Open Source .NET Development: Programming with NAnt, NUnit, and More

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Overview

Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of the arrival of Microsoft's

Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of the arrival of Microsoft's .NET platform is the standardization of C# and the Common Language Runtime. Now, for the first time, programmers can develop and use open-source projects that are based on a language that is an international standard as well as compatible with both Microsoft and Linux platforms.

Open Source .NET Development is the definitive guide on .NET development in an open-source environment

Inside, readers will find in-depth information on using NAnt, NDoc, NUnit, Draco.NET, log4net, and Aspell.Net with both Visual Studio .NET and the Mono Project. Brian Nantz not only shares the best open-source and "free" tools, frameworks, components, and products for .NET, he also provides usable, practical examples and projects. The result is a highly accessible reference for finding the tools that best fit your needs.

Highlights include

  • An introduction to open source and its implementations of the .NET standards
  • .NET development with open-source tools, including build automation,
  • A simple example of Integrating .NET open-source projects that integrates an Open Source SVG component with a System.Drawing graphical editor
  • An Aspell.Net case study that shows the use of Draco.NET Continuous Integration in conjunction with NAnt, NUnit, NDoc, and the SharpDevelop IDE
  • An exclusive look at ADO.NET database and ASP.NET Web development using PostgreSQL that runs on both Windows and Linux
  • Appendixes on NAnt and NAntContrib tasks, log4netAppender configurations, and open-source security observations
  • Whether you area .NET developer interested in learning more about open-source tools or an open-source developer curious about .NET, this book will bridge the divide between these formerly distinct camps.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Microsoft’s .NET environment does so many things well, it tempts even many hard-core open source developers. Microsoft has arranged for much of .NET to be standards-based, and there’s now a robust community of open source .NET tool developers. You can build powerful open source .NET software with those tools. This book will show you how.

Open source tools can help you with everything from code editing to source control, unit testing to documentation -- and of course there’s the rapidly evolving Mono implementation of C#, the CLR runtime engine, and class libraries. All that’s covered here. Brian Nantz even offers guidance on mixing open source and Microsoft-proprietary tools without unacceptably limiting your licensing options. If you want to do more with .NET and spend less doing it, this book’s a goldmine. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321228109
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 8/16/2004
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Nantz is a senior engineer in research and development at Security International in Milwaukee. He has designed solutions for GM, GE, Honeywell, and Analogic. An active member of the open-source community, Brian contributes to NAnt, NAntContrib, and log4net and is a lead developer for LogKit.Net and Aspell.Net.

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Read an Excerpt

PrefaceWhy I Felt the Need to Write This Book

Open Source is such a hotly debated topic today; at the same time, .NET is seeing unbelievably rapid acceptance as the programming platform of choice. As Microsoft creates its first Open Source project and many prominent Open Source teams rush to implement standards created by Microsoft, I felt a great necessity for this book. Running code created by Microsoft development tools on a Linux machine or including an Open Source component in your proprietary product are indeed worth noting. Admittedly, this book focuses on a uniquely overlapping portion of the software industry that somewhat blurs the line between Open Source and Microsoft. Ignoring a small minority of advocates within these two camps (having worked with Microsoft employees as well as Mono guys—some of who reviewed this book), I really believe there is not as much adversity as the press would indicate. Both sides have learned from each other, just like true rivals scoping out the competition at a big tradeshow or those closed-door sessions where a competitor's product is examined under a microscope and torn apart. Many Open Source projects are created using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, and some of the Open Source projects featured in this book are meant to be plug-ins to VS.NET! Do not confuse the features of the various development tools or components with the features of the .NET platform itself. The true power of .NET is found in the standards.Who Should Read This Book?

Coders—those who are banging out the code, day in and day out. There are some portions of this book, mainly Chapters 1 and 2, that can be useful for managers who arewondering how Open Source licensing could affect their proprietary product. But for the most part, this book assumes a fair amount of C# and .NET knowledge. It is not a book on how to learn the .NET platform or necessarily how to set up the different .NET environments. Rather, this book shows how to use the many different projects and products together. To me, it all comes down to getting the job done and using the right tool for the job. Sometimes that tool, component, or framework might be Open Source; sometimes it is not. This book will help you understand how to evaluate the tool that best fits your needs.

Have you ever felt like you just kept doing similar coding tasks over and over again on different projects? This is initially a fun, "I know exactly how to do this!" sort of a thing. But then it turns into something unexciting and mundane, like the difference between the excitement of the very first business trip you ever took and the last one you endured for the sake of your company. At first creating something as basic as a logging mechanism sounds fun and easy, but when you are done and show it to the people who will use it, you quickly find out the inadequacies: "It's too hard to use," "This doesn't support enough," or "It isn't extendable!" Many of the projects in this book address just this problem. These frameworks and components have seen a lot of runtime and have nice APIs from the many developers who use them. However, keep in mind that the greatest feature of Open Source is that the Source is Open! Not that it saves you time in not having to implement some feature, or that it is cheaper, faster, or more secure than its closed source counterparts, but that you can gain a relatively large amount of experience in a small amount of time by looking at many different code bases and designs.How This Book Is Organized

This book is meant to expose the best Open Source and "Free" tools, frameworks, components, and products for .NET. Therefore, you can read it in pretty much any order. Undoubtedly, by the time this book reaches the shelves, many of these products will have improved, and of course many more good projects will materialize. My intention is to introduce you to the world of .NET Open Source, which is much vaster than most developers realize. For more in-depth information, see the user groups associated with these projects. Also, I strive to keep my Web site (http://www.Nantz.org) as up-to-date with these changes as possible, so you may want to check there as well.

The first two chapters are background information about Open Source and its implementations of the .NET standards. If you feel you have a good handle on these topics, I would suggest starting with Part II. Look at the different tools; see which ones would be most useful and immediately helpful in your situation. Part III is essential if you are planning on deploying a .NET application on Linux or using an Open Source database engine and wonder how much .NET support these platforms have.

The examples in this book are meant to display the most useful aspects of .NET Open Source coding. They, along with many of the projects, are made available in the companion CD-ROM. I would love to hear back from you—ideas on the examples, improvements, comments, etc. (See my email address below.)Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Addison-Wesley for giving me the opportunity to write this book. What a great team to work with. Special thanks to Stephane Nakib, Ebony Haight, Michael Mullen, and Curt Johnson, who have graciously guided me along the whole process.

I would also like to thank my family for putting up with many late nights and a constant state of distraction. Thanks to Candi, Charlotte, John, and Thomas for always supporting me. Thanks to Mom and Dad for investing in my education from whence all things begin. Thank you all for letting me follow my dreams.

A thank you does not seem adequate enough acknowledgment for all my reviewers and those who helped with this book. Francisco Figueiredo Jr., Nicko Cadell, Ian MacLean, Nick Varacalli, Arild Fines, Rhys Weatherley, Bernard Vander Beken, Tom Jordan, Chad Wach, Dan Maharry, Christophe Nasarre, and Ben Maurer. These reviewers are responsible for making this book readable and concise. Thank you all for your suggestions and insight.

Finally, I would like to thank all the Open Source developers out there, without whom this book would never have been written. Thanks for your constant devotion and dedication to your projects. Thanks for letting us all learn from you and your ideas.

Brian Nantz
brian@nantz.org
Menomonee Falls, WI

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

I. INTRODUCTION TO OPEN SOURCE AND .NET.

1. What Is Open Source?

Introduction.

Microsoft and Open Source.

Open Source, Free Software, and Shared Source. Oh MY!

Free Software.

Shared Source.

Open Source Software.

Tips on Selecting a License.

Using Open Source in Your Proprietary Product.

Summary.

2. Open Source and the .NET Platform.

Introduction.

.NET Standards.

Standardization.

Standards Organizations.

What Is in the Standards.

What Is Not in the Standards.

Implementations.

Microsoft’s .NET CLR.

Compact Framework.

SSCLI / Rotor.

Portable.NET.

Mono.

Summary.

II. .NET DEVELOPMENT WITH OPEN SOURCE TO0LS.

3. General Development.

Introduction.

.NET Editing Tools.

Editor Features.

Emacs.

VIM.

Sharp Develop.

Web Matrix.

Eclipse.

Documentation Tools.

Open Office.

ArgoUML.

Source Control Management.

Concurrent Versioning System.

Subversion.

Databases.

MSDE.

MySQL.

PostgreSQL.

Web Servers.

IIS.

Apache.

Cassini.

XSP.

Other Development Tools for .NET.

BugZilla.

Merge and Diff Utilities.

Obfuscator.

Web Service Utilities.

Regular Expressions.

CLRSpy.

Vil.

Summary.

4. Build Automation.

Introduction.

What NAnt Is.

What NAnt Is Not.

Using NAnt.

Executing NAnt.

Why Use NAnt?

Ant.

csAnt.

BuildIt.

Other Build Tools.

Data Types.

Fileset.

Patternset.

Optionsets.

Environment Variables.

Properties.

SCM Integration.

NAnt Best Practices.

Migrating to NAnt.

Examples.

Simple Exe.

Simple DLL.

ASP.NET and Web Services.

Windows Service.

Windows Form.

Unsafe, Interop, and Other.

Handling Large Products.

Extending NAnt.

NAnt Base Classes.

NAnt Tasks’ Error Handling.

Enabling Your Task to Handle Multiple Versions of .NET.

Extending NAnt Example.

Extending NAntContrib.

Enabling Your Task to Handle Multiple Versions of NAnt.

MakeIsoFs Task.

Useful Tools for Use with NAnt.

FxCop.

Artistic Style.

HTML Tools.

NAntPad.

NAntMenu Shell Extension.

Visual Studio.NET 2003.

Summary

5. XML Documentation.

Introduction.

C# XML Documentation.

Validated Tags.

Nonvalidated Tags.

C# XML Documentation Tag Reference.

Configuring the C# Compiler to Create the XML File.

Documentation Tools.

MonoDoc.

Portable.NET csDoc.

NetDoc.

Documentor for .NET.

NDoc.

NDoc Functionality.

NDoc Documentors’ Formats.

NAnt Integration.

Summary.

6. Unit Testing.

Introduction.

Unit Testing.

Unit Testing Platforms.

NUnit Architecture.

NUnit Example.

NUnit Attributes.

Example.

NUnit Assertions.

ExpectedException.

NUnit Exceptions.

Integration with NAnt.

NUnit Task.

NUnit Report Task.

NUnitASP.

Other Tools Useful with NUnit.

NCover.

Object Mocking.

HttpUnit.

DbUnit.

Performance and Other Testing Tools.

Windows Application Verifier.

nProf and nProfiler.

FxCop.

HTML Tools

Summary.

7. Continuous Integration.

Introduction.

What Is Continuous Integration?

What Are the Benefits of Continuous Integration?

How Does Continuous Integration Fit with .NET?

How to Evaluate a Build System.

Conceptual Design Overview.

Hippo.NET.

Installing.

Configuring.

Running.

Draco.NET.

Installing.

Configuring.

Running.

Build System.

CruiseControl.NET.

Installing.

Configuring.

Running.

FXCop Integration.

Summary.

8. Application Logging.

Introduction.

Application Logging.

Architecture.

Loggers.

Hierarchy.

LogManager.

Levels.

Appenders.

Filters.

Layouts.

ObjectRenderer.

Configuration.

Programmatic Configuration.

Runtime Configuration.

Configurations in a Smart Client.

Logging with Context Information.

MDC.

NDC.

WMI.

Performance and Scalability.

GAC.

Parameter Construction.

Hierarchy.

Stack Tracing.

Examples.

Windows Forms and Console Applications.

ClassLibraries.

ASP.NET and Web Services.

Serviced Components.

Remoting.

Windows Services.

Log File Readers.

LogFactor5.

Network Log Client.

Chainsaw.

Extending Log4Net.

Error Handling.

Custom Filters.

Custom Layout.

Custom Appender.

Custom Renderer.

Summary.

III. INTEGRATING .NET OPEN SOURCE PROJECTS IN YOUR DEVELOPMENT.

9. ASpell.NET Case Study.

Introduction.

Test First Development.

NAnt Build.

Subversion.

Draco.NET.

Adding Functionality.

Summary.

10. Database Development.

Introduction.

Open Source Databases.

Sleepycat Berkeley Database.

MSDE.

MySQL.

Which Database to Choose?

PostgreSQL.

Installation.

Cygwin.

Administration Tools.

PostgreSQL ADO.NET Data Providers.

PostgreSQL, NPgSql, and FreeDB Example.

What Is FreeDB?

Importing FreeDB to PostgreSQL.

Creating a .NET Class Library for FreeDB.

Summary.

11. Web Development.

Introduction.

Cross Platform ASP.NET and Web Services.

Cassini.

XSP.

Apache.

Which Web Server to Use?

Setting Up the Environment.

Setting Up Mono and XSP.

Web Service Example.

ASP.NET Example.

Summary.

12. Simple Project Integration.

Introduction.

Popular Projects.

An Example of Integration.

SVG.

System.Drawing and GDI+.

SharpVectorGraphics Project.

Didgets Project.

Other Open Source Projects.

The Integration.

Where to Go from Here.

Licensing Considerations.

Summary.

IV. REFERENCES

Appendix A: NAnt Tasks.

Appendix B: NAntContrib Tasks.

Appendix C: mkisofs.

Name.

Synopsis.

Description.

Options.

Hfs Options.

Hfs Creator/Type.

Hfs Macintosh File Formats.

Hfs Macintosh Filenames.

Hfs Custom Volume/Folder Icons.

Hfs Boot Driver.

El Torito Boot Information Table.

Configuration.

Examples.

Author.

Notes.

Bugs.

Hfs Problems/Limitations.

Future Improvements.

Availability.

Mailing Lists.

Maintainer.

Hfs Mkhybrid Maintainer.

Appendix D: Log4NET Appender Configurations.

ADONetAppender.

MS SQL Server.

MS Access.

Oracle9i.

ASPNetTraceAppender.

BufferingForwardingAppender.

ConsoleAppender.

EventLogAppender.

FileAppender.

ForwardingAppender.

MemoryAppender.

NetSendAppender.

OutputDebugStringAppender.

RemotingAppender.

RollingFileAppender.

SMTPAppender.

TraceAppender.

UdpAppender.

Appendix E: Open Source Security Observations.

Glossary.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Preface

Preface

Why I Felt the Need to Write This Book

Open Source is such a hotly debated topic today; at the same time, .NET is seeing unbelievably rapid acceptance as the programming platform of choice. As Microsoft creates its first Open Source project and many prominent Open Source teams rush to implement standards created by Microsoft, I felt a great necessity for this book. Running code created by Microsoft development tools on a Linux machine or including an Open Source component in your proprietary product are indeed worth noting. Admittedly, this book focuses on a uniquely overlapping portion of the software industry that somewhat blurs the line between Open Source and Microsoft. Ignoring a small minority of advocates within these two camps (having worked with Microsoft employees as well as Mono guys—some of who reviewed this book), I really believe there is not as much adversity as the press would indicate. Both sides have learned from each other, just like true rivals scoping out the competition at a big tradeshow or those closed-door sessions where a competitor's product is examined under a microscope and torn apart. Many Open Source projects are created using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, and some of the Open Source projects featured in this book are meant to be plug-ins to VS.NET! Do not confuse the features of the various development tools or components with the features of the .NET platform itself. The true power of .NET is found in the standards.

Who Should Read This Book?

Coders—those who are banging out the code, day in and day out. There are some portions of this book, mainly Chapters 1 and 2, that can be useful for managers who are wondering how Open Source licensing could affect their proprietary product. But for the most part, this book assumes a fair amount of C# and .NET knowledge. It is not a book on how to learn the .NET platform or necessarily how to set up the different .NET environments. Rather, this book shows how to use the many different projects and products together. To me, it all comes down to getting the job done and using the right tool for the job. Sometimes that tool, component, or framework might be Open Source; sometimes it is not. This book will help you understand how to evaluate the tool that best fits your needs.

Have you ever felt like you just kept doing similar coding tasks over and over again on different projects? This is initially a fun, "I know exactly how to do this!" sort of a thing. But then it turns into something unexciting and mundane, like the difference between the excitement of the very first business trip you ever took and the last one you endured for the sake of your company. At first creating something as basic as a logging mechanism sounds fun and easy, but when you are done and show it to the people who will use it, you quickly find out the inadequacies: "It's too hard to use," "This doesn't support enough," or "It isn't extendable!" Many of the projects in this book address just this problem. These frameworks and components have seen a lot of runtime and have nice APIs from the many developers who use them. However, keep in mind that the greatest feature of Open Source is that the Source is Open! Not that it saves you time in not having to implement some feature, or that it is cheaper, faster, or more secure than its closed source counterparts, but that you can gain a relatively large amount of experience in a small amount of time by looking at many different code bases and designs.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is meant to expose the best Open Source and "Free" tools, frameworks, components, and products for .NET. Therefore, you can read it in pretty much any order. Undoubtedly, by the time this book reaches the shelves, many of these products will have improved, and of course many more good projects will materialize. My intention is to introduce you to the world of .NET Open Source, which is much vaster than most developers realize. For more in-depth information, see the user groups associated with these projects. Also, I strive to keep my Web site (http://www.Nantz.org) as up-to-date with these changes as possible, so you may want to check there as well.

The first two chapters are background information about Open Source and its implementations of the .NET standards. If you feel you have a good handle on these topics, I would suggest starting with Part II. Look at the different tools; see which ones would be most useful and immediately helpful in your situation. Part III is essential if you are planning on deploying a .NET application on Linux or using an Open Source database engine and wonder how much .NET support these platforms have.

The examples in this book are meant to display the most useful aspects of .NET Open Source coding. They, along with many of the projects, are made available in the companion CD-ROM. I would love to hear back from you—ideas on the examples, improvements, comments, etc. (See my email address below.)

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Addison-Wesley for giving me the opportunity to write this book. What a great team to work with. Special thanks to Stephane Nakib, Ebony Haight, Michael Mullen, and Curt Johnson, who have graciously guided me along the whole process.

I would also like to thank my family for putting up with many late nights and a constant state of distraction. Thanks to Candi, Charlotte, John, and Thomas for always supporting me. Thanks to Mom and Dad for investing in my education from whence all things begin. Thank you all for letting me follow my dreams.

A thank you does not seem adequate enough acknowledgment for all my reviewers and those who helped with this book. Francisco Figueiredo Jr., Nicko Cadell, Ian MacLean, Nick Varacalli, Arild Fines, Rhys Weatherley, Bernard Vander Beken, Tom Jordan, Chad Wach, Dan Maharry, Christophe Nasarre, and Ben Maurer. These reviewers are responsible for making this book readable and concise. Thank you all for your suggestions and insight.

Finally, I would like to thank all the Open Source developers out there, without whom this book would never have been written. Thanks for your constant devotion and dedication to your projects. Thanks for letting us all learn from you and your ideas.

Brian Nantz
brian@nantz.org
Menomonee Falls, WI

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2004

    open source + Microsoft ?!

    A quiet revolution is happening with Microsoft's flagship .NET. By putting the ownership of key parts into ECMA and ISO, Microsoft has enabled the rise of an open source movement that can build projects within C# or even Java, and have these compiled or cross compiled to Intermediate Language bytecode, which can then be run on Microsoft or linux boxes. What the book shows is that enthusiasts in open source have seized this chance. They have built tools like NUnit and NAnt, which correspond to their Java precursors, JUnit and Ant. Functionally, NUnit and NAnt do just what you'd expect. Which eases the transition form Java programming, if that is where you are coming from. The book covers far more than these packages. It describes an entire development and coding process, living entirely in a .NET environment. Complete with detailed examples to make it real for you. It also describes ongoing open source efforts like Mono and Portable.NET. The book does not goes into the depth of detail about IL that a similar book, 'Cross Platform .NET Development', does. But it is broader in its scope of coverage of the overall development process.

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