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  • Blog Post: Debug Composition from within Visual Studio

    This morning Dave came up with a great suggestion for finding MEF composition problems from within Visual Studio. By registering the composition analyzer as an external tool, the root cause of a composition problem can be located in a flash! Step 1 - Obtain MEFX.EXE First, you’ll need to build mefx.exe...
  • Blog Post: Analyze MEF Assemblies from the Command Line

    In MEF Preview 6 we shipped a sample assembly called Microsoft.ComponentModel.Composition.Diagnostics , demonstrating the kinds of things that can be determined by (semi-) statically analyzing MEF catalogs. With Preview 7 we added a utility that makes use of the diagnostics routines to print information...
  • Blog Post: Dynamic Part Instantiation in MEF

    Disclaimer: This functionality is not shipping in .NET 4 (but is available in the recent CodePlex drops , see below for more details.) The golden rule of using composition to simplify your architecture is to avoid calling the container directly . Until now, MEF users have had to jump through hoops to...
  • Blog Post: Implementing Optional Exports with MEF Stable Composition

    Disclaimer: As usual, this blog post is discussing pre-release software, which may differ from the final released version. Ayende once observed that MEF is very focused on dependency management. It’s an accurate description of the driving force that has shaped MEF as it is today. Dependency management...
  • Blog Post: MEF Preview 6 Available

    In the three months that have passed since the last release, we’ve been very busy making final adjustments to get closer to RTM. In this post I’ve summarized the biggest changes between the Preview 5 and Preview 6 releases. The highlights are: Silverlight support Lazy<T> replaces...
  • Blog Post: MEF: Dependencies are Queries?

    Start to schematically represent any component system and you’re likely to come up with a diagram like: So what do the dependency and the service actually mean ? In most implementations, each is associated with a key: Here the Screen Renderer component needs the Typesetter service, which the Fast Typesetter...
  • Blog Post: Hosting MEF Extensions in an IoC Container

    There has been a lot of discussion among IoC container users about the similarities between MEF and IoC containers. Most of this has been addressing the question - “should MEF and an IoC container be used in the same app, or are they exclusive?” One possible answer to this question is outlined below...
  • Blog Post: IoC on Silverlight

    A number of IoC containers have Silverlight versions - Ninject and Unity especially seem to have healthy Silverlight offerings. Silverlight 2.0 is a variant of the .NET runtime, so this isn't too surprising. Thanks to Tyson Stolarski and Rinat Abdullin , Autofac recently joined their ranks with a Silverlight...
  • Blog Post: Explicit Context Dependencies

    As a follow up from my last post about Global Container vs. Injected Context , I would like to share this snippet from Component Software , which casts the difference between the two approaches in another light: "A software component is a unit of composition with contractually specified interfaces...
  • Blog Post: Container-Managed Application Design, Prelude: Where does the Container Belong?

    There is surprisingly little information out there in cyberspace on how IoC containers should fit into application architectures. In parallel with my MEF/Ruby series, I'm going to discuss some of the principles that I believe should be applied to "container-managed" application design. The Enigmatic...
  • Blog Post: Ruby on MEF: Hybrid Application

    Since the last installment in this little series, I've started to consider how Ruby/C# hybrid MEF applications might look. The result is yet another component-based calculator: Besides the Radiohead arithmetic , there is one reason to get excited... Ruby parts! (I bet you hadn't guessed.) The Ruby-based...
  • Blog Post: Hosting Ruby Parts in MEF

    MEF is fascinating because of the way some initial assumptions led to a different flavor of composition technology from the ones we've seen for .NET to date. In my opinion, the most exciting ‘parameter variation’ in the design process for MEF was the idea that ‘parts’ should support...
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