Interesting links of the week (12/10 – 12/16, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (12/10 – 12/16, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

Random

Exercises for Programmers – Weather Checker in C#

Update: This post is part of the Second Annual C# Advent.

Along with koans and katas, several books have helped me knock the rust off after a recent two-year stint as a non-coding team leader. One of the exercises in Brian P. Hogan’sExercises for Programmers: 57 Challenges to Developer Your Coding Skills” jumped out at me recently, so I decided to tackle it.

At its simplest, exercise 48 – Grabbing the Weather is a relatively short exercise that asks you to use the OpenWeatherMap API and display weather information.

I decided to create a .NET Core console application. I started out at my beloved command line:

Weather_new.png
With the application created, I need to make sure it’s in git. It’s not that this is a hugely important application, it’s more about practicing good habits with source code control.

After initializing git, I copied an existing .gitignore file from another .NET project and then added my files and did an initial commit.

Weather_git.png

At this point, it’s a toss up whether to use Vim, VS Code or Visual Studio, but in this case, I used Visual Studio since it’s what many people are using AND because I have the VsVim extension installed. Best of both worlds!

The requirements for the exercise:

Using the OpenWeatherMap API at http://openweathermap.org/current, create a program that prompts for a city name and returns the current temperature for the city.

Easy enough! The first thing I need to do is visit https://openweathermap.org/current and either sign up or sign in. Sign up is free and takes about a minute. Once you have an account, you’ll need an API key. An account has a default key, so you can simply grab the key and hold on to it OR create a new one. Keep in mind, it might take some time for the key to become active.

I want my console application to call a service that will hide all the details of fetching the weather. Who knows, at some point, I may want to change weather providers and using a service should insulate the client (the console application) from internal code changes.

Instead of a city name, I want my weather service to take in a zip code and return back the a structure with all the data the OpenWeatherMap API returns.

public interface IWeatherFetcher
{
CurrentWeather GetCurrentWeather(string zipCode);
}

In Main, the call will look something like this:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
Console.WriteLine(“Mike’s Weather App”);

IWeatherFetcher wf = new WeatherFetcher();
var currentWeather = wf.GetCurrentWeather(“49036”);

Console.ReadLine();
}

The service:

public CurrentWeather GetCurrentWeather(string zipCode)
{
var json = RunAsync(“your API key”, zipCode).GetAwaiter().GetResult();
return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<CurrentWeather>(json);
}

private HttpClient client = new HttpClient();
private async Task<string> RunAsync(string key, string zipCode)
{
client.BaseAddress = new Uri(“http://api.openweathermap.org&#8221;);
client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Accept.Clear();
client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Accept.Add(new MediaTypeWithQualityHeaderValue(“application/json”));

var result = “”;
try
{
result = await GetWeatherAsync(key, zipCode);
}
catch(Exception e)
{
Console.WriteLine(e.Message);
}

return result;
}

private async Task<string> GetWeatherAsync(string key, string zipCode)
{
var result = “”;
string url = $”/data/2.5/weather?q={zipCode}&units=imperial&appid={key}”;

HttpResponseMessage response = await client.GetAsync(url);
if(response.IsSuccessStatusCode)
{
result = await response.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();
} else {
// dump any errors to the screen
Console.WriteLine(response.ToString());
}
return result;
}

To get the CurrentWeather class, I took the original json that was returned and used a special feature in Visual Studio called “Paste JSON as Classes” found under Edit | Paste Special in Visual Studio.

CurrentWeather (the result of “Paste JSON as Classes”):

public class CurrentWeather
{
public Coord coord { get; set; }
public Weather[] weather { get; set; }
public string _base { get; set; }
public Main main { get; set; }
public int visibility { get; set; }
public Wind wind { get; set; }
public Clouds clouds { get; set; }
public int dt { get; set; }
public Sys sys { get; set; }
public int id { get; set; }
public string name { get; set; }
public int cod { get; set; }
}

public class Coord
{
public int lon { get; set; }
public float lat { get; set; }
}

public class Main
{
public float temp { get; set; }
public int pressure { get; set; }
public int humidity { get; set; }
public float temp_min { get; set; }
public float temp_max { get; set; }
}

public class Wind
{
public float speed { get; set; }
public float deg { get; set; }
}

public class Clouds
{
public int all { get; set; }
}

public class Sys
{
public int type { get; set; }
public int id { get; set; }
public float message { get; set; }
public string country { get; set; }
public int sunrise { get; set; }
public int sunset { get; set; }
}

public class Weather
{
public int id { get; set; }
public string main { get; set; }
public string description { get; set; }
public string icon { get; set; }
}

With all that in place, I can now make one more modification to my Main to display some data:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
Console.WriteLine(“Mike’s Weather App”);

IWeatherFetcher wf = new WeatherFetcher();
var currentWeather = wf.GetCurrentWeather(“49036″);

Console.WriteLine($”The temp in {currentWeather.name} is {currentWeather.main.temp}.”);

Console.ReadLine();
}

I can now display any of the information that’s returned. I have had to make a few adjustments to the generated classes because data types coming back didn’t necessarily match what was generated – for example, Wind.deg was generated as an int, but it comes back as a float. Easy fix, but it’ll take some debugging to get it all correct.

This was a fun exercise that took me about 30 minutes to complete and I still have a couple things to do like actually prompt for the city (or Zip Code). One tweak I made but didn’t really talk about it is the inclusion of the API key within the code. I’ll explain that in a follow-up post.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Oh, and check out the code on GitHub!

 

Interesting links of the week (12/03 – 12/09, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (12/03 – 12/09, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

Random

Interesting links of the week (11/26 – 12/02, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (11/26 – 12/02, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

Random

An excerpt from my “Going Indie” book: Contracts

Yes, I’m behind on getting this thing wrapped up, but yes, it’s still coming!

This isn’t the entire section on Contracts – just a snippet, but it’s important. In fact, this is probably one of the first things I wrote back in July when I started.

The section starts with this quote:

Until the contract is signed, nothing is real. – Glenn Danzig

Contracts

This section can best be summarized by the following:
Do NOT ever engage in a project without having a written contract in place.

If you think people are trustworthy and wouldn’t want to see any harm come to
you or your business, you still need a written contract. If you’re doing work
for a friend you’ve known your entire life, you still need a written
contract. If you’re working with a client and they tell you that the project
is small and you don’t need a contract, you still need a written contract.
I don’t care what the circumstances are – HAVE A CONTRACT!

It bears repeating:
Do NOT ever engage in a project without having a written contract in place.

Interesting links of the week (11/19 – 11/25, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (11/19 – 11/25, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

How to Keep Going When Doubts and Fears are Holding You Back

Random

Interesting links of the week (11/12 – 11/18, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (11/12 – 11/18, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

Random

Interesting links of the week (11/05 – 11/11, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (11/05 – 11/11, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

Random

Interesting links of the week (10/29 – 11/04, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (10/29 – 11/04, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

Random

Interesting links of the week (10/22 – 10/28, 2018)

Interesting links of the week (10/22 – 10/28, 2018)

Here are some articles and blog posts I’ve run into over the last week that I found interesting.

Technology

Non-Technology

Random