Implementing the IEqualityComparer of T interface for object equality with C# .NET

The generic IEqualityComparer of T provides you a way to indicate whether two custom objects are equal. We’ve looked at equality in a number of posts on this blog – see the link below if you’re curious – and IEqualityComparer fulfils a similar purpose though its usage is different.

Equality comparers are most often used to filter out duplicates from a collection.

Consider the following class:

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Implementing the IEquatable of T interface for object equality with C# .NET

In this short post we’ll see a way how to make two custom objects equatable using the generic IEquatable interface. Consider the following object:

public class Person
{
	public int Id { get; set; }
	public string Name { get; set; }
	public int Age { get; set; }
}

The object superclass has an Equals method that we can test as follows:

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How to declare natural ordering by implementing the generic IComparable interface in C# .NET

Primitive types such as integers can be ordered naturally in some way. Numeric and alphabetical ordering comes in handy with numbers and strings. However, there’s no natural ordering for your own custom objects with a number of properties.

Consider the following Triangle class:

public class Triangle
{
	public double BaseSide { get; set; }
	public double Height { get; set; }

	public double Area
	{
		get
		{
			return (BaseSide * Height) / 2;
		}
	}
}

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FIFO collections with Queue of T in .NET C#

FIFO, that is first-in-first-out, collections are represented by the generic Queue of T class in .NET. Queues are collections where a new element is placed on top of the collection and is removed last when the items are retrieved.

Let’s say that you’re throwing a party where you follow a Queue policy as far as guests are concerned. As time goes by you’d like all of them to leave eventually and the first one to go will be the first person who has arrived. This is probably a fairer policy than what we saw in the post on stack collections.

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How to check whether two HashSets are equal in C# .NET

Two HashSet objects in C# are equal if they contain the same values regardless of their order in the collection.

Consider the following integer sets:

HashSet<int> intHashSetOne = new HashSet<int>()
{
	1,2,6,5,7,5
};

HashSet<int> intHashSetTwo = new HashSet<int>()
{
	2,2,8,5,9,4
};

HashSet<int> intHashSetThree = new HashSet<int>()
{
	6,7,5,5,2,1
};

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Structurally compare two arrays in .NET

In this post we saw how to determine if two arrays are structurally equal in .NET. Two arrays are said to be structurally equal if they contain the same elements in the same order.

Structural equality has a comparison counterpart: IStructuralComparable. It determines if an array comes before or after or is equal to another array based on the elements within it.

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Resolving null values in C#

Say you have a method which accepts a string parameter. The method may need to handle null values in some way. One strategy is to validate the parameter and throw an exception:

private static string Resolve(string input)
{
	if (input == null) throw new ArgumentNullException("Input");
.
.
.
}

Another strategy is to provide some default value with an if-else statement:

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Using DateTimeFormatInfo to localise date and time in .NET C#

Every programmer loves working with dates and time, right? Whether or not you like it it is inevitable to show the dates in a format that the viewer understands. You should not show dates presented according to the US format in Japan and vice versa.

The DateTimeFormatInfo class includes a range of useful properties to localise date and time. The entry point to the DateTimeFormatInfo class is CultureInfo. E.g. if you’d like to format a date according to various cultures – Swedish, Hungarian and German – then you can do it as follows:

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Checking for arithmetic overflow in C# .NET

As you know primitive numeric types in C# – and other modern programming languages – have maximum and minimum values that can be stored in memory. If you’re trying to store a larger number in the variable then you’ll get an overflow with unexpected results.

Let’s see an example with the “byte” type. It is actually not one of the primitive types, like int or long, but simply a keyword for an integral type to store the numbers 0-255. Why 255? 1 byte consists of 8 bits and 8 bits in the computer’s memory allows us to store 255 as the highest number. 255 in binary is all 1’s for all 8 bits:

11111111

What happens if we add 1 to that? On paper we can easily solve it by some basic binary maths:

11111111
+ 00000001
===========
100000000

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Searching for elements in arrays in C# .NET

The Array class has a number of useful static methods. A group of them is used for searching purposes. The method names are generally quite descriptive. Here are some them with comments in the code:

string[] bands = new string[6] { "Queen", "ACDC", "Metallica", "Genesis", "INXS", "Motörhead" };

//find the first entry in the array which starts with Q, finds "Queen"
string firstBandStartingWithQ = Array.Find<string>(bands, s => s.StartsWith("Q"));
//finds last entry start with M, finds Motörhead
string lastBandStartingWithM = Array.FindLast<string>(bands, s => s.StartsWith("M"));
//finds Metallica and Motörhead and puts them in an array
string[] allWithM = Array.FindAll<string>(bands, s => s.StartsWith("M"));
//index will be 0 as Queen is the first item in the array
int queenIndex = Array.FindIndex<string>(bands, s => s == "Queen");
//yields true as ACDC figures in the array
bool acdIsThere = Array.Exists<string>(bands, s => s == "ACDC");	

View all various C# language feature related posts here.

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