Tuesday 1 July 2014

SNK and me work out a compromise

and bonus feature: our build server configuration
A few days ago I was bemoaning the issue of strong names and nuget. There isn’t a perfect solution, but I think I have a reasonable compromise now. What I have done is:
  • Copy/pasted the csproj, with the duplicates referencing a strong name key
  • Changed those projects to emit an assembly named StackExchange.Redis.StrongName
  • Copy/pasted the nuspec, with the new spec creating the StackExchange.Redis.StrongName package from the new assemblies
  • PINNED the assembly version number; this will not change unless I am introducing breaking changes, which will also coincide with major/minor version number changes – or maybe also for reasonably significant feature additions; not for every point-release, is the thing
  • Ensured I am using [assembly:AssemblyFileVersion] and [assembly:AssembyInformationalVersion] to describe the point-release status
This should achieve the broadest reach with the minimum of fuss and maintenance.
Since that isn’t enough words for a meaningful blog entry, I thought I’d also talk about the build process we use, and the tooling changes we needed for that. Since we are using TeamCity for the builds, it is pretty easy to double everything without complicating the process – I just added the 2 build steps for the new csproj, and told it about the new nuspec:
Likewise, TeamCity includes a tool to automatically tweak the assembly metadata before the build happens – the “AssemblyInfo patcher” – which we can use to pin the one value (to change manually based on human decisions), while keeping the others automatic:
Actually, I’ll probably change that to use a parameter to avoid me having to dig 3 levels down. After that, we can just let it run the build, and out pop the 2 nupkg as artefacts ready for uploading:
If you choose, you can also use TeamCity to set up an internal nuget feed – ideal for both internal use and dogfooding before you upload to nuget.org. In this case, you don’t need to grab the artefacts manually or add a secondary upload step – you can get TeamCity to publish them by default, making them immediately available in-house:
It isn’t obvious in the UI, but this search is actually restricted to the “SE” feed, which is my Visual Studio alias to the TeamCity nuget server:
Other build tools will generally have similar features – simply: this is what works for us.