Scott Hanselman

Updating FloatingGlucose to .NET 5 - Display Nightscout or Dexcom Glucose Values on the Windows Desktop

May 11, 2021 Comment on this post [1] Posted in Diabetes | DotNetCore | Open Source
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Last month I learned how to convert a 13 year old .NET app to modern .NET 5 with the "try convert" tool. It was surprisingly easy to bring a "legacy" app well forward to a pretty darn cool self-contained app. That means NO .NET install. Just run an exe and you're set.

I found this 5 year old .NET application called FloatingGlucose from Bjørn that connects to a Nightscout open source diabetes server like the one I use and displays your current glucose values in a floating popup on your Windows desktop. It can also connect to the Dexcom Share servers. However, the app has an installer and requires .NET 4.6 to be installed.

How quickly - and successfully - can I convert it to a self-contained .NET 5 app? I don't know, I haven't written that part of this blog post yet. I'm still up here.

Let's try it.

Ok, I've forked it here https://github.com/shanselman/FloatingGlucose and I will bring it down to my local machine.

I started using the GitHub CLI lately and it's great, so I'll clone with it.

NOTE: I'm surprised I can't clone AND get submodules with the GH CLI so I guess I need to git submodule update --init --recursive after the initial use of GH.

And looks like GH is out of date so I'll 'winget install gh' to update it while I'm here.

winget install gh

Cool. Now I'll use the dotnet upgrade assistant. This tutorial will show you how. The upgrade assistant is a whole text-based command-line wizard to help you update solutions.

Upgrade Steps

Entrypoint: C:\github\FloatingGlucose\FloatingGlucose\FloatingGlucose.csproj
Current Project: C:\github\FloatingGlucose\FloatingGlucose\FloatingGlucose.csproj

1. [Skipped] Back up project
2. [Next step] Convert project file to SDK style
3. Clean up NuGet package references
4. Update TFM
5. Update NuGet Packages
6. Add template files
7. Upgrade app config files
a. Convert Application Settings
b. Disable unsupported configuration sections
8. Update source code
a. Apply fix for UA0012: 'UnsafeDeserialize()' does not exist
9. Move to next project

Choose a command:
1. Apply next step (Convert project file to SDK style)
2. Skip next step (Convert project file to SDK style)
3. See more step details
4. Configure logging
5. Exit
> 1
[22:25:49 INF] Applying upgrade step Convert project file to SDK style
[22:25:49 INF] Converting project file format with try-convert, version 0.7.222801
[22:25:52 INF] [try-convert] Conversion complete!
[22:25:52 INF] Project file converted successfully! The project may require additional changes to build successfully against the new .NET target.
[22:25:55 INF] Upgrade step Convert project file to SDK style applied successfully
Please press enter to continue...

So I'm going step by step through the process, answering questions. OK, done. Let's see if it builds.

Looks like it doesn't. It has a custom setup PowerShell script that is trying to call InnoSetup and make an installer. Since I want to make a version that doesn't require an installer, I can remove all that from the PostBuildEvent and PreBuildEvent in the main csproj file.

Now I'm getting a number of compiler errors that aren't related to the conversion, but rather a misunderstanding about how exceptions are to be re-thrown.

When you say "throw err" you're actually losing your call stack and context.

else
{
//rethrow because we don't know how to handle other errors
throw err;
}

Instead, just:

else
{
//rethrow because we don't know how to handle other errors
throw;
}

throw to maintain the current error context. I'm just tidying up at this point.

I see a few warnings like:

C:\github\FloatingGlucose\FloatingGlucose\FormWebbrowser.cs(10,6): 
warning SYSLIB0003: 'PermissionSetAttribute' is obsolete:
'Code Access Security is not supported or honored by the runtime.'

and I comment them out as they are vestigial at this point.

I'm down to a final error:

Could not resolve this reference. Could not locate the assembly "System.Windows.Forms.DataVisualization".

Interesting, what's this about? Looks like not all of the Windows Forms DataVisualization project came along for .NET 5? The older code is here https://github.com/dotnet/winforms-datavisualization for .NET Core 3. The readme says "We consider the System.Windows.Forms.DataVisualization deprecated and we only provide it to ease porting to .NET Core 3"

However, Angelo Cresta has a .NET 5 version here https://github.com/AngeloCresta/winforms-datavisualization-net5 so I can try updating to his version. I'll bring it in as a Submodule and then add it as a Project Reference from the main FloatingGlucose app.

I'll also bump the JSON.NET reference from 9 to 13.0.1

NOTE: I'll also put in a dotnet_diagnostic.CA1416.severity = none in an .editorconfig to keep the compiler from warning me that this requires Windows 7 and above.

Boom, this 5 year old app is now a .NET 5 app and builds clean. SHIP IT. Well, test and run it first, eh?

2>Done building project "FloatingGlucose.csproj".
========== Build: 2 succeeded, 0 failed, 1 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========

Nice, a clean warning-free build AND it starts up immediately AND looks OK on my 4k monitor likely due to the work that was done to make WinForms apps scale nicely on high dpi systems.

Floating Glucose

Does it work? Darn right it does.

image

Fabulous. Now I have a little widget I can have on my screen at all times that shows my current sugars!

And finally, can I make it a single no-install EXE that doesn't even need .NET installed?

dotnet publish --configuration Release --runtime=win10-x64 --output ./publish -p:PublishReadyToRun=true -p:PublishSingleFile=true -p:IncludeNativeLibrariesForSelfExtract=true --self-contained=true -p:DebugType=None .\FloatingGlucose\FloatingGlucose.csproj

Yes, now I have a single EXE I can run of this now .NET 5 WinForms app:

Floating Glucose

Fab. That was fun. Took about 2 hours. Consider if YOU can update your "legacy" codebase to .NET 5 and reap the benefits! Here is the 'works on my machine' late night release. PR's welcome. Night!


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Can you really develop with Linux GUI Apps on Windows 10 with WSLg? How about PyCharm?

April 22, 2021 Comment on this post [3] Posted in Linux | Win10
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I blogged about How to run Linux GUI apps on Windows 10 with WSL and WSLg, but how "real" is this? Are these just toy apps? Nope.

I wanted to see if I could install the Community Edition of PyCharm on Ubuntu 20.04. Even though I can't use "snaps" yet on WSL (because of systemd support in progress) I can easily just get the tar file, untar it, and run it and it works.

I did a wget of the standalone, then tar xzf'ed into a folder and ran pycharm.sh and it literally just worked.

When debugging I did get an "unable to execute x86_64-linux-gnu-gcc" error but that's just because I hadn't setup build-essentials yet. Once I installed the right stuff I was all set.

sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf libtool 

Cool looking, eh?

Linux PyCharm on Windows running under Ubuntu 20.04 with WSL and WSLg

I prefer to do most of my Linux dev using VSCode Remote but there's a TON of options here now that you can run Windows apps, Linux apps, or split-brain apps with half inside Linux and half in Windows. Amazing stuff!

VS Code Remote Architecture

You can learn about WSLg over in their GitHub, it's all open source.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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How to run Linux GUI apps on Windows 10 with WSL and WSLg

April 21, 2021 Comment on this post [5] Posted in Linux | Win10
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Many folks have installed X servers and X410 on their Windows 10 machines and hacked together very nice X Server set ups with WSL over the years. However, that support is now official and coming to Windows very soon. It's already in Windows 10 Insiders Dev and is in builds 21364 or higher. (Run winver to see what version of Windows you have.)

If you want to try it out, all you have to do is run "wsl --update" from and command line and you're set. If you have 21364 already but you don't have WSL installed, it's even easier to get started now. (Full details on GitHub as the whole thing is open source as well!)

wsl --install -d Ubuntu

The best part of all this is that you just install Linux GUI apps in your distro with apt install like you would already, and they'll show up automatically in the Windows Start Menu!

Linux GUI apps running from Start Menu

Even better, if you have a nice GPU, you can run WSLg on a system with virtual GPU (vGPU) enabled for WSL so you can benefit from hardware accelerated OpenGL rendering. You can find preview driver supporting WSL from each of our partners below.

Here's the Dolphin Emulator running on my Surface Book 3 laptop on the NVidia vGPU at ~60 fps.

Dolphin on WSL under Windows 10 running at 60fps

You can even run Chrome, Edge, or Teams under Linux on Windows 10 with WSLg.

This is more than just X Server support. The community is moving towards Wayland as a simpler X, but there's also Weston to consider as a great compositor to build on. Weston already had a RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) backend and could use with with FreeRDP. But windows already has Windows Virtual Desktop that uses RDP RAIL (Remote Application Integrated Locally) as well as VAIL (Virtualized Application Integrated Locally) for optimizing transport over VM (local) boundaries vs network ones. There's an amazing blog post on WSLg Architecture here by Steve Pronovost.

diagram-description-automatically-generated

All this means more than just X apps, WSLg works with OpenGL apps and works amazingly on systems with a GPU that supports WDDMv3.0. The preview drivers linked to above will eventually ship in Windows Update automatically when all this is generally available.

Finally, interesting stuff is cooking at Canonical (Ubuntu) with their custom WSL2 specific distro for Ubuntu on Windows! It's in preview for now:

The Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview will only be available through this link to the Microsoft store. You will not be able to find the Community Preview just by searching in the Microsoft Store.

And finally, here's some answers to some of your "ya but you can do THIS?" questions about running Linux GUI apps on Windows 10.

Can you run The Gimp under WSLg?

Yes. Do know that things in WSLg look best under round number DPI scaling. I'm at 200 here. It'll look back at 175% or something fractional unless you explicitly turn on WESTON_RDP_DISABLE_FRACTIONAL_HI_DPI_SCALING=true in your /mnt/c/ProgramData/Microsoft/WSL/.wslgconfig. But trust me, stay with round numbers.

EzndJavUYAErYqb

Can you run Wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator) to run Windows under WSLg under Linux under Windows?

Absolutely. Here I'm running Internet Explorer (after installing Gecko) under Wine under WSL in Ubuntu on Windows. Why not?

EznjLMtVgAA3oeP

How fast is it? Here I'm running Windows 3.1 emulated within Javascript using PCJS under WSLg within Edge for Linux on Windows 10. It's very fast.

EznlBT0VkAIQD3W

Does PulseAudio work?

Totally does. Out of the box. The genius of the architecture is that there's an already setup WSLg System Distro (this means it's more robust and you can't mess up the settings and accidentally break something) that has everything prepped and working.

Conclusion

If you don't like this or you think this is silly to you, then you likely don't have a problem that this solves for you. For me, this just makes my Windows machine an amazing Linux desktop on top of being a great Windows 10 desktop machine, without the overhead or hassle of a Linux VM. WSLg will let you run other IDEs such as gedit, JetBrains based editors, gvim, etc., to test, build, and debug your Linux applications in a high performance manner. You can also run VS Code on Windows like I do and use VS Code Remote to talk to WSL/Linux.

Go read about WSLg and check it out for yourself! Also be sure to check out the work that Pengwin Linux and the folks at Whitewater Foundry are doing as their distro works with WSLg out of the box already!


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Converting a 13 year old .NET WPF app called BabySmash to a self-contained .NET 5 app with the .NET Upgrade Assistant

April 08, 2021 Comment on this post [0] Posted in BabySmash | DotNetCore
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13 years ago I wrote a .NET 3.5 WPF application for my then 2 year old baby/toddler. Maybe he was 18 months. He was small. He now wants to drive. https://www.babysmash.com/ continues to be a thing, even today. Recently "Chris The Meme God" had a 20 million view TikTok featuring BabySmash...where he failed to mention the URL. Sigh.

Anyway, the code has been up at http://github.com/shanselman/babysmash for years and other than a few small fixes, really hasn't been touched in 4 or 5 years.

Until Cathy Sullivan from the .NET team used BabySmash as a test application to upgrade to .NET 5 in the year 2021. She used the .NET Upgrade Assistant. She even LIVE STREAMED the upgrade process!

image

Cathy sent me a PR and we put the resulting .NET 5 BabySmash application in a new dotnet5 branch at https://github.com/shanselman/babysmash/tree/dotnet5. I'd encourage you to check it out as it's very easy to build now.

Make sure you get the dotnet5 branch and "dotnet build" from there, not the main branch.

The version that Cathy sent me built great in Visual Studio but had a small issue when building from the command line. Fortunately Alex Elia followed up with a PR of his own that enabled BabySmash to cleanly build from the command line with just the .NET 5 SDK.

He said:

I wasn't readily able to find artifacts for the .NET 5.0 version of BabySmash, so I made a pull request against the repository with a continuous integration pipeline, updated README and adjustments to enable using the .NET CLI for build/run/publish workflows. 

https://github.com/shanselman/babysmash/pull/25

It was a project property [that prevented it from building from the command line.] The .NET CLI targets one version of MSBuild whereas Visual Studio/devenv.exe targets another. There was one particular property, GenerateManifests, in the csproj that the .NET CLI version of MSBuild rejected.

The property GenerateManifests being set to true chain triggers down to a call to MSBuild for a task FormatUrl (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/msbuild/formaturl-task?view=vs-2019) which is fairly intuitively named; It formats a URL. The .NET CLI version of MSBuild does not support this task and thus rejects the build.

Interesting note on why it was difficult to find this. WPF projects trigger a build task called MarkupCompilePass1 (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/msbuild/markupcompilepass1-task?view=vs-2019) to process the xaml/cs views files into generated .g.cs and baml files. If the build failed due to the GenerateManifests error then that dotnet.exe process would hang and subsequent builds will fail due to a collision on the WPF .g.cs generated files. 

Fantastic! I followed up with this small tweak to the "dotnet publish" command line which allows us to now to make a single babysmash.exe file that includes the whole app and .NET, with NO INSTALL.

dotnet publish --configuration Release --runtime=win10-x64 --output ./publish -p:PublishReadyToRun=true -p:PublishSingleFile=true -p:IncludeNativeLibrariesForSelfExtract=true --self-contained=true -p:DebugType=None

You can get the babysmash.exe from https://github.com/shanselman/babysmash/releases/tag/dotnet5-v0.1 if you'd like, or just install the old one from http://www.babysmash.com!


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Take your Windows Terminal and PowerShell to the next level with Terminal Icons

April 06, 2021 Comment on this post [32] Posted in Win10
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I'm having a blast customizing my terminal and making my prompt awesome.

I thought it was lovely when I added Oh my Posh 3. But now that I've seen Kayla Cinnamon's terminal MINE IS HIDEOUS!

Windows Terminal Pretty Prompt

Ok, what can we add? MOAR ICONS.

Turns out that Brandon Olin from StackOverflow has created a Terminals Icons package that is *chefs kiss*. Go give this man 1000 stars, please.

Given I'm using the completely overpowered "caskaydiacove nf" Nerd Font Variant of the lovely Cascadia Code font, I've got all the icons I need ready to go!

I just install. (I'm using PowerShell 7 from the Windows Store, but remember PowerShell is cross platform):

PS> Install-Module -Name Terminal-Icons -Repository PSGallery

And then add one line to my $profile (edit with "code $profile"):

Import-Module -Name Terminal-Icons

Now look at a directory, use dir, ls, or get-childitem, it doesn't matter...AND BEHOLD:

Lovely PowerShell with Directory Icons

Thanks Brandon and Kayla! Great stuff! What customizations have YOU made?


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.