My book “Learn C# Programming” has been published

I am pleased to announce that my new book, Learn C# Programming, that I co-authored together with Raffaele Rialdi (Microsoft MVP/speaker) and Ankit Sharma (C# Corner MVP/Google Dev Expert/speaker) has been published at PacktPub. The book can be ordered at PacktPub and Amazon (ISBN 9781789805864).

This book is primarily intended for people that want to learn to program in C# for .NET. This book will not teach you the basics of programming but it will teach you the C# language from the very basics to the most advanced topics, and to the latest in C# 8, which is the current version of the language. However, if you are an experienced C# programmer, but want to learn the latest features from C# 8 or how to work with .NET Core, target multiple platforms, and migrate from .NET Framework, this book should be handy for you too.

C++20 atomic_ref

C++11 provides the atomic operations library that features classes and functions that enable us to perform atomic operations using lock-free mechanisms. There are primarily two class templates in this library, std::atomic and std::atomic_flag. The latter, which defines an atomic boolean type, is guaranteed to always be lock-free and is implemented using the lock-free atomic CPU instructions. The former however, may actually be implemented using mutexes or other locking operations. In this article, we will look at a new class template, introduced in C++20, std::atomic_ref.

C++20 designated initializers

The C++20 standard provides new ways to initialize aggregates. These are:

  • list initialization with designated initializers, that has the following forms:
    T object = { .designator = arg1 , .designator { arg2 } ... };
    T object { .designator = arg1 , .designator { arg2 } ... };
  • direct initialization, that has the following form:
    T object (arg1, arg2, ...);

In this article, we will see how list initialization with designated initializers work.

Using Microsoft Edge in a native Windows desktop app – part 2

In the second part of this series, we will see how to use the WebView2 control in a C++ Windows desktop application. We will use a single document interface MFC application that features a toolbar where you can specify an address to navigate to and buttons to navigate back and forward as well as reloading the current page or stopping navigation.

Using Microsoft Edge in a native Windows desktop app – part 1

Earlier this month, Microsoft has released the new version of its Edge browser, based on the Chromium project. The new browser works on Windows 10, Windows 8.x, and Windows 7, as well as macOS, iOS, and Android. If your application display web content, you can use the new Edge browser as the rendering engine. This is made possible through the Microsoft Edge WebView2 control, currently in developer preview. In this series, I will show how you can do this in a C++ Windows desktop application.

C++/CLI projects targeting .NET Core 3.x

The .NET Core framework version 3.1 was released earlier this month, alongside with Visual Studio 2019 16.4 (which you must install in order to use .NET Core 3.1). Among the changes, it includes support for C++/CLI components that can be used with .NET Core 3.x, in Visual Studio 2019 16.4. However, not everything works out of the box. In this article, I will show how you can create and consume C++/CLI components targeting .NET Core 3.1.

Data-driven unit tests for managed code

The Microsoft unit testing code for managed code allows to create test methods that are executed with data automatically fetched from an external data source. This is very helpful because we can extend the data sets without modifying the test code. An external data source can be an SQL database, a CSV file or Excel document, an XML document, or anything else for which a provider for .NET exists. In this article, I will show how you can define test data using all these types of source and execute unit testing methods with it.

This feature is available only for .NET Framework.
At this time, data-driven unit testing from a data source is not supported for .NET Core.

Concepts versus SFINAE-based constraints

In some situations, we need to makes sure function templates can only be invoked with some specific types. SFINAE (that stands for Substitution Failure Is Not An Error) is a set of rules that specify how compilers can discard specializations from the overload resolution without causing errors. A way to achieve this is with the help of std::enable_if.

C++20 Concepts in Visual Studio 2019 16.3 Preview 2

Back in mid-August, Microsoft released the 2nd preview of Visual Studio 2019 16.3. This is the first version of Visual Studio to support concepts from C++20 both in the compiler and the standard library (header <concepts>) without the changes made at the ISO C++ standards meeting in Cologne. These changes are available when you compile with the /std:c++latest switch.

Concepts allow performing compile-time validation of template arguments and function dispatch based on properties of types. Concepts are very useful in libraries where they can be used to impose compile-time checks on the template arguments of functions or types. For instance, a generic algorithm for sorting a container would require the container type to be sortable for the program to even compile.

In this article, I will show an example with a concept that verifies that a type T can be converted to a std::string via a to_string() function, that is either a member of the class or a free function.