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Preview: Rick Strahl's Web Log

Rick Strahl's Web Log

Life, Surf, Code and everything in between


.NET Standard 2.0 - Making Sense of .NET Again

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 09:29:40 GMT

At last week's .NET Connect event and two-weeks ago at the MVP Summit we got to hear about Microsoft's vision for .NET going forward. A lot of people - myself included - in recent years have wondered what the future of .NET is. A key component in this process is .NET Standard... It's taken Microsoft a few years of floundering and unclear messaging about the future of .NET, but it seems Microsoft is finally nailing the message for .NET going forward and .NET Standard, with its common API specification, is a huge part in making sure that the same base library functionality of .NET is available on all .NET platforms in the future. In this post I look at what .NET Standard is, how it works and what some of the surrounding issues, impacts and benefits are for the .NET Eco system. What is .NET Standard? Here's my definition of what .NET Standard is: .NET Standard is a specification, not an implementation .NET Standard describes what a specific implementation like .NET Core, Mono, Xamarin or .NET 4.6 has to implement - at minimum - in terms of API surface in order to be compliant with a given version of .NET Standard. The actual implementations of today's shipped .NET Standard 1.6 are .NET Core, the full .NET Framework and Mono. The current version of the standard is .NET Standard 1.6 which shipped when .NET Core 1.0 was released. Implementations can implement additional features beyond .NET Standard in their base libraries but at minimum each implementation has to implement the standard APIs of the Standard even if specific APIs end up with NotSupportedExceptions. .NET Core as a Reference Implementation As you might expect the API surface of .NET Standard 1.6 coincides pretty closely with the API surface of .NET Core 1.0.x and I expect that .NET Core 1.2 (or whatever the next version will be named) is likely to match very closely to what .NET Standard 2.0 specifies. In that sense it's almost like .NET Core is the reference implementation for .NET Standard at the moment. That may change in the future, but for now that's certainly holding true. Since .NET Standard is based on full framework APIs, full framework is pretty much compatible with .NET Standard without changes, although there are a few small variations that are addressed by small update releases in .NET 4.6.1 and 4.6.2 etc. .NET Standard corresponds to the BCL If you're looking at .NET Standard in terms of the full version of .NET you've used for the last 15+ years, you can think of .NET Standard roughly representing the feature set of the BCL. This is the core .NET library of what used to live exclusively in mscorlib.dll and the various system dlls. This roughly corresponds to the core .NET Base Class Library (BCL) and includes the basic type system, the runtime loading and querying operations, network and file IO, and some additional APIs like System.Data. With .NET going cross platform it's important to know that this subset has to be platform agnostic and not expect to run on any specific Operating System. Here's a rough idea of what you can expect to see in .NET Standard 2.0: The BCL always has been about core operating system, runtime and language services, so this OS agnostic requirement shouldn't be a huge issue. Much of the porting work that goes into moving full framework libraries to .NET Core deals with making sure that functionality works across platforms. There are lots of small issues that can trip up things like the difference in path separators between Operating Systems and the way that operating system services like threads/processes are implemented on various platforms. Application Frameworks are not part of .NET Standard The key thing to remember is that if you compare the full .NET Framework to what will be in .NET Standard you are only getting what is in the BCL, not what we know as the Framework Class Library (FCL). Full framework as we know it today has additional features piled on top with the FCL Libraries that sit on top of the BCL. Frameworks in this case are application platforms like ASP.NET (System.Web and OWin based), WinForms, [...]

Windows Update Hell

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 19:26:45 GMT

I've been fighting Windows Update Hell for the last month with failed updates wreaking havoc on my machine. Updates fail to install completely and roll back and then continue to retry each day. Attempts to turn off the particular update now fails as well, so I'm stuck in this groundhog day like loop of pain. This is a cry for help, in hopes somebody has additional ideas on what to try.(image)

C# NumberFormat Sections

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 17:27:56 GMT

In all the years I've been using C#, I've completely missed that the NumberFormat features using .ToString() or string expressions support sections for positive, negative and zero values. In this post I describe the feature and how it works.(image)

Excluding the node_modules Folder in Visual Studio WebSite Projects

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 19:42:40 GMT

If you're working on a client side project that includes an NPM folder with a large number of dependencies and you're using a WebSite Project in Visual Studio, you've probably found that this is a terrible combination out of the box. In this post I describe why this is a problem and how you can work around it with a simple hack.(image)

Automating Installation Builds and Chocolatey Packaging

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:08:01 GMT

Having a quick and easy way to build a final deployable applicationsin a few minutes has been a huge motivation for me. I can update code and release a new build as soon as a feature is added or a bug is fixed, and my release cycle is much more frequent than it was before. I used to be much more conservative with releases - if something was broken it'd have to wait. But with an easy release mechanism all of that has changed and I can push new releases out much more frequently and I really like the fact that it works this way. In this post I describe my deployment processing for Markdown Monster for creating an installer, publishing it on my Web site and creating and publishing a Chocolatey package.(image)

Error Handling and ExceptionFilter Dependency Injection for ASP.NET Core APIs

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:14:05 GMT

Exception handling in API applications is important as errors - both handled and unhandled - need to be passed to clients in some way to let them display error information. ASP.NET's default error handling doesn't provide for object error results by default, but you can use an ExceptionFilter to intercept exceptions and format them yourself. In this post I look at how to create an API exception filter to create error object responses, and hook up custom logging of those errors to disk.(image)

Dealing with Anti-Virus False Positives

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 20:22:27 GMT

I've been struggling with false positive Anti-Virus warnings for Markdown Monster. In this post I describe what problems I was running into and how eventually managed to get a clean distribution of Markdown Monster out the door.(image)

External Network Access to Kestrel and IIS Express in ASP.NET Core

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 01:19:50 GMT

Recently I needed to connect to my Windows based ASP.NET Core API from my Mac and in order for that to work some configuration settings are necesary so that the ASP.NET applications can serve HTTP content to the external network connection that this entails. In this post I show what you have to do to enable remote connections both using the Kestrel and IIS Express Web servers.(image)

ASP.NET Core and CORS Gotchas

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:34:08 GMT

CORS is a requirement for cross domain XHR calls, and when you use Angular 2.0 default dev server and talk to an ASP.NET Core application you'll need to use CORS to get XHR to talk across the domain boundaries. Here's how to set up CORS and how to test it.(image)

Bootstrap Modal Dialog showing under Modal Background

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:42:32 GMT

On more than a few occasions I've run into issues with Bootstrap's Modal dialog rendering incorrectly with the dialog showing underneath the overlay. There are a number of ways around this problem, but none of them are universal that depend on how your pages are laid out. It's especially problematic for applications that dynamically render components where there's no good control on where the elements are placed outside of the components DOM containership. In this post, I describe a few of the workarounds and their limitations.(image)

External JavaScript dependencies in Typescript and Angular 2

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 08:21:30 GMT

Angular 2.0 and Typescript make it very easy to import external Typescript classes and references using the module loading functionality built into Typescript (and ES6). However, if you need to work with external libraries that aren't built with Typescript you need to do a little extra work in importing and referencing the external libraries. In this post I show two approaches for importing libraries as modules and dereferencing library globals so that the Typescript compiler is happy.(image)

Capturing Zoom Operations in the WPF Web Browser Control

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 01:55:14 GMT

If you need to capture Zoom operations in the Web Browser control - either to avoid letting hte user zoom or to capture the zoom operation and take action on it - you need to dig into the Web Browser's DOM events to capture the scroll wheel and key events. In this post I describe how you can do just that by looking at an application that captures scrolling and rather than zooming adjusts the font size of the content.(image)

Detecting and Setting Zoom Level in the WPF WebBrowser Control

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 07:25:01 GMT

Zoom level detection in the Web Browser control is a pain and in this article I describe one approach I used to both capture the current Zoom level in order to adjust font sizes, and then also explicitly set the Zoom level in the Web Browser control of a WPF application.(image)

Moving to Lets Encrypt SSL Certificates

Sat, 09 Jul 2016 19:18:32 GMT

This week marks the expiration of my last paid for SSL certificates and moving all certificates to Lets Encrypt. In the process I had a chance to moving some of my smaller personal and hobby sites as well as moving my wildcard cert for the main site. In this post I'll describe the process I'll describe what tools I used and the process I went through to gradually move my sites over to Lets Encrypt.(image)

First Steps: Exploring .NET Core and ASP.NET Core

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:30:51 GMT

In this post I'll demonstrate how to get started with .NET Core and ASP.NET using the Command Line Tools. I'll create a few very simple projects and starting with a plain console application, show how to hook up ASP.NET, run an API and MVC app and then run the app locally on Windows and then move it over to run on the Mac. This is not meant to be your typical getting started tutorial that jumps right into Visual Studio and creating a Web project from there. Rather, the purpose of this post is to demonstrate some of the core underpinnings of how .NET Core and ASP.NET Core projects are bootstrapped to run.(image)

ASP.NET Web Site Project Publishing and Changing ACLs

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 06:02:01 GMT

When publishing ASP.NET Web Site Projects, the project publish will overwrite server ACLs by clearing them to the inherited defaults and removing rights from common accounts. The result is that if you have custom ACLs set on the server they will be wiped by default. This occurs only on Web Site projects and in this post I remind myself of the .pubxml override setting that disables this default behavior(image)

Upgrading to ASP.NET Core RTM from RC2

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 19:04:29 GMT

I installed and upgraded an ASP.NET Core Sample application today and while the actual project upgrade process from RC2 was relatively easy, there were a few hiccups with installation and one of the breaking changes for the RTM release. In this post I'll go over some of the things I ran into and the workarounds.(image)

Use Powershell to bind SSL Certificates to an IIS Host Header Site

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 02:34:39 GMT

Managing SSL certificates on Windows has always been a pain in the ass and recently with the introduction of SNI to support multiple SSL certificates per site things have changed slightly in order to register certificates with IIS programmatically. In this post I show how to use PowerShell and the IIS WebAdministration snap in commands to create or import and register an SSL Certificate via the Command Line along with how this convoluted process works(image)

ASP.NET Core and .NET Core Overview

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 16:06:52 GMT

ASP.NET Core and .NET Core are almost here, with the RTM release scheduled for the end of this month. In this post I’m going to revisit the high level overview architecture of .NET Core and ASP.NET Core since so much has changed, to help you understand how the pieces fit together and what it means to develop on the new stack along with some personal thoughts on how I plan to approach all of this new tech in my own work.(image)

Publishing and Running ASP.NET Core Applications with IIS

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 08:19:08 GMT

If you plan on hosting ASP.NET Core applications on IIS, you'll find that the process to get your application to run is quite different than it was with classic ASP.NET. Because ASP.NET Core applications are essentially standalone Console applications that run outside of IIS, some special tooling and new publishing tools are required to get your apps up and running on Windows Server. In this post I'll give an overview of the architecture and show you how to deploy your ASP.NET Core applications using IIS on Windows Server.(image)

IIS Channel Listener Errors in Windows 10 Insider Build 14342

Mon, 30 May 2016 21:17:27 GMT

After installing Insider Build 14342 I ran into some major issues with IIS crashing hard and resulting in stopped Application Pools. After some tracking it turns out this is due to application pool bitness which causes 32 bit Application Pools to crash for me.(image)

Windows Updates and Lost Software Licenses and Activations

Mon, 30 May 2016 03:27:50 GMT

Windows Updates often hose Software Activations and Licenses for various commercial software packages. It's a pain in the ass and it's time to let those vendors that use the outdated practice of counting activations based on Windows OS criteria is no longer viable.(image)

Strongly Typed Configuration Settings in ASP.NET Core

Mon, 23 May 2016 07:42:45 GMT

ASP.NET Core provides built-in support for using strongly typed classes to represent configuration information. The configuration system provides a flexible mechanism for using different configuration storage providers and mapping those providers to your strongly typed objects. In this post I show how to set up strongly typed resources and use them in your ASP.NET Web applications.(image)

Using Westwind.Globalization to edit loose RESX Files

Wed, 18 May 2016 17:32:54 GMT

Although Westwind.Globalization is primarily aimed at Web applications, you can also use it to edit arbitrary RESX files using the Localization Administration interface that comes with the library. In this post I show how you can import RESX resources, then use the editor to manipulate RESX resources interactively, and then export the resources back out, using a local Web application on your machine.(image)