Extension methods in C#

Introduction

Extension methods in C# allow you to extend the functionality of types that you didn’t write and don’t have direct access to. They look like integral parts of any built-in classes in .NET, e.g.:

DateTime.Now.ToMyCustomDate();
string.ToThreeLetterAbbreviation();

You can extend the following types in C#:

  • Classes
  • Structs
  • Interfaces

You can extend public types of 3rd party libraries. You can also extend generic types, such as List of T and IEnumerable of T. You cannot extend sealed classes.

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Check available number of bytes in an input stream in Java

In this post we saw how to read the bytes contained in an input stream. The most common way to achieve it is by way of one of the read methods. The overloaded version where we provide a target byte array, an offset and a total byte count to be read is probably used most often.

It can happen in real-life situations that we provide the total number of bytes to be extracted but those bytes have not yet “arrived”, i.e. are not yet available in the input stream. This can occur when reading the bytes from a slow network connection. The bytes will eventually be available. The read method will block the thread it’s running in while it is waiting for the bytes to be loaded.

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Reading text files using the Stream API in Java 8

We discussed the Java 8 Stream API thoroughly on this blog starting here. We mostly looked at how the API is applied to MapReduce operations to analyse data in a stream.

The same API can be applied to File I/O. Java 8 adds a new method called “lines” to the BufferedReader object which opens a Stream of String. From then on it’s just standard Stream API usage to filter the lines in the file – and perform other operations on them in parallel such as filtering out the lines that you don’t need.

Here’s an example how you can read all lines in a file:

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Extending class definitions with partial classes in C# .NET

The ‘partial’ keyword helps you divide your classes into multiple files within the same namespace. One obvious usage of partial classes is to split the definition of a large type into smaller chunks. You cannot just use the partial keyword with classes but methods as well.

The partial classes will reside in two – or more – different cs files in the same namespace. Say you have a partial Customer class in the project-name/domains folder:

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TCP level communication with C# .NET

.NET has the necessary objects to enable TCP-level messaging in the System.Net.Sockets namespace. The key objects to build an extremely simple TCP server are TcpListener and Socket. The TCP client and server can communicate in a stream-like fashion over the network using the NetworkStream object.

Here’s an example of how a TCP server can ingest the message of a single client:

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Replacing substrings using Regex in C# .NET: date format example

Say your application receives the dates in the following format:

mm/dd/yy

…but what you actually need is this:

dd-mm-yy

You can try and achieve that with string operations such as IndexOf and Replace. You can however perform more sophisticated substring operations using regular expressions. The following method will perform the required change:

private static string ReformatDate(String dateInput)
{
	return Regex.Replace(dateInput, "\\b(?<month>\\d{1,2})/(?<day>\\d{1,2})/(?<year>\\d{2,4})\\b"
		, "${day}-${month}-${year}");
}

Calling this method with “10/28/14” returns “28-10-14”.

View all posts related to string and text operations here.

Monitor the file system with FileSystemWatcher in C# .NET

In this post we’ll look at how you can use the FileSystemWatcher object to monitor the Windows file system for various changes.

A FileSystemWatcher object enables you to be notified when some change occurs in the selected part of the file system. This can be any directory, such as “c:\” or any subdirectory under the C: drive. So if you’d like to make sure you’re notified if a change occurs on e.g. “c:\myfolder” – especially if it’s editable by your colleagues – then FileSystemWatcher is a good candidate.

Consider the following Console application:

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