Using C# 5 caller info attributes when targeting earlier versions of the .NET framework

Caller info attributes are one of the new features of C# 5. They’re attributes applied to optional method parameters that enable you to pass caller information implicitly to a method. I’m not sure that description is very clear, so an example will help you understand: static void Log( string message, [CallerMemberName] string memberName = null, [CallerFilePath] string filePath = null, [CallerLineNumber] int lineNumber = 0) { Console.WriteLine( "[{0:g} - {1} - {2} - line {3}] {4}", DateTime.

Little known new features in Visual Studio 2012

Visual Studio 2012 RC is out since last week, and even though I didn’t have much time to play with it yet, I think I like it so far. Lots of things have already been said about the design, and about the most important new features, but there are also many smaller and less remarkable improvements that make life easier for us. Since I have seen little or nothing written about those, I thought I would make a list of what I noticed so far.

[WPF] Using Linq to shape data in a CollectionView

WPF provides a simple mechanism for shaping collections of data, via the ICollectionView interface and its Filter, SortDescriptions and GroupDescriptions properties: // Collection to which the view is bound public ObservableCollection People { get; private set; } ... // Default view of the People collection ICollectionView view = CollectionViewSource.GetDefaultView(People); // Show only adults view.Filter = o => ((Person)o).Age >= 18; // Sort by last name and first name view.SortDescriptions.Add(new SortDescription("LastName", ListSortDirection.

[WPF] Creating parameterized styles with attached properties

Today I’d like to share a trick that I used quite often in the past few months. Let’s assume that in order to improve the look of your application, you created custom styles for the standard controls: OK, I’m not a designer… but it will serve the purpose well enough to illustrate my point ;). These styles are very simple, they’re just the default styles of CheckBox and RadioButton in which I only changed the templates to replace the BulletChromes with these awesome blue tick marks.

[WPF 4.5] Subscribing to an event using a markup extension

It’s been a while since I last wrote about markup extensions… The release of Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview, which introduces a number of new features to WPF, just gave me a reason to play with them again. The feature I’m going to discuss here is perhaps not the most impressive, but it fills in a gap of the previous versions: the support of markup extensions for events. Until now, it was possible to use a markup extension in XAML to assign a value to a property, but we couldn’t do the same to subscribe to an event.

Tail recursion in C#

Regardless of the programming language you’re using, there are tasks for which the most natural implementation uses a recursive algorithm (even if it’s not always the optimal solution). The trouble with the recursive approach is that it can use a lot of space on the stack: when you reach a certain recursion depth, the memory allocated for the thread stack runs out, and you get a stack overflow error that usually terminates the process (StackOverflowException in .

[WPF] Display an animated GIF image

Note: The code in this article is out of date; the current code is hosted on GitHub. WPF is a great technology, but sometimes it seems to be missing some really basic features… A frequently mentioned example is the lack of support for animated GIF images. Actually, the GIF format itself is supported by the imaging API, but the Image control only shows the first frame of the animation. Many solutions to this problem have been proposed on technical forums and blogs, usually variations of the following approaches:

[WPF] How to bind to data when the DataContext is not inherited

The DataContext property in WPF is extremely handy, because it is automatically inherited by all children of the element where you assign it; therefore you don’t need to set it again on each element you want to bind. However, in some cases the DataContext is not accessible: it happens for elements that are not part of the visual or logical tree. It can be very difficult then to bind a property on those elements…

[Entity Framework] Using Include with lambda expressions

I’m currently working on a project that uses Entity Framework 4. Even though lazy loading is enabled, I often use the ObjectQuery.Include method to eagerly load associated entities, in order to avoid database roundtrips when I access them: var query = from ord in db.Orders.Include("OrderDetails") where ord.Date >= DateTime.Today select ord; Or if I also want to eagerly load the product: var query = from ord in db.Orders.Include("OrderDetails.Product") where ord.Date >= DateTime.

[WPF] A simpler Grid using XAML attribute syntax

The Grid control is one of the most frequently used containers in WPF. It allows to layout elements easily in rows and columns. Unfortunately the code to declare it, while simple to write, is made quite awkward by the use of the property element syntax: <Grid> <Grid.RowDefinitions> <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/> <RowDefinition Height="5"/> <RowDefinition Height="*"/> </Grid.RowDefinitions> <Grid.ColumnDefinitions> <ColumnDefinition Width="60" /> <ColumnDefinition Width="*" /> </Grid.ColumnDefinitions> <Label Content="Name" Grid.Row="0" Grid.Column="0" /> <TextBox Text="Hello world" Grid.