Reset());
                }
                return _ResetCounter;
            }
        }
        #endregion ICommand Properties
        #endregion

        #region Functions
        /// <summary>
        /// This function manually increments the counter by 1 in the foreground.
        /// Because it only increments by one, the WPF control bound to Value will
        /// display the new value when this function completes.
        /// </summary>
        public void Increment()
        {
            // If we are in progress already, don't do anything
            if (IsInProgress)
                return;

            // If the value is already at 10, start the counting over.
            if (Value == 10)
                Reset();
            Value++;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This function starts the counter as a foreground process.
        /// This doesn't work.  It counts to 10 but the UI is not updated
        /// until the function completes.  This is especially problematic
        /// since the buttons are left enabled.
        /// </summary>
        public void IncrementProgressForeground()
        {
            // If we are in progress already, don't do anything
            if (IsInProgress)
                return;
            Reset();
            IsInProgress = true;
            Value = 0;
            for (int i = _Min; i < _Max; i++)
            {
                Value++;
                Thread.Sleep(1000);
            }
            IsInProgress = false;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This starts the counter as a background process.
        /// </summary>
        public void IncrementProgressBackgroundWorker()
        {
            // If we are in progress already, don't do anything
            if (IsInProgress)
                return;

            Reset();
            IsInProgress = true;
            BackgroundWorker worker = new BackgroundWorker();
            // Configure the function that will run when started
            worker.DoWork += new DoWorkEventHandler(worker_DoWork);

            /*The progress reporting is not needed with this implementation and is therefore
            commented out.  However, in your more complex application, you may have a use for
            for this.

            //Enable progress and configure the progress function
            worker.WorkerReportsProgress = true;
            worker.ProgressChanged += new ProgressChangedEventHandler(worker_ProgressChanged);

            */

            // Configure the function to run when completed
            worker.RunWorkerCompleted += new RunWorkerCompletedEventHandler(worker_RunWorkerCompleted);

            // Launch the worker
            worker.RunWorkerAsync();
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This is the function that is called when the worker is launched with the RunWorkerAsync() call.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name=&quot;sender&quot;>The worker as Object, but it can be cast to a worker.</param>
        /// <param name=&quot;e&quot;>The DoWorkEventArgs object.</param>
        void worker_DoWork(object sender, DoWorkEventArgs e)
        {
            BackgroundWorker worker = sender as BackgroundWorker;
            for (int i = _Min; i < _Max; i++)
            {
                Value++;
                Thread.Sleep(1000);
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This worker_ProgressChanged function is not in use for this project. Thanks to INotifyPropertyChanged, this is
        /// completely unnecessary.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name=&quot;sender&quot;>The worker as Object, but it can be cast to a worker.</param>
        /// <param name=&quot;e&quot;>The ProgressChangedEventArgs object.</param>
        void worker_ProgressChanged(object sender, ProgressChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            // Does nothing yet
            throw new NotImplementedException();
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This worker_RunWorkerCompleted is called when the worker is finished.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name=&quot;sender&quot;>The worker as Object, but it can be cast to a worker.</param>
        /// <param name=&quot;e&quot;>The RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs object.</param>
        void worker_RunWorkerCompleted(object sender, RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs e)
        {
            IsInProgress = false;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This function resets the Value of the counter to 0.
        /// </summary>
        private void Reset()
        {
            Value = Min;
        }
        #endregion
    }
}

I’m sorry that this is not the most Newbie proof post. But I tried to comment like crazy the code so you can get through it.

Now if you find a discrepancy in my walk-through, please comment. Also, if it is easier for you to just download the project, here it is:
WPFProgressBarUsingBackgroundWorker.zip

VMWare, RDP (MSTSC), WPF, and DisableHWAcceleration

I don’t know if you, like me, have a development box running Visual Studio 2010 and VMWare workstation. I develop in C# and WPF, and test the product in a VM. Then sometimes, when I work from home, I remote desktop into my development box.

When I am using RDP to remote control a VMWare Workstation host, and I run a WPF Application inside a VM, the WPF application doesn’t display. The window opens, and you see the frame of your windows, but the inside is just blank or a white/gray box. None of the WPF Controls are visible.

I have found two ways to fix this. One is permanent and one is temporary.

Option 1 – (Permanent) Set this registry key. Read more about this here on MSDN: Graphics Rendering Registry Settings

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics]
"DisableHWAcceleration"=dword:00000001

Option 2 – (Temporary) Or just reboot the VM while connected to the VMWare Workstation host via RDP. It seems that the VM boots and the OS detects the lack of support and disabled hardware acceleration. However, once you reboot when you are not RDP’ed into the VMWare Workstation host, you have hardware acceleration back.

I took me a long time to figure this out, because there was little to nothing in a Google search. I came across this solution while looking for something else a month or so ago, and needed to use it again when working from home last night. I thought I would post it so I never have to look for it again.

C# (Mono) on FreeBSD

Well, if you have read my blog at all, you will realize that I have a developer job writing in C# on Windows, but it is my personal hobby to use FreeBSD.

I am very excited about Mono. I love the C# language. I also love FreeBSD.

I am going to go ahead and say something bold. Few people now realize this yet, but the ability to code in C# on open source platforms is going to be the single most important feature in the coming years. It will eventually be a standard library that will exist or be one of the first items installed on every system.

For more information:

http://www.mono-project.com/Mono:FreeBSD
Packaging for Mono and related applications on FreeBSD (http://www.freebsd.org) is handled by the BSD# Project. The purpose of this project is to maintain the existing Mono/C# ports in the FreeBSD ports tree, port new applications, and work on resolving FreeBSD specific issues with Mono. BSD# is entirely user supported and is not an official FreeBSD or Mono project.

For Licensing information:

http://www.mono-project.com/Licensing

Installing Mono

Mono is a port and as always a port is easy to install on FreeBSD.

Note: The version of mono in ports is not necessarily the latest and greated. I recommend that you install the latest version of mono. See this article.
Installing the latest version of Mono on FreeBSD or How to install and use portshaker?

#
#
cd /usr/ports/lang/mono
make BATCH=yes install

Compiling Hello World in Mono

The mono compiler is gmcs. It is simple to compile C# code.

  1. Create a new file called hw.cs. C# class files end in .cs.
  2. Add this text to the file:
    using System;
    
    namespace HelloWorld
    {
         class HelloWorld
        {
            static void Main(string[] args)
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Hello World");
            }
        }
    }
    
  3. Save the file.
  4. Compile the code to create an hw.exe program.
    # gmcs hw.cs

Running a Mono Program

Mono programs must be run using the “mono” command.

# mono hw.exe
Hello World

A Mono IDE: MonoDevelop

There is an IDE for Mono called MonoDevelop. MonoDevelop is a port and as always a port is easy to install on FreeBSD.

#
#
cd /usr/ports/devel/monodevelop
make BATCH=yes install

The Mono Develop port integrated with KDE to add itself to the KDE menu under Applications | Development | MonoDevelop. So you can run it from there.

This IDE allows you to create C# solutions. It is possible to run compile them on FreeBSD and run them on Windows, or compile them on Windows and run them on FreeBSD.

Is It Really Cross Platform

C# and Mono are supposed to be cross platform. So I can write it in Windows using Visual Studio or I can write in FreeBSD using Mono Develop and either way it should run on both Windows and FreeBSD and any other platform that supports mono.

So here are the results of my quick tests:

Test 1 – Does the Hello World app run in Windows.

Yes. I copied the file to a Windows 7 64 bit box and ran it. It worked.

Test 2 – Does a GTK# 2.0 Project run in Windows

No. I created a GTK# 2.0 project on FreeBSD in Mono Develop, and didn’t add anything to it, I just compiled it. I copied the file to windows and ran it. However, it crashed.

Supposedly you have to install the GTK# for .NET on the windows box, but it still didn’t work.

Test 3 – Does a Windows Form Application compiled in Visual Studio 2010 in Window 7 run on FreeBSD

Not at first. I created a basic Windows Form application, and didn’t add anything to it, I just compiled it. I copied it to FreeBSD and ran it. It crashed. However, by default .NET 4.0 is used.

Yes, if compiled with .NET 3.5 or earlier. I changed the project to use .NET 3.5 and tried again. It ran flawlessly.

Test 4 – Does a Windows Presentation Foundation project compiled in Visual Studio 2010 in Window 7 run on FreeBSD

No. There is PresentationFramework assembly so the application crashes immediately. I tried multiple .NET versions.

Note: I didn’t really test much more than the basics. I just created new projects, left them as is and tried them. It would be interesting to see a more fully developed application tested and working on both platform and to know what issues were encountered in doing this.

No WPF

Unfortunately there is no WPF and no plans for it. Of course, WPF stand for Windows Presentation Foundation, and so the who “Windows” part of that might need to be changed to something like XPF, Xorg Presentation foundation.

However since there is Moonlight, which is to Silverlight as Mono is to C# and .NET, and Silverlight is a subset of WPF, I have to assume that WPF will arrive in mono eventually, even if it is by way of Moonlight first.

WPF databinding to methods encapsulated in an ICommand

Databinding in WPF allows binding the Command property to methods encapulated in an ICommand. By creating an ICommand object to hold an event function, the Command value can bind to the event function as an ICommand.

The goal of Model-View-ViewModel is to have zero code in the code behind of a WPF Control Instead, everything the WPF Control does happens using databinding.

While this article will show you how to do this, you be left a little fuzzy as to understanding of the implementation. It may take some time and research to fully understand everything this is doing. Understand that methods can be objects, and this is a process to turn a method object into an ICommand so it can be using in WPF for databinding.

Preparation and Prereqs

You should have Visual Studio 2008/2010.

In Visual Studio, create a new WPF Application project and give it a name.

Step 1 – Creating an new class that inherits from ICommand

  1. In your new project in Visual Studio, add a new class called RelayCommand.
    Note: It can be named anything, but since that is the name used by Microsoft when discussing MVVM, I will use the same name.
  2. Change the using statements to implement the following : System, System.Diagnostic, System.Windows.Input
  3. Make the new RelayComand class public.
  4. Make the new RelayCommand class implement ICommand.
    using System;
    using System.Windows.Input;
    
    namespace WpfDataBindingToICommand
    {
        public class RelayCommand : ICommand
        {
            #region Constructors
            public RelayCommand()
            {
            }
            #endregion
        }
    }
    
  5. Right-click on the ICommand text and choose Implement Interface | Implement Interface. This adds the following code to the bottom of your class.
            #region ICommand Members
    
            public bool CanExecute(object parameter)
            {
                throw new NotImplementedException();
            }
    
            public event EventHandler CanExecuteChanged;
    
            public void Execute(object parameter)
            {
                throw new NotImplementedException();
            }
    
            #endregion
    
  6. Create two member variables or fields that we will use to hep use inside the ICommand interface functions.
    1. Action
    2. Predicate

            #region Member Variables
            readonly Action<object> _ActionToExecute;
            readonly Predicate<object> __ActionCanExecute;
            #endregion
    
  7. Implement the CanExecute(object parameter) function.
            public bool CanExecute(object parameter)
            {
                return __ActionCanExecute== null ? true : __ActionCanExecute(parameter);
            }
    
  8. Implement the EventHandler CanExecuteChanged. In doing this the MVVM experts used the CommandManager, which might be worth reading about.
            public event EventHandler CanExecuteChanged
            {
                add { CommandManager.RequerySuggested += value; }
                remove { CommandManager.RequerySuggested -= value; }
            }
    
  9. Implement the Execute(object parameter) function.
            public void Execute(object parameter)
            {
                _ActionToExecute(parameter);
            }
    
  10. Create constructors that allow us to initialize the object by passing in the Action

The final class looks as follows:

using System;
using System.Windows.Input;

namespace WpfDataBindingToICommand
{
    /// <summary>
    /// This RelayCommand object is used to encapsulate function logic into an oject that inherits ICommand.
    /// </summary>
    public class RelayCommand : ICommand
    {
        #region Member Variables
        readonly Action<object> _ActionToExecute;
        readonly Predicate<object> _ActionCanExecute;
        #endregion

        #region Constructors
        /// <summary>
        /// This creates a new RelayCommand.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="inActionToExecute">This is the logic of the actin to execute. This objects is usually a method that returns void.</param>
        public RelayCommand(Action<object> inActionToExecute)
            : this(inActionToExecute, null)
        {
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This creates a new RelayCommand.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="inActionToExecute">This is the logic of the actin to execute. This objects is usually a method that returns void.</param>
        /// <param name="inActionCanExecute">This is the logic for whether the action can execute.</param>
        public RelayCommand(Action<object> inActionToExecute, Predicate<Object> inActionCanExecute)
        {
            if (inActionToExecute == null)
                throw new ArgumentNullException("execute");

            _ActionToExecute = inActionToExecute;
            _ActionCanExecute = inActionCanExecute;
        }
        #endregion

        #region ICommand Members
        public bool CanExecute(object parameter)
        {
            return _ActionCanExecute == null ? true : _ActionCanExecute(parameter);
        }

        public event EventHandler CanExecuteChanged
        {
            add { CommandManager.RequerySuggested += value; }
            remove { CommandManager.RequerySuggested -= value; }
        }

        public void Execute(object parameter)
        {
            _ActionToExecute(parameter);
        }
        #endregion
    }
}

Step 2 – Creating a ViewModelBase abstract base class

This object is used to create common logic for all objects that will be using in Binding. This object will implement INotifyPropertyChanged so it only has to be implemented once.

  1. Create a new class named ViewModelBase.
  2. Change the using statements to implement the following : System, System.CompenentModel
  3. Make the new ViewModelBase class public and abstract.
  4. Make the new ViewModelBase class implement INotifyPropertyChanged.
  5. Make the constructor protected.
  6. Right-click on the INotifyPropertyChanged text and choose Implement Interface | Implement Interface. This adds the following code to the bottom of your class. Yes, it is just a one line event handler object.
            #region INotifyPropertyChanged Members
    
            public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;
    
            #endregion
    
  7. Create a function called NotifyPropertyChanged to help implement the object. Make sure it has a permission level of at least protected.
            #region Functions
            protected void NotifyPropertyChanged(String inPropertyName)
            {
                if (PropertyChanged != null)
                {
                    PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(inPropertyName));
                }
            }
            #endregion
    
  8. Make the new ViewModelBase class public and abstract.

The final object looks as follows:

using System;
using System.ComponentModel;

namespace WpfDataBindingToICommand
{
    public abstract class ViewModelBase : INotifyPropertyChanged
    {
        #region Constructors
        public ViewModelBase()
        {
        }
        #endregion

        #region Functions
        protected void NotifyPropertyChanged(String inPropertyName)
        {
            if (PropertyChanged != null)
            {
                PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(inPropertyName));
            }
        }
        #endregion

        #region INotifyPropertyChanged Members
        public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;
        #endregion
    }
}

Note: You may also want to implement IDisposable.

Step 3 – Creating the ViewModel and Model

We are going to have the ViewModel and business in the same object for this example, but sometimes you will have a separate ViewModel object that represents your data/business.

  1. Create a new class named SampleViewModel.
  2. Change the using statements to implement the following : System, System.Windows, System.Windows.Input
  3. Make the new SampleViewModel class public.
  4. Make the new SampleViewModel class inherit ViewModelBase.
    using System;
    using System.Windows;
    using System.Windows.Input;
    
    namespace WpfDataBindingToICommand
    {
        public class SampleViewModel : ViewModelBase
        {
            #region Constructors
            public SampleViewModel()
            {
            }
            #endregion
        }
    }
    
  5. Create a string field and property and make sure to have the property’s set function call NotifyPropertyChanged.
        public class SampleViewModel : ViewModelBase
        {
            string _Message = "Hello. This is the default message.";
    
            public string Message
            {
                get { return _Message; }
                set
                {
                    _Message = value;
                    NotifyPropertyChanged("Message");
                }
            }
        }
    
  6. Create a simple function to show a MessageBox.
            public void ShowMessage(String inMessage)
            {
                MessageBox.Show(inMessage);
            }
    
  7. Create an ICommand field and property. Make sure the property returns a RelayCommand object that references the ShowMessage method. This is a read only property.
            RelayCommand _ShowMessageCommand;
    
            public ICommand ShowMessageCommand
            {
                get
                {
                    if (_ShowMessageCommand == null)
                    {
                        _ShowMessageCommand = new RelayCommand(param => this.ShowMessage(Message));
                    }
                    return _ShowMessageCommand;
                }
            }
    

    Note: Notice that in order to pass the ShowMessage method, instead of the return value of the function, into the RelayCommand objectwhich is void anyway, the param => syntax is used.

The final SampleViewModel looks as follows.

using System;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Input;

namespace WpfDataBindingToICommand
{
    public class SampleViewModel : ViewModelBase
    {
        #region Member Variables
        string _Message = "Hello. This is the default message.";
        RelayCommand _ShowMessageCommand;
        #endregion

        #region Constructors
        public SampleViewModel()
        {
        }
        #endregion

        #region Properties
        public string Message
        {
            get { return _Message; }
            set
            {
                _Message = value;
                NotifyPropertyChanged("Message");
            }
        }

        public ICommand ShowMessageCommand
        {
            get
            {
                if (_ShowMessageCommand == null)
                {
                    _ShowMessageCommand = new RelayCommand(param => this.ShowMessage(Message));
                }
                return _ShowMessageCommand;
            }
        }
        #endregion

        #region Functions
        public void ShowMessage(String inMessage)
        {
            MessageBox.Show(inMessage);
        }
        #endregion

        #region Enums
        #endregion
    }
}

Step 4 – Using Databinding to Bind an ICommand to a WPF Control

Ok, so lets modify the XAML of the default MainWindow.xaml code that was auto-created with the project. We will keep it simple and have a text box and a button to pop up the message.

Note: For this simple program all the work we did to implement databinding for binding events to methods seems like an absurd burden. However, for large applications, this design will lead to a better way to manage your code. It will decouple your GUI from your code, making future refactoring of the GUI much easier. This also improves the ability to make minor changes to the GUI. It also makes the code more sustainable and more easily tested. Unit tests are more effective as the GUI layer is not required and most functions are in the business layer.

  1. Create a reference to the current namespace.
    <Window x:Class="WpfDataBindingToICommand.MainWindow"
            xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
            xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
            xmlns:local="clr-namespace:WpfDataBindingToICommand"
            Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525">
    
  2. Add a SampleViewModel StaticResource.
        <Window.Resources>
            <local:SampleViewModel x:Key="Sample" />
        </Window.Resources>
    
  3. Set the DataContext of the Grid to the SampleViewModel StaticResource.
            <Grid.RowDefinitions>
                <RowDefinition Height="*" />
                <RowDefinition Height="50" />
            </Grid.RowDefinitions>
    
  4. Add two rows to the Grid.
        <Grid DataContext="{StaticResource ResourceKey=Sample}">
    
  5. Add a TextBox and remove the sizing and alignments. Set Margin to 5. Bind the Text property to Message.
            <TextBox Text="{Binding Message}" Name="textBoxMessage" Margin="5"/>
    
  6. Add a button. Set HorizontalAlignment to Right. Set the Width to Auto. Set Margin to 5. Bind the Command property to ShowMessageCommand.
    <Button Command="{Binding ShowMessageCommand}" Content="ShowMessage" Grid.Row="1" Height="23" Name="buttonShowMessage" HorizontalAlignment="Right" Width="Auto" Margin="5"/>
    

You are done. The final XAML is as follows:

<Window x:Class="WpfDataBindingToICommand.MainWindow"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        xmlns:local="clr-namespace:WpfDataBindingToICommand"
        Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525">
    <Window.Resources>
        <local:SampleViewModel x:Key="Sample" />
    </Window.Resources>
    <Grid DataContext="{StaticResource ResourceKey=Sample}">
        <Grid.RowDefinitions>
            <RowDefinition Height="*" />
            <RowDefinition Height="50" />
        </Grid.RowDefinitions>
        <TextBox Text="{Binding Message}" Name="textBoxMessage" Margin="5"/>
        <Button Command="{Binding ShowMessageCommand}" Content="ShowMessage" Grid.Row="1" Height="23" Name="buttonShowMessage" HorizontalAlignment="Right" Width="Auto" Margin="5"/>
    </Grid>
</Window>

Notice that we never touched the code behind of MainWindow. The GUI and the code are as decoupled as possible. Not event the event functions are needed in the code behind. This decoupling or GUI and code is our goal.

Resources

WPF Apps With The Model-View-ViewModel Design Pattern
Understanding Routed Events and Commands In WPF


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Tutorial – Binding to a member variable object

You have your WPF Window and you have an object that you don’t want to make a static resource. You want to declare it as a member variable in the code.

Example 1 – Binding two TextBox controls to a Person object

  1. Create a New WPF Application Visual Studio.
  2. Create a new Class named Person.cs.
  3. Give it FirstName and a LastName properties.
  4. Configure it to implement the INotifyPropertyChanged interface.
  5. Create a NotifyPropertyChanged function that all properties can share (to avoid duplicate code in every single property).
  6. Configure the properties to call the NotifyPropertyChanged function passing in a string that is the name of the property.

    Person.cs

    using System;
    using System.ComponentModel;
    
    namespace WPFPerson
    {
        public class Person : INotifyPropertyChanged
        {
            #region Member Variables
            String _FirstName;
            String _LastName;
            #endregion
    
            #region Constructors
            /*
    		 * The default constructor
     		 */
            public Person()
            {
            }
            #endregion
    
            #region Properties
            public String FirstName
            {
                get { return _FirstName; }
                set
                {
                    _FirstName = value;
                    NotifyPropertyChanged("FirstName");
                }
            }
    
            public String LastName
            {
                get { return _LastName; }
                set
                {
                    _LastName = value;
                    NotifyPropertyChanged("LastName");
                }
            }
            #endregion
    
            #region INotifyPropertyChanged Members
            public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;
    
            private void NotifyPropertyChanged(String info)
            {
                if (PropertyChanged != null)
                {
                    PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(info));
                }
            }
            #endregion
        }
    }
    
  7. Go back tot he MainWindow.xaml.
  8. Add two labels, and two text boxes, and a button.
  9. Change the text boxes to be populated using binding by adding the following text:
    Text=”{Binding FirstName, Mode=TwoWay}”  

    MainWindow.xaml (WPF Window)

    <Window x:Class="WPFPerson.MainWindow"
            xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
            xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
            Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525" >
        <Grid Name="PersonGrid" >
            <TextBox Height="23" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="173,87,0,0" Name="textBoxFirstName" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="234" Text="{Binding FirstName, Mode=TwoWay}" />
            <TextBox Height="23" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="173,116,0,0" Name="textBoxLastName" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="234" Text="{Binding LastName, Mode=TwoWay}"/>
            <Label Content="FirstName" Height="28" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="103,85,0,0" Name="labelFirstName" VerticalAlignment="Top" />
            <Label Content="LastName" Height="28" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="103,114,0,0" Name="labelLastName" VerticalAlignment="Top" />
            <Button Content="Defaults" Height="23" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="337,199,0,0" Name="buttonDefaults" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="75" Click="buttonDefaults_Click" />
        </Grid>
    </Window>
    
  10. Double-click the button to create the buttonDefaults_Click event function.
    This also conveniently takes you to the Code Behind of the MainWindow.cs file.
  11. Have the buttonDefaults_Click function update to properties of your _Person object.
    _Person.FirstName = “Jared”;
    _Person.LastName = “Barneck”;
  12. Create a field/member variable using the Person object.
    private readonly Person _Person;
  13. Now in the constructor initialize the object.
    _Person = new Person();
  14. Also in the constructor, make the DataContext for each TextBox the _Person object.
    textBoxFirstName.DataContext = _Person;
    textBoxLastName.DataContext = _Person;  

    MainWindow.cs (Code Behind)

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Text;
    using System.Windows;
    using System.Windows.Controls;
    using System.Windows.Data;
    using System.Windows.Documents;
    using System.Windows.Input;
    using System.Windows.Media;
    using System.Windows.Media.Imaging;
    using System.Windows.Navigation;
    using System.Windows.Shapes;
    using System.Threading;
    
    namespace WPFPerson
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Interaction logic for MainWindow.xaml
        /// </summary>
        public partial class MainWindow : Window
        {
            private readonly Person _Person;
    
            public MainWindow()
            {
                _Person = new Person();
                InitializeComponent();
                textBoxFirstName.DataContext = _Person;
                textBoxLastName.DataContext = _Person;
            }
    
            private void buttonDefaults_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            {
                _Person.FirstName = "Jared";
                _Person.LastName = "Barneck";
            }
        }
    }
    
  15. Now Now compile and make sure you don’t have any errors.

Example 2 – Forthcoming…

Example 3 – Forthcoming…

Sources:
http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/Section/Windows-Presentation-Foundation-WPF-Data-Binding-with-C-2005.id-305562.html

What is the equivalent of __FILE__ and __LINE__ in C#?

Where is __LINE__ and __FILE__ in C#?

In C++ and in PHP and other languages, a great logging feature is the ability to log the file and line number where the log occurs.

These unfortunately do not exist.  I have been searching even in the latest .NET 4.0 and haven’t found them.  If they are there, they are hidden. Having these two variables is an extremely useful feature in other languages and it appears to be a feature very overlooked by the C# developers. However, maybe they didn’t overlook it.  Maybe there is a good reason that it is not there.

Getting __LINE__ and __FILE__ in C# when in debugging mode

There were a couple of solutions floating around online but many of them only worked with debugging enabled (or in release if the pdb file is in the same directory).

Here is one example that only works in debugging (or in release if the pdb file is in the same directory).

StackHelper.cs

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;

namespace FileAndLineNumberInCSharpLog
{
    public static class StackHelper
    {

        public static String ReportError(string Message)
        {
            // Get the frame one step up the call tree
            StackFrame CallStack = new StackFrame(1, true);

            // These will now show the file and line number of the ReportError
            string SourceFile = CallStack.GetFileName();
            int SourceLine = CallStack.GetFileLineNumber();

            return "Error: " + Message + "\nFile: " + SourceFile + "\nLine: " + SourceLine.ToString();
        }

        public static int __LINE__
        {
            get
            {
                StackFrame CallStack = new StackFrame(1, true);
                int line = new int();
                line += CallStack.GetFileLineNumber();
                return line;
            }
        }

        public static string __FILE__
        {
            get
            {
                StackFrame CallStack = new StackFrame(1, true);
                string temp = CallStack.GetFileName();
                String file = String.Copy(String.IsNullOrEmpty(temp)?"":temp);
                return String.IsNullOrEmpty(file) ? "": file;
            }
        }
    }
}

Here is a little Program.cs that shows how to use it.

using System;

namespace FileAndLineNumberInCSharpLog
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            int x = 100;
            int y = 200;
            int z = x * y;
            Console.WriteLine(StackHelper.ReportError("New Error"));
        }
    }
}

Unfortunately if the above does only work in release if the pdb file is available.

Getting __LINE__ and __FILE__ in C# when in debugging mode

Well, according to this MSDN forum post, it simply cannot be done.
http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/csharpgeneral/thread/6a7b021c-ec81-47c5-8f6a-2e280d548f3f

If I ever find a way to do it, I will post it.

So for troubleshooting a production file at a customer’s site, you pretty much have to send out your pdb file to them when they need it.  There are a lot of benefits to C# and this lacking feature is one of the eye sores.

Tutorial – Binding to Resources.resx for strings in a WPF Application: A technique to prepare for localization

Update: This is no longer a recommended way to do localization in WPF.
Use this project from NuGET: WPFSharp.Globalizer
Also read this post: How to change language at run-time in WPF with loadable Resource Dictionaries and DynamicResource Binding

Introduction

Ok, so if you are going to have a string visible in your WPF application and your application can be in multiple languages, you are facing the localization problem.

Usually people as themselves two questions:

  • Do I localize or not?
  • How do I localize?

The answers are usually not now and I don’t know. So no localization work is done at first. Later, you wish you were more prepared for localization.

Well, I am here to tell you that you can at least prepare to be localized by doing a few simple steps:

  1. Centralize your strings in a publicized Resources.resx file.
  2. Add a reference to your Properties.
  3. Replacing any statically entered text with the name of the string resource.
  4. Do you best to use dynamic sizing.

Preparing your strings for localization

If you are going to have a string in your WPF application, it is a good idea to store those strings in a centralized place for localization purposes. Usually in Visual Studio, that is in Resources.resx.

Often a string is entered directly into an the WPF XAML. This is not recommended. Maybe you are thinking that you don’t need to localize your application, so this is not important to you. Ok, really what you are thinking is:

“I don’t know how to do it and if I ever get big enough to need localization, at that point, I will figure it out.”

Well, what if I told you that using Resources.resx is extremely easy?

What if I told you that it hardly takes more time at all?

If it easy and hardly time consuming at all, you would do it, right? I would. Hence this post.

Step by step guide for Preparing your strings for locaization

I have a project called LicenseAgreementManager. Right now this only needs to display a license agreement in English, but maybe someday, this will need to display a license agreement in any language.

Preparation – Create a new project or use an existing project

In Visual Studio, create a new WPF Applcation project.

I named my project LicenseAgreementManager.

Right away, you already have at least one string statically entered into your XAML, the text for the window title.

Step 1 – Add all your strings to the Resources.resx file

  1. Double-click on Resources.resx in your WPF Project. This found under the ProjectName | Properties option in your Solution Explorer tree.
  2. Change the Access Modifier drop down menu from Internal to Public.
  3. Enter your strings in the Resources.resx by giving them a unique name and a value of the desired string. A comment is also optional.

You now have a publicized Resource.resx file and a few strings inside it.

Step 2 – Add a reference to your Properties

  1. In your project, open your MainWindow.xaml file.The XAML looks as follows:
    <Window x:Class="LicenseAgreementManager.MainWindow"
            xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
            xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
            Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525">
        <Grid>
    
        </Grid>
    </Window>
    
  2. Add a line to reference your Properties in the Windows element.
    <Window x:Class="LicenseAgreementManager.MainWindow"
            xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
            xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
            xmlns:p="clr-namespace:LicenseAgreementManager.Properties"
            Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525">
    

Step 3 – Replace static text with strings from the Resources.resx

  1. Change the Title attribute from static text to instead use access the string from your Resources.resx named EULA_Title.
    <Window x:Class="LicenseAgreementManager.MainWindow"
            xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
            xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
            xmlns:p="clr-namespace:LicenseAgreementManager.Properties"
            Title="{x:Static p:Resources.EULA_Title}"
            Height="350" Width="525">
    

That was pretty easy, wasn’t it.

As you add elements that have strings, use the Resources.resx.

Step 4 – Try to use dynamic sizing

  1. As best as possible, remove any dynamic sizing.I have just added some items and removed the sizing as best as possible. Here is my XAML.
    <Window x:Class="LicenseAgreementManager.MainWindow"
            xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
            xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
            xmlns:p="clr-namespace:LicenseAgreementManager.Properties"
            Title="{x:Static p:Resources.EULA_Title}"
            SizeToContent="WidthAndHeight"
            xml:lang="en-US">
        <Grid>
            <Grid.RowDefinitions>
                <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
                <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
            </Grid.RowDefinitions>
    
            <RichTextBox Name="_EulaTextBox" HorizontalAlignment="Stretch"  VerticalAlignment="Stretch"/>
            <StackPanel Grid.Row="1" Margin="0,10,0,0" Name="stackPanel2" HorizontalAlignment="Stretch"  VerticalAlignment="Stretch">
                <RadioButton Content="{x:Static p:Resources.EULA_Accept}" Margin="20,20,20,0" Name="radioButton1" />
                <RadioButton Content="{x:Static p:Resources.EULA_NotAccept}" Margin="20,20,20,0" Name="radioButton2" />
                <Button Content="{x:Static p:Resources.Next_Button}" Name="button1" Margin="20,20,35,20"  HorizontalAlignment="Right" />
            </StackPanel>
        </Grid>
    </Window>
    
  2. What changes did I make above that I couldn’t do through the Visual Studio GUI?
    1. I removed Height and size from almost every element.
    2. I added SizeToContent=”WidthAndHeight” to the Windows element.
    3. I added some extra size to the margins.

Conclusion

You don’t have to be localized to be prepared for easy localization. By doing the above simple steps, when it comes time to add localization, you will be ready.

If you want to go on an finish localization. You might want to read some of my sources.

Sources:

http://compositeextensions.codeplex.com/Thread/View.aspx?ThreadId=52910
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms788718%28v=VS.90%29.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms746621.aspx


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Adding an alias in Windows 7 or making ls = dir in a command prompt

Hey all,

I don’t know about you but I switch between FreeBSD and Windows a lot.  So it drives me crazy when I type the command ls on windows and get the error message.

C:\Windows\system32>ls
‘ls’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

So I want this to go away.

I looked for the alias command in Windows and couldn’t find one.  So I made a batch file that solves this.

Windows doesn’t seem to have the equivalent of a .shrc or .cshrc or .bashrc. I couldn’t find a .profile either.  So I decided to go with the batch file route.

Option 1 – Using doskey

I was tipped off to this idea from a comment, which led my mind to the Command Prompt autorun registry I already knew about. But once I wrote the batch file, the parameters were not working, so I searched around and found an example of exactly what I wanted to do here:
http://bork.hampshire.edu/~alan/code/UnixInWin2K/

  1. Create a batch file called autorun.bat and put it in your home directory:
    My home dir is: c:\users\jared
  2. Add the following to your autorun.bat.
    @ECHO OFF
    doskey ls=dir /b $*
    doskey ll=dir $*
    doskey cat=type $*
    doskey ..=cd..
    doskey grep=find "$1" $2
    doskey mv=ren $*
    doskey rm=del $*
    
  3. Add the following key to the registry:
    Key:  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
    REG_SZ  (String): Autorun
    Value:  %USERPROFILE%\autorun.batOr as a .reg file:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor]
    "Autorun"="%USERPROFILE%\\autorun.bat"
    

Now whenever you open a command prompt, the aliases will be there.

Option 2 – Creating a batch file as an alias

I created an.bat file that just forwards calls the original file and forwards all parameters passed when making the call.

Here is how it works.

Create a file called ls.bat. Add the following text.

ls.bat

@ECHO OFF
dir $*

Copy this batch file to your C:\Windows\System32 directory. Now you can type in ls on a windows box at the command prompt and it works.

How does this work to make your aliased command?

  1. Name the batch file the name of the alias.  I want to alias ls to dir, so my batch file is named ls.bat.
  2. In the batch file, set the RealCMDPath variable to the proper value, in my case it is dir.

So if you want to alias cp to copy, you do this:

  1. Copy the file and name it cp.bat.
  2. Edit the file and set this line:
    SET RealCMDPath=dir

Now you have an alias for both ls and cp.

Using different versions of msbuild.exe

You can also use this so you don’t have to add a path.

I need to use C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\msbuild.exe but sometimes I want to use C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\msbuild.exe. Both files are named the same. So I can easily use my alias command.

  1. Create two files in C:\Windows\System32: one named msbuild35.bat and one named msbuild40.bat.
  2. Change the line in each file to have the appropriate paths for the RealCMDPath.

Anyway, this is really a useful batch file.

Avoiding the MSVCR100.dll, MSVCP100D.dll, or MSVCR100D.dll is missing error (Also MSVCR110.dll, MSVCR120.dll, MSVCR140.dll)

Note: This also applies to newer MSVCR110.dll, MSVCR120.dll and MSVCR140.dll.

MSVCR100.dll

This msvcr100.dll is the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable dll that is needed for projects built with Visual Studio 2010. The dll letters spell this out.

MS = Microsoft
V = Visual
C = C program language
R = Run-time
100 = Version

If you create a C++ project in Visual Studio 2010, this file is probably needed.

MSVCP100.dll

This msvcp100.dll is the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable dll that is needed for projects built with Visual Studio 2010. The dll letters spell this out.

MS = Microsoft
V = Visual
CP = C++
100 = version

If you create a C++ project in Visual Studio 2010, this file is probably needed.

MSVCR100D.dll

The MSVCR100D.dll is almost the exact same file only the D at the end stands for Debug. This file has debugging enabled and is not considered redistributable.

Why the error?

Ok, so recently I switched to Visual Studio 2010.  I had a C++ application that worked perfectly in Visual Studio 2008.  Once I compiled it with Visual Studio 2010 and ran it on a clean 2008 server (fully patched but otherwise clean), it failed to run with the following error.

TestWin32.exe – System Error

The program can’t start because MSVCR100.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

Here is the screen shot:

msvcr100.dll

The same things happens with the debug version of the file, only it is a the debug version of the same DLL as noted by the fact that the DLL name ends with D.

Autorun – System Error

The program can’t start because MSVCR100.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

The screen shot is identical except for the D in the dll name.

msvcr100d.dll

I create a new project in Visual Studio 2010 using the project type of C++ Win32 Project and without making a single change to the default project, I built the file and tested it on my clean machine and the same issue occurred.

So obviously that is not acceptable.  It seems like this should just not happen by default, but unfortunately it does.

Solution

It was actually really easy to resolve for my one project.

Here is what I did.

You can solve this any of the following ways:

  1. Statically link to the dll files so they are compiled into my executable instead of referenced as separate dll files.
  2. Included the dll in the same directory as the exe (I actually didn’t try this but I assume it would work).
  3. Forced everyone to install the VC++ Runtime Redistributable before running the app.

The first option seems the most stable and robust and easiest for a single executable. So that is the one I am going to use.

The second option doesn’t really make sense to me and I would probably never do it. Maybe if I had dozens of executable files that all required the same DLL and I didn’t have an installer, and I wanted to conserve size, which probably wouldn’t happen for me since I am pretty good at creating a quick installer. Though you might be in this a situation.

The third option would make sense if I was planning on running my executable after an install. During the install I could include the VC++ Runtime Redistributable and all would be fine.

Statically Linking the DLLs

Make sure you resolve it for both Release and Debug. The steps are slightly different.

Release

  1. In Visual Studio, I went to the project Properties.
  2. I changed my Configuration to Release.
  3. I went under Configuration Properties | C/C++ | Code Generation
  4. Look at the Runtime Library setting.  It is set to this: Multi-threaded DLL (/MD)
    Change it to this: Multi-threaded (/MT)
  5. Rebuild.

Debug

Almost exactly the same as release.

  1. In Visual Studio, I went to the project Properties.
  2. I changed my Configuration to Debug.
  3. I went under Configuration Properties | C/C++ | Code Generation
  4. Look at the Runtime Library setting. It is set to this: Multi-threaded Debug DLL (/MDd)
    Change it to this: Multi-threaded Debug (/MTd)
  5. Rebuild the debug

It might be a good idea for me to figure out how to change the project so when I create a new project of this type, those settings are the default.

Install the VC++ Runtime Redistributable

Release

Download the appropriate version of VC++ Runtime Redistributable:

File VersionVC++ Runtime Version
MSVCR100.dllMicrosoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86)
MSVCR110.dllMicrosoft Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable Package (x86)
MSVCR120.dllMicrosoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable Package (x86)
MSVCR140.dllMicrosoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable Package (x86)

Just google these and you will find the download links. Install the correct version and you are good to go.

Debug

If you are missing MSVCR100D.dll, then that is a debug dll and is not part of the free to download Visual C++ Redistributable package. So you pretty much are stuck with copying it from your dev box. Copy it to the C:\Windows\System32 directory. You need admin privileges to do this.

Note: You would never want to redistribute the debug dll anyway.

How to document a function so Visual Studio's Intellisense displays it?

So, when I code, I am usually in Visual Studio and I am used to writing documentation above my functions as follows:

        /*
         * The is SomeFunction that does some action.
         */
        private void SomeFunction(int inSomeValue)
        {
                // write code here
        }

However, it annoys me that this information doesn’t show up in Visual Studio’s Intellisense. So I took time to look up the proper way to make function documentation show up in Intellisense.

It turns out that you can type /// above a function and Visual Studio will automagically populate the markup needed to have your comments show up in intellisense.

        /// <summary>
        ///  The is SomeFunction that does some action.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="inSomeValue">Enter an integer as some value here.</param>
        private void SomeFunction(int inSomeValue)
        {
                // write code here
        }

So it seems if you use this syntax, the function documentation will now show up in Visual Studio’s Intellisense.