Visual Studio 2017 – Why can’t I see the local and auto variables during UWP app debugging?

I’d like to share my short episode regarding UWP app debugging which happened today. Recent days I’ve developed a WinRT dynamic library which is based on cppwinrt. Most of time, I tested it with an unittest project and everything went fine. However, when I used the WinRT dll from actual .exe UWP application then very strange problem showed up.

As you see the below screenshots, the Visual Studio 2017 debugger shows nothing about local variables, auto and even watch window variables during the UWP app debugging.

Moreover, if I tried to type specific variables into Watch window or immediate window, the debugger shows ‘Internal error in the C# compiler‘ error message!

Later I noticed that the strange problem starts just right after the following output messages come up from Output window.

‘Example.exe’ (CoreCLR: CoreCLR_UWP_Domain): Loaded ‘Anonymously Hosted DynamicMethods Assembly’.

‘Example.exe’ (Win32): Loaded ‘C:\src\Example\build\Win32\Debug\AppX\Example.winmd’. Module was built without symbols.

‘Example.exe’ (CoreCLR: CoreCLR_UWP_Domain): Loaded ‘C:\src\Example\build\Win32\Debug\AppX\Example.winmd’. Module was built without symbols.

How just loading .winmd file could affect the weird debugger problem? Then I realized I used the same name(‘Example’) for the application and the WinRT module both. Which means I created the WinRT dll component as ‘Example.DLL’ and along with ‘Example.winmd’ as its descriptive winmd file name, of course. But I also named the target UWP application as ‘Example’.

So while debugging, the debugger tried to load the winmd file for it’s target WinRT component which was being debugged and suddenly the namespace seemed clashed within between the app and debugee DLL.

So, I changed the name of the WinRT component as ‘Example.Library.dll’ and problem solved!



Lessons learend (from failuere) while I developing a log server for Windows

Wrote this post in Jan 2015 as a quick draft, and remained as it is still today. I thought it’s not that useful so tried to delete it, but changed mind and released here. Hope it helps.

Recently I developed a logging server based on C#/ on Windows 2008 R2 server. The server primarily does receiving log files from clients and write into database and also drop files to that server. After I released it to production, I met some unexpected issues.

1. Huge(99.9%) memory consumption issue

The logging server writes huge excessive IO to the disk and it instantly caused the os SYSTEM process to consume almost all physical memories. I searched online and analyzed it through the Sysinternals’ RAMMap. It turns out the OS’s system cache takes all the memories. You can find out details from following links: Windows Dynamic Cache Service


KB article


Lesson learned: Reduce the file IO as much as you can!


2. MongoDB

  • Don’t forget to use the indexing
  • You can figure it out whether it uses the index or not by using ‘Explain’


3. Deleting files from disk will take longer than you expect

  • My initial design approach was complete wrong and failure. The server used to drop huge number of files into the physical disk, and just deleting the very small portion of files required actually even hours.

Lesson learned: Does your server collect a number of files? Store it into the database directly.



Beginning the coroutine with Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 Part 2

As we discussed through Part I, co_wait keyword requires sort of “resumable thing”. So what if we want to use co_await with time delta?

For example, you can see the code which the co_await takes std::chrono::duration in order to suspend for the specified time from here:

The answer is the fact that vc++ compiler allows co_await to be overloaded. So, we can overload the co_await keyword and returns the “resumable thing” within the overloading implementation.

See the code here.

If you follow the resume_after(), then you’ll clearly see it actually returns the instance of resumable thing struct which contain implementations of await_ready, await_suspend, and await_resume.

Let’s test with another test sample here.

In this sample, I called the winrt’s co_await as the above sample illustrated.

And if I step into the co_await… we hit the overloaded co_await.


Step in again, then finally it creates resume_after struct instance and calls the await_suspend.



It spawns timer thread with specified time, and finally resume_after::callback static callback is being called.


The callback will finally call resume().


And the resume() transfers its context into where the co_await being called.


And lastly, the coroutine function hits the co_return keyword after looping 5 times,


And reached the end.

Next time, I’d like to talk about another co_await adapter ‘await_adapter’ which makes winrt IAsync.. types possible to be awaitable. Thanks.


How to upload a file from slack using SlackClient?

Slack provides an official python client module which you can easily work with.

It’s simple and easy to use. For example, sending a text line to a specific channel is simple enough to call through just one API – api_call(chat.postMessage, channel=channel, text=msg, attachments=attachment, as_user=True)

You can also upload a file to a channel. However, when I was searching some info how to achieve that at the first time, the answer described in the SlackClient’s Github issue was actually wrong. So I tested and added a snippet. Please check the issue page.

Anyway, I also shared the snippet at the public gist. The ‘upload_file’ method takes a long text as the ‘content’ param and upload it as a file. You’ll also upload a file directory from disk or memory if you modify it slightly.



Building WinRT component with WRL(non C++/CX) and cppwinrt

The cppwinrt project focused to consume Microsoft provided OS winrt components and it doesn’t support building a winrt component(yet) although they mentioned it will be supported later.

Even though it’s not technically supported yet, we still can create a winrt component with WRL(pure C++ and non C++/CX) and still can get some benefits from using cppwinrt within WRL component.

For example, I created a WinRT sample component with WRL and exports IAsyncAction async methods from it. Inside the method, I utilized the cppwinrt provided coroutine method which easily can produce IAsync operations. See the following:

There’s a DemoCore::GetCppwinrtDataasync method defined as this:

It just (detached and) returns the object which also returned from GetAsyncOp private method. GetAsyncOp is a coroutine function which also creates an instance of winrt::Windows::Foundation::IAsyncOperation. And that’s the winrt implementation of IAsyncOperation.

You can download the source project and test it from



Beginning the coroutine with Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 Part 1

I recently started using the cppwinrt library which brought chances dealing with the new C++ standard(yet) coroutine. The cppwinrt recommends using C++ coroutines instead of PPL while handling async operations. Refer to the following github issues for more information:

Although the coroutine concept itself might feel coming familiar because we’re already exposed async programming concept much from python asyncio, C# async/await experiences, however the C++ coroutine requires few prerequisite concepts, predefined structures and functions just in order to begin with. I had absolute no idea those, so I decided to start digging in to understand how things orchestrate and work under the hood.

Fortunately, James McNellis from the Microsoft VC++ team had an introductory talk “Introduction to C++ Coroutines” from the cppcon 2016. The talk is great. You really should watch it first if you want to learn the C++ coroutine. However, it feels like a little ambiguous. So that I decided to write actual codes what he had shown from his slides and test it.

So at the very beginning, I created the simplest C++ console project from the Visual Studio 2015 Update 3.

First, changed the warning level,

Typed the simple awaitable function shown from the slide and tried build it.


And of course the compiler failed to build and showed the following error:


1>—— Build started: Project: resumable-concept, Configuration: Debug x64 ——

1> Skipping… (no relevant changes detected)

1> stdafx.cpp

1> resumable-concept.cpp

1>d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(10): error C3773: please use /await compiler switch to enable coroutines

1>d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(13): error C3774: cannot find ‘std::experimental’: Please include <experimental/resumable> header

1>d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(15): error C3773: please use /await compiler switch to enable coroutines

1>d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(20): error C2228: left of ‘.get’ must have class/struct/union

========== Build: 0 succeeded, 1 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========


So I added the /await option as the error indicated:

Also included required header files at stdafx.h:


And tried build again…….



1>—— Rebuild All started: Project: resumable-concept, Configuration: Debug x64 ——

1> stdafx.cpp

1> resumable-concept.cpp

1> resumable-idea.vcxproj -> D:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\x64\Debug\resumable-concept.exe

1> resumable-idea.vcxproj -> D:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\x64\Debug\resumable-concept.pdb (Full PDB)

========== Rebuild All: 1 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 skipped ==========

Let’s see what the co_await actually does in detail:

From the cppcon talk,

He explains that if we use the co_await keyword, the compiler will generate the code shown on the right. Which means in order to work with the co_await keyword, someone should provide the required functions such as await_ready, await_suspend, await_resume, so from the next page it introduces the ‘awaitable_concept’ structure which has the all functions mentioned.

For example, we used the std::future from the first sample, and you’ll see the following snippets if you open the future std header file and search ‘await_ready’ string.


If so, how can you make your own type to awaitable to work with co_await instead of using std::future?

From the cppcon talk, James explains it type named ‘resumable_thing’.

Let’s type exactly same code he’d shown us and try build it. I added the ‘resume()’ class method which is not listed from the slide but to work. This is to see what functions exactly required to be implemented to work with co_await keyword.


You’ll get following errors when you build the example:


1>—— Build started: Project: resumable-concept, Configuration: Debug x64 ——

1> resumable-concept.cpp

1>d:\devtools\vs14\vc\include\experimental\resumable(44): error C2039: ‘promise_type’: is not a member of ‘resumable_thing’

1> d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(9): note: see declaration of ‘resumable_thing’

1> d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(17): note: see reference to class template instantiation ‘std::experimental::coroutine_traits<resumable_thing>’ being compiled

1>d:\devtools\vs14\vc\include\experimental\resumable(44): error C2061: syntax error: identifier ‘promise_type’

1>d:\devtools\vs14\vc\include\experimental\resumable(44): error C2238: unexpected token(s) preceding ‘;’

1>d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(25): error C2440: ‘initializing’: cannot convert from ‘resumable_thing (__cdecl *)(void)’ to ‘resumable_thing’

1> d:\workspace\playground\async_research\resumable-idea\resumable-idea\resumable-concept.cpp(25): note: No constructor could take the source type, or constructor overload resolution was ambiguous

========== Build: 0 succeeded, 1 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========

Double clicked the first error line to move to exact error location,

1>d:\devtools\vs14\vc\include\experimental\resumable(44): error C2039: ‘promise_type’: is not a member of ‘resumable_thing’

namespace experimental {

    // TEMPLATE CLASS coroutine_traits

    template <typename
_Ret, typename_Ts>



promise_type = typename


As you see, the compiler failed to template instantiate coroutine_traits<resumable_thing> because the promise_type is not declared from resumable_thing.

If so, let’s fill up the remaining method implementations as the slide shows:


Finally works as expected:

If so, what exactly happening from the ‘counter’ coroutine function returns resumable_thing? From the talk, the slide shows the following pseudo code:

If you’re stepping into the assembly code while debugging, you’ll see similar functions are actually implemented:

First of all, it starts its async operation by calling the ‘InitCoro$1’. If you stepped into the inside ‘InitCoro$1’ function, you’ll see the function implements prologue what the next image suggests as the first three lines:

00B12A41 call std::experimental::_Resumable_helper_traits<resumable_thing>::_ConstructPromise (0B1132Ah)

00B12A46 add esp,0Ch

00B12A49 mov byte ptr [ebp-4],1

00B12A4D lea eax,[ebp-0D1h]

00B12A53 push eax

00B12A54 mov ecx,dword ptr [<coro_frame_ptr>]

00B12A57 push ecx

00B12A58 call std::experimental::_Resumable_helper_traits<resumable_thing>::_Promise_from_frame (0B11217h)

00B12A5D add esp,4

00B12A60 mov ecx,eax

00B12A62 call resumable_thing::promise_type::initial_suspend (0B111EFh)

00B12A67 mov dl,byte ptr [eax]

00B12A69 movzx eax,dl

00B12A6C push eax

00B12A6D mov ecx,80h

00B12A72 add ecx,dword ptr [<coro_frame_ptr>]

00B12A75 call `counter’::`5′::<parameters>::<parameters> (0B11FC0h)

00B12A7A mov eax,dword ptr [__$ReturnUdt]

00B12A7D push eax

00B12A7E mov ecx,dword ptr [<coro_frame_ptr>]

00B12A81 push ecx

00B12A82 call std::experimental::_Resumable_helper_traits<resumable_thing>::_Promise_from_frame (0B11217h)

00B12A87 add esp,4

00B12A8A mov ecx,eax

00B12A8C call resumable_thing::promise_type::get_return_object (0B11479h)

00B12A91 mov dword ptr [ebp-4],2

00B12A98 mov ecx,80h

00B12A9D add ecx,dword ptr [<coro_frame_ptr>]

00B12AA0 call std::experimental::suspend_never::await_ready (0B11348h)

00B12AA5 movzx eax,al

00B12AA8 test eax,eax

00B12AAA je counter$_InitCoro$1+0CAh (0B12ABAh)

00B12AAC mov ecx,dword ptr [<coro_frame_ptr>]

00B12AAF push ecx

00B12AB0 call counter$_ResumeCoro$2 (0B12B70h)

00B12AB5 add esp,4

00B12AB8 jmp counter$_InitCoro$1+103h (0B12AF3h)


It first creates the Promise instance:

00B12A41 call std::experimental::_Resumable_helper_traits<resumable_thing>::_ConstructPromise (0B1132Ah)

The function creates it by calling the std::experimental::_Resumable_helper_traits<resumable_thing>::_ConstructPromise(void *, void *, int) function which is implemented at “\VC\include\experimental\resumable”

If you open the file and see the code,

void _ConstructPromise(void *_Addr, void *_Resume_addr, int


            *reinterpret_cast<void **>(_Addr) = _Resume_addr;

            *reinterpret_cast<uint32_t *>(reinterpret_cast<uintptr_t>(_Addr) +

                                         sizeof(void *)) = 2 + (_HeapElision ? 0 : 0x10000);

            auto _Prom = _Promise_from_frame(_Addr);

            ::new (static_cast<void *>(_Prom)) _PromiseT();


It instantiates the promise_type which is defined within resumable_thing from our example. After instantiated, initial_suspend() will be executed as the deck explained.

As a next step, resumable_thing::promise_type::get_return_object() will be called. The resumable_thing instance is getting created from this get_return_object().

The prologue pseudo code explained that _promise.initial_suspend() will be called as a next step, and from the our example, the resumable_thing::promise_type::initial_suspend() returns suspend_never{}. So suspend_never::await_ready is getting called as next.

Finally, if we step into the function counter$_ResumeCoro$2(void) which is below:

There exists actual counter() function implementation if we stepped into resumeCoro. Later when the the_counter.resume() ran, Instruction Pointer is transferred same as if the resumeCoro ran.

Next time, let’s see how the cppwinrt overloads co_await operator and utilize it.

Part II

[C++/Cx] How can I get the AsyncOperationWithProgress progress?

Windows Runtime provides the HttpClient class along with async APIs. For example, you can send a GET request through the GetAsync(Uri) method.

GetAsync() method is an awaitable API so that it returns IAsyncOperationWithProgress<HttpResponseMessage, HttpProgress>^. You will get the HttpResponseMessage by specifying the IAsyncOperationWithProgress to Concurrency::create_task(). However, how can I get the progress?

There’s no direct answer from MSDN but gives a hint here:

You just supply the delegate for the object’s Progress property

Here’s the snippet: