Enforcing Conventions

In my last post I demonstrated adding AOP to cut down on cross cutting code, and at the end mentioned that it would be nice to enforce a convention throughout the system, the example being each public method in the task layer being decorated with a certain attribute.

I was unsure about how to do this until recently seeing a post by Ayende http://www.ayende.com/Blog/archive/2008/05/05/Actively-enforce-your-conventions.aspx in it he references an article by Glenn Block whereby both of them came up with a unit test called PrismShouldNotReferenceUnity in the test they use reflection to check that there are indeed no references from the Prism assembly to the Unity assembly.

This is a great idea! You now have a repeatable test that can be run to make sure the conventions for your system are met, so armed with this technique I created the following test:

[Test]
public void task_class_methods_should_be_marked_with_wrap_exception_attributes()
{
    try
    {
        Assembly asm = Assembly.LoadFrom( "MCromwell.StaffIntranet.Task.dll" );
        var wrapExceptionType = asm.GetType( "MCromwell.StaffIntranet.Task.Infrastructure.WrapExceptionWithAttribute" );
        Assert.IsNotNull(wrapExceptionType);

        foreach (Type current in asm.GetTypes())
        {
            if (current.FullName.StartsWith( "MCromwell.StaffIntranet.Task.Tasks." ) && (!current.IsInterface) && (!current.IsAbstract))
            {
                foreach (var method in current.GetMethods())
                {
                    if ((method.IsPublic) && (method.DeclaringType.Name != "Object"))
                    {
                        if (method.GetCustomAttributes(wrapExceptionType, false).Length <= 0)
                            Assert.Fail("no wrap exception attribute found on type '{0}', method '{1}'", current.FullName,method.Name);
                    }
                }
             }
        }
    }
    catch (ReflectionTypeLoadException rex)
    {
        foreach (var current in rex.LoaderExceptions)
            Console.WriteLine(current.ToString());
        throw;
    }
    catch (Exception ex)
    {
        Console.Error.Write(ex.Message);
        throw;
    }
}

In here you can see by leveraging reflection I can browse all the public methods for my task layer classes and make sure they do indeed have a WrapExceptionWithAttribute the other cool thing is that by doing it this way I can freely add new classes and they will need to comply with the conventions set out or the testing will fail, cool eh!

One thing to point out is that if you start increasing the number of conventions and want a better way to control and report on, you probably want to look into something like FXCop or NDepend’s CQL.

First codeproject article posted

I just finished posting my first article to codeproject (only taken 3 years since I joined!), it covers unit testing against a database and also provides a handy little testing library that can be used to make it a little easier you can check it out at http://www.codeproject.com/KB/cs/unittestingdblib.aspx

Retrieving version info from AssemblyInfo.cs in NAnt

I found a fairly neat way to retrieve version details from an AssemblyInfo.cs file without having to go down the script task route, here’s the nant xml:


This will put the version segments into the named properties.

Some info I picked up while using the regex task which I couldn’t find documentation about:

  1. When having to match on double quote character ” you must use the ascii code \x22
  2. The names of the groups in the regex can’t contain periods, at first i had the groups named version.major, version.minor etc…