Rick Strahl's Weblog  

Wind, waves, code and everything in between...
.NET • C# • Markdown • WPF • All Things Web
Contact   •   Articles   •   Products   •   Support   •   Advertise
Sponsored by:
Markdown Monster - The Markdown Editor for Windows

Dealing with Platform Specific Classes and Methods in CrossPlatform .NET


If you deal with old .NET library code that is sprinkled with some Windows specific code in places you've likely run into places where the Windows specific code is throwing up unwanted compiler warnings. Sometimes that matters, but often times these warnings are annoyances as these methods are highly unlikely to get called from x-platform code. In this post I describe some annoyances, how you can work around them and eventually fix the issues without throwing everything out the window.

Read more...

C# Version String Formatting


I'm tired of trying to format versions for user facing interfaces after fumbling with it again and again. In this short post I show a small helper extension method that lets you configure how to form user friendly version strings to display to end users.

Read more...

Mime Base64 is a Thing?


Ran into an old legacy application recently that required that attached data was preformatted to Mime Base64 which I never even heard of before. Turns out it's a 'url-safe' version of base64 that replaces certain characters that can be present in base64 with 'safe' characters. In this short post I show a small helper that handles several Base64 Mime operations.

Read more...

Speed up your Start Menu by disabling Web Search


If you're like me, you've probably cursed the Windows Start menu from time to time, when it's either very slow to pop up, or in some instances fails to pop up at all when you press the Windows key. This simple tip can drastically improve performance of your Windows Start Menu by simply disabling Web search.

Read more...

ASP.NET Core Hosting Module with Shadow Copy Not Starting: Separate your Shadow Copy Folders!


I recently ran into a major failure related to Shadow Copying for an ASP.NET Web app on IIS which was caused by corruption of the Shadow Copy directories. The app starts with the dreaded white ANCM Error page and event log entries that point at missing application folders. It turns out that this is caused by interference of multiple applications using the same shadow copy folder. In this post I describe the problem and how to work around it.

Read more...

Programmatic Html to PDF Generation using the WebView2 Control with .NET


In this post I describe how to use the Microsoft WebView2 control to automate HTML to PDF generation generically for any kind of Windows application, including services. We'll look at the WebView and it's printing functionality and some of the intricacies that are involved in hosting the WebView control outside of a desktop application context to provide unattended mode even in service context.

Read more...

Comparing Raw ASP.NET Request Throughput across Versions


When I set up a new machine I usually use a small ASP.NET test project to get a feel of performance of the machine and when that happens I also take a moment to compare performance across recent versions of .NET to see how things are improving - and improved they have. Both due to the new hardware I'm using but also ASP.NET continues to bump up performance in every new version that comes out. In this post I describe a simple project with minimal do nothing requests to test the ASP,.NET pipeline locally and how to test these request as well as discussing the results.

Read more...

Reading Raw ASP.NET Request.Body Multiple Times


Some time ago I wrote about accessing raw request body content in ASP.NET Core which ended up being one of the most popular posts on this blog. But I failed to mention one major caveat: By default Request.Body can only be read once. In this post I discuss why frequently when you need raw Request.Body access you actually need to read the body more than once, and you can enable that functionality and deal with the caveats of doing so.

Read more...

Sharing Tab Missing in Windows 11 Folder Properties


For some unfathomable reason, Windows 11 has removed the Sharing Tab on the Explorer Properties Context menu by default. The Sharing Tab allows you to shared folders and drives for remote access. In this post I discuss how to get the Sharing Tab back and also touch on how to make sure your machine can actually accept remote connections so you can share your folders and drives.

Read more...

Working around the WPF ImageSource Blues


The WPF Image control and its ImageSource property can be problematic if you are loading a lot of images in a list. Depending on where you load images from, and how, you can very easily get bogged down with slow, blocking load operations, and memory leaks when the controls are released. In this post I describe a couple of specific problems I ran into loading a sizable list of images from files and show a few ways how to avoid the potential pitfalls related to ImageSource peculiarities.

Read more...

Integrating OpenAI Image Generation into a .NET Application


Image Generation AIs are proving to be very good at creating images that can be used for all sorts of purposes. In this article I discuss how you can integrate image generation right into your own .NET applications using the OpenAI REST API. In addition I'll show how you can integrated this functionality into a larger application and discuss some general thoughts on image AI usage based on some of the experiences from a developer/non-designer user perspective.

Read more...

Embedding a minimal ASP.NET Web Server into a Desktop Application


Did you ever need to embed a Web Server into a non-Web application? In this post I describe how you can use host ASP.NET in a non-Web application and specifically in a WPF desktop app. What do you need, how is it different and some of the issues that you need to consider if you want to use ASP.NET in your non-Web applications.

Read more...

Save Files With Elevated Permissions on UnauthorizedAccessException


If you have an application that generically allows you to edit and save files, you might on rare occasions need to save files in locations that where a regular user account does not have permissions to save. Rather than failing wouldn't it be nice to let the user know and optionally allow saving with elevated permissions? In this post I describe the workflow and implementation on how to do just that.

Read more...

Caching your WebView Environment to manage multiple WebView2 Controls


I've been struggling with rare WebView initialization errors in one of my applications, that have been difficult to debug and track down. After a lot of trial and error I discovered that the problem is related to WebView Environment instantiations that might be stepping on each other. In this post I describe the problem and a solution that involves creating a single WebView Environment and reusing it for all WebView initialization.

Read more...

Rolling Forward to Major Versions in .NET


.NET Core has sophisticated policies that allows your applications that are compiled to specific versions of the .NET Runtime can roll forward to newer versions. You can specify what part of the version to roll forward and that generally works well, except for preview releases which require an extra step.

Read more...

IIS Error 500.19 with ASP.NET Core Application


Running on IIS locally is pretty rare, but if for some odd reason you decide to run IIS locally on your dev machine you might find yourself getting a 500.19 error which relates to an issue in the web.config configuration. The solution is simple enough: Make sure the ASP.NET Core Hosting Module is installed. In this post I describe in more detail what the problem is and why you need a seemingly superfluous extra install to get IIS and ASP.NET Core to cooperate on local dev machine.

Read more...

Dotnet Tool Component not found on the Mac


I've run into this problem a few times: I install a new Mac OS and then install the .NET SDK. A bit later I install a dotnet tool using `dotnet tool install -g` and then try to run it, only to find out that the SDK is not able find it. This post is a note to self on how to fix the pathing for .NET tools to be found correctly and to be able to run your dotnet tools.

Read more...

Map Physical Paths with an HttpContext.MapPath() Extension Method in ASP.NET


ASP.NET Core doesn't have a Server.MapPath() method as classic ASP.NET had, and getting at the root path in Core is a little bit more involved than in those older versions. In this post I describe how to find the application Content and Web root folders and describe a MapPath() helper that simulates the old behavior.

Read more...

A WPF Statusbar Control


Statusbar controls are boring, but because of the way that they are used there are a number of caveats like ensuring the UI updates even in linear code, allowing for timeouts of status messages and resetting to default, and to provide some visual clues to draw attention to the status messages displayed. In this post I talk about a custom status bar control and helper that make it super easy to use a new status bar control or attach additional functionality to an existing status bar.

Read more...

Getting the .NET Desktop Runtime Installed with a Custom Runtime Checker and Installer


I've recently moved my Markdown Monster Desktop Application to .NET 7.0 and I had to make a decision on how to get the Runtime installed or packaged with my application. In this post I review the different deployment modes, the plus's and cons and the solution I ended up with which was to build a custom install wrapper that can check and install the runtime if not already present from an Installer or interactively.,

Read more...

Getting .NET Library Projects to Output Dependent Assemblies


Recent .NET Core versions have changed how .NET Core Library projects output dependencies into the build folder. The new behavior doesn't output depdencies, unlike full framework .NET projects which always automatically dumped dependencies into the build output folder. This isn't a common requirement, but when you need it, the options are sufficiently obscure and this post discusses how you can make your dependencies output into the build folder

Read more...

Implementing Two-Factor Auth using an Authenticator App in ASP.NET


Two factor authentication using Authenticator apps is getting more popular. One advantage of Authenticator 2FA is that you don't need to use a service nor do users have to provide additional bits of personal information. It's easy to implement, doesn't cost anything and also very secure as it uses one-time codes that can't easily be corrupted short of physical take over of a device. In this article I describe how Authenticator based 2FA works in the context of an application without using ASP.NET Identity.

Read more...

Removing the IIS Server Request Header from ASP.NET Core Apps (any version)


ASP.NET Core applications that run on IIS as InProcess output an Server name for IIS into the HTTP headers. If you want to remove the server header, you'll find that the process for IIS is different than for the internally created Kestrel header and you can't use the same approach to remove the header as with Kestrel applications. In this post I discuss why the header behaves differently in IIS and how to remove it regardless of ASP.NET version.

Read more...

Sending and Receiving GMail Email Attachments that contain Code or Binaries


As a developer, you're likely to occasionally send an email with attachments that are either code or binary executable files either as straight files or in a zipped up collection of code or binary files. You'll find that you can't actually send certain types of files or even files embedded in archives and even encrypted archives as most mail servers these days scan file content both before sending and when receiving email. In this post I discuss what works and what doesn't and how you can work around those files that don't work. It ain't pretty...

Read more...

Setting an Absolute Output Path for .NET SDK Projects


By default .NET SDK project dump their final build output into a deeply nested folder structure that describes the build configuration, target, platform and sometimes additional package folders. While that's useful especially for multi-targeted projects. Sometimes you just want your output to go to specific folder without all that noise. In this short post I show you what you need to set in your project file to put your files exactly where you tell them to,

Read more...