Friday, January 03, 2014

Few handy things to know in Go Library (Command line arguments, Reflection, Setting Bits, Hash functions)

Command line arguments in Go

In order to access the command line arguments passed to a Go executable, we work with the "flag" package from the standard Go library. Shown below is an example of passing command line arguments.
go run cla.go Krishna
Or if you have an executable obtained from go build, you can run it as
./cla Krishna 
Shown below is an example go snippet that accesses the first argument passed & prints it.
package main

import (
    "fmt"
    "flag"
)

func main() {
 //Without the call to Parse(), arguments may not be accessed
 flag.Parse()
 fmt.Printf("%s\n",flag.Arg(0))
}
Notice that you will have to invoke the call to flag.Parse() without which you will not be able to access the arguments.

Reflection support in Go

We take the previous example, add some code for reflection which will help us understand how reflection library may be used. Just some simple example without having to go deep. For that, read this post from the official Go blog.

So what is the type returned by flag.Arg(0) ? We will start from there and go use some functions.
package main

import (
 "fmt" //regular format package
 "flag" //package from command line arguments
 "reflect" //package for reflection
)

func main() {
 //Without the call to Parse(), arguments may not be accessed
 flag.Parse()
 fmt.Printf("%s\n",flag.Arg(0))

 passed := flag.Arg(0)
 //TypeOf actually returns a Type type
 fmt.Println("typeof : ",reflect.TypeOf(passed))

 //ValueOf actually returns a Value
 fmt.Println("valueof : ",reflect.ValueOf(passed))

 //Example functions from the Value type
 fmt.Println("type: ",reflect.ValueOf(passed).Type())
 fmt.Println("kind: ", reflect.ValueOf(passed).Kind())
 fmt.Println("interface:", reflect.ValueOf(passed).Interface())
}

Big Integer & Set Bits

In the future post, I would like to implement a Bloom filter in Go but for that I will need to know how to do the following:
- Create a big number and set some bit "x" to 1 or 0.
- Accept a string, convert it to byte array, then hash the byte array.

To support the above, I wanted to see how simple big numbers would work. I am only looking enough to support my purpose. 

Big Numbers (multi-precision numbers) are supported using "math/big" package in Go library. Shown below is an example code that does that.
package main

import ( 
   "fmt"
   "math/big"
   "unsafe"
)

func main() {
 
 //create a new big integer
 filter := big.NewInt(0)

 fmt.Println("filter value: ",filter)
 
 //accessing the sizeof from unsafe package
 fmt.Println("size of : ",unsafe.Sizeof(filter))
 
 //example of how to cast uintptr to int
 filter.SetBit(filter,int(unsafe.Sizeof(filter)*8)-1,1)
 
 fmt.Println("filter after setbit last to 1 : ",filter)
}

The above example shows a few things:
- Creating an instance of big.Int using the NewInt() call.
- Accessing the size of the big.Int using unsafe package exported SizeOf() function
- SizeOf() returns uintptr and we convert that to integer - that is a good example of casting
- How to set bit on the big.Int using SetBit

Working with Hash functions

Example below demonstrates the following
  • how to convert a string to a byte array
  • how to use FNV Hash from the standard Go library
package main

import (
 "fmt"
 "hash/fnv"
)

func main() {
        //Create a hash fnv function
 hash := fnv.New32()
 
 name := "Krishna"

 //converting string to byte array
 namebytes := []byte(name)

 fmt.Println("hash reset : ",hash.Sum32())
 
 hash.Write(namebytes)

 fmt.Println("hash of Krishna : ",hash.Sum32())

 hash.Reset() //resets the hash

 fmt.Println("hash reset : ",hash.Sum32())

 //write again
 hash.Write(namebytes)
 
 fmt.Println("hash of Krishna : ", hash.Sum32())
}
Hash libraries in the Go "hash" package implements the Hash interface. The implementations in the standard Go library as of this time are adler32, crc32, crc64, fnv-1/fnv-1a. The above example creates an instance of FNV hash, writes a byte array to it and then gets the value through Sum32() call. You can "forget" what is written to it by Reset() function which will allow you to reuse the hash instance.

I am newly learning Go and along the way sharing some things that I learnt. If you know of a better way to accomplish what I have shared here, please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Working with "Packages" in Go language

Packages in Golang

The specification states that all source files for a package be stored in the same directory.
You can import a package as shown below.

import "fmt"

In this case, the Printf method may be accessed as fmt.Printf(). All other identifiers exported by the package is also accessible as fmt.XXXX().

You can also do the following.

import f "fmt"
In this case, the qualifier is "f" instead of the default "fmt". So you access as "f.Printf()".

One other way is the following.
 import . "fmt" 
In this case, you dont need a qualifier for the exported identifiers from the fmt package. You may also use the blank identifier (underscore : _) as the qualifier name for cases where you wish the initialize the package but not necessarily import its exported identifiers.
Source files of a package have an init() function. See below for more details.
The previous example of a simple Web Server is now split into two files
//GoWebServer.go
package main

import f "fmt"

//init() is a special function that gets initialized.
func init(){
 f.Printf ("Package Initialized\n")
}

func main() {
 f.Printf("Web Server will be started at port 8080\n")
 runWebServer()
}
//WebServerHelper.go

package main

import (
 . "fmt"
 "io"
 web "net/http"
)

func init(){
 Printf("Initializing WebServerHelper.go \n")
}

func runWebServer(){
 rootHandler := web.HandlerFunc(func(w web.ResponseWriter, r *web.Request) {
  io.WriteString(w, "Hi there, I love "+r.URL.Path)
 })

 srv := web.Server{
  Handler: rootHandler,
  Addr:    ":8080",
 }
 srv.ListenAndServe()
}
Few things that I learnt when trying to make this work.
- You need to specify all the files required for your main program to build properly. So you may
go build
Or you may run
go build *.go
- You can also specify output to be generated as
go build -o output/gowebserver
Or be more explicit
go build -o output/gowebserver *.go
- Go complier does not like if a package is imported but not used. This is good. I cannot tell how annoying i find C# using statements that are just there but no one really uses them.

Notice that both the files have an init() function defined and when I build everything and run the program, the output is as follows:
Package Initialized
Initializing WebServerHelper.go 
Web Server will be started at port 8080

Such init() functions may be defined multiple times even in the same source file & the execution order is unspecified/undefined. So we should not write our initialization logic based or the execution order.
And init() cannot be called by anyone else. Packages are initialized only once. So if you import packages P & Q but Q also imports P, then P is initialized only once.

Package initialization is comprised of variable initialization (package level variables are all assigned initial values) & invocation of init() functions - performed one package at a time in a single go routine.

See below for a basic program that indicates the above said sequence - variable initialization followed by init() method.
package main

import "fmt"

//x := 2000
var x int = 2000

func init(){
 var y int = x
 fmt.Printf("X value is %d\n",y)
}

func main(){ }

x is a global variable (which by the way cannot use the shortcut notation that is commented) that is initialized to 2000 and that is what gets printed when the program is executed.

Local Packages in Go

When you say
import "fmt" 
the package "fmt" is looked for in the standard Go tree. Then it is looked for in "$GOPATH/pkg" directory where $GOPATH is the environment variable set to some directory on your machine. Commands such as "go get" also looks for this directory. You can read more about it here (look for Go path). So what about local packages - the one you do not want to put in GOPATH but leave it in the current directory for your application? To make this work, I renamed the package declaration (which originally was main) for the WebServerHelper.go as
package ws
Then I created a folder with the same name as the package & placed the .go file in the folder. Then my import statements on the GoWebServer.go (the main file) has changed to
import (
 f "fmt"
 ws "./ws"
)
Notice the "./ws" declaration. So the import "XXX" statement says look for "XXX" file path. So without "./" it was looking in standard GO tree, then it looks at GOPATH. If there was a "./", it was just looking at the local directory. You may also give absolute paths. Also you don't need to build this directory specially. Just have your main file compile and you are good.

One other things that I had to change in the code to make the application work as before.
- In packages, if your function is to be exported, then it should start with upper case. In general, a field or a function or other identifiers within a package that starts with upper case letter are exported.

So if you are trying to make the previous code run (after the directory changes as described above), you will get the following

./GoWebServer.go:15: cannot refer to unexported name ws.runWebServer
./GoWebServer.go:15: undefined: ws.runWebServer

So just change the name of the function to "RunWebServer" & it becomes exported and ready to use.

That's it for now!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Writing some Go! code

This post is my notes when writing some code in Go lang. To start off, I will write a Hello World program in Go language.  See below.
package main

import "fmt"

func main(){
 messageToPrint := "Welcome to Go!"
 fmt.Printf(messageToPrint + "\n")
}

Now to run this, you can do one of the following :
go run HelloWorld.go
OR

go build HelloWorld.go
In the first case, "go run" compiles the program and runs it. It does not create an executable as such. (It could be creating a temporary executable somewhere.) The second command actually builds an executable which you can run. Go also has a tool called "gofmt" which you can run directly as gofmt or can run as
go fmt HelloWorld.go 
. The formatting tool formats your source code so that it matches the Go-defined formatting. This is a good thing as each one of us need not invent our own coding conventions. Gofmt can also be used to perform some code refactoring. In order to perform a rename variable, the following command does the trick.
gofmt -l -w -r 'messageToPrint -> mesg' ./HelloWorld.go 
The above command would rename the messageToPrint variable as mesg. In general, you pass 'pattern -> replaceWith' style of commands when using the -r option. More information on what gofmt -r can be used for is available in this presentation  

Writing a Web Server in Go!

The following code snippet shows a Web Server that is written in Go! and also shows how to write anonymous functions in Go!
package main

import (
 "fmt"
 "net/http"
)

func main() {
 fmt.Printf("Web Server will be started at port 8080\n")
        //See below for anonymous function
 http.HandleFunc("/", func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
  fmt.Fprintf(w, "Hi there, I love %s!", r.URL.Path)
 })
 http.ListenAndServe(":8080", nil)
}

Now a better way (in my opinion) to write the same code as above is shown below.
package main

import (
 "fmt"
 "net/http"
)

func main() {
 fmt.Printf("Web Server will be started at port 8080\n")
 rootHandler := http.HandlerFunc(func(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
  fmt.Fprintf(w, "Hi there, I love %s!", r.URL.Path)
 })

 srv := http.Server{
  Handler: rootHandler,
  Addr:    ":8080",
 }

 srv.ListenAndServe()
}

In this example, we are actually creating an instance of a Http Server as opposed to the previous example where the http global helper methods were used to start the Http Web Service.

I was just curious to see how well this naive web service performs. Using apache bench, when I run 10000 requests at concurrency level of 100-700, the sample (stupid) program can serve around 5000 requests/second on my age old laptop. Just for kicks, the server in Go is atleast 5 times faster for each request as compared to the nodejs http server.

Back to Go! ..

  1. Package has to be "main" for your main program. Otherwise, it does not work.
  2. Passing -x flag to your helper commands such as "go run", "go fmt" or "go build" will display the complete output and the commands internally executed.
  3. The "go build" has all compiler optimizations enabled.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hello World! with Scala Web Application using Play 2.0 and Scalate

In this post, we will look at how to make a hello-world web application in scala using the Play 2.0 Web Framework and change the template engine to work with Scalate. We assume your machine is all set up with Java and Scala configured.

Step 1 : DOWNLOAD AND CONFIGURE Play 2.0

Download the Play Framework 2.0 from http://download.playframework.org/releases/play-2.0.4.zip. Then extract the zip file to some location. I put mine at C:\Development\tools\play-2.0.4\. It is usually a good idea to leave the version number intact so as to easily know what version of any tool you are currently having on your machine.

The configuration portion is pretty simple – Update your PATH environment variable to include the root directory of the play-2.0.4 folder which has the “play.bat” (I am running windows).

To verify, launch your command line or powershell and type the command “play”. You should see something like shown below.

image

Step 2 : CREATE A NEW PLAY 2.0 WEB APPLICATION

Using command line (change directory – cd), go to a folder where you wish to place your application. Run the following command

play new helloworld-scalate

Here helloworld-scalate will be my application name.

Then from the command line go into the “helloworld-scalate” folder. And then run the following command.

play run

The first time you run, it takes a few seconds to initialize the project and upon success, you will see on-screen instructions that the application is hosted at 9000 port on localhost.

image

Verify by opening your browser and loading http://localhost:9000

You should see a welcome page.

Step 3 : INTEGRATING SCALATE INT YOUR APPLICATION

I found the proper instructions to do this here. But I will repeat them again.

Go to helloworld-scalate\project\Build.scala

3.a Add the following lines to appDependencies.

"org.fusesource.scalate" % "scalate-core" % "1.5.3"

What did we do? What we are doing is to add a dependency on scalate-core in an SBT friendly style. Play 2.0 takes care of fetching this dependency through its repositories which is listed at helloworld-scalate\project\plugins.sbt


To verify if things are fine, go back to command line and run the command


play run


You should see that SBT updates the dependencies. Just verify if your application can still be browsed from localhost:9000.



3.b Add ScalaIntegration.scala to helloworld-scalate\app\lib


You will need to create a folder “lib” inside helloworld-scalate\app folder. And then from the URL given below copy the content into a new file – ScalaIntegration.scala


https://raw.github.com/janhelwich/Play-2-with-Scala-and-Scalate/master/app/controllers/ScalateIntegration.scala


This does the necessary bootstrapping such that you can now use scalate in the current project.


Run the “play run” command again and reload the page at localhost:9000 to make sure you haven’t made a mistake.



Step 4 : UPDATE VIEWS & ACTION WITH TEMPLATE OF YOUR CHOICE


Scalate supports multiple template engines like Jade, Mustache, Scaml. The documentation indicates that Scaml gives the best performance given the strongly typed nature. But I might have misread the docs so read and check yourself.


To do this, rename your files inside “helloworld-scalate\app\views” folder such that extension is changed from .scala.html to .scaml. Note that you will see two files – the layout file (main) and the view file (index).


In the main.scaml, add the following code.

-@ var body: String
-@ var title: String = "Page"

%html
%head
%title= title
%body
!= body

In the index.scaml, add the following code.

-@ var message: String = "Page"
/Layout template file given here
-attributes("layout") = "main.scaml"

%h1= message

Notice that in the index.scaml, we specified that we want to apply the main.scaml layout using the attributes(“layout”) declaration.


You also need to change the application controller which is inside the helloworld-scala\app\controllers\application.scala


The Application controller has an action called “index” which is the one that gets executed when you were loading the browser. We need to change this action such that it renders using Scalate instead of the default one.

package controllers

import play.api._
import play.api.mvc._

object Application extends Controller {

def index = Action {
//Ok(views.html.index("Your new application is ready."))
Ok(Scalate("index.scaml").render(‘message -> "Hello World"))
}
}

As you can see in the index action, I commented the existing line added this one line.


Ok(Scalate("index.scaml").render(‘message-> "Hello World"))


Please pay attention to the ‘ in front of the title. Here the ‘message is a symbol literal. You can read more about them here. 


Now run the “play run” command again and you should see plain html page that prints “Hello World”.


I hope this step-by-step helped you get started with a new play 2.0 web application in Scala and also made you familiar with integrating the scalate engine. Note that the original url which I mentioned earlier has the same steps but step 4 where default Scalate template type is specified in the <application folder>\conf\application.conf is not performed. I skipped this step and it doesn’t appear that it will cause any problems. But again, after reading this tutorial, if you are a beginner, then you and I are at the same level so please feel free to explore more and learn.


Thanks!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Useless experiment with Asynchronous Procedure Calls from C#

While Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and gave me a full week of vacation without electricity and internet, I gathered enough motivation to read through the very good book – concurrent programming on Windows by Joe Duffy. So here, I came across the Asynchronous Procedure Calls and what they mean. So this post is just a journal about me trying to do something clever (actually stupid) and sharing my madness with others.

From what I learnt, an asynchronous procedure call (APC) is just a procedure that you can queue and request the OS that this procedure be performed on a particular thread. But that particular thread may be executing something right? So the question is when will the APC be executed? The answer for that is “it will be executed on the thread when it enters an ‘alertable wait’ state”. So what is an alertable wait?

Consider the code below.

void IExecuteOnAThread(){
lock(syncLock){
while(conditionIsNotMet)
Monitor.Wait(syncLock);
}
}

In the above snippet, the thread is actually waiting on the syncLock. When some other thread that makes the conditionIsNotMet as false and does a Pulse() on the syncLock, this current thread shall wake up and proceed with its execution.


Now back to “alertable wait” –> If a thread enters an alertable wait, then it can wake up properly (like in the case above) or can wake up for some other reason. This is how APC gets executed. When an APC gets queued on a thread, the OS will execute this APC the moment it finds that thread in an “alertable wait”.


So while I think about this concept, it stuck to me (given that I am not that smart) to run a simple experiment. Usually, we queue work items into ThreadPool to get executed. Now the execution can happen in parallel so there is no order guarantee. In some cases, I would like to execute some asynchronous operations “in-order”; as queued; in the background (for whatever reason). In these cases, we typically use some kind of “executor” classes where a queue is almost always involved and some thread/threads wait for the work to be queued and execute them one by one – classic Producer/Consumer style.


So what I wanted to try was to take advantage of APC and get away from not having to write any code to implement executors.



  • I would simply create an “Executor” which has one thread which is always in an alertable wait state (Note that CLR takes care of making sure the Waits are resumed properly in case of any spurious wake-ups)
  • The OS will take care of executing my operations one-by-one.

Note: For those who cannot wait till the end, do not do this – it is not worth it. I am just doing it because Sandy hit my head pretty hard.

 public class StupidExecutor
{
delegate void ApcProc(UIntPtr dwParam);

[DllImport("kernel32.dll")]
static extern uint QueueUserAPC(ApcProc pfnApc, IntPtr hThread, UIntPtr dwData);

[DllImport("kernel32.dll")]
static extern IntPtr GetCurrentThread();

private readonly AutoResetEvent _waiter = new AutoResetEvent(false);
private IntPtr _threadId = IntPtr.Zero;

public StupidExecutor()
{
new Thread(WaitForApc).Start(null);
}

public void Stop()
{
_waiter.WaitOne();
}

private void WaitForApc(object none)
{
_threadId = GetCurrentThread();
_waiter.WaitOne();
}

public void QueueWork(Action action)
{
//while (Thread.VolatileRead(ref _threadId) == IntPtr.Zero)
// Thread.Sleep(0);
var localAction = action;
ApcProc apcProc = ((z) => localAction());
QueueUserAPC(apcProc, _threadId, UIntPtr.Zero);
}
}

When the StupidExecutor gets created, a thread is launched which when started waits for a signal on a Auto Reset Event. This will make the thread wait because it is non-signalled and will remain so until Stop is executed on the executor. The executor has one method “QueueWork” which takes a delegate.


So the usage of the stupid executor is as shown:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
var executor = new StupidExecutor();
double[] avg = {0.0};
int size = 1000;
for (int j = 0; j < size; j++)
{
var queued = DateTime.UtcNow;
executor.QueueWork(() => avg[0] += (DateTime.UtcNow - queued).TotalMilliseconds);
}
Console.ReadLine();
Console.WriteLine("Average Latency : "+avg[0]/size);
}

So the intention was to measure the latency (again not really the most efficient way). And I see an average latency of around 2 ms. So this must be a great way! Not really! First of all, for a lot of reasons like state corruption among other things this should not be done. Moreover, you are passing managed delegates to native code. So GC can always kick in. So to prove it, I am changing the sample size from 1000 to 100000.


Firstly, it wouldn’t work and you will be greeted with a nice dialog.


image


So run it in debug mode and you will get a nice little MDA called “CallbackOnCollectedDelegate" shall be raised. This simply says that the delegate you passed to native code is GC’d already.


image


Or even this:


image


So the experiment which was doomed to fail did fail. Long story short – don’t mess with your threads.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A 5 min survey

Those who are unfortunate to see this post, can you please take this quick survey (7 questions)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Real World Example : Simple Publish/Subscribe Pattern with Reactive Extensions

Shown below is a requirement.

Let me explain a little about what I want to achieve. I have an entity called “Frequent” which implements INotifyPropertyChanged interface. So I can subscribe to the change notification and then upon firing the event, I simply increment a counter. Now, my requirement is that the PropertyChanged can fire way too quickly as simulated in the for-loop. So in UI applications, it doesn’t make sense for me to fire property changed events that frequently as in a real world intensive WPF application, this can become your biggest bottleneck (among several others things).

So my requirement is that, within 1 second, I would like to receive only 1 change notification per property, if it has changed indeed. The simple implementation for this would be to do something like pushing the properties that have changed into a queue and process the queue once a second and then raise change notification event. This can be done very easily but then it can be a little tedious job for such a requirement to restrict an event from firing more than X times a second.

So I was looking at the Reactive Extensions (Rx Framework) and it occurred to me that it should support Observer pattern out of the box. So I started playing with it but hit a road block immediately. There are numerous resources that shows how to generate observables from Timers, Time Intervals, Enumerables, etc but what I want to is to take advantage of extension methods supported by Rx Framework on IObserver such as Throttle(), Buffer(), Window(), etc on a simple Pub-Sub system. May be I did not look hard enough but I could not find a simple example. So I thought it would be helpful for rest of the people like me if I made a blog post.

In my implementation, the Frequent object is by itself a Publisher and a Subscriber. In Rx terms – IObservable and IObserver. Instead of implementing these interfaces, I want to have some observable of strings where I will publish a property that has changed and the subscriber on the observable would receive it. So for that purpose of simple message passing between Observers and Observables, you can use a Subject<T>. There are other variants like ReplaySubject<T>, BehaviorSubject<T>, AsyncSubject<T>, etc. but that is out of scope of this post. I publish on Subject<T> and then the subscribers who subscribed earlier to it would be notified of these messages.

Shown below is a the Frequent class implementation.

Take a minute or two to go through the simple class, it is self explanatory. All I am doing is that when a property changes, instead of firing it immediately, I simply notify my throttler about the property that has changed. The throttler’s responsibility is to determine when to notify the subscribers about this change. Shown below is the implementation.

You can read my comments that I wrote out of frustrations. All I do in this simple fa├žade is to wrap an Observable –> Subject<string> and buffer the messages received for 1/2 second and then get unique messages from the buffer and publish it to the subscribers. This is all done in the constructor. The other methods are simply my take on making things simple for the consumer of this class.

Rx is complex and powerful but in my opinion it has a very steep learning curve. But it surely did save a good few days of implementation for my team. Again, I am very new to Rx, so if you have some better ways to do it, then please let me know.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Hannspad Hannspree SN10T2 – Rooting, Android Market and Some Crazy stuff

Recently the Android Tablet bug bit me which led me to buy Hannspad Hannspree SN10T2 from AliExpress.com. The order was made on the day of Thanksgiving and I received the tablet within two weeks. The whole goal was to get a cheap tablet on which I can try installing custom ROM, may be try and develop some applications. But turns out it is not that simple. See the Slatedriod.com forums has custom ROM but for SN10T1 model but not SN10T2 model – which runs on two different processors. So all the cool stuff I read about that people do with SN10T1 is not applicable for SN10T2 – example being booting the tablet in recovery mode. There are not hard volume buttons that lets me boot into recovery console. I tried all different combinations instead of missing Volume + button but the recovery key sequence remains unknown.

Connecting the Hannspad Tablet to Windows 7 x64

Hooking up the USB cable to the Windows 7 machine doesn’t really install the drivers. You can still be able to copy files around once you enable the USB File Transfer on the tablet. If you are new like me, just drag the notifications bar on top of the tablet and the instructions then are clear enough for you to know what to do. So first time you hook up the tablet, you get the message saying OMAP-3/4 driver is not found. Don’t even fight it, there is a really simple way to install the driver for the tablet.

  1. Download Super One Click from Shortfuse.org. The direct link to what I am using is here. It is version 2.3.1.
  2. Extract the zip file to some place you have your portable applications. I put it in temp but now I have a problem deleting the folder because driver was installed from this location??
  3. Launch SuperOneClick.exe and then click on Advanced Tab.
  4. Click on Check Driver.
  5. Then say OK for installation of the driver.
  6. Accept Windows warning about unsigned driver and move on.

What this driver lets you do is to let ADB (Android Debug Bridge or visualize like a remote shell access for your tablet unix system) identify that this device is hooked up and running.

Rooting the SN10T2 (may work for other tablets too!)

If you search for information on how to root the SN10T2, the first thing you see is the article by Sir Shagsalot (Winking smile). It has precisely what you need to do in order to enable Super User access for the programs running on your Android Tablet. Since the information is not so eye-soothing, I will try to replicate the information. But be aware

  1. The information here is from the article I mentioned above plus my experience struggling with the Tablet.
  2. I am not an Android Expert – I am just a software developer who writes software for a living mostly on Windows Platform.
  3. Don’t blame me for any physical or mental or financial pain that may cause as a result of following this information.
  4. Rooting implies the warranty is void. You cannot bitch about your tablet to your vendor anymore. Not my problem again Smile

Option 1 : Using the same SuperOneClick

If you followed the previous steps, you can use SuperOneClick to Root your device.

Option 2 : Using z4Root 

  1. Download the z4root.apk and place it in your SD Card on the tablet.
  2. On the tablet, go to Menu->Settings->Application Settings and check the option for Unknown Sources.
  3. Now go to Home->Applications->ES File Explorer.
  4. Navigate to the z4root.apk wherever you copied it.
  5. Install the APK file.
  6. Then open the z4root application.
  7. You will see two options –> Temporary Root or Permanent Root. If your application is already rooted, you will see the option to Unroot.
  8. I selected Permanent Root.
  9. Then wait until you see “Rebooting..”. If the tablet doesn’t reboot in say 10 minutes, I would not bother to wait. Just restart the tablet manually. It is fine!

The Android SDK Tools

Basically, rooting gives you Super user access and lets you access the shell from ADB console. The super one click application distributes the ADB console application if you poke inside the installation folder.

Anyway for you to officially get the ADB application, you can download the Android SDK from here. 

  1. Download the Android SDK.
  2. Download the Java Development Kit, if you don’t have it already. You need JDK not JRE.
  3. Install JDK. Install Android SDK.
  4. Now in the Android folder (C:\Program Files(x86)\Android\android_sdk\), launch the SDK Manager application. See image below.
  5. You need to check “Android SDK Tools” and then click “Install Packages”.
  6. Once done, you will find a folder called “platform-tools”.

image

Some fun with ADB.

  • Open command prompt and assuming platform-tools is in your PATH.

    (Of course, the table is connected to the machine, USB Debugging enabled on the tablet).

  • Listing all the devices – adb devices
  • Opening the Unix Shell for your tablet – adb shell
  • Copying files from your PC to the device
    • For SD Card, you don’t need to mount as it is already mounted for “Read-Write”. Just run the command -
      • adb push c:\myfiles\superdocument.pdf /sdcard/
    • For copying to /system/app folder, which you may have to do for manual installation of Google Apps and Market
      • Go to the shell of tablet using “adb shell”. Now inside the shell,
      • Mount the /system using the command
        • mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/mmcblk0p5 /system
      • Copy the files you want to push to /system/app, using
        • push c:\files\superapp.apk /system/app/
      • Unmount the /system using the command
        • mount -o remount,ro /dev/block/mmcblk0p5 /system
      • Make sure you unmount once you are done.
  • Reboot the tablet from Windows – adb reboot
  • Copying files from your tablet to the PC – adb pull \sdcard\super.pdf c:\temp\goodbook.pdf

Installing the Android Market on the SN10T2

You can follow the original instructions from top to bottom that Sir ShagsALot wrote here. I will just use the ADB to install the Android Market application.

  • Root your tablet either using SuperOneClick or Z4Root as described previously. Reboot your tablet.
  • Download the required Google Apps distribution from the link mentioned in the article.
  • Extract them to some place on your machine.
  • Make sure ADB is in your PATH. Open the Command Prompt and navigate to the folder where you extracted the googleapps.rar archive.
  • You should see something like shown below.

image

  • Navigate the command prompt into the “app” folder.
  • Using the ADB shell, first mount the /system on your tablet. Then run the following commands to push APK files to /system/root/
    • c:\temp\Working Google Apps\app> adb push GoogleServicesFramework.apk /system/app
    • c:\temp\Working Google Apps\app> adb push OneTimeInitializer.apk /system/app
    • c:\temp\Working Google Apps\app> adb push SetupWizard.apk /system/app
    • c:\temp\Working Google Apps\app> adb push com.android.vending.apk /system/app/Vending.apk
    • Notice the Application for Market is renamed to Vending.apk (don’t think you need to do this, but everyone else uses Vending.apk) Smile
    • Shown below is the command prompt snapshot for your reference

image

  • From the above you should have understand by now that I am only interested in making the Android Market work.
  • Don’t forget to un-mount the /system and also reboot the device as soon as you are done copying.
  • Once the tablet boots, you will be seeing a welcome screen.
  • Just go through the welcome screen and add your google account.
  • Now go to Market and make sure it runs.

Some issues that I had

  • ES File Explorer –> Menu –> Settings –> Root Options. Check the “Root Explorer” failed with message "sorry, test failed. This feature cannot run on your phone” message. So what is the alternative ? Use ADB, it might sound intimidating but it is just a simple Shell prompt. If you are messing around your tablet, most likely you are comfortable with the command prompt.
  • There is a great tool called “File Expert”. It is one tool that impressed me a lot! It is similar to ES File Explorer but much better looking and much easier and intuitive to use. You can upload files from your PC without having to connect your tablet.
    • Install File Expert. You can get it from the App Center that ships with the SN10T2 as well.
    • Launch File Expert. Go to “Share my contents”.
    • Just touch on the “Share via Web” option. Viola!
    • Now you should see a brief message explaining how you can access your tablet SD Card from the Web Browser.
  • Uploading multiple files from File Expert Web UI. You cannot upload more than one file when you are in the root of the SD Card. But create one folder and then you would be able to upload multiple files simultaneously.
  • MOUNT Options in File Expert does not work and can make you believe that it worked. So what is the alternative?? Use ADB.
  • If you manually move some files to /system/app in File Expert of ES File Manager, you may believe it was successfully copied, but they aren’t really done. You don’t see an error that /system has to be mounted.
  • If you are messing with different versions of Google Apps, the one in the link by Sir ShagsALot is the only one I found to be working. If you mess up, then remove the APK files from the /system/app manually.
  • I copied bad APK files and was stuck with Emergency dial screen. So what I realized later was that SetupWizard was badly renamed. So I removed the APK files and copied them keeping the name intact.
  • Again, if you are stuck with wizard screen and reboot doesn’t help, use ADB to delete the APK file.
  • Android Market app is installed but launches and dies immediately. You need to make sure GoogleServicesFramework.apk is properly installed/copied into /system/app folder. When in doubt, repeat the process after taking some break.
  • Android Market App launches but cannot download application. The application page seems to be stuck at “Starting download…”. This only happened when I installed incompatible version of Android App Market.

So these are all the things that I struggled with this week and I hope anyone like me who is new to Android Rooting may find this information helpful. By the way, don’t forget to check out SlateDroid. They are awesome!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

WPF Events to Command redirection using System.Windows.Interactivity

As mentioned previously, I recently used System.Windows.Interactivity library to make a command respond to an event on WPF controls without using any code-behind. In this post, I would give a brief overview and show some code on how to do it. I will try and keep the post to the point and not write anything about hooking up events with code or anything like that. Usual disclaimer applies – I am not entirely familiar with the internals but I know how to make it work and why it works.

So lets start with my simple requirement. I have a text box and as I enter I want to fire a command which processes the text and displays it on a textblock. Of course you can hook up both the controls to the same property in the ViewModel and with .NET 4.0 you can be sure that the getter will fire again when NotifyPropertyChanged is fired. But that is not the point here.

My XAML would simply have a textbox and a textblock. On textbox.TextChanged event fired, I would like to execute a command in my view model. The XAML is shown below.

<UserControl x:Class="Buddi.Training.Advanced.Interactivity.EventToCommandDemo"
xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
xmlns:mc="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006"
xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/expression/blend/2008"
xmlns:local="clr-namespace:Buddi.Training.Infra"
xmlns:i="clr-namespace:System.Windows.Interactivity;assembly=System.Windows.Interactivity">
<Grid Background="Beige">
<Grid.RowDefinitions>
<RowDefinition Height="100"/>
<RowDefinition Height="100"/>
</Grid.RowDefinitions>
<TextBox Text="{Binding SampleCommandParam,UpdateSourceTrigger=PropertyChanged}" Margin="20">
<i:Interaction.Triggers>
<i:EventTrigger EventName="TextChanged">
<local:EventToCommand Command="{Binding SampleCommand}"
CommandParameter="{Binding SampleCommandParam}"/>
</i:EventTrigger>
</i:Interaction.Triggers>
</TextBox>
<TextBlock Text="{Binding Message}" Grid.Row="1" Padding="30" FontFamily="Consolas" FontWeight="14"/>
</Grid>
</UserControl>


You need to see how I am hooking up the event to the command in viewmodel which is the DataContext of the View (UserControl to be precise). Lets disect what we have here - We add an event trigger to the TriggersCollection on the Grid using the Interactivity.Triggers attached properties. An event trigger comes with the System.Windows.Interactivity.dll assembly. So add a reference to that library using the "Add Reference" dialog. The Event Trigger then expects an action that can be anything that derives from the TriggerAction<FrameworkElement> class. The TriggerAction derived class should implement one method called "InvokeCommand(object parameter)". The implementation simply takes care of executing the command which are passed to the DependencyProperty we defined in the EventToCommand class. Note that TriggerAction is a DependencyObject, thereby it allows you define Dependency Properties to take full advantage of the Binding, Styles, Animations and what not. So the trigger action is simple - (the following is a special implementation where I handle RoutedCommand different than the others, this is just my scenario and is typically bad - you are programming to the implementation which is not a good idea, but the plan here is to show how you can use the base.AssociatedObject).


namespace Buddi.Training.Infra
{
public class EventToCommand : TriggerAction<FrameworkElement>
{
public ICommand Command
{
get { return (ICommand)GetValue(CommandProperty); }
set { SetValue(CommandProperty, value); }
}

public static readonly DependencyProperty CommandProperty =
DependencyProperty.Register("Command", typeof(ICommand), typeof(EventToCommand), new UIPropertyMetadata(null));




public object CommandParameter
{
get { return (object)GetValue(CommandParameterProperty); }
set { SetValue(CommandParameterProperty, value); }
}

// Using a DependencyProperty as the backing store for CommandParameter. This enables animation, styling, binding, etc...
public static readonly DependencyProperty CommandParameterProperty =
DependencyProperty.Register("CommandParameter", typeof(object), typeof(EventToCommand), new UIPropertyMetadata(null));



protected override void Invoke(object parameter)
{
if (Command == null) return;
if (Command is RoutedCommand)
{
var rc = Command as RoutedCommand;
if (rc.CanExecute(CommandParameter, base.AssociatedObject))
{
rc.Execute(CommandParameter, base.AssociatedObject);
}
}
else
{
if (Command.CanExecute(CommandParameter))
Command.Execute(CommandParameter);
}
}
}
}


That's it! you can now program to the events using the commands that you already have. This lets you keep your code-behind clean and write more testable code than ever. I hope this is useful inspite of it not being the best of the articles. By the way, almost every MVVM framework out there provides an implementation of Event To Command action -eg : Caliburn, Cinch, you name it ... but not always it is possible for us to use a third party framework just for this one reason. In such cases, I thought it is good to know that you can acheive it just by using Microsoft's assembly.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Working (around) with MSpecs

I just started playing with Machine.Specifications (MSpecs). Overall I am very satisfied with the project but I did ran across some issues - dont get me wrong, it works great but it was more like limitations because I was lame and using Express edition.
My specs are simple - I am trying to create a Dependency Injection Container that does absolutely very little, not as powerful as Unity or any other containers. I dont plan to use it anywhere - just am trying to create one for fun. So the specifications are simple (for now).
 
Mapping Interface to Type, MappingInterfaceToType
  » should allow creating instance of type registered
  
  In case of multiple constructors, pick the one with injection attribute, MultipleConstructorScenario
  » should create instance whose Value property is 20
  
  Container should support singleton instances, SingletonScenario
  » should return the same instance for every invocation
  
  Inner container should be supported, SupportForInnerContainer
  » should return registration from parent and itself


Simple right? Those are the output for my specifications. It it still under works but the output itself explains a lot - thats the power of the MSpecs. Business Analysts write requirements, gives specifications - This can be changed - they give us the requirements and we "program" the specifications. I know it appears to be some rewired Unit Testing, but if unit tests can give me a bunch of specifications and tell me what failed, I would be more than happy to use that.


Now lets write a specification from scratch. Look at the following simple C# code.
 public class Singleton { }
        public class Transient
        {
            public Singleton SingletonInstance { get; private set; }
            public Transient(Singleton ins)
            {
                SingletonInstance = ins;
            }
        }

I would like to register the Singleton class as - singleton and the transient class as - transient. So my specification is, instances of transient whose dependency is a singleton should get the same instance. So that becomes my "Subject"


[Subject("instances of transient whose dependency is a singleton should get the same instance.")]
public class InjectionOfSingletonForTransientResolution
{
}

Now to verify that specification, I need to "establish a context" which is that I need my container to be ready for use.
 Establish context = () =>
 {
            _builder = new TypeBuilder();
 };

Now that context is established, I will just write my specification. I create two instances and both my instances should have the same instance of Singleton.
It Should_Use_The_Same_Instance_when_creating_dependent_Components = () =>
{
            var instance1 = _builder.Resolve();
            var instance2 = _builder.Resolve();
            instance1.ShouldNotEqual(instance2);
            instance1.SingletonInstance.ShouldNotBeNull();
            instance2.SingletonInstance.ShouldNotBeNull();
            instance1.SingletonInstance.ShouldEqual(instance2.SingletonInstance);
};

But you know this would not happen just like that. I have my context and I know what it should do. I need to tell it why it should do that - that specification would pass "because I am registering dependency as singleton and instance as transient". So I add my reasons on why (or when) the specification would pass.
Because I_Am_Making_A_Dependency_Registration_As_Singleton_And_TestSubject_As_Transient = () =>
{
            _builder.Register(new Singleton());
            _builder.Register();
};

The whole specification would look like shown below.
[Subject("instances of transient whose dependency is a singleton should get the same instance.")]
    public class InjectionOfSingletonForTransientResolution
    {
        static ITypeBuilder _builder;

        public class Singleton { }
        public class Transient
        {
            public Singleton SingletonInstance { get; private set; }
            public Transient(Singleton ins)
            {
                SingletonInstance = ins;
            }
        }

        Establish context = () =>
        {
            _builder = new TypeBuilder();
        };

        Because I_Am_Making_A_Dependency_Registration_As_Singleton_And_TestSubject_As_Transient = 
        () =>
        {
            _builder.Register(new Singleton());
            _builder.Register();
        };

        It Should_Use_The_Same_Instance_when_creating_dependent_Components = () =>
        {
            var instance1 = _builder.Resolve();
            var instance2 = _builder.Resolve();
            instance1.ShouldNotEqual(instance2);
            instance1.SingletonInstance.ShouldNotBeNull();
            instance2.SingletonInstance.ShouldNotBeNull();
            instance1.SingletonInstance.ShouldEqual(instance2.SingletonInstance);
        };
    }

When I first run this my specification failed because my container does not handle that yet.
 instances of transient whose dependency is a singleton should get the same instance., InjectionOfSingletonForTransientResolution
  » Should Use The Same Instance when creating dependent Components (FAIL)
  Machine.Specifications.SpecificationException: Should be [not null] but is [null]
     at Machine.Specifications.ShouldExtensionMethods.ShouldNotBeNull(Object anObject) in d:\BuildAgent-03\work\38fe83de684fd902\Source\Machine.Specifications\ExtensionMethods.cs:line 181
     at Analytics.Specifications.Container.InjectionOfSingletonForTransientResolution.<.ctor>b__2() in C:\Users\bhargav\documents\visual studio 2010\Projects\Analytics\Analytics.Specifications\Container\TypeBuilderSpecs.cs:line 159
     at Machine.Specifications.Model.Specification.InvokeSpecificationField() in d:\BuildAgent-03\work\38fe83de684fd902\Source\Machine.Specifications\Model\Specification.cs:line 75
     at Machine.Specifications.Model.Specification.Verify() in d:\BuildAgent-03\work\38fe83de684fd902\Source\Machine.Specifications\Model\Specification.cs:line 53

I fix my container and now I see my specification pass.

One thing to remember is what ever you are working off - your context - it should be static - otherwise the compilation would fail. when looking at others examples, I had a similar question - so here I am telling you upfront.

Running specifications without leaving Visual Studio - No test runners are required.


All my specifications are in a separate class library. I would like to run the specifications without leaving Visual Studio (btw, I am using Express). I remember once upon a time I could make a class library as a startup project and somehow linked NUnit gui runner with the project. I could not get it done with VC# 2010 Express anymore. May be I am missing something. Anyway the solution was to add the following Post-Build event

image

Once my specifications project it built successfully, it automatically generates a nice output. You can use all command line arguments that mspec supports, for now I only care if they pass or fail, hence the simple one.

Debugging my specifications. It was painful


I tried all different strategies like using System.Diagnostics.Debugger.Break() and what not. ConsoleRunner that comes with mspec (mspec.exe) was crashing complaining that it encountered an user defined breakpoint in the code - yeah that was my intention. Anyway to work around that, I create a console program and in the console application, I added reference to my specifications library and from the Git Hub source code for the mspec.exe (thanks to OSS) the following C# code helped me overcome my limitation of not being able to use R# or TestDriven.Net.
 class ContainerSpecsRunner
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            //Console.WriteLine(typeof(ITest).Assembly.Location);
            Program prog = new Program(new DefaultConsole());
            prog.Run(new[] { typeof(ITest).Assembly.Location });
        }
    }

ITest is a type that was defined in my specifications assembly. That way I need not worry about any arguments or hardcode path of my assembly. By the way, at work you might be killed for doing this, I am just doing it at my personal projects.

Some samples?


Ok the biggest problem I had was that I could not find some real world examples, the GIT HUB structure of the project was confusing as hell. I was hoping to find some examples, but I could not. As much as I like the project, I hate to see so little or almost non-existent guidance for new users. So here are some of my specifications. These are written by me - I am just learning the style of specs so forgive me if they are not what you wanted them to be. I am just trying to help.
public interface ITest{
    }

    public class Test: ITest{
        [Injector]
        public Test()
        {

        }
    }

    [Subject("Mapping Interface to Type")]
    public class MappingInterfaceToType
    {
        static ITypeBuilder _builder;

        Establish context = () =>
        {
            _builder = new TypeBuilder();
        };

        Because of = () =>
        {
            _builder.Register();
        };

        It should_allow_creating_instance_of_type_registered = () =>
        {
            var resolvedObject = _builder.Resolve();
            resolvedObject.ShouldNotBeNull();
            typeof(Test).ShouldEqual(resolvedObject.GetType()); 
        };
    }

    [Subject("In case of multiple constructors, pick the one with injection attribute")]
    public class MultipleConstructorScenario
    {
        public class Test2 : ITest
        {
            public int Value { get; private set; }
            public Test2(ITest demo)
            {
                Value = 10;
            }

            [Injector]
            public Test2()
            {
                Value = 20;
            }
        }

        static ITypeBuilder _builder;
        Establish context = () => {
            _builder = new TypeBuilder();
        };

        Because of = () =>
        {
            _builder.Register();
        };

        It should_create_instance_whose_Value_property_is_20 = ()=>
{
            var instance = _builder.Resolve();
            instance.ShouldBeOfType();
            (instance as Test2).Value.ShouldEqual(20);
        };
    }

    [Subject("Container should support singleton instances")]
    public class SingletonScenario
    {
        static ITypeBuilder _builder;

        Establish context = () =>
        {
            _builder = new TypeBuilder();
        };

        Because instance_Is_Registered = () =>
        {
            _builder.Register(()=>new Test());
        };

        It should_return_the_same_instance_for_every_invocation = () =>
        {
            _builder.Resolve().ShouldEqual(_builder.Resolve());
        };
    }

    [Subject("Inner container should be supported")]
    public class SupportForInnerContainer
    {
        static ITypeBuilder _builder;
        static ITypeBuilder _child;
        Establish context = () =>
        {
            _builder = new TypeBuilder();
            _child = _builder.CreateChildBuilder();
        };

        Because instance_is_registered_with_child_container = () =>
        {
            _builder.Register(new int[] { 0, 1, 2 });
            _child.Register();
        };

        It should_return_registration_from_parent_and_itself = () =>
        {
            var arr = (int[])_child.Resolve();
            arr.SequenceEqual(new[] { 0, 1, 2 }).ShouldBeTrue();
            _child.Resolve().ShouldBeOfType();
        };
    }


Would be nice if it can print my "Because" field names


Just like the console runner prints my "It" fields, it would be nicer if my reasons are printed. I will see if i can do that myself to the project and may contribute a little.


I hope the examples are useful. By no means they are perfect but they can get you started. You can see in the example I detailed in the beginning, I had a whole bunch of Should statements = that is plain wrong. Each specification should define one thing - otherwise it would be a big mess. Please look at this great project and I really am in love with MSpec.