sebnilsson.com | Liquid Development Is What I Do
Seb Nilsson

dotnet-cleanup: Clean Up Solution, Project & Folder

We developers like to think of developing software as an exact science, but sometimes, you just need to wipe your source-files to solve some kinds of problems.

For .NET-developers, there are many issues on Stackoverflow which are solved by just deleting your bin and obj-folders. For people using Node.js, probably just as many answers contains the step of removing your node_modules-folder.

Those are some of the reasons why I created dotnet-cleanup, which is a .NET Core Global Tool for cleaning up solution, project or folder. This was made easy by following Nate McMaster's post on getting started with creating a .NET Core global tool package.

Deleted files and folders are first moved to a temporary folder before deletion, so you can continue working with your projects, while the tool keeps cleaning up in background.

Installation

Download the .NET Core SDK 2.1 or later. The install the dotnet-cleanup .NET Global Tool, using the command-line:

dotnet tool install -g dotnet-cleanup

Usage

Usage: cleanup [arguments] [options]

Arguments:
  PATH                  Path to the solution-file, project-file or folder to clean. Defaults to current working directory.

Options:
  -p|--paths            Defines the paths to clean. Defaults to 'bin', 'obj' and 'node_modules'.
  -y|--confirm-cleanup  Confirm prompt for file cleanup automatically.
  -nd|--no-delete       Defines if files should be deleted, after confirmation.
  -nm|--no-move         Defines if files should be moved before deletion, after confirmation.
  -t|--temp-path        Directory in which the deleted items should be moved to before being cleaned up. Defaults to system Temp-folder.
  -v|--verbosity        Sets the verbosity level of the command. Allowed levels are Minimal, Normal, Detailed and Debug.
  -?|-h|--help          Show help information

The argument PATH can point to a specific .sln-file or a project-file (.csproj, .fsharp, .vbproj). If a .sln-file is specified, all its projects will be cleaned.

If it points to a folder, the folder will be scanned for a single solution-file and then for a single project-file. If multiple files are detected an error will be shown and you need to specify the file.

If not solution or project is found, the folder will be cleaned as a project.

Example

To cleanup a typical web-project, you can specify the paths to be cleaned in the projects like this:

cleanup -p "bin" -p "obj"  -p "artifacts" -p "npm_modules"

You can find the source-code on GitHub, the latest builds on MyGet and the package on Nuget.

You can find a great list of more .NET Core Global Tools on GitHub, maintained by Nate McMaster.

API-Versioning in ASP.NET

The ASP.NET Route Versions-library was created after I was inspired by a discussion with a colleague and reading the great article Your API versioning is wrong by Troy Hunt, where he concludes that you don't need a war of preferences between different ways of versioning your API, you can actually support multiple ways in the same API.

In his article, Troy lists 3 ways (to do it wrong), which I have implemented for ASP.NET Core, and added support for one more way, which is URL versioning. This library supports the following ways to version your API:

  • URL versioning
  • Query string versioning
  • Custom request header
  • Content type

URL versioning:

HTTP GET:
https://my-web-app.com/api/v2/customers

Query string versioning:

HTTP GET:
https://my-web-app.com/api/customers?api-version=2

Custom request header:

HTTP GET:
https://my-web-app.com/api/customers
api-version: 2

Content type:

HTTP GET:
https://my-web-app.com/api/customers
Accept: application/vnd.api-version.v2+json

[RouteVersion]-attribute

All you need to do is use the [RouteVersion]-attribute on the Controller-Actions you want to version and provide the route-version as an argument:

[Route("api/v{api-version}/[controller]")]
[Route("api/[controller]")]
[ApiController]
public class CustomersController : ControllerBase
{
    [HttpGet]
    [RouteVersion(1)]
    public ActionResult<string> GetV1()
    {
        return "Get Customers Version 1";
    }

    [HttpGet]
    [RouteVersion(2)]
    public ActionResult<string> GetV2()
    {
        return "Get Customers Version 2";
    }

    [HttpPost]
    [RouteVersion(1)]
    public ActionResult<string> PostV1()
    {
        return "Post Customers Version 1";
    }

    [HttpPost]
    [RouteVersion(2)]
    public ActionResult<string> PostV2()
    {
        return "Post Customers Version 2";
    }
}

The attribute will only resolve versioning between Controller-Actions, everything else is handled by the regular ASP.NET Core routing, and behave as you're used to.

Configuration

In your Startup.cs you can configure what ways of API-versioning you want to support (all activated by default). You can also change the keys of the routing, query string, custom header and content type.

public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
{
    services.ConfigureRouteVersions(options =>
    {        
        options.UseRoute = true;
        options.UseQuery = true;
        options.UseCustomHeader = true;
        options.UseAcceptHeader = true;

        // Set route-name in template used. For example: "api/v{version}/[controller]"
        // Default: "api-version"
        options.RouteKey = "version";

        // Set query string-key used. For example: "/api/customers?v=1"
        // Default: "api-version"
        options.QueryKey = "v"; // To use: '/api/customers?v=1'

        // Set custom version header used. For example: "my-app-api-version"
        // Default: "api-version"
        options.CustomHeaderKey = "my-app-api-version";

        // Set Accept-header vendor used. For example: "application/vnd.my-custom-api-header.v1+json"
        // Default: "application/vnd.api-version.v1+json"
        options.SetAcceptHeader("my-custom-api-header");

        // Set Accept-header regex-pattern. For example: "application/pre.my-custom-vendor-api.v1+json"
        options.AcceptRegexPattern = @"application\/pre\.my-custom-vendor-api\.v([\d]+)\+json";
    });

    services.AddMvc();
}

Default version

If you know that your new version of an API-endpoint is compatible with previous version, and if you want to support it, you can use the IsDefault-parameter with the [RouteVersion]-attribute. For example, if you've just added new fields to the next version and you find that is compatible enough to be the default version of the API-endpoint:

[Route("api/[controller]")]
[ApiController]
public class CustomersController : ControllerBase
{
    [HttpGet]
    [RouteVersion(1)]
    public ActionResult<string> GetV1()
    {
        return "Get Customers Version 1";
    }

    [HttpGet]
    [RouteVersion(2, IsDefault = true)]
    public ActionResult<string> GetV2()
    {
        return "Get Customers Version 2";
    }
}

Then you can make a call to the URL for the API-endpoint without specifying the version and get the default version, which in this example is v2:

HTTP GET:
https://my-web-app.com/api/customers/
> "Get Customers Version 2"

Contributing

You can find the source code on GitHub, the newest unstable build on MyGet and the latest version of the library on NuGet

KeyLocks: Lock .NET/C#-code on Specific Values

If you've ever needed to ensure that multiple threads are not running the same code, you've probably used a lock-statement in your .NET/C#-code.

Sometimes a regular lock can be too aggressive and lock too much running code for too long. You can solve this by cleverly locking on unique objects, but that handling is complex, error-prone and can become tedious.

Many times you know that you have a specific value or ID which is the key you want to lock on. For instance, you might want your code to not write to the database from multiple actions performed in parallel on your web-application. Using the Nuget-package KeyLocks will give you easy to write syntax to handle this:

private static KeyLock<string> _keyLock = new KeyLock<string>();

public void Main()
{
    Parallel.Invoke(
        () => { UpdateData("entity-123", "First new value"); },
        () => { UpdateData("entity-123", "Second new value"); }, // This will await line above
        () => { UpdateData("another-entity-456", "Another new value"); },        
        () => { UpdateData("yet-another-entity-789", "Yet another new value"); });
}

private void UpdateData(string id, string value)
{
    _keyLock.RunWithLock(id, () =>
    {
        // Execute locked code
    });
}

Make sure the instance of KeyLock<T> is shared between threads executing the code you want to lock on. In this case, I solved it by making the instance static and therefore shared across all instances of the code using it.

The package also contains the type NameLock is a short-hand term for KeyLock<string>. It defaults to being case-sensitive, but that can be changed by passing the correct IEqualityComparer<T> as a constructor-argument like this:

var nameLock = new NameLock(StringComparer.InvariantCultureIgnoreCase)

See the README-file on GitHub for the latest detailed information about KeyLocks. Or try it out through Nuget by running Install-Package KeyLocks in your project. You can even follow the absolutely latest build on MyGet.

ASP.NET Core MVC SEO-Framework

Following my last post on my ASP.NET MVC SEO-Framework I started looking at adding support also for ASP.NET Core MVC, with its superior Dependency Injection and Tag Helpers.

The previous post shows examples on how to use attributes to set SEO-specific values for Controller-Actions and in Views, which is also used in ASP.NET Core MVC. What is new to Core MVC is how you register the SEO-helper as a Service for Dependency Injection and use Tag Helpers instead of HTML Helpers.

To register the SEO-helper as a service for Dependency Injection you just need to use the framework's provided extension-method in the ConfigureServices-method inside Startup.cs:

public class Startup
{
    public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
    {
        services.AddMvc();

        services.AddSeoHelper();
    }
}

These SEO-values can easily be accessed and rendered as HTML-tags inside Views through provided Tag Helpers:

<head>
    <seo-title />

    <seo-link-canonical />
    <seo-meta-description />
    <seo-meta-keywords />
    <seo-meta-robots-index />
</head>

To access these Tag Helpers you need to reference them in you _ViewImports.cshtml:

@addTagHelper *, AspNetSeo.CoreMvc
@addTagHelper *, Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.TagHelpers

See the README-file on GitHub for the latest detailed information about this ASP.NET SEO-framework. Or try it out through Nuget by running Install-Package AspNetSeo.CoreMvc or Install-Package AspNetSeo.Mvc in your project. You can even follow the absolutely latest build on MyGet.

ASP.NET MVC SEO-Framework

For any serious web-application you should always implement a solid Search engine optimization-strategy, but there is no standardized way to handle this in ASP.NET MVC, out of the box.

You could easily use the ViewBag-object to send dynamic values from Controller-Actions into Views, like this, for example:

public ActionResult Index()
{
    this.ViewBag.PageTitle = "This is the page title";

    return this.View();
}

Then you'd have to make sure you correctly spell or copy-paste ViewBag.PageTitle correctly into your View:

<head>
    <title>@ViewBag.PageTitle</title>
    <!-- More head-values -->
</head>

One problem is that if you refactor the naming for ViewBag.PageTitle into, for example ViewBag.Title, this will break the functionality, potentially website-wide, because you won't get any tooling-help from Visual Studio for that rename.

This is why I created a framework for ASP.NET MVC SEO, to get structured and reusable functionality around the SEO-data for a web-application. The framework is available on Nuget, with the source-code on GitHub.

Setting SEO-values

You can set SEO-values using the properties on a SeoHelper-object in Controller-Actions and Views, or you can use ActionFilter-attributes in Controllers, to set SEO-related data like:

  • Meta-Description
  • Meta-Keywords
  • Title, split on page-title and base-title (website-title)
  • Canonical Link
  • Meta No-index for robots

This can be done inside Controllers and Controller-Actions:

[SeoBaseTitle("Website name")]
public class InfoController : SeoController
{
    [SeoTitle("Listing items")]
    [SeoMetaDescription("List of the company's product-items")]
    public ActionResult List()
    {
        var list = this.GetList();

        if (list.Any())
        {
            this.Seo.Title += $" (Total: {list.Count})";
            this.Seo.LinkCanonical = "~/pages/list.html";
        }
        else
        {
            this.Seo.MetaRobotsNoIndex = true;
        }

        return this.View(model);
    }
}

If you don't want to inherit from SeoController to get access to the this.Seo-property, you can use the extension-method GetSeoHelper:

public class InfoController : Controller
{
    public ActionResult List()
    {
        var seo = this.GetSeoHelper();

        seo.Title = "Page title";

        return this.View(model);
    }
}

You can even set SEO-values inside Views:

@{
    this.Layout = null;
    this.Seo.MetaRobotsNoIndex = true; // Always block Robots from indexing this View
}

Rendering SEO-values

These SEO-values can easily be accessed and rendered as HTML-tags inside Views through provided HtmlHelper-extensions:

<head>
    @Html.SeoTitle()

    @Html.SeoLinkCanonical()
    @Html.SeoMetaDescription()
    @Html.SeoMetaKeywords()
    @Html.SeoMetaRobotsIndex()
</head>

See the README-file on GitHub for the latest detailed information about this ASP.NET MVC SEO-framework. Or try it out through Nuget by running Install-Package AspNetSeo.Mvc in your project. You can even follow the absolutely latest build on MyGet.