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Showing posts from 2013

Moq'ing Successive Calls to a Method

I just ran into a little problem when using Moq - I wanted to be able to mock up the result of a method call, but return a different result each time the mocked method was called (I'm pulling messages out of an MSMQ within a loop). Anyone who's used Moq will know that you usually mock results with the Setup() method - however, Moq has no built in way of achieving this (that I'm aware of).

To cut a long explanation short, I found a series of articles on Phil Haack's blog addressing (almost) the same issue. Phil's second post adds exception handling to his original example, but I wanted to return a "null", rather than throw an exception. Here's the code from Phil's blog, slightly rehashed to deal with nulls:

publicstaticclass MoqExtensions { publicstatic IReturnsResult<T> ReturnsInOrder<T, TResult>(this ISetup<T, TResult> setup, paramsobject[] results) where T: class { var queue = new Queue(results);�…

Getting Unity 3D working with Git on Windows

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Git is a brilliant, yet peculiar beast. It has the most flexibility of any of the VCS's I've used, and it's extremely powerful and quick once you get used to how it works. Suffice to say that I've fallen in love with it over the past year, for both personal and commercial projects, and online services like github and bitbucket just enhance the overall appeal of it. I therefore want to use it as my VCS of choice when developing games... but those who have tried to get Unity and git working together will probably either be dead by their own hand, or crouched in a corner, rocking back and forth in the foetal position.

Unity3D is an entirely different, and possibly more peculiar beast. It's a great tool, and the editor is feature rich, but it's source control compatibility is weak to say the least. I don't know if this is through necessity, or the marketing people at Unity have pressed the developers to make it as complicated as possible in order to sell their …

A Brave New World

Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that when it comes to development, I generally stick to Microsoft or web-based technology, and rarely step outside that comfortable little bubble. I made a promise to myself back in January that I'd get into mobile or games development this year, and finally I've found the time to start looking at one of them.

I'm no ideas man, but occasionally a spark ignites and the juices start flowing. Armed with an idea that's been rattling around in my head for a few years, I spoke to a friend who's been focusing on indie games development, and he suggested using Unity3D, a fully featured game engine that supports C# and JavaScript out of the box (making my learning curve a little bit easier). I told him my idea, and - as geeks do - we spent the next few hours hashing out concepts, and by the end of the night, we were fully bought into the idea. The next step was seeing how Unity would fit in.

So, for the past few months, my good f…

Intelligent SQL Server REORGANIZE and REBUILD Script

I've been doing a lot of database analysis recently, and fortunately I'm one of those people that enjoys it. I'm primarily a .Net developer, but I've spent many years looking after SQL Server databases, helping out (and even educating) DBAs, writing ETL packages and designing both large and complex databases.

The database in question was in pretty bad shape; missing, unnecessary, and extremely fragmented indexes, missing primary and foreign keys, bad normalisation, and (the main reason I decided to look into it) undesired table locks during ETL operations. It's a 24/7 system, and live lookups are performed around the clock - data is imported early in the morning (when usage is at a minimum), which is when most of errors occur.

Amongst many other pre-emptive actions I've recently performed on the database, I decided to set up regular table index maintenance job to keep queries as quick as possible. Unfortunately the database is SQL Server Standard edition, and w…

Handling uploads with MVC4, JQuery, Plupload and CKEditor

I spent a considerable amount of time trying to get MVC to work nicely with various file uploaders while I was writing RustyShark, and I have to admit it's been pretty frustrating at times. On the plus side, it's taught me a lot about how Microsoft MVC works behind the scenes, and allowed me to play with quite a few different uploading tools that're out there.

My upload page on RustyShark has quite a complex model - each review is related to multiple Formats (PS3, 360, DVD, Blu Ray etc), each review / format combination can have multiple images associated with it, and each image has additional meta data attached, such as a caption and an upload date. The upload form is created using a combination of Editor Templates, JQuery and AJAX. I will be stripping down any examples to their bare bones to make things a little clearer.

This article assumes you are familiar with MVC fundamentals such as creating controllers, views and models within Visual Studio 2010 or later, you under…

SSDT With Visual Studio 2012 and Using Custom Assemblies

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SQL Server Data Tools
SSIS 2012 / SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) offers considerable benefits over SSIS 2008 / Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS). The UX is much quicker, smoother, feature rich (undo and redo, woohoo!), and one of the best new features is that we can finally attach the debugger to script components - which has been a bit of an issue in the past. It's not exactly perfect (opening the VSTA environment seems to take a lot longer than it used to, breakpoints are unpredictable, and there are a few little issues surrounding package encryption that I keep running in to), but the improvements are more than welcome, and certainly enhance development.

If you're familiar with SSIS, but you've avoided script tasks / components before, I have to say you're missing out; they're very powerful tools in the right hands, and basically allow you to do anything you can do in a .Net app within the context of a control flow or data flow in a package. Do re…