Archive for the ‘C# & VS2008’ Category

Deploying C# Setup.exe with .Net 3.5 Redistributable

March 4, 2010

Its annoying for end-users when they have to download the .Net 3.5 Framework via Microsofts site when installing your applications:( So why not deploy your app with the .Net framework included!

Here are the steps to add a Setup project to your VS2008 application packaged with a .Net 3.5 installer.
1. Create a new C# .Net 3.5 project (in my case a Visual C#/Windows/Windows Forms Application).

2. Right click the project title (not the solution title), and go to Properties | Publish | Prerequisites.

  • You will see that Windows Installer and .Net 3.5 are selected as default.
  • Now, check ‘Download prerequisites from same location as my application‘.
  • This avoids the end-user have the massive .Net 3.5 Framework internet based download.
  • Make sure the ‘Create setup program to install prerequisites’ at the top of the window is checked.

3. Right click on the Solution title and go to Add | New Project | Other Project Types | Setup & Deployment. Choose Setup Wizard and then OK.

  • In the setup wizard click Next, choose the 1st option in (VS 2008), ‘Create a setup for a windows application’.
  • Next, choose the project outputs. For this example ‘Primary output from myApp’ will suffice.
  • Next, add a readme file if you want (I did not want), and click Next or Finish.

4. Right click the Setup project title (Setup3pt5 in my case, see pic below), go to Properties | Prerequisites.

  • Check ‘Download prerequisites from same location as my application’.

Setup Prerequisites

Steps 5 – 10….. (more…)

Wow! Directed Network Graphs available in VS 2010 – but no standalone viewer:(

February 2, 2010

VSTS 2010 includes an amazing tool to visualize network graphs based on the DGML (directed graph) xml format. From what i’ve seen, this xml format is almost identical to the commonly used GraphML format (as used by the java and flash based prefuse and flare), at least for the basic attributes (nodes, links, source, target etc.). The tool is part of the VS2010 Architecture Explorer, and allows developers to visualize relationships between code segements/classes.

Unfortunately, it appears that there is no standalone ‘graph viewer’ available outside of VS (microsoft missed out on a trick here, that would have been a brilliant app ability!). The best DGML tutorials and vids are available on the Skinner and Chris Lovett blogs, at least until VS comes out of beta.

On the bright side, iv’e read that DGML is powered by MSAGL – a Microsoft product for automatic graph layout ($99 for a limited time, otherwise $280).

Microsoft Charts (.Net) – Based on Dundas Charts

February 2, 2010

Microsoft Charting Component was released just over a year ago for .Net (ASP and WinForms), and is based on a cut down version of Dundas Charts API, from whom Microsoft have purchased the IP. The download, with a very good sample gallery, is avialable here. Having looked at all the examples, theyre not as smooth or interactive as the native Flex charts, but good enough all the same.

ASP.Net dashboard example and tutorial is available on Michael Ceranskis site.

According to Alex Gorevs blog, the charting components will be integrated into .Net 4 (he also has some good tutorials).

Automatically create Getter Setter in Visual Studio

January 5, 2010

private string directory;

This is your member variable. Highlight and right click on ‘directory’, then choose Refactor/Encapsulate Field.

Produces the following code automatically:

public string Directory
get { return directory; }
set { directory = value; }

Reading a File to a String in C#, including Tabs and Newlines etc.

January 5, 2010

StreamReader sr = new StreamReader(fileName);
fileAsString= sr.ReadToEnd();

This is very handy if you want to compare a string that is to be written to a file, with a file that already exists.
Used it for some unit testing.

IntereString: String Vs string, == or .Equals, @, Stringbuilder

November 19, 2009

A lot of my C# development time involves working with and manipulating strings (a task common to most programmers). Here are some short answers to a few issues/questions I came accross:

String vs string
Lower case string is simply an alias for System.String in the .NET Framework.

== or .Equals
A rule of thumb is that for almost all reference types e.g. objects, use Equals when you want to test equality. == compares whether two references (i.e. object instances) refer to the same object.
Primitive types can be compared for equality using ==, but in the case of strings, the variables on each side of the operators must be of type string.
Have a look at the following code and output, taken from Jon Skeet’s blog.

using System;

public class Test
	static void Main()
        // Create two equal but distinct strings
        string a = new string(new char[] {'h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'});
        string b = new string(new char[] {'h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'});
        Console.WriteLine (a==b);
        Console.WriteLine (a.Equals(b));
        // Now let's see what happens with the same tests but
        // with variables of type object
        object c = a;
        object d = b;
        Console.WriteLine (c==d);
        Console.WriteLine (c.Equals(d));
The results are: 


@ before a string
Using @ before a string means the escape sequences are not processed. This making it easier to write fully qualified path names for example.
@”c:\Docs\Source\a.txt” // rather than “c:\\Docs\\Source\\a.txt”

String objects are immutable, and so editing them, using Replace for example, results in a entirely new string being created, with new memory allocation. The original string is left intact in memory.
The StringBuilder class is designed for situations when one needs to work with a single string and make an arbitrary number of iterative changes to it. New memory allocation is not needed.

Hope this helps, cos it helped me!

VBA to C#: Public, Private and Static Variables in C#

August 17, 2009

Was answering a forum question by a VBA programmer about public, private and static variables in C#. (Create a New>Project in Visual Studio 2008, and choose Visual C#>Console Application, name it PublicPrivateStatic_Test, and paste in the code below.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace PublicPrivateStatic_Test
    class Program
        public int publicInt = 1;
        private int privateInt = 2;
        static private int privateStaticInt = 3;

        public int getPrivateInt()
            return privateInt;

        public void setPrivateStaticInt(int i)
            privateStaticInt = i;
        public int getPrivateStaticInt()
            return privateStaticInt;

    class OtherProgram
        static void Main(string[] args)
            Program p = new Program();
            Program q = new Program();

            Console.Write("Public int is {0}", p.publicInt);
            //Prints 1, as it is public

            //Console.Write("Private int is {0}", p.pirvateInt);
            //Wont Compile as it is a private variable.
            //Need to use p.getPrivateInt(). Prints 1.
            Console.Write("\nPrivate int is {0}", p.getPrivateInt());

            //Console.Write("Private int is {0}", p.pirvateStaticInt);
            //Wont Compile as it is a private variable.
            //Need to use getPrivateStaticInt(). Prints 3.
            Console.Write("\nPrivate Static int is {0}", p.getPrivateStaticInt());

            Console.Write("\nPrivate Static int is now {0}", q.getPrivateStaticInt());
            //Will print 999 instead of 3. Think of a static variable
            //as only existing once, and p and q both reference it. If
            //instance p changes it, then it is also changed for instance q.

            //Keeps the console open until any-key pressed

Console output:

Console output

Console output