Powershell special characters and tokens

Aug 22nd, 2018

It is hard to web search for Powershell’s interpretation of $?, |, –% or whatnot but Neolisk has created a nice list.

Read here: http://www.neolisk.com/techblog/powershell-specialcharactersandtokens

Classes

Concise: https://xainey.github.io/2016/powershell-classes-and-concepts/

Watch Your code become intermediary C# before becoming CLR

Aug 5th, 2018

Go to https://sharplab.io and start typing away in the left screen. The internediary code or IL is presented in the right.

The code you write can be in C#8, F# or VBnet. The output can be the input (try `using` to see how it is just a shorthand for `try…catch`).

The output is C#, F# and Vbnet; but you can also choose IL, JITAsm, the syntax tree and some more.

Use it to get a better understanding of what is produced by your code.

It is all open source https://github.com/ashmind/SharpLabhttps://github.com/ashmind/SharpLab.

Why I try to not use the debugger

Jun 25th, 2018

Readable logs

In production we usually rely on logs to track down an error.
Even worse; in production we have more data and more logging to sift through than in development. The trees can be lost in the woods. If we are more unlucky we also have a time restraint.

To learn how to read a log file we must train. This means reading log files. And to read the we must first write to them; in a readable way.

So I write log files and read them to find my errors already in development. Training for production.

Learn to write

Too little information is bad. This is the usual case. Too much information is bad too as we cannot see the flow of the program due to uninteresting information. Writing the exact amount of information for every time is probably not doable but by training I learn and get better at it.

Readable code

If we develop the application through setting breakpoints and inspecting variables we are in a bad spot when production error happens as we seldom can do that.
All we have is a log with a stack and possibly a rough idea of the input.

If I instead learn to read the code and trace the execution path manually, already in the development phase, I am in a much better position when production hits the proverbial fan.

Startup time

Connecting the debugger takes time. Just starting the program is faster.

I only connect the debugger when I have to.

Powershell pitfalls

Jun 21st, 2018
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function T ($b){Write-Host "[$b]"; return $b}

if( T($true) -and T($true)){1}else{0}

I would expect the above to return

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[True]
[True]
1

but no. Instead

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[True]
1

is returned.

Why?

It’s because a method call in an if statement has to be surrounded with paranthesises like so:

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if( ( T($true)) -and (T($true)) ){1}else{0}

Now the output is

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[True]
[True]
1

 

Powershell for devs, part 2

Apr 28th, 2018

Continuing from Part1.

New to Powershell? Let me jot down a few good-to-know things. Some you already know. Some might save you hours of googling.

Below is a simple module. I will explain it row(s) by row(s).

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Set-StrictMode -Version 2.0

< #
.SYNOPSIS
Short description.

.DESCRIPTION
Long description.

.PARAMETER name
This does not show with Get-Help.

.PARAMETER birthDate
This does not show with Get-Help.

.EXAMPLE
An example...

.NOTES
General notes.
#>
function Get-PersonData
{
    param(
        [parameter(
            Mandatory=$true,
            HelpMessage='The name of the culprit.'
        )]
        [string] $name,
        [datetime] $birthDate = (Get-Date)
    )
    $startTime = Get-Date -Format 't'
    Write-Verbose "Start:$startTime"
   
    "Name=$name, Date=$($birthDate.ToString('yyyyMMdd'))."

    # Call method | Filter | Sort | Return.
    $foundPerson = GetPeople `
        | where {$_.name -eq $name } `
        | Sort-Object born `
        | Select-Object -First 1

    Write-Host "foundPerson:[$foundPerson]"
   
    Write-Verbose "Stop:$(Get-Date -Format 't')"

    return $foundPerson
}

function GetPeople(){
    # Create array of key-value pairs.
    $people =
        @{name='ola';born=[DateTime]'1970-10-13';children=1},
        @{name='anders';born=[DateTime]'2011-01-01'}

    return $people
}

Export-ModuleMember Get-PersonData
# Export-ModuleMember GetPeople
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Set-StrictMode

Use Set-StrictMode. See part1 of this blog series.

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# .SYNOPSIS... #

This type of comment right before a method is recognised by Powershell and ends up in Get-Help.  Adhering to explaining the intention for your methods is considered good practice.

Inside the method is

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param(
    [parameter(
        Mandatory=$true,
        HelpMessage='The name of the culprit.'
    )]
    [string]$name,
    [datetime]$birthDate=(Get-Date)
)

This is what the parameters look like. One can set if a parameter is mandatory, some help text to be picked up by your favourite text editor, the [type] and default value.

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$startTime=Get-Date-Format 't'

A variable is set to a string. Other scripting languages send strings around. Powershell sends proper objects. The Get-Date-Format converts the DateTime value to a string.

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Write-Verbose "Start$startTime"

Built into Powershell is the possibility to call (almost) anything with a -Verbose flag. Only then is the Write-Verbose called. Like a simple logging level.

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"Name=$name, Date=$($birthDate.ToString('yyyyMMdd'))."

Nothing strange here at first sight. Until you exeute in a console. Then you realise this string is outputed; because it is not inputed into something else, like a variable.

Also “$($variable.Method)” is the way to call methods inside a string.

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$foundPerson= GetPeople `
    | where {$_.name-eq$name } `
    | Sort-Object born `
    | Select-Object-First 1

Powershell is said to be able to use Linq. This is technically true but the syntax is so weird that I have never used it. This code though has (almost) the same behaviour and is easy to read.

GetPeople is a method call. Backtick concatenate lines and circumvents that Powershell has automatic statement ending with a line end. | pipes object and not strings. where is an alias for Where-Object. The rest is… Linqish.

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Write-Host "foundPerson:[$foundPerson]"

Write-Host an object like $foundPerson output the contents of the object. Not just the type as in C#.
Write-Verbose “Stop:$(Get-Date-Format ‘t’)”
This string is outputed only if the method call is made with -Verbose. Plus an exmple on how to write a method call in a string.

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return $foundPerson

Finally nothing surprising. Except that return can be left out to make the code harder to read.

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$people=
@{name='ola';born=[DateTime]'1970-10-13';children=1},
@{name='anders';born=[DateTime]'2011-01-01'}

@ tells Powershell to create a list of key-value pairs. Also often called a hash list.

Note the comma character. That makes $people an array of key-value pairs.

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Export-ModuleMember Get-PersonData

Only exported mehods are visible outside the module. It is like making them public.

Powershell for devs, part 1

Apr 28th, 2018

New to Powershell? Let me jot down a few good-to-know things. Some you already know. Some might save you hours of googling.

Use Set-StrictMode -Version 2.0.

Powershell 5.1 is the last Windows Powershell. From 6 it runs on Dotnet core and more platforms.

Use Pester for automatic testing. It runs tests and can mock. Note that mocking works differently in Powershell than C# as they load code in different ways.

Don’t patch together your Powershell scripts. Use the systems thinking you usally do and create a sturdy, thought out, solution with bricks of the right size. Just like you would any other solution.

For caveats let me explain the file below, row by row.

File JustASimpleScript.ps1

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Set-StrictMode -Version 2.0

$temp

$temp = 'LocalVariable'

function LocalFunction( $foo, $bar ){
    Write-Host "Local variable is $temp."
    $foo    # The last executed row is returned.
}

LocalFunction 'MyParameter'

Enter the above in your favourite text editor. Save it as JustASimpleScript.ps1. Open a console and navigate to the proper folder. Execute Powershell to get Powershell started. Then execute .\JustASimpleScript.ps1′. The result shows both an exception and some more proper output.

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Set-StrictMode -Version 2.0

Set-StrictMode is like `option explicit` in old VB6, it throws an error if you try to evaluate a variable that has not been set, that parenthesises are not used when calling functions and called methods do exist.
No code example at Stackoverflow shows it and almost no blog article.

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$temp

Variables are recognised by the leading dollar sign.

As we used Set-StrictMode above this row throws an exception. But… the program continues to run!

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$temp = 'LocalVariable'

Strings are delimited with apostrophes. Quotation works but is over kill, see below.

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function LocalFunction( $foo, $bar ){

Nothing special about declaring a function like this. Declare a function with parenthesises but call it without; it is very easy to get this wrong. Also; the parameters are optional by default.

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Write-Host "Local variable is $temp."

Write-Host is the normal way of outputting text in the console. If it is the correct way is another discussion I won’t dive into without more knowledge.

Also note the quotation marks. They mean that anything that looks like a variable inside should be evaluated. Just like PHP. Just like C# by prefixing a string with $. Many online examples use quotation marks for every string. By the time of writing I consider that less good.

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$foo    # The last executed row is returned.

To fool newbies, Powershell implicitly returns the last executed row with an output. I suggest to make it more readable, prefix with return like so:

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return $foo    # The last executed row is returned.

Comments starts with a # sign.

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{...}

Stuff within curly brackets are a code block. A code block is not only the contents of a method or an if statement but can also be passed around, like a() => {…} lambda in C#.

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LocalFunction 'MyParameter'

This ia a method call. As long as it is Powershell leave out the parenthesises. Otherwise you have converted your list of parameters to a single parameter call and the single parameters is a list. This rule is not hard to remember but reading code that calls method with lists as parameters is hard to grasp for a newbie. Adding insult to injury, calling a C# method from Powershell might change the rule.

Using a file like this, ending in ps1 is typically done by “dot sourcing”. It is quick, dirty and pollutes the global name space. Things you would never to in your “regular language”.

A call like below makes the contents live only just in the call.

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.\JustASimpleScript.ps1

If you want to make the $temp variable and the LocalFunction live on you start it with yet a period and a space like so:

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. .\JustASimpleScript.ps1

But probably you want to make a module instead. Which you find in tags: | categories: Code and Development | no comments »

When you are testing, you are not testing code; you are testing intention

Apr 4th, 2018

I just had to get that off my chest.

How I tested *every* authorisation, authorised or not

Mar 10th, 2018

Well… I didn’t, not down to bit level. But I got closer than any time before as every business case was tested.

Don’t believe my rudimentary text below will simply answer how to do it; it will just give a raw landscape. It took me several nights and 3 iterations before I solved all the tidbits.

More important than to test that every Role could get to its authorised Product was to see that it could not get to unauthorised ditto.
So I had to test every combination.

Testing every permutation of User, Role and Product was not  feasible. Each entity has several properties and they are, mostly, not related to authorisation. Then we have 2^64 kinds of userId where most of them are not interesting and not even in use. To continue a test on “Role of type X or Y” is really a “Role is HiredInProductsCompany”.
So I sat down and extracted the if statements from the code. They were like “if loggedOn” and “if in Role x or y”. Every such statement was extracted as a method and moved into a (temporary) helper lib.

When I was sure, with visual inspection, I had caught everything, I put some business logic into thought and manipulated and rearranged the methods. They became fewer and matchable to business requirements. Gone was “if user.Role == Administrator and user.Company = product.Company” but instead “if user.IsAdministratorAtProductsCompany(product)”.

Note that during this process I have not changed any logic and, testing besides, present state could be shipped all the time.

Now I had to get rid of any technical remains. On the outside it looked ok as the method names where very descriptive in business lingua but inside the authorisation method was “if user.Id == 0” or “if challengedUser.Id == persistedUser.ID”. It was not usable since Id as integer is a technical (often a persistance layer construction) solution for recognising an entity. In business terms it is more like “user.IsPersisted” and “if challengedUser.SameAs(persistedUser)”. I continued redusing the problem space to what I really wanted to test when authorising.
This way I seriously minimised the permutations, as an authorisable User did not care about “Id” or “Name” or “BusinessPartner” but only “IsLoggedOn” and “Role”. With 6 roles that means 12 permutations. With Project I came to, say, 32 permutations and user 4. This gives in all 12*32*4=1500 variants. Not a problem to test every combination now if I just put some (business) intelligence into creating the tests. #win

Let’s say 240 of them were positive (autorised) and the rest negative.

I started with creating a simple lib for permutating every possible input and them through One Test to green light “not authorised”. Everything red should be authorised. Already here I might have found combinations that was authorised when they should not have been.

Then I, manually, created a list of every permutation allowing authorisation. Well… manually for a programmer is reducing to loops and ifs so one method could create every authorised combination of type A and one of type B. Alltogether that is, say, 10 different methods and some manual ones. They were concatenated to a list and I made the Test assert authorised and not-authorised according to this list.

So now I had a test for every kind of authorisation check testing both authorised and not authorised and tests looks like business logic.

Recension av lådcykel Riese-Müller Packster 80

Feb 12th, 2018

[Det kommer komma mer information.]

Denna cykeln.

Sammanfattning

Cykeln är löser mina problem och jag använder den varje dag och är nöjd.
Prislappen är (för) hög (men det tycker jag för en premium-bil också).
Motorn och transmissionen från Bosch är dåligt konstruerad (inte gjord för utomhusbruk eller med last).

TL;DR

Cykelergonomi

Den är tung. Det är inte säkert det gör något.

Det är inget som känns så länge man cyklar. För mig som normal man är det inget ohanterbart när jag leder eller baxar runt den men jämfört med något som är lätt är den tung. Jag vet inte hur tung den är jämfört med andra lådcyklar.
Jag har tyvärr inte vägt den för att få en rättvisande siffra att jämföra med; en med batteriet på och lådan monterad.

Den är smidigare än den ser ut.

I tighta 90-gradershörn måste man planera lite och kanske ge sig ut i mötande fält. Vid tillfälle av 180-graderssväng är det stor risk man måste gå av och leda den fram och tillbaka för att få runt den. Att parkera den i cykelställ är som att parkera en bil, man tittar först och svänger sedan och lyckas på första eller andra försöket.
Det är inget problem att cykla eller leda med två 6-åringar.

Den vobblar när man cyklar utan att hålla i styret.

Lösningen är att hålla i styret så det är inte kritiskt men det antyder svaj i ramen. Jag har inte jämfört med någon annan lådcykel.
Jag har cyklat i 50+ km/h, utan barn, vilket känns tryggt, ingen vobbelkänsla alls. Det är bra, för jag vill ogärna ramla i den farten med barn i lådan. Med 2 6-åringar i lådan höll ja 40+ km/h och var inte det minsta orolig. Barnen tjöt av glädje och tyckte det var bättre än Liseberg.

Den ramlar långsamt.

Vi har ramlat med och utan barn. Högre fart i den förra och mer “tappa cykeln” för den senare. Barnen satt fastspända och undrade vad de skulle göra medan de väntade på att vi lyfte cykeln igen. Det kändes betydligt tryggare än att ha barn på stol på pakethållaren.
En egenskap med att ramla med cykeln är att den ramlar långsammare än en vanlig cykel. Jag kan inte säga exakt vad det är men jag upplever jag har mer tid på mig att parera och styrningsmekaniken hindrar fullt utslag så man slipper få styret i magen eller fastna mellan ram och styre.
Jag har också provocerat cyken med halka, sväng, nerförsbacke och fart till en ordentlig ramling (utan barn). Utan att kunna jämföra med samma ramling med en vanlig cykel (såå roligt är det inte att ramla) tyckte jag det kändes bra.

Man sitter inte framåtlutad.

Eftersom man inte trampar med kraft finns det väldigt lite som håller upp rumpan och ryggen. Att sadeln är fjädrad är ingen tillfällighet. Detta borde gälla alla elcyklar och mer ju mer bakåtlutad sittpositionen är.
En av orsakerna jag valde denna lådcykeln framför annan lådcykel är att denna var mindre bakåtlutad. Jag hade dock önskat ännu mer framåtlutning.

Stödet bra och lite dåligt.

Först det bra: Den är otroligt stabil. Jag låter 7-åringarna klättra i och ur den parkerade cykeln och leka i den utan att vara rädd eller ens behöva stå i närheten.
Den får dock inte stå i nerförsbacke då stödet har precis höjd för att den skall glida sakta framåt och eventuellt (jag har testat lite grann och inte råkat ut för det) fälla upp stödet. Uppförsbacke borde fungera bra. Eventuellt kan ett tjockt gummiband över bromshandtagen lösa det. Trehjuliga lådcyklar har en handbroms, kanske skulle denna ha det också. Eller lås bakhjulet.
Det är också ganska vanligt jag slår i smalbenet när jag ställer cykeln på stödet.

Framhjulsupphängningen.

Behövs verkligen fjädring fram? Jag kan inte avgöra det.
Däremot känner jag att hela framhjulsupphängningen, om det är styrlager, navlager, fjädring eller broms kan jag inte avägra, glappar vid bromsning. Det är inget problem men i en känslig svängande nerförsbacke är det svårt att känna hur bromsen tar.

Färg.

Roligare än svart. Tråkigare än orange.
Mycket fin röd färg på överdraget.

Motorn

Walk assist är undermålig.

Den är för klen, alldeles för klen. En unge i lådan och en liten uppförsbacke blir jobbigt, speciellt som det är jobbigare att leda en lådcykel som är tyngre än en vanlig cykel och man inte vill luta.
Den orkar precis dra sin egen vikt om det inte lutar mer än någon grad uppför.
Den är oergonomisk. Ett tryck på en liten plastknapp och sedan hålla inne en annan medan man samtidigt håller handen på handtaget är jobbigt. Lägg till ett par vantar, eftersom det finns några av oss som inte cyklar bara soliga varma dagar, och man känner inte ens knappen ordentligt.

Temperaturkänslig motor.

Specifikationen är några få minusgrader för motorn.
En cykel med en motor till det priset monterad borde inte få säljas i Sverige utan en varningsskylt.
Bosch ligger i Tyskland. Där finns det garanterat minusgrader.
Jag har cyklat i 5 cm snö och det fungerar bra. Hjulen är breda, vilket är både bra och dåligt i snö, men jag antar de breda hjulen behövs p.g.a. vikten.

Temperaturkänsligt batteri.

Jag kommer inte ihåg specen för batteriet men ett batteri för flera tusen skall hantera flera minusgrader. Det gör det inte enligt specifikation.

Mycket friktion i motorn och drivningen.

Att cykla utan batteri är bara att glömma. Det är riktigt, riktigt trögt att trampa runt pedalerna utan batterihjälp.
För en billig motor hade jag varit ok med det men för en såpass dyr som detta är, är jag inte nöjd. Det borde sitta en varningsskylt: Denna “cykel” har inget praktiskt bruk utan batteri.
[Det kommer komma mer information.]

Publishing Dotnet core 2 – dependencies manifest … was not found

Aug 31st, 2017

If you try to run a stand alone / self contained Dotnet core 2 solution you might run into something like:

C:\MyApp\bin\Release\netcoreapp2.0\win10-x64>TestRunCore2.exe
Error:
 An assembly specified in the application dependencies manifest (TestRunCore2.d
eps.json) was not found:
 package: 'runtime.win-x64.Microsoft.NETCore.App', version: '2.0.0'
 path: 'runtimes/win-x64/lib/netcoreapp2.0/Microsoft.CSharp.dll'

It might be because you haven’t published properly to get all the dotnet files.

Or, as in my case, I was standing in the […\win10-x64] folder and not in the [..\win10-x64\publish] folder.
I thought that by standing the [\win10-x64] folder, where my [TestRunCore2.exe] file was, dotnet would reach into the [publish] folder.
I then noticed that the [publish] folder contains both my exe and the dotnetcore files.