Sunday, May 31, 2009

Duck typing extensions for Windsor

Whenever you have to use some piece of legacy code that's badly designed (i.e. static, no coding to interfaces, god classes), your own code gets tainted with some unwanted dependencies or it gets harder to test because of that unmockable legacy code.

The usual cure for this is to isolate the legacy code with adapters, factories, etc. But what if the legacy code isn't so bad? What if we only need to extract an interface? The resulting adapter would be just trivially forwarding calls to the real object... which is boring code. Can't we do better?

After my last post I've been playing a bit more with David Meyer's Duck Typing Project (aka DeftTech) and thought it would be nice to have the ability to expose a registered Windsor component under one or more duck-typed interfaces. Kind of like forwarded types, but without having the service actually implement those interfaces.

So I came up with a couple of simple extension methods that allow this:

public class Duck {
    public bool HasQuacked { get; private set; }
    public bool HasSwum { get; private set;}

    public void Quack() {
        HasQuacked = true;

    public void Swim() {
        HasSwum = true;

public interface IQuack {
    void Quack();

public interface ISwimmer {
    void Swim();

public void WindsorDuckTyping() {
    var container = new WindsorContainer();
    DuckComponentExtensions.Kernel = container.Kernel;
    ISwimmer swimmer = container.Resolve<ISwimmer>();
    IQuack quack = container.Resolve<IQuack>();
    Duck duck = container.Resolve<Duck>();

So the Duck can be resolved as IQuack even though it doesn't implement IQuack. Here's the code that enables this:

public static class DuckComponentExtensions {
    public static IKernel Kernel { get; set; }

    public static ComponentRegistration<object> Duck<TDuck>(this ComponentRegistration<object> reg) {
        var targetType = reg.Implementation ?? reg.ServiceType;
        if (!DuckTyping.CanCast<TDuck>(targetType))
            throw new ApplicationException(string.Format("Can't duck type '{0}' to type '{1}'", targetType, typeof(TDuck)));
                            .UsingFactoryMethod(k => DuckTyping.Cast<TDuck>(k.Resolve(reg.Name, reg.ServiceType))));
        return reg;

Full source code with tests available here.
Apparently the proxies generated by DeftTech can't be proxied by DynamicProxy... so don't try to define any interceptors for these components! Again, the optimal solution would be to implement proper duck-typing with DynamicProxy...

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