Skip to main content

Reactive Extensions Plugin for Resharper

A quick post to introduce a new Resharper plugin for Visual Studio to hopefully help when writing code using the Reactive Extensions libraries.

The background to how I came to developing this plugin is simple - @leeoades, @hamishdotnet & I were looking into a regression bug we introduced where the app completely froze - a classic blocking issue on the UI thread. We knew this because the host for the app (web browser) was complete unresponsive, the app (which happened to be Silverlight) had completely locked up the UI thread, leaving even the browser chrome useless - the only thing left was to kill the process.

We do a lot of asynchronous stream processing using Rx and we knew one of the extension method from the Rx libraries was causing synchronization dead lock by scheduling work onto the UI thread. Now we knew the issue wasn't with the actual methods from the Rx libraries but how they were being used. We weren't using an overload for one of the Rx extension methods which can take an IScheduler parameter correctly, we were relying on the implicit version which used either the immediate or current thread scheduler.

I knew there wasn't a documented list of the methods in the Rx libraries which could take an IScheduler instance and I'm not even sure it would have helped, because we had our own methods (and extension methods) returning IObservable<T> which had optional IScheduler parameters.

I thought wouldn't it be great if you got a warning hint in Visual Studio when there's an overload for a method taking an IScheduler parameter.

And that's how I eventually got to writing this post :)

Now when I write something like the following it will add a R# hint to any method which could take an IScheduler parameter either as an explicit or optional parameter.
With the plugin installed you get:
And when the scheduler has been defined no more Rx hints:
For now here is the links to the MSI installer and code which I've pushed out on to GitHub. I've got no idea whether this will be of any benefit in the long term, but it's been interesting to learning about the R# API and how easily you can get something up and running pretty quickly,  I will go into further detail about this over the next couple of blog posts.

With this initial beta release there is another R# hint for missing usages of the AsObservable() Rx method.

Installer -

Code -

If you've got any thing to add to the plugin I'd be interested to hear about it...


Popular posts from this blog

WPF tips & tricks: Dispatcher thread performance

Not blogged for an age, and I received an email last week which provoked me back to life. It was a job spec for a WPF contract where they want help sorting out the performance of their app especially around grids and tabular data. I thought I'd shared some tips & tricks I've picked up along the way, these aren't probably going to solve any issues you might be having directly, but they might point you in the right direction when trying to find and resolve performance issues with a WPF app. First off, performance is something you shouldn't try and improve without evidence, and this means having evidence proving you've improved the performance - before & after metrics for example. Without this you're basically pissing into the wind, which can be fun from a developer point of view but bad for a project :) So, what do I mean by ' Dispatcher thread performance '? The 'dispatcher thread' or the 'UI thread' is probably the most

Showing a message box from a ViewModel in MVVM

I was doing a code review with a client last week for a WPF app using MVVM and they asked ' How can I show a message from the ViewModel? '. What follows is how I would (and have) solved the problem in the past. When I hear the words ' show a message... ' I instantly think you mean show a transient modal message box that requires the user input before continuing ' with something else ' - once the user has interacted with the message box it will disappear. The following solution only applies to this scenario. The first solution is the easiest but is very wrong from a separation perspective. It violates the ideas behind the Model-View-Controller pattern because it places View concerns inside the ViewModel - the ViewModel now knows about the type of the View and specifically it knows how to show a message box window: The second approach addresses this concern by introducing the idea of messaging\events between the ViewModel and the View. In the example below

Implementing a busy indicator using a visual overlay in MVVM

This is a technique we use at work to lock the UI whilst some long running process is happening - preventing the user clicking on stuff whilst it's retrieving or rendering data. Now we could have done this by launching a child dialog window but that feels rather out of date and clumsy, we wanted a more modern pattern similar to the way <div> overlays are done on the web. Imagine we have the following simple WPF app and when 'Click' is pressed a busy waiting overlay is shown for the duration entered into the text box. What I'm interested in here is not the actual UI element of the busy indicator but how I go about getting this to show & hide from when using MVVM. The actual UI elements are the standard Busy Indicator coming from the WPF Toolkit : The XAML behind this window is very simple, the important part is the ViewHost. As you can see the ViewHost uses a ContentPresenter element which is bound to the view model, IMainViewModel, it contains 3 child v