Isolated Storage ... not that isolated?

A few weeks ago when I was at the //publish event in London I had some trouble getting my code to work properly. You know, because the day you need to hack something together quickly is the day the computer goes “I know what you want to do, but you’re missing something, and I can’t tell you what”.

One of my biggest issues that day was that I was reading some data off of IsolatedStorage, and then doing some manipulation so the ViewModel could work it’s magic, and that somehow managed to modify the data which I thought was safely stored in IsolatedStorage.

object o = StorageUtility.ReadSetting(Utilities.PLAN_LOG);
var log = o as PlanLog;
var lastNWorkouts = log.Workouts.OrderByDescending(w > w.Date)
                                .Where(w => w.Exercises.Any(e => e.ExerciseName.Equals(config.TargetExercise)))
var lastWorkout = lastNWorkouts.First().Exercises.First(e => e.ExerciseName.Equals(config.TargetExercise));

This is part of my Workout Tracking library that I’m using in my Stronglifts app and trying to extend into something (hopefully) quite useful. So, the first bit is quite simple. I have a little utility class I’m using to read and write to IS which I won’t bother you with right now. I get the data and set a couple of LINQ queries to get the bits that I need.

CurrentWorkout.ExerciseList.FirstOrDefault(e => e.Name.Equals(config.TargetExercise)).Sets = new List(lastWorkout.Sets)

My idea was that I had this data, fresh out of IS, and I wanted to copy it to my Model, which the ViewModel would then access to do it’s thing. So rhat this bit of code was supposed to do was create a new List of Set, copying the elements from what I read from Isolated Storage. What was in fact happening is that I was creating a new list but the Set instances were referencing the original data. So when I then modified the data on my new list, the data in Isolated Storage would also get those changes (without me explicitly writing to it).

Now, as I side note, that code was in the published app and I swear I didn’t notice anything misbehaving, but when debugging my app to show it off at the //publish event, any changes to the Sets list would affect the serialized data in IS. My suspicion is that since that Set class was a reference type, the CLR kept that “connection” alive, allowing changes to propagate to IsolatedStorage. So it’s not as “isolated” as I believed.

In the end I had to modify that one line of code to ensure that I was created new instances of every item:

for (int i = 0; i < lastWorkout.Sets.Count; i++)
    CurrentWorkout.ExerciseList.FirstOrDefault(e => e.Name.Equals(config.TargetExercise)).Sets[i] = new Set()
        NumberOfReps = lastWorkout.Sets[i].NumberOfReps,
        SetType = lastWorkout.Sets[i].SetType,
        Unit = lastWorkout.Sets[i].Unit,
        Weight = lastWorkout.Sets[i].Weight

… Yeah, I don’t like that either. If you have a better idea I’m all ears.

That’s all for now.

Filipe Duarte

Filipe Duarte
Hi, I’m Filipe. I’m a Software Engineer, from Portugal, currently living in London, building stuff for NewDay.

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