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 March 4th, 2009

Safely cleaning HTML with strip_tags in C# - 9

Removing unwanted tags with StripTags/strip_tags

One of my favorites in the PHP libraries is the strip_tags function. Not only does it neatly remove HTML from an input it also allows you to specify which tags should stay. This is great if you are allowing your visitors to apply some basic HTML tags to their comments. This post explores two issues: using C# to remove unwanted tags, and cleaning up unwanted attributes that might be hidden in the allowed tags.

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 March 3rd, 2009

Using C# and .NET to send an e-mail through SMTP - 7

Sending an e-mail using .NET

Sending an e-mail is pretty old news by now so it should come as no surprise that .NET contains a significant SMTP mail client. One old programming truth still holds: All programs will expand to eventually include sending (and receiving) e-mails. So how about adding e-mail to your program ? This post explores how we can use the System.Mail.SmtpClient to send formatted e-mails. There are plenty of options available and we will explore most of them.

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 February 24th, 2009

Simple class to submit (POST) a Web form from C# - 15

Today I needed to automate posting some data to a web form from a C# program, and sure enough this is not at all that difficult. But surprisingly you need to call quite a large number of methods to get your data ready to ship. A working code example only took a few minutes to write but it took quite a bit more time to clean things up. You can find the full implementation at the end of this post.

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 February 23rd, 2009

Using the C# WebClient class to upload and download FTP files - 3

Your C# program has just calculated the weekly sales report and you need to upload it to the company file server. The C# System.Net.Webclient class makes this quite trivial. The same for downloading a file from the server and then parsing it for content. This post shows how you can use basic FTP actions to upload, download files and either store them in memory or write them to disk.

At the end of this post you will find my BasicFTPClient class that implements the uploading and downloading code.

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 February 13th, 2009

C# Preprocessor Directives Explained - Comments Off

By using pre-processor directives you can exclude parts of your code from being seen by the compiler. Excluded from the assembly they are never seen at run-time. This is different from a regular if (x) {} block where code is actually compiled in, evaluated at runtime and added to the assembly.

To understand why you would want to do this, a little history: One of the good things about C is that it works on every imaginable platform, the bad thing was of course that it works on every imaginable platform. There was always a little tweaking required to get your code to compile. Your program might have needed to compile on Amiga, DOS , OS/2, Windows or Linux. The invention of the preprocessor made this much easier. As a separate step prior to compilation it combs through the source code and modifies it according to the pre-processing instructions found in the source code. The C compiler never gets to see the things that don’t apply to it.

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 February 13th, 2009

Manipulating Strings in C# -Replacing part of a string / Replacing all occurences of a sub-string - 3

Very often you need to change part of a string, maybe just once, or many times over. Strings in .NET/C# are immutable we cannot actually change a string in-place. But we are able to work on copies. The code example below attaches two new methods to the C# string class.

  • The ReplaceFirst method replaces the first occurrence of “needle” in a string and replaces it with “replacement”.
  • The ReplaceAll function is similar: it steps through the string modifying it each time it finds “needle” and replaces it. To avoid a possible infinite loop it first checks whether “needle” is equivalent to “replacement”.

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 February 11th, 2009

Manipulating Strings in C# – Finding all occurrences of a string within another string - 4

A common programming problem is to find the position of all copies of a string in another string. For finding the first copy the C# string method IndexOf is similar to the C strpos() function. It returns the first occurrence of a string in another string. But what if you would like to find the position of all occurances of the substring? The following “IndexOfAll” method does just that. It returns an IEnumerable containing the offsets of each sub-string in the main string.

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 February 10th, 2009

C# Anonymous types: the Basics - Comments Off

With the introduction of .NET 3.5 C# includes the “var” keyword to support anonymous types. One important motivation for this was to make code written with LINQ (Language-Integrated Query) easier to read. So what is an anonymous type? Anonymous types simply mean that you don’t specify the type — but let the compiler do it instead.

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 February 5th, 2009

Using String.Split and String.Join to build a simple CSV reader and writer in C# - Comments Off

Creating Delimited Strings in C#
Whole programming languages have been designed (*cough* perl) so that we can cut delimited strings into bits and string them back together. For this purpose C# provides the String.Split() and String.Join() functions. You specify how you would like to split or merge the string and they do the work. In this post we look at some common example uses and then put together a simple CSV (comma separated values) parser.

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 February 4th, 2009

Formatting Strings in C# with String.Format - 2

A String.Format Reference for C#

String.Format is a very powerful method but the documentation at MSDN is quite wordy and spreads the details over many pages. For this post I have made quick reference to its many specifiers and for good measure added some examples to help get you started.If you would like to format a date, currency, number or just the time, String.Format is your friend.
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