Posts tagged with c - page 13

Observing changes to a List by adding events

In an attempt to get more C# and .NET content up I’m putting up some snippets I’ve put together in response to questions on some C# user support groups. Many of them are not particularly advanced but they are quite useful.

GitHub has the latest version of ObservableList</a> </p> This sample shows how to observe events on an generic IList. It does this by way of implementing the IList interface over the top of something that already supports IList to do the actual work and highlights how useful publishing the interface, IList, separate from the actual concrete class List can be for reuse. ```csharp using System; using System.Collections; using System.Collections.Generic; public class ObservableList : IList { private IList internalList; public class ListChangedEventArgs : EventArgs { public int index; public T item; public ListChangedEventArgs(int index, T item) { this.index = index; this.item = item; } } public delegate void ListChangedEventHandler(object source, ListChangedEventArgs e); public delegate void ListClearedEventHandler(object source, EventArgs e); public event ListChangedEventHandler ListChanged; public event ListClearedEventHandler ListCleared; public ObservableList() { internalList = new List(); } public ObservableList(IList list) { internalList = list; } public ObservableList(IEnumerable collection) { internalList = new List(collection); } protected virtual void OnListChanged(ListChangedEventArgs e) { if (ListChanged != null) ListChanged(this, e); } protected virtual void OnListCleared(EventArgs e) { if (ListCleared != null) ListCleared(this, e); } public int IndexOf(T item) { return internalList.IndexOf(item); } public void Insert(int index, T item) { internalList.Insert(index, item); OnListChanged(new ListChangedEventArgs(index, item)); } public void RemoveAt(int index) { T item = internalList[index]; internalList.Remove(item); OnListChanged(new ListChangedEventArgs(index, item)); } public T this[int index] { get { return internalList[index]; } set { internalList[index] = value; OnListChanged(new ListChangedEventArgs(index, value)); } } public void Add(T item) { internalList.Add(item); OnListChanged(new ListChangedEventArgs(internalList.IndexOf(item), item)); } public void Clear() { internalList.Clear(); OnListCleared(new EventArgs()); } public bool Contains(T item) { return internalList.Contains(item); } public void CopyTo(T[] array, int arrayIndex) { internalList.CopyTo(array, arrayIndex); } public int Count { get { return internalList.Count; } } public bool IsReadOnly { get { return internalList.IsReadOnly; } } public bool Remove(T item) { lock(this) { int index = internalList.IndexOf(item); if (internalList.Remove(item)) { OnListChanged(new ListChangedEventArgs(index, item)); return true; } else return false; } } public IEnumerator GetEnumerator() { return internalList.GetEnumerator(); } IEnumerator IEnumerable.GetEnumerator() { return ((IEnumerable) internalList).GetEnumerator(); } } ``` _[)amien_

First look: Applying Domain-Driven Designs and Patterns

In an attempt to quench my thirst for all things C# and having already torn through the great .NET Framework Design Guidelines and less-great Effective C# I grabbed a copy of Applying Domain-Driven Design and Patterns (With Examples in C# and .NET) by Jimmy Nilsson.

The book is obviously based around domain models but also gives some coverage to test-driven development, NHibernate, design patterns, refactoring, code-smells etc.

This is only a first-look as I’m only up to page 130 of the 500+ the tome weighs in at but here are a few observations so far.

The Impedance Mismatch Between Domain Model and Relational Database

One annoyance with the book is that is identifies and discusses problems and then offers no discussion or ideas for a solution before moving onto another topic.

A good example is this section which touches on the mismatch between the primitive types of .NET and SQL without the consideration of how/where to check this, the fact that SQL types can be null with no regard to .NET 2’s INullable, bit flags or ‘magic values’.

How to Recognize If an Application Will Be Long Lasting

Another perfect example of the previous problem. The heading asks the question but the short anecdote about how a hacked together app became mission critical fails to answer it.

Use public fields

Jimmy proposes a number of techniques that fly in the face of .NET Framework Guidelines and other solid material. This is highlighted by the phrase;

As long as the fields are both readable and write-able and no interception is needed … public fields are at least as good as properties.

Perhaps Jimmy doesn’t know that converting a field to a property later will break binary compatibility with anything using your assembly.

Expose internals for testing

…expose sub-results so they are testable

flies in the face of hiding the implementation and Jimmy does at least refer to this balance but the whole idea of exposing unnecessary details for the sake of being able to test them gives me a shudder.

Throwing aside the whole question of whether you should write unit tests that test implementation rather than interface a better solution would be to add a


block to classes that really need to expose their internals to your test tools and compile with that switch set in your testing environment.

Use static factory classes!

Jimmy extracts the factory methods into a new class and but then leaves them static. A static class throws away substitutability, extension and indeed everything that makes OO great for the sake of being able to access it like a global variable.

Expose IList as read-only

On page 102 Jimmy refactors a “public IList Children” field firstly making it a read-only property and then creates a AddChild method which is fine but then how will he stop people modifying his IList? With ArrayList.ReadOnly(children) of course bemoaning how clients still see .Add etc.

Hello Jimmy, let me introduce you to IEnumerable.

Use reflection to set internal properties from Factory & Repository!

Jimmy describes how some properties should be read-only but then the Factory and Repository need to set the values. He proposes reflection.

Maybe Jimmy missed the memento pattern and dislikes the internal keyword.

Coding standards

All the code samples use _ for internal members – something that Microsoft guidelines and their FxCop tools are keen to stamp out. Besides being ugly it also reeks of the obsolete Hungarian naming prefixes.

Storybook format

The whole book is written in “I still remember”, “I worked on an application”, “After that, I tried Domain Models”… It makes for slow reading at times.

Well that about wraps it up so far.


Extend HttpApplication with session counts and uptime

It’s sometimes useful to know or display how many people are currently using your web application and how long it’s been up for.

As web applications normally inherit from System.Web.HttpApplication we can extend this class with a common re-usable class to add the required functionality.

public class WebApplication : System.Web.HttpApplication {
    private static readonlyDateTime pStartedAt = DateTime.Now;
    private static long pSessionCount = 0;

    public WebApplication() : base() { }

    public override void Init () {

    public static long SessionCount {
        get { return pSessionCount; }

    public static DateTime StartedAt {
        get { return pStartedAt; }
    public static TimeSpan Uptime {
        get { return DateTime.Now.Subtract(pStartedAt); }

    private void HookEventHandlers () {
        IHttpModule httpModule = Modules["Session"];
        if (httpModule is SessionStateModule) {
            SessionStateModule sessionStateModule = ((SessionStateModule) httpModule);
            sessionStateModule.Start += new System.EventHandler(SessionStart);
            sessionStateModule.End += new System.EventHandler(SessionEnd);

    private void SessionStart (object sender, EventArgs e) {
        Interlocked.Increment(ref pSessionCount);

    private void SessionEnd (object sender, EventArgs e) {
        Interlocked.Decrement(ref pSessionCount);

The next step is to ensure your web application’s class – as defined by global.asax – is of the new WebApplication type. A good approach is to have your own Global.asax.cs file inherit directly from the new WebApplication;

public class App : WebApplication { ... }

Now those sessions and uptime are being tracked how do you get at them?

lblCurrentSessions.Text = WebApplication.SessionCount.ToString();
lblUptime.Text = WebApplication.Uptime.ToString();

This approach is only suitable for sites operating on a single web server.


IEnumerable as IEnumerable

A few weeks ago I touched on the substitutability of generic types and how Collection<BaseClass> is never substitutable for Collection<SubClass>. This is because while the read facilities would be substitutable the write ones would not be. A Collection can’t contain non-SubClass classes.

One approach for dealing with collections in general recommended in .NET Framework Design Guidelines is to expose IEnumerator or IEnumerable interfaces rather than the collection itself – especially if you intend on it being read-only.

But even IEnumerator<T> and IEnumerable<T> can’t help you if you need to return not but a base-class or interface that should be substitutable for. Unless the base-class you want _is object_ in which case seeing `IEnumerable` inherits from the non-generic `IEnumerable` solves your problem.

C#’s generics aren’t clever enough to realize that an instantiated generic class might be substitutable for another generic class although. Wilco points out that the .NET CLR supports “generic contravariance” but C# doesn’t yet expose it.

In the mean time trying to passing back IEnumerator<T> to something expecting IEnumerator<BaseClassOfT> will result in a compiler error. Try cast ing it and a run-time error awaits.

One option would be to create a whole new Collection<BaseClass> and copy each SubClass element into it but this is hardly efficient or elegant.

What would be really cool is if you could somehow wrap it like;

public IEnumerable<BaseClass> BaseClasses {
    return new BaseEnumerable<BaseClass, SubClass>(subClassCollection);

Of course you’d need BaseEnumerator and BaseEnumerable generic classes to do this and preferably they’d be able to enforce that SubClass is of BaseClass at compile time.

So here are two classes to do just that for your enumerable pleasure.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;

public class BaseEnumerable<TBase, TSub> : IEnumerable<TBase> where TSub : TBase {
    private IEnumerable<TSub> subEnumerable;

    public BaseEnumerable(IEnumerable<TSub> subEnumerable) {
        this.subEnumerable = subEnumerable;

    public IEnumerator<TBase> GetEnumerator() {
        return new BaseEnumerator<TBase, TSub>(subEnumerable);

    IEnumerator IEnumerable.GetEnumerator() {
        return subEnumerable.GetEnumerator();

public class BaseEnumerator<TBase, TSub> : IEnumerable<TBase> where TSub : TBase {
    private IEnumerator<TSub> subEnumerator;

    public BaseEnumerator(IEnumerable<TSub> subEnumerable) {
        subEnumerator = subEnumerable.GetEnumerator();

    public BaseEnumerator(IEnumerable<TSub> subEnumerator) {
        this.subEnumerator = subEnumerator;

    public TBase Current {
        get { return subEnumerator.Current; }

    public bool MoveNext() {
        return subEnumerator.MoveNext();

    public void Reset() {

They work clean and fast for me but I’m no expert on the responsibilities of implementing the Dispose pattern. Warranty is not included and your mileage may vary.