Efficient linked lists in .NET

Sometimes you need a collection that’s modified a lot: you insert, update and remove items. A List of T is then inefficient as it needs to constantly rearrange all other items. The LinkedList class might be a better candidate.

A linked list is a doubly-linked list. Each item has a Next and Previous pointer to look at which element comes right before and after a particular object in the list. A linked list is very efficient at inserting and deleting items in particular.


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Implementing an enumerator for a custom object in .NET C#

You can create an enumerator for a custom type by implementing the generic IEnumerable of T interface. Normally you’d do that if you want to create a custom collection that others will be able to iterate over using foreach. However, there’s nothing stopping you from adding an enumerator to any custom type if you feel like it, it’s really simple.

Consider the following Guest class:

public class Guest
	public string Name { get; set; }
	public int Age { get; set; }

Guests can be invited to a Party:

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Keeping the key-values sorted by using a SortedDictionary with C# .NET

You can use the generic SortedDictionary of Key and Value to automatically keep the key value items sorted by their keys. Any time you add a new key value pair the dictionary will reorder the items. The SortedDictionary was optimised for frequent changes to its list of items. Keep in mind that the items will be sorted by their key and not their value.

Consider the following simple custom object:

public class Student
	public string Name { get; set; }
	public string SchoolName { get; set; }

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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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Using the KeyedCollection object in C# .NET

The abstract generic KeyedCollection object can be used to declare which field of your custom object to use as a key in a Dictionary. It provides sort of a short-cut where you’d want to organise your objects in a Dictionary by an attribute of that object.

Let’s take the following object as an example:

public class CloudServer
	public string CloudProvider { get; set; }
	public string ImageId { get; set; }
	public string Size { get; set; }

The Image IDs are always unique so the ImageId property seems to be a good candidate for a dictionary key.

Here’s an example:

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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>()

HashSet<int> intHashSetTwo = new HashSet<int>()

HashSet<int> intHashSetThree = new HashSet<int>()

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Getting notified when collection changes with ObservableCollection in C# .NET

Imagine that you’d like to be notified when something is changed in a collection, e.g. an item is added or removed. One possible solution is to use the built-in .NET generic collection type ObservableCollection of T which is located in the System.Collections.ObjectModel namespace. The ObservableCollection object has an event called CollectionChanged. You can hook up an event handler to be notified of the changes.

If you don’t know what events, event handlers and delegates mean then start here.

Let’s see a simple example with a collection of strings:

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