How to use XmlWriter along with StringWriter to properly serialize a UTF-8 string

Today, I (re)learned how to serialize an XML to a UTF-8 string. Like all the other times I did this, I got backstabbed by StringWriter, which only supports UTF-16. A simple code snippet like this: await using var sw = new StringWriter(); await using var w = XmlWriter.Create(sw, new() { Async = true }); ... await w.FlushAsync(); return sw.ToString(); Will emit this output: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?><... There’s nothing inherently wrong with UTF-16, but XML is usually UTF-8, so one must do something about it. »

LINQ DistinctBy on a property for .NET Standard and older .NET versions

Today I learned how to implement a custom Enumerable.DistinctBy extension method that returns distinct elements from a sequence according to a specified key selector function. .NET 6 and its successors have the method built in within LINQ, but I needed it in a .NET Standard 2.0 class library, so I was out of luck. My implementation is simple, not different from others I found online, and should also work fine with old . »

I won the Microsoft MVP Award

I’ve just received news that I’ve been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award in the Software Development category. It is an honor and a pleasure to be renewed for the eighth time. Being a Microsoft MVP means a lot to me; I remember how intimidated I felt when I met MVPs at various events and how totally out of reach the title seemed for someone like me. Besides my everyday work, I kept doing the things I loved: »

Homebrew and docfx don't like each other too

Another day another Homebrew incompatibility emerges, this time with docfx, the technical documentation building tool of reference in .NET space. I’ve been using docfx for years to build the FatturaElettronica.NET website, and it’s always been working without a glitch. Lately, however, my builds have been failing with strange errors I was too lazy to diagnose until today when I decided to grasp the nettle and sort the whole thing out. »

Homebrew and .NET 8 Preview don't like each other

Today I learned that .NET 8 Preview could play better with Homebrew (or vice-versa). I’m working on a C# 12 presentation for our local developer meetup, and for that, I wanted .NET 8 Preview to run side by side with version 7 on my Mac. As version 7 was initially installed with Homebrew, I also wanted to install version 8 Preview with Homebrew, but that recipe was unavailable. Not perfectly happy with that, I fell back to the stand-alone installer, expecting problems. »

Python `decimal.getcontext` does not work with bpython

I have been working on a side project for which I’m using bpython, a “fancy interface to the Python interpreter.” If you use the Python REPL often, you should check it out. It offers unique features like in-line syntax highlighting, readline-like autocomplete, a “rewind” function to pop the last line of code from memory, auto-indentation and more. Anyway, today I found a bug in bpython, and that’s that Python’s decimal.getcontext() does not work with it. »

A new modern MSBuild terminal logger is coming with .NET 8

The latest .NET 8 Preview is out, and I love that they’re finally changing how MSBuild logs are printed to the terminal. The new Terminal Logger ditches the infamous “wall of text” that is a nightmare to parse in favor of a cleaner, leaner, and more organized output. Once enabled, the new logger shows you the restore phase, followed by the build phase. During each phase, the currently-building projects are at the bottom of the terminal, and each building project tells you both the MSBuild Target currently being built, as well as the amount of time spent on that target. »

Story of Redis and its creator antirez

I read a well-researched story about Redis and its creator Salvatore Sanfilippo, also known as antirez. I was already familiar with many details as I have been following him since OKNotizie and Segnalo, of which I was a user. At the time, as a user, I exchanged a few emails with Salvatore, whom years later I had the pleasure of meeting in person, as we were both speakers at several conferences. »

The real cost of interruption

I’m just back from reading Programmer Interrupted: The Real Cost of Interruption and Context Switching, an interesting short piece in which I learned about at least two new things. First, The Parable of the Two Watchmakers, introduced by Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon, describes the complex relationship between sub-systems and their larger wholes. In the context of the article, it helps explain, even for non-programmers, the cost of an interruption. It also hints at a possible mitigation technique: »

Running .NET code in an isolated sandbox

Steve Sanderson is experimenting again, and when Steve plays with his toys, I pay attention. In a new video on his YouTube channel, Steve introduces an experimental new .NET package that allows the creation of isolated instances of the .NET runtime that will safely run code in a sandbox. Watch it, and get your mind blown away by the possibilities this could open up. Subscribe to the newsletter, the RSS feed, or follow me on Mastodon »

Making C# and OmniSharp play well with Neovim

I’ve recently moved away from my custom Neovim configuration to embrace LazyVim. LazyVim is a Neovim setup with sane default settings for options, autocmds, and keymaps. It boldly aims to transform Neovim into a full-fledged IDE that is easy to extend and customize. It comes with a wealth of plugins pre-configured and ready to use, and it is also blazing fast. Elijah Manor has a fantastic introductory video on YouTube; I suggest you take the time to look at it. »

Making the latest C# language features available in older .NET versions

In a C# library I’ve been working on, I wanted to use C# 9.0’s init keyword. Quoting the documentation: The init keyword defines an accessor method in a property or indexer. An init-only setter assigns a value to the property or the indexer element only during object construction. This enforces immutability so that once the object is initialized, it can’t be changed again. Consider the following class: public class Person { public string FirstName { get; init; } } You can initialize it like this: »

A quick preview of the Blazor United prototype for .NET8

Steve Sanderson, the original creator of Blazor, recently posted a quick peek at some of the new Blazor prototypes they are experimenting with for .NET 8. I think this looks great. Mixing client and server is a brilliant concept. Essentially one would be served with server-side Blazor on the first landing. While using the app, a background task would download the client-side stuff, ready to be consumed at any subsequent access. »

On implementing the ASP.NET Core 7 rate-limiting middleware

Today, my last self-assigned duty before the Christmas break was to migrate our in-house rate-limiting implementation (based on the AspNetCoreRateLimiting third-party package) to the new, shiny rate-limiting middleware introduced by ASP.NET Core 7. While the process was relatively straightforward, I stumbled upon a few quirks I want to annotate here. Our use case is simple. We use what the ASP.NET Core 7 documentation defines as a “fixed window limiter.” It uses a specified time window to limit requests. »

First impressions on JetBrains Rider 2022.3 update

Today I upgraded to JetBrains’ Rider 2022.3. Startup speed has been enhanced, and full .NET 7 and C# 11 support is included. So far, my favorite feature is the conversion of regular and verbatim strings into their raw counterparts (it’s often the small, simple things.) My second best is the fulls upport for WSL2 remote development. This one took a good while to come out of the trenches, but better late than never, I’d say. »

My Top 7 New Features in .NET 7

The other day we did a .NET 7 Spotlight event at this month’s DevRomagna meetup. The speakers were Ugo Lattanzi and me. In my session, I chose to talk about my top 7 new features in .NET 7 (pun intended.) What follows is a mix of my preparation notes and what I ended up really saying1. 1. Performance Since the initial release of “new dotnet” (.NET Core), performance has always been a critical goal for the . »

The Origins of Python

Yesterday the creator of the Python language, Guido van Rossum, tweeted about The Origins of Python, an essay by his mentor, Lambert Meertens. “On Sunday, June 21, 1970, in an office building on Great Portland Street in London, a teletype sprang to life. Under the heading “HAPPY FAMILIES,” the machine rattled out a sequence of English sentences, such as “THE DOG SITS ON THE BABY” and “UNCLE TED PLAYS WITH SISTER. »

Software quality is systemic

Jacob Kaplan-Moss’s hot take on software quality: Software quality is more the result of a system designed to produce quality, and not so much the result of individual performance. That is: a group of mediocre programmers working with a structure designed to produce quality will produce better software than a group of fantastic programmers working in a system designed with other goals. This leads to the insightful conclusion: »

My Playwright session at WebDay 2022

If you understand Italian, the recording of my Playwright session at UGIdotNET’s WebDay 2022 is now available on YouTube1. Playwright is a phenomenal cross-browser, cross-platform, cross-language, single-API, mobile-friendly front-end testing tool. I’m looking forward to giving the same session in English sooner or later, but I should first win my laziness and start looking for exciting events with open CFPs. If you happen to know one, please let me know. »

Lay Back and Keep Smiling

Tomorrow we’re releasing a major project on which we’ve been working non-stop for two and a half years. No matter how many years in the trenches, release day always makes me a bit nervous. Experience does help. I know there will be problems, and we will solve them. Some customers will complain, and those will be the most vocal. The vast majority of them will appreciate the effort, enjoy the features, and stay silent. »