Data Serialization on iOS with Unity and AOT Problems

Super quick tip!
I’ve come up with a problem when making a generic data serialization method in which I write my data to a binary file, which is an error that only occurs on iOS because it can’t run JIT ( Just-in-time ) compilation and/or AOT ( Ahead-of-time ) compilation because it doesn’t allow runtime code generation.

There are some answers on Unity Ansers, but this forum post had the same problem as I was, and there is a fix that did it for me, that’s on Unity Answers here with a pretty good explanation.

So, yup, my solution was to add that same piece of code on the file where I am invoking the code.

 void Awake( )
    {
    #if UNITY_IOS
        // Forces a different code path in the BinaryFormatter that doesn't rely on run-time code generation (which would break on iOS).
        Environment.SetEnvironmentVariable("MONO_REFLECTION_SERIALIZER", "yes");
    #endif
        // ...
        LoadData();
    }

So just in case, I’ll leave this here for future reference. ;)

Non Blocking C# Task Cancelling

In our previous sample snippet, Cancel a Loop in a Task with CancellationTokens in c# , I try to explain how we can get out of a looping c# task, but a problem may arise from that situation. If we were to wait for any result out of that Task, we would be blocking the calling thread until the task returned, which is not good if we are on the main thread. We would locking our UI and might crash our application.

So I’ve been testing different ways to get out of that loop without causing any trouble, and you can achieve what we want many different ways.

So, to begin with, I think I would correctly assume that it is only necessary to wait for a task to complete if that task will return something. If there is no return value, why would we want to call wait on it? We can just break out of it, correct me if I’m wrong. If we have a return value, then it is necessary to surround the wait call on the task with try/catch to receive its result. But then again, we can avoid the locking here with a continuation task, which will create and start the task after the first one completes, giving us the result from the previous task to work with.

Continue reading “Non Blocking C# Task Cancelling”

Measure Method Time Performance

Quick snippet to let you check the time used by any method you have.

public static void CalculateTime( Action method )
{
    Stopwatch chrono = new Stopwatch();
    chrono.Start();

    method.Invoke();
            
    chrono.Stop();
    Console.WriteLine("Method : " + method.Method.Name + ", Time: " + chrono.ElapsedMilliseconds + " (ms)");
}

This will write to the console the time spent on the method.

DiagnosticStaticClass.CalculateTime( MyExpensiveMethod );

Just remember to use System.Diagnostics.
More info on Stopwatch.

That’s it. Enjoy.

Cancel a Loop in a Task with CancellationTokens in C#

This post explains the use of Cancellation Token in C# using Tasks, which are available since .Net Framework 4.

Say you’ve created a asynchronous Task. The method you’re running inside your task contains a loop ( infinite or not ), and you want to break out of it peacefully. You would need to create a CancellationTokenSource and pass a Cancellation Token to the Task so it can be accessed in the main loop.

Continue reading “Cancel a Loop in a Task with CancellationTokens in C#”

Generic Method

I’ve come up with a pretty neat solution to this:
If you don’t want to write the same method for different data types, you can use generics.

///
/// Math Class that helps
/// 
public static class MathHelper
{
    ///
    /// Clamps value within desired range
    /// 
    ///Value to be clamped
    ///Min range
    ///Max range
    /// Clamped value within range
    public static int Clamp(int value, int min, int max)
    {
        if (value > max)
            return max;
        if (value < min)
            return min;
        return value;
    }

    ///
    /// Clamps value within desired range
    /// 
    ///Value to be clamped
    ///Min range
    ///Max range
    /// Clamped value within range
    public static float Clamp(float value, float min, float max)
    {
        if (value > max)
            return max;
        if (value < min)
            return min;
        return value;
    }

    ///
    /// Clamps value within desired range
    /// 
    ///Value to be clamped
    ///Min range
    ///Max range
    /// Clamped value within range
    public static double Clamp(double value, double min, double max)
    {
        if (value > max)
            return max;
        if (value < min)
            return min;
        return value;
    }
}

It’s pretty easy once you know what to look for :) Just search Generics c# and you’ll find a bunch of questions and answers on StackOverflow, msdn and CodeProject :)
Here’s the solution:

///
/// Math Class that helps
/// 
public static class MathHelper
{
    ///
    /// Clamps value within desired range
    /// This is a generic. So use any type you want
    /// 
    ///Value to be clamped
    ///Min range
    ///Max range
    /// Clamped value within range
    public static T Clamp(T value, T min, T max) 
        where T : IComparable
    {
        T result = value;
        if (result.CompareTo(max) > 0)
            result = max;
        if (result.CompareTo(min) < 0)
            result = min;

        return result;
    }
}

Pretty Cool eh!? :)

Now instead of having multiple methods to make the same operation, you have one that works for many types.

int val = MathHelper.Clamp(-1, 0, 2);              // for ints
float val = MathHelper.Clamp(-1.0f, 0.0f, 2.0f);   // for floats
double val = MathHelper.Clamp(-1.0d, 0.0d, 2.0d);  // for doubles