Author Archives: Nick Vella

About Nick Vella

Hobbyist/Professional software developer and computer science student from Melbourne, Australia.

What’s going on in-between the railway lines at South Yarra?

As part of the Metro Tunnel project, the railway junction on the approach to South Yarra station is being redeveloped to accommodate the new tunnel portal. Whilst this much is obvious, what isn’t immediately clear is the purpose of all that work that’s going between the Caulfield and Sandringham lines.

Satellite image from Apple Maps
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Add automatic OpenAPI client code generation to .NET 6 apps using dotnet-openapi, NSwag and service references

OpenAPI defines a way for web services to clearly define their API for automatic and correct client library generation, and with NSwag, clients for these APIs can be automatically generated for C#. What’s more, rather than generating the source code for these clients manually, a service reference can be added to your .csproj file to generate these clients transparently and automatically at development-time and build-time, —essentially It Just Works! This is truly an amazing (although not specifically unique,) benefit of the .NET tooling ecosystem; any IDE which plugs into the common .NET C# language backend (VS, Code, Rider, you name it) will immediately see and present the generated API client classes and their methods in type suggestions, without anything files having to be compiled or included manually by the developer.

Today I’ll write on how to go about this via a dotnet command-line tool; applicable regardless of the IDE or development platform you use. Whilst Visual Studio users get a simple (and obvious) wizard for adding these API service references, the information regarding the platform-agnostic command-line version seems to be scattered across the ASP.NET Core docs, and personally I felt it was quite obscure and challenging to find. Hopefully this blog post speeds up this process for any other developers going through these same steps for the first time.

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Merry Christmas!

To all my readers, Merry Christmas and happy holidays! It’s been a very challenging year, especially for us here in Melbourne where many of us were confined to our homes. I’m hoping for 2022 to be a much more productive year for myself, and hopefully in the process I’ll be writing a lot more about that journey here.

Wherever you are, I hope you all have a safe and happy time, whether it be with family, friends, or your community. Onwards towards 2022!

–Nick.

DevOps-to-Things with macOS Shortcuts

If you’re a Things user like me, and have to deal with Azure DevOps for working on software projects, I wouldn’t doubt that you’ve thought that there must be some way the two can be linked–some way to get the work items you’re focusing on from DevOps into Things. Up until now, I’ve been adding my important work items to my Things inbox manually, either by copy and pasting their titles, or re-typing their titles in their entirety–both methods of which are frustrating and time consuming. In my opinion, entering items into your task manager shouldn’t force you into a mental ‘context switch’, and switching into Things to paste/type in long-winded work items from DevOps typically leads to this happening, at least for myself.

Trying to solve this, I decided to automate the process with the new Shortcuts app in macOS Monterey. It’s my first ‘big’ shortcut, and whilst I am a software developer and could’ve very well written a fully-fledged script in a language of my choice for this, I settled on Shortcuts for this for two main reasons; it easily integrates with the applications I needed it to integrate with, and it’s easy to share the automations I create with others. The Shortcuts app is the future of automation in the Apple ecosystem, so I very much enjoyed this opportunity to properly dive into it.

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