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Archive for November, 2009

.NET Reflection Made Fast & Simple – Fasterflect 1.1 Release

November 19th, 2009 7 comments

I’m pleased to announce that version 1.1 of Fasterflect, the fast & simple .NET reflection invocation library, is already released in CodePlex. The download include Fasterflect binary, code documentation, benchmark application source, sample code, unit test source (95%+ coverage, can be used to learn about all usage aspect of Fasterflect).

For an introduction to Fasterflect, including its design, APIs, and benchmark, please refer to this Code Project article.

Changes since version 1.0 beta (the one documented in the Code Project article) include:

  • Support array types (construction, set element, get element)
  • Support structs
  • Support ref/out parameters
  • Support lookup by covariant parameter type
  • Inference of parameter types for non-null arguments
  • Several bug fixes

Sample Code

class PersonClass
{
    private int id;
    private int milesTraveled;
    public int Id
    {
        get { return id; }
        set { id = value; }
    }
    public string Name { get; private set; }
    private static int InstanceCount;

    public PersonClass() : this(0) {}

    public PersonClass(int id) : this(id, string.Empty) { }

    public PersonClass(int id, string name)
    {
        Id = id;
        Name = name;
        InstanceCount++;
    }

    public char this[int index]
    {
        get { return Name[index]; }
    }

    private void Walk(int miles) 
    {
        milesTraveled += miles;
    }

    private static void IncreaseInstanceCount()
    {
        InstanceCount++;
    }

    private static int GetInstanceCount()
    {
        return InstanceCount;
    }
    
    public static void Swap(ref int i, ref int j)
    {
        int tmp = i;
        i = j;
        j = tmp;
    }
}
struct PersonStruct
{
    private int id;
    private int milesTraveled;
    public int Id
    {
        get { return id; }
        set { id = value; }
    }
    public string Name { get; private set; }
    private static int InstanceCount;

    public PersonStruct(int id) : this(id, string.Empty) { }

    public PersonStruct(int id, string name) : this()
    {
        Id = id;
        Name = name;
        InstanceCount++;
    }

    public char this[int index]
    {
        get { return Name[index]; }
    }

    private void Walk(int miles) 
    {
        milesTraveled += miles;
    }

    private static void IncreaseInstanceCount()
    {
        InstanceCount++;
    }

    private static int GetInstanceCount()
    {
        return InstanceCount;
    }
    
    public static void Swap(ref int i, ref int j)
    {
        int tmp = i;
        i = j;
        j = tmp;
    }
}
class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        // Load a type reflectively, just to look like real-life scenario
        var types = new[]
                        {
                            Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetType("FasterflectSample.PersonClass"),
                            Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetType("FasterflectSample.PersonStruct")
                        };
        Array.ForEach(types, type =>
                                 {
                                     ExecuteNormalApi(type);
                                     ExecuteCacheApi(type);
                                 });
    }

    private static void ExecuteNormalApi(Type type)
    {
        bool isStruct = type.IsValueType;

        // Person.InstanceCount should be 0 since no instance is created yet
        AssertTrue(type.GetField<int>("InstanceCount") == 0);
        
        // Invokes the no-arg constructor
        object obj = type.Construct();

        // Double-check if the constructor is invoked successfully or not
        AssertTrue(null != obj);

        // struct's no-arg constructor cannot be overriden, thus the following checking
        // is not applicable to struct type
        if (!isStruct)
        {
            // Now, Person.InstanceCount should be 1
            AssertTrue(1 == type.GetField<int>("InstanceCount"));

            // What if we don't know the type of InstanceCount?  
            // Just specify object as the type parameter
            AssertTrue(type.GetField<object>("InstanceCount") != null);
        }

        // We can bypass the constructor to change the value of Person.InstanceCount
        type.SetField("InstanceCount", 2);
        AssertTrue(2 == type.GetField<int>("InstanceCount"));

        // Let's invoke Person.IncreaseCounter() static method to increase the counter
        // In fact, let's chain the calls to increase 2 times
        type.Invoke("IncreaseInstanceCount")
            .Invoke("IncreaseInstanceCount");
        AssertTrue(4 == type.GetField<int>("InstanceCount"));

        // Now, let's retrieve Person.InstanceCount via the static method GetInstanceCount
        AssertTrue(4 == type.Invoke<int>("GetInstanceCount"));

        // If we're not interested in the return (e.g. only in the side effect), 
        // we don't have to specify the type parameter (and can chain the result).  
        AssertTrue(4 == type.Invoke("GetInstanceCount")
                            .Invoke("GetInstanceCount")
                            .Invoke<int>("GetInstanceCount"));

        // Invoke method receiving ref/out params, we need to put arguments in an array
        var arguments = new object[] { 1, 2 };
        type.Invoke("Swap", 
            // Parameter types must be set to the appropriate ref type
            new[] { typeof(int).MakeByRefType(), typeof(int).MakeByRefType() },
            arguments);
        AssertTrue(2 == (int)arguments[0]);
        AssertTrue(1 == (int)arguments[1]);

        // Now, invoke the 2-arg constructor.  We don't even have to specify parameter types
        // if we know that the arguments are not null (Fasterflect will internally retrieve type info).
        obj = type.Construct(1, "Doe");

        // Due to struct type's pass-by-value nature, in order for struct to be used 
        // properly with Fasterflect, you need to convert it into a holder (wrapper) first.  
        // The call below does nothing if obj is reference type so when unsure, just call it.
        obj = obj.CreateHolderIfValueType();

        // id and name should have been set properly
        AssertTrue(1 == obj.GetField<int>("id"));
        AssertTrue("Doe" == obj.GetProperty<string>("Name"));

        // Let's use the indexer to retrieve the character at index 1
        AssertTrue('o' == obj.GetIndexer<char>(1));

        // If there's null argument, or when we're unsure whether there's a null argument
        // we must explicitly specify the param type array
        obj = type.Construct(new[] { typeof(int), typeof(string) }, new object[] { 1, null })
            .CreateHolderIfValueType();

        // id and name should have been set properly
        AssertTrue(1 == obj.GetField<int>("id"));
        AssertTrue(null == obj.GetProperty<string>("Name"));

        // Now, modify the id
        obj.SetField("id", 2);
        AssertTrue(2 == obj.GetField<int>("id"));
        AssertTrue(2 == obj.GetProperty<int>("Id"));

        // We can chain calls
        obj.SetField("id", 3).SetProperty("Name", "Buu");
        AssertTrue(3 == obj.GetProperty<int>("Id"));
        AssertTrue("Buu" == obj.GetProperty<string>("Name"));
         
        // How about modifying both properties at the same time using an anonymous sample
        obj.SetProperties(new {
                                  Id = 4, 
                                  Name = "Nguyen"
                              });
        AssertTrue(4 == obj.GetProperty<int>("Id"));
        AssertTrue("Nguyen" == obj.GetProperty<string>("Name"));

        // Let's have the folk walk 6 miles (and try chaining again)
        obj.Invoke("Walk", 1).Invoke("Walk", 2).Invoke("Walk", 3);

        // Double-check the current value of the milesTravelled field
        AssertTrue(6 == obj.GetField<int>("milesTraveled"));

        // Construct an array of 10 elements for current type
        var arr = type.MakeArrayType().Construct(10);

        // Get & set element of array
        obj = type.Construct();
        arr.SetElement(4, obj).SetElement(9, obj);

        if (isStruct) // struct, won't have same reference
        {
            AssertTrue(obj.Equals(arr.GetElement<object>(4)));
            AssertTrue(obj.Equals(arr.GetElement<object>(9)));
        }
        else 
        {
            AssertTrue(obj == arr.GetElement<object>(4));
            AssertTrue(obj == arr.GetElement<object>(9));
        }

        // Remember, struct array doesn't have null element 
        // (instead always initialized to default struct)
        if (!isStruct)
        {
            AssertTrue(null == arr.GetElement<object>(0));
        }
    }

    private static void ExecuteCacheApi(Type type)
    {
        var range = Enumerable.Range(0, 10).ToList();

        // Let's cache the getter for InstanceCount
        StaticAttributeGetter count = type.DelegateForGetStaticField("InstanceCount");

        // Now cache the 2-arg constructor of Person and playaround with the delegate returned
        int currentInstanceCount = (int)count();
        ConstructorInvoker ctor = type.DelegateForConstruct(new[] { typeof(int), typeof(string) });
        range.ForEach(i =>
        {
            object obj = ctor(i, "_" + i).CreateHolderIfValueType();
            AssertTrue(++currentInstanceCount == (int)count());
            AssertTrue(i == obj.GetField<int>("id"));
            AssertTrue("_" + i == obj.GetProperty<string>("Name"));
        });

        // Whatever thing we can do with the normal API, we can do with the cache API.
        // For example:
        AttributeSetter nameSetter = type.DelegateForSetProperty("Name");
        AttributeGetter nameGetter = type.DelegateForGetProperty("Name");

        object person = ctor(1, "Buu").CreateHolderIfValueType();
        AssertTrue("Buu" == nameGetter(person));
        nameSetter(person, "Doe");
        AssertTrue("Doe" == nameGetter(person));

        // Another example
        person = type.Construct().CreateHolderIfValueType();
        MethodInvoker walk = type.DelegateForInvoke("Walk", new[] { typeof(int) });
        range.ForEach(i => walk(person, i));
        AssertTrue(range.Sum() == person.GetField<int>("milesTraveled"));
    }

    public static void AssertTrue(bool expression)
    {
        if (!expression)
            throw new Exception("Not true");
        Console.WriteLine("Ok!");
    }
}

Combres – WebForm & MVC Client-side Resource Combine Library

November 4th, 2009 Comments off

Combres (i.e. Combine-Resources), is a very easy-to-use library which can be used to automate many steps that you would have to do yourself when applying many performance optimization techniques in your MVC and Web Form ASP.NET applications. This library is formerly known as ASP.NET MVC Client-side Resource Combine Library until I decided to retire that boring and lengthy name. Combres is also a major upgraded over the previous version. In a nutshell, the following features are supported by Combres:

  • Organize resource files, including JavaScript and CSS, into separate resource sets, each may share the same or use different configuration settings.
    • ConfigConfiguration settings are specified in an XML file which is monitored by Combres so that changes get noticed and applied immediately.
    • Resource files can be static files in the web server, dynamically generated files, or remote files from external servers or web applications.
  • Allow files in resource sets to be combined, minified, and gzipped before sending to browser. All is done using 1 single HTTP request per resource set. (Refer to Yslow’s performance rules #1, #4 and #10 to know why this is useful.)
    • The minification part is performed by the great YUI Compressor library.
  • Generate proper ETag and Expires/Cache-Control headers for every response as well as support server-side caching. (Refer to Yslow’s performance rules #3 and #13 to know why this is useful.)
  • Integrated with ASP.NET routing engine and thus work equally well for both ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET WebForm applications.
  • Support Debugging mode, which won’t cache or minify contents at all to facilitate debugging.
  • Extensibility via the filtering architecture. Anyone can easily add more functionality to the Combres engine by writing a custom filter. There are 2 built-in filters in the 1.0 beta release, which I will describe in this article.

I wrote about how to use and enhance this library in this Code Project article.

You can also get the binary, source code and sample from these links: