Category: Uncategorized

What is Object Oriented Programming?

Until today I never contemplated what object orientated programming means. I have thought about OOP in the context of writing object oriented code and figuring out how to be better at OOP, but I never really studied its original design and intent. I was listening to a .Net Rocks podcast on the subject of lean functional programming and they had a discussion that led to Dr. Alan Kay’s definition of OOP. Dr. Kay coined the phrase object oriented programming during his work developing the SmallTalk language. Even though he is credited with the term OOP, what OOP became is not the same as he envisioned it.

I did a little research and landed on this email thread between Stefan Ram and Dr. Kay.

Dr. Kay credits his thoughts on OOP to his background in biology and mathematics. He says,

I thought of objects being like biological cells and/or individual computers on a network, only able to communicate with messages (so messaging came at the very beginning — it took a while to see how to do messaging in a programming language efficiently enough to be useful). Dr. Alan Kay, July 17, 2003

Even polymorphism wasn’t a part of the his original thoughts on OOP. He proposed another term to describe behavior in related objects, “genericity.”

He ends the thread by giving his definition of OOP,

OOP to me means only messaging, local retention and protection and hiding of state-process, and extreme late-binding of all things. Dr. Alan Kay, July 23, 2003

Doesn’t this sounds like functional programming?

Even though this is years after Dr. Kay’s original OOP work he may have had changes in thought over the years. Yet, I still believe that his intent is still true here. So it seems that through the years, OOP may have been forked or hijacked. Some argue that we are paying for it today. They say that OOP did not stay true to the OOP of Dr. Kay and his peers in the early days of OOP (am I spamming OOP here?).

Now, I have another reason to learn F#. With the little I know now, I have already started trying to remove the ill affects of mutable state and use message passing to communicate across layers. I know there is so much more to learn and I have been doing this a long time. I look forward to digging into F# maybe even Erlang to see how it can influence my OOP.

Mars Drone

I am proud to announce that I will be finally launching my Mars Drone today. I have been building this project for 5 years. The drone is very small like a drone you would buy in a local store. It is heavily shielded and runs on a proprietary propulsion and energy system. The drone finally passed the final test of its guidance and communications system last week when it returned successfully from a lunar orbit. If all goes well, I will be able to publish pictures of Mars in about nine months.

Here’s to dreaming!

How to install a DLL to the GAC on Windows Server 2012 using only PowerShell (without having to install SDK or Visual Studio)

Easy way to install DLL to GAC without SDK or VS.

Cameron Dwyer

Prior to Windows Server 2012 I had been use to installing DLL files in the Windows Global Assembly Cache (GAC) by either opening the Windows/Assembly folder in Explorer and simply dragging and dropping the file, or by using GacUtil.exe

With Windows Server 2012 unfortunately it’s not quite so easy. Being able to simply open the GAC in Explorer and drag/drop is gone. Also GacUtil.exe is not present on the server by default.

PowerShell to the rescue. Here’s how to register a DLL called “MyDLL.dll” to the GAC (and also how to remove it.

For this example assume we have the “MyDLL.dll” file stored at c:tempMyDLL.dll

To add a DLL to the GAC

1. Run the SharePoint PowerShell console as Administrator

2. Enter the following PowerShell

To remove a DLL from the GAC

1. Run the SharePoint PowerShell console as Administrator

2. Enter the following PowerShell

To view information for a…

View original post 28 more words

C# MEF BrowserFactory for Browser Based Testing

In my browser based test framework I use MEF to help abstract the concept of a browser. The reason I do this is so I am not tied to a specific browser driver framework (e.g. WebDriver, WatiN, System.Net.WebClient). This allows me to change drivers without having to touch my test code. Here’s how I do it.

Browser Interface

First I created an interface that represents a browser. I used a mixture of interfaces from WebDriver and WatiN.

namespace CharlesBryant.TestPipe.Interfaces
 using System;
 using System.Collections.Generic;
 using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
 using CharlesBryant.TestPipe.Browser;
 using CharlesBryant.TestPipe.Enums;
public interface IBrowser
 IBrowserSearchContext BrowserSearchContext { get; }
BrowserTypeEnum BrowserType { get; }
string CurrentWindowHandle { get; }
string PageSource { get; }
string Title { get; }
string Url { get; }
ReadOnlyCollection WindowHandles { get; }
IElement ActiveElement();
void Close();
void DeleteAllCookies();
void DeleteCookieNamed(string name);
Dictionary<string, string> GetAllCookies();
bool HasUrl(string pageUrl);
void LoadBrowser(BrowserTypeEnum browser, BrowserConfiguration configuration = null);
void Open(string url, uint timeoutInSeconds = 0);
void Quit();
void Refresh();
void SendBrowserKeys(string keys);
void TakeScreenshot(string screenshotPath);
void AddCookie(string key, string value, string path = "/", string domain = null, DateTime? expiry = null);

Pretty basic stuff although BrowserSearchContext took some thought to get it working. Basically, this abstraction provides the facility to search for elements. A lot of the concepts here are borrowed from WebDriver and WaitN and are just a way to be able to wrap there functionality and use it without being directly dependent on them. To use this you have to change your tests from directly using a browser driver to using this abstraction. At the start of your tests you use the BrowserFactory to get the specific implementation of this interface that you want to test with.

Browser Factory

Then I created a BrowserFactory that uses MEF to load browsers that implement the browser interface. When I need to use a browser I call Create in the BrowserFactory to get the browser driver I want to test with. To make this happen I have to actually create wrappers around the browser drivers I want available. One caveat about MEF is that it needs to be able to find your extensions so you have to tell it where to find them. To make the browsers available to the factory I added an MEF class attribute, [Export(typeof(IBrowser))] to my browser implementations. Then I add a post build event to the browser implementation projects to copy their DLL to a central folder:

copy $(TargetPath) $(SolutionDir)\Plugins\Browsers\$(TargetFileName)

Then I added a appConfig key with a value that points to this directory to the config of my clients that use the BrowserFactory. Now I can reference this config value to tell MEF where to load browsers from. Below is sort of how I use the factory with MEF.

namespace CharlesBryant.TestPipe.Browser
 using System;
 using System.ComponentModel.Composition;
 using System.ComponentModel.Composition.Hosting;
 using System.Configuration;
 using System.IO;
 using System.Reflection;
 using CharlesBryant.TestPipe.Enums;
 using CharlesBryant.TestPipe.Interfaces; 

 public class BrowserFactory
 private IBrowser browser; 

 public static IBrowser Create(BrowserTypeEnum browserType)
 BrowserFactory factory = new BrowserFactory();
 return factory.Compose(browserType);

 private IBrowser Compose(BrowserTypeEnum browserType)
 this.browser = null; 

 AggregateCatalog aggregateCatalogue = new AggregateCatalog();
 aggregateCatalogue.Catalogs.Add(new DirectoryCatalog(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["browser.plugins"])); 
 CompositionContainer container = new CompositionContainer(aggregateCatalogue);
 catch (FileNotFoundException)
 catch (CompositionException)

 return this.browser;

namespace CharlesBryant.TestPipe.Enums
public enum BrowserTypeEnum


Well that’s the gist of it. I have untethered my tests from browser driver frameworks. This is not fully tested across a broad range of scenarios so there may be issues, but so far its doing OK for me.

The examples above are not production code, use at your own risk.