Coding Horror

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Custom AssemblyInfo Attributes

To complement my previous post bemoaning the lack of respect for AssemblyInfo, I wanted to illustrate just how easy it is to add a few custom attributes to our AssemblyInfo file:

Imports System
Imports System.Reflection
<Assembly: AssemblyTitle("ASPUnhandledException")>
<Assembly: AssemblyDescription("ASP.NET unhandled exception handling library")>
<Assembly: AssemblyCompany("Atwood Heavy Industries")>
<Assembly: AssemblyCompanyEmail("")>
<Assembly: AssemblyCompanyUrl("")>
<Assembly: AssemblyProduct("Exception Handling Framework")>
<Assembly: AssemblyCopyright(" 2004, Atwood Heavy Industries")>
<Assembly: AssemblyTrademark("All Rights Reserved")>
<Assembly: CLSCompliant(True)>
<Assembly: AssemblyVersion("2.1.*")> 

To get the custom attributes AssemblyCompanyUrl and AssemblyCompanyEmail working, just add these two classes to your solution:

<AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Assembly)> _
Public Class AssemblyCompanyEmailAttribute
Inherits System.Attribute
Private _strCompanyEmail As String
Public Sub New(ByVal email As String)
_strCompanyEmail = email
End Sub
Public Overridable ReadOnly Property CompanyEmail() As String
Return _strCompanyEmail
End Get
End Property
End Class
<AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Assembly)> _
Public Class AssemblyCompanyUrlAttribute
Inherits System.Attribute
Private _strCompanyUrl As String
Public Sub New(ByVal url As String)
_strCompanyUrl = url
End Sub
Public Overridable ReadOnly Property CompanyUrl() As String
Return _strCompanyUrl
End Get
End Property
End Class

Once you've compiled your assembly, the obvious question is, how do we get these attributes (custom or standard) back out? I do it with a reflection loop into a NameValueCollection:

Private Shared Function GetAssemblyAttribs(ByVal a As Reflection.Assembly) _
As Specialized.NameValueCollection
Dim attribs() As Object
Dim attrib As Object
Dim Name As String
Dim Value As String
Dim nvc As New Specialized.NameValueCollection
attribs = a.GetCustomAttributes(False)
For Each attrib In attribs
Name = attrib.GetType().ToString()
Value = ""
Select Case Name
Case "System.Reflection.AssemblyTrademarkAttribute"
Name = "Trademark"
Value = CType(attrib, AssemblyTrademarkAttribute).Trademark.ToString
Case "System.Reflection.AssemblyProductAttribute"
Name = "Product"
Value = CType(attrib, AssemblyProductAttribute).Product.ToString
Case "System.Reflection.AssemblyCopyrightAttribute"
Name = "Copyright"
Value = CType(attrib, AssemblyCopyrightAttribute).Copyright.ToString
Case "System.Reflection.AssemblyCompanyAttribute"
Name = "Company"
Value = CType(attrib, AssemblyCompanyAttribute).Company.ToString
Case "System.Reflection.AssemblyTitleAttribute"
Name = "Title"
Value = CType(attrib, AssemblyTitleAttribute).Title.ToString
Case "System.Reflection.AssemblyDescriptionAttribute"
Name = "Description"
Value = CType(attrib, AssemblyDescriptionAttribute).Description.ToString
Case Else
End Select
If Value <> "" Then
If nvc.Item(Name) = "" Then
nvc.Add(Name, Value)
End If
End If
Return nvc
End Function

But I am sure there are other ways.

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Overflow and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: