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AsyncAwaitBestPractices

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Extensions for System.Threading.Tasks.Task.

Inspired by John Thiriet's blog posts:

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AsyncAwaitBestPractices

NuGet

Available on NuGet: https://www.nuget.org/packages/AsyncAwaitBestPractices/

  • SafeFireAndForget
    • An extension method to safely fire-and-forget a Task or a ValueTask
    • Ensures the Task will rethrow an Exception if an Exception is caught in IAsyncStateMachine.MoveNext()
  • WeakEventManager
    • Avoids memory leaks when events are not unsubscribed
    • Used by AsyncCommand, AsyncCommand<T>, AsyncValueCommand, AsyncValueCommand<T>
  • Usage instructions

AsyncAwaitBestPractices.MVVM

NuGet

  • Available on NuGet: https://www.nuget.org/packages/AsyncAwaitBestPractices.MVVM/

  • Allows for Task to safely be used asynchronously with ICommand:

    • IAsyncCommand : ICommand
    • AsyncCommand : IAsyncCommand
    • IAsyncCommand<T> : ICommand
    • AsyncCommand<T> : IAsyncCommand<T>
    • IAsyncCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncCommand<TExecute>
    • AsyncCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute>
  • Allows for ValueTask to safely be used asynchronously with ICommand:

    • IAsyncValueCommand : ICommand
    • AsyncValueCommand : IAsyncValueCommand
    • IAsyncValueCommand<T> : ICommand
    • AsyncValueCommand<T> : IAsyncValueCommand<T>
    • IAsyncValueCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncValueCommand<TExecute>
    • AsyncValueCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncValueCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute>
  • Usage instructions

Setup

AsyncAwaitBestPractices

AsyncAwaitBestPractices.MVVM

Why Do I Need This?

Podcasts

No Dogma Podcast, Hosted by Bryan Hogan

Video

NDC Oslo 2019

Correcting Common Async Await Mistakes in .NET

Explaination

Async/await is great but there are two subtle problems that can easily creep into code:

  1. Creating race conditions/concurrent execution (where you code things in the right order but the code executes in a different order than you expect)
  2. Creating methods where the compiler recognizes exceptions but you the coder never see them (making it head-scratchingly annoying to debug especially if you accidentally introduced a race condition that you can’t see).

This library solves both of these problems.

To better understand why this library was created and the problem it solves, it’s important to first understand how the compiler generates code for an async method.

tl;dr A non-awaited Task doesn't rethrow exceptions and AsyncAwaitBestPractices.SafeFireAndForget ensures it will

Compiler-Generated Code for Async Method

Compiler-Generated Code for Async Method

(Source: Xamarin University: Using Async and Await)

The compiler transforms an async method into an IAsyncStateMachine class which allows the .NET Runtime to "remember" what the method has accomplished.

Move Next

(Source: Xamarin University: Using Async and Await)

The IAsyncStateMachine interface implements MoveNext(), a method the executes every time the await operator is used inside of the async method.

MoveNext() essentially runs your code until it reaches an await statement, then it returns while the await'd method executes. This is the mechanism that allows the current method to "pause", yielding its thread execution to another thread/Task.

Try/Catch in MoveNext()

Look closely at MoveNext(); notice that it is wrapped in a try/catch block.

Because the compiler creates IAsyncStateMachine for every async method and MoveNext() is always wrapped in a try/catch, every exception thrown inside of an async method is caught!

How to Rethrow an Exception Caught By MoveNext

Now we see that the async method catches every exception thrown - that is to say, the exception is caught internally by the state machine, but you the coder will not see it. In order for you to see it, you'll need to rethrow the exception to surface it in your debugging. So the questions is - how do I rethrow the exception?

There are a few ways to rethrow exceptions that are thrown in an async method:

  1. Use the await keyword (Prefered)
    • e.g. await DoSomethingAsync()
  2. Use .GetAwaiter().GetResult()
    • e.g. DoSomethingAsync().GetAwaiter().GetResult()

The await keyword is preferred because await allows the Task to run asynchronously on a different thread, and it will not lock-up the current thread.

What About .Result or .Wait()?

Never, never, never, never, never use .Result or .Wait():

  1. Both .Result and .Wait() will lock-up the current thread. If the current thread is the Main Thread (also known as the UI Thread), your UI will freeze until the Task has completed.

  2. .Result or .Wait() rethrow your exception as a System.AggregateException, which makes it difficult to find the actual exception.

Usage

AsyncAwaitBestPractices

SafeFireAndForget

An extension method to safely fire-and-forget a Task.

SafeFireAndForget allows a Task to safely run on a different thread while the calling thread does not wait for its completion.

public static async void SafeFireAndForget(this System.Threading.Tasks.Task task, System.Action<System.Exception>? onException = null, bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)
public static async void SafeFireAndForget(this System.Threading.Tasks.ValueTask task, System.Action<System.Exception>? onException = null, bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)

Basic Usage - Task

void HandleButtonTapped(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    // Allows the async Task method to safely run on a different thread while the calling thread continues, not awaiting its completion
    // onException: If an Exception is thrown, print it to the Console
    ExampleAsyncMethod().SafeFireAndForget(onException: ex => Console.WriteLine(ex));

    // HandleButtonTapped continues execution here while `ExampleAsyncMethod()` is running on a different thread
    // ...
}

async Task ExampleAsyncMethod()
{
    await Task.Delay(1000);
}

Basic Usage - ValueTask

If you're new to ValueTask, check out this great write-up, Understanding the Whys, Whats, and Whens of ValueTask .

void HandleButtonTapped(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    // Allows the async ValueTask method to safely run on a different thread while the calling thread continues, not awaiting its completion
    // onException: If an Exception is thrown, print it to the Console
    ExampleValueTaskMethod().SafeFireAndForget(onException: ex => Console.WriteLine(ex));

    // HandleButtonTapped continues execution here while `ExampleAsyncMethod()` is running on a different thread
    // ...
}

async ValueTask ExampleValueTaskMethod()
{
    var random = new Random();
    if (random.Next(10) > 9)
        await Task.Delay(1000);
}

Advanced Usage

void InitializeSafeFireAndForget()
{
    // Initialize SafeFireAndForget
    // Only use `shouldAlwaysRethrowException: true` when you want `.SafeFireAndForget()` to always rethrow every exception. This is not recommended, because there is no way to catch an Exception rethrown by `SafeFireAndForget()`; `shouldAlwaysRethrowException: true` should **not** be used in Production/Release builds.
    SafeFireAndForgetExtensions.Initialize(shouldAlwaysRethrowException: false);

    // SafeFireAndForget will print every exception to the Console
    SafeFireAndForgetExtensions.SetDefaultExceptionHandling(ex => Console.WriteLine(ex));
}

void UninitializeSafeFireAndForget()
{
    // Remove default exception handling
    SafeFireAndForgetExtensions.RemoveDefaultExceptionHandling()
}

void HandleButtonTapped(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    // Allows the async Task method to safely run on a different thread while not awaiting its completion
    // onException: If a WebException is thrown, print its StatusCode to the Console. **Note**: If a non-WebException is thrown, it will not be handled by `onException`
    // Because we set `SetDefaultExceptionHandling` in `void InitializeSafeFireAndForget()`, the entire exception will also be printed to the Console
    ExampleAsyncMethod().SafeFireAndForget<WebException>(onException: ex =>
    {
        if(ex.Response is HttpWebResponse webResponse)
            Console.WriteLine($"Task Exception\n Status Code: {webResponse.StatusCode}");
    });
    
    ExampleValueTaskMethod().SafeFireAndForget<WebException>(onException: ex =>
    {
        if(ex.Response is HttpWebResponse webResponse)
            Console.WriteLine($"ValueTask Error\n Status Code: {webResponse.StatusCode}");
    });

    // HandleButtonTapped continues execution here while `ExampleAsyncMethod()` and `ExampleValueTaskMethod()` run in the background
}

async Task ExampleAsyncMethod()
{
    await Task.Delay(1000);
    throw new WebException();
}

async ValueTask ExampleValueTaskMethod()
{
    var random = new Random();
    if (random.Next(10) > 9)
        await Task.Delay(1000);
        
    throw new WebException();
}

WeakEventManager

An event implementation that enables the garbage collector to collect an object without needing to unsubscribe event handlers.

Inspired by Xamarin.Forms.WeakEventManager.

Using EventHandler

readonly WeakEventManager _canExecuteChangedEventManager = new WeakEventManager();

public event EventHandler CanExecuteChanged
{
    add => _canExecuteChangedEventManager.AddEventHandler(value);
    remove => _canExecuteChangedEventManager.RemoveEventHandler(value);
}

void OnCanExecuteChanged() => _canExecuteChangedEventManager.RaiseEvent(this, EventArgs.Empty, nameof(CanExecuteChanged));

Using Delegate

readonly WeakEventManager _propertyChangedEventManager = new WeakEventManager();

public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged
{
    add => _propertyChangedEventManager.AddEventHandler(value);
    remove => _propertyChangedEventManager.RemoveEventHandler(value);
}

void OnPropertyChanged([CallerMemberName]string propertyName = "") => _propertyChangedEventManager.RaiseEvent(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName), nameof(PropertyChanged));

Using Action

readonly WeakEventManager _weakActionEventManager = new WeakEventManager();

public event Action ActionEvent
{
    add => _weakActionEventManager.AddEventHandler(value);
    remove => _weakActionEventManager.RemoveEventHandler(value);
}

void OnActionEvent(string message) => _weakActionEventManager.RaiseEvent(message, nameof(ActionEvent));

WeakEventManager<T>

An event implementation that enables the garbage collector to collect an object without needing to unsubscribe event handlers.

Inspired by Xamarin.Forms.WeakEventManager.

Using EventHandler<T>

readonly WeakEventManager<string> _errorOcurredEventManager = new WeakEventManager<string>();

public event EventHandler<string> ErrorOcurred
{
    add => _errorOcurredEventManager.AddEventHandler(value);
    remove => _errorOcurredEventManager.RemoveEventHandler(value);
}

void OnErrorOcurred(string message) => _errorOcurredEventManager.RaiseEvent(this, message, nameof(ErrorOcurred));

Using Action<T>

readonly WeakEventManager<string> _weakActionEventManager = new WeakEventManager<string>();

public event Action<string> ActionEvent
{
    add => _weakActionEventManager.AddEventHandler(value);
    remove => _weakActionEventManager.RemoveEventHandler(value);
}

void OnActionEvent(string message) => _weakActionEventManager.RaiseEvent(message, nameof(ActionEvent));

AsyncAwaitBestPractices.MVVM

AsyncCommand

Allows for Task to safely be used asynchronously with ICommand:

  • AsyncCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute>
  • IAsyncCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncCommand<TExecute>
  • AsyncCommand<T> : IAsyncCommand<T>
  • IAsyncCommand<T> : ICommand
  • AsyncCommand : IAsyncCommand
  • IAsyncCommand : ICommand
public AsyncCommand(Func<TExecute, Task> execute,
                     Func<TCanExecute, bool>? canExecute = null,
                     Action<Exception>? onException = null,
                     bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)
public AsyncCommand(Func<T, Task> execute,
                     Func<object?, bool>? canExecute = null,
                     Action<Exception>? onException = null,
                     bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)
public AsyncCommand(Func<Task> execute,
                     Func<object?, bool>? canExecute = null,
                     Action<Exception>? onException = null,
                     bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)
public class ExampleClass
{
    bool _isBusy;

    public ExampleClass()
    {
        ExampleAsyncCommand = new AsyncCommand(ExampleAsyncMethod);
        ExampleAsyncIntCommand = new AsyncCommand<int>(ExampleAsyncMethodWithIntParameter);
        ExampleAsyncIntCommandWithCanExecute = new AsyncCommand<int, int>(ExampleAsyncMethodWithIntParameter, CanExecuteInt);
        ExampleAsyncExceptionCommand = new AsyncCommand(ExampleAsyncMethodWithException, onException: ex => Console.WriteLine(ex.ToString()));
        ExampleAsyncCommandWithCanExecuteChanged = new AsyncCommand(ExampleAsyncMethod, _ => !IsBusy);
        ExampleAsyncCommandReturningToTheCallingThread = new AsyncCommand(ExampleAsyncMethod, continueOnCapturedContext: true);
    }

    public IAsyncCommand ExampleAsyncCommand { get; }
    public IAsyncCommand<int> ExampleAsyncIntCommand { get; }
    public IAsyncCommand<int, int> ExampleAsyncIntCommandWithCanExecute { get; }
    public IAsyncCommand ExampleAsyncExceptionCommand { get; }
    public IAsyncCommand ExampleAsyncCommandWithCanExecuteChanged { get; }
    public IAsyncCommand ExampleAsyncCommandReturningToTheCallingThread { get; }
    
    public bool IsBusy
    {
        get => _isBusy;
        set
        {
            if (_isBusy != value)
            {
                _isBusy = value;
                ExampleAsyncCommandWithCanExecuteChanged.RaiseCanExecuteChanged();
            }
        }
    }

    async Task ExampleAsyncMethod()
    {
        await Task.Delay(1000);
    }
  
    async Task ExampleAsyncMethodWithIntParameter(int parameter)
    {
        await Task.Delay(parameter);
    }

    async Task ExampleAsyncMethodWithException()
    {
        await Task.Delay(1000);
        throw new Exception();
    }

    bool CanExecuteInt(int count)
    {
        if(count > 2)
            return true;
        
        return false;
    }

    void ExecuteCommands()
    {
        _isBusy = true;
    
        try
        {
            ExampleAsyncCommand.Execute(null);
            ExampleAsyncIntCommand.Execute(1000);
            ExampleAsyncExceptionCommand.Execute(null);
            ExampleAsyncCommandReturningToTheCallingThread.Execute(null);
            
            if(ExampleAsyncCommandWithCanExecuteChanged.CanExecute(null))
                ExampleAsyncCommandWithCanExecuteChanged.Execute(null);
            
            if(ExampleAsyncIntCommandWithCanExecute.CanExecute(1))
                ExampleAsyncIntCommandWithCanExecute.Execute(1);
        }
        finally
        {
            _isBusy = false;
        }
    }
}

AsyncValueCommand

Allows for ValueTask to safely be used asynchronously with ICommand.

If you're new to ValueTask, check out this great write-up, Understanding the Whys, Whats, and Whens of ValueTask .

  • AsyncValueCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncValueCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute>
  • IAsyncValueCommand<TExecute, TCanExecute> : IAsyncValueCommand<TExecute>
  • AsyncValueCommand<T> : IAsyncValueCommand<T>
  • IAsyncValueCommand<T> : ICommand
  • AsyncValueCommand : IAsyncValueCommand
  • IAsyncValueCommand : ICommand
public AsyncValueCommand(Func<TExecute, ValueTask> execute,
                            Func<TCanExecute, bool>? canExecute = null,
                            Action<Exception>? onException = null,
                            bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)
public AsyncValueCommand(Func<T, ValueTask> execute,
                            Func<object?, bool>? canExecute = null,
                            Action<Exception>? onException = null,
                            bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)
public AsyncValueCommand(Func<ValueTask> execute,
                            Func<object?, bool>? canExecute = null,
                            Action<Exception>? onException = null,
                            bool continueOnCapturedContext = false)
public class ExampleClass
{
    bool _isBusy;

    public ExampleClass()
    {
        ExampleValueTaskCommand = new AsyncValueCommand(ExampleValueTaskMethod);
        ExampleValueTaskIntCommand = new AsyncValueCommand<int>(ExampleValueTaskMethodWithIntParameter);
        ExampleValueTaskIntCommandWithCanExecute = new AsyncValueCommand<int, int>(ExampleValueTaskMethodWithIntParameter, CanExecuteInt);
        ExampleValueTaskExceptionCommand = new AsyncValueCommand(ExampleValueTaskMethodWithException, onException: ex => Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString()));
        ExampleValueTaskCommandWithCanExecuteChanged = new AsyncValueCommand(ExampleValueTaskMethod, _ => !IsBusy);
        ExampleValueTaskCommandReturningToTheCallingThread = new AsyncValueCommand(ExampleValueTaskMethod, continueOnCapturedContext: true);
    }

    public IAsyncValueCommand ExampleValueTaskCommand { get; }
    public IAsyncValueCommand<int> ExampleValueTaskIntCommand { get; }
    public IAsyncCommand<int, int> ExampleValueTaskIntCommandWithCanExecute { get; }
    public IAsyncValueCommand ExampleValueTaskExceptionCommand { get; }
    public IAsyncValueCommand ExampleValueTaskCommandWithCanExecuteChanged { get; }
    public IAsyncValueCommand ExampleValueTaskCommandReturningToTheCallingThread { get; }

    public bool IsBusy
    {
        get => _isBusy;
        set
        {
            if (_isBusy != value)
            {
                _isBusy = value;
                ExampleValueTaskCommandWithCanExecuteChanged.RaiseCanExecuteChanged();
            }
        }
    }

    async ValueTask ExampleValueTaskMethod()
    {
        var random = new Random();
        if (random.Next(10) > 9)
            await Task.Delay(1000);
    }

    async ValueTask ExampleValueTaskMethodWithIntParameter(int parameter)
    {
        var random = new Random();
        if (random.Next(10) > 9)
            await Task.Delay(parameter);
    }

    async ValueTask ExampleValueTaskMethodWithException()
    {
        var random = new Random();
        if (random.Next(10) > 9)
            await Task.Delay(1000);

        throw new Exception();
    }

    bool CanExecuteInt(int count)
    {
        if(count > 2)
            return true;
        
        return false;
    }

    void ExecuteCommands()
    {
        _isBusy = true;

        try
        {
            ExampleValueTaskCommand.Execute(null);
            ExampleValueTaskIntCommand.Execute(1000);
            ExampleValueTaskExceptionCommand.Execute(null);
            ExampleValueTaskCommandReturningToTheCallingThread.Execute(null);

            if (ExampleValueTaskCommandWithCanExecuteChanged.CanExecute(null))
                ExampleValueTaskCommandWithCanExecuteChanged.Execute(null);

            if(ExampleValueTaskIntCommandWithCanExecute.CanExecute(2))
                ExampleValueTaskIntCommandWithCanExecute.Execute(2);
        }
        finally
        {
            _isBusy = false;
        }
    }
}

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