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C# Query Expressions

And Supporting Features in C# 3.0

Preview Release 1.0

Jamie King, Neumont University


Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc.

©2008 MindView, Inc.


All Rights Reserved
Available only from www.MindViewInc.com
About this sample
This is a sampling of a full book, which as of March 2008, is not yet available
to the public. However, this sample covers C# 3.0 fundamentals, and
provides a full grounding in C# 3.0 Query Expressions.

It’s common for authors to offer a few pages or a chapter of their text to the
public as a means of marketing. However, interpreting chapters out of
context is challenging for a reader. Our aim is to not only provide a sample,
but also a useful stand-alone text. By itself, this sample provides any C# 2.0
programmer a foundation in C# 3.0.

The full text includes more material from Query Expressions chapter. It also
includes additional chapters that cover LINQ to SQL and LINQ to XML,
respectively.

We hope you find this sample useful. If you wish to purchase the full text, you
may do so when the full book is released; watch the website
www.MindView.net for further details.

Remember that this is a preview, and you will see items that have not yet
been completed. The finished work will fix all such errata.

i
Copyright
All rights reserved. This publication is protected by copyright, and permission
must be obtained from the authors prior to any prohibited reproduction,
storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise.

C# is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Windows 95, Windows NT,


Windows 2000, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
All other product names and company names mentioned herein are the
property of their respective owners.

The authors have taken care in the preparation of this book, but make no
expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for
errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for incidental or consequential
damages in connection with or arising out of the use of the information or
programs contained herein.

ii
Contents
Preface 1
What makes this
book stand out? ..................... 1
Reading vs. Wrestling ...........2
The build system ...................2
Reviews .................................4
Errors ....................................4
Source Code...........................4
Using this book
to teach a class.......................4
Dedications ........................... 5
Jamie: .............................................5

Simple New Features 7


Extension methods................ 7
Inheritance vs.
extension methods ........................11
Utilities for this book.................... 15
Extended delegates....................... 19
Other rules....................................20
Implicitly-typed
local variables......................23
Automatic properties ..........25
Implicitly-typed arrays........28
Object initializers ................33
Collection initializers ..........35
Anonymous types................ 37
Lambda expressions............45
Func ..............................................50

Query Expressions 52
Basic LINQ ..........................52
Translation ..........................54
Degeneracy ...................................59
Chained where clauses ...............60

iii
Introduction to
Deferred Execution ............. 61
Multiple froms ...................63
Transparent identifiers ....... 71
Iteration Variable Scope............... 73
More complex data..............78
let clauses ...........................83
Ordering data ......................86
Grouping data .....................89
Joining data.........................95
Nested Queries .................. 102
into.............................................. 105
let clause translations.................108
let vs. into....................................113
joining into ..................................115
Outer joins ...................................121
Other query operators....... 126
Exercise Solutions 139
Chapter 1 ........................... 139
Chapter 2............................161

iv
Preface
This book introduces experienced C# 2.0 programmers to version 3.0’s
enhancements.1
We relied on one another’s particular strengths, expertise, and mutual
professionalism to realize our shared goals, which are to:

• Guide readers toward enriched knowledge of this often-complex material.

• Cover every relevant topic.

• Illustrate every concept with corresponding exercises.

• Clarify each idea with illustrative examples.

• Explore all the avenues in each topic.


We did not write this text from a pure C# point of view. The synergy of our
expertise our respective fields of C++, C#, Java, Python, etc. contribute
greatly to the variety in this text. Indeed you will see many areas where
features from other languages grant different points of view on each topic.

We met on a daily basis via Internet, sharing the document and conversing
for an hour or two at a time. These frequent meetings sparked ideas that led
to the improvement of all areas of the book.

What makes this book stand out?


We collaborated on every aspect of planning, research, writing, testing, and
editing this book.

Some key features make this book superior:

• The incremental teaching approach.

• Our rigorously accurate build system.

1Appendix A covers some fundamental topics you must understand from


previous versions of C#.

1
• The combined efforts of two skilled programmers working in tandem.

• Various teaching approaches to concepts and exercises.

• Integrated exercises and solution guide.

Reading vs. Wrestling


No one can gain a Masters degree in a weekend, nor become a guru at any
topic in a matter of hours. Often my students ask, “How did you become so
good at .NET?” The answer is generally not what they want to hear: “Time,
lots of time struggling in the saddle.” There is no magic bullet in software, nor
is there any in becoming a guru at any topic.
The dollar amount you pay for any education is the cheapest part. It’s the
work, dedication, and sweat you put forth to acquire your education that
increases your value as a programmer (and your salary).
This book is an experience, not a show. It is not enough to merely read it. Nor
is it enough to load an example here and there just to see it execute.
At the end of almost every section are well thought-out exercises. These are,
we feel, more than just exercises – in fact, we think of them as “wrestles.” The
term “exercise” infers breaking a sweat doing some simple task over and over.
When you wrestle with something or someone, you’re generally tied up
struggling with them, learning how they fight back, and what you must do to
be victorious. Wrestling with someone requires much more work than a basic
exercise. And each individual you wrestle behaves differently. Just like
individuals, any new technology has its own “behaviors,” and learning those
behaviors are key to becoming an expert on the topic. The only way to do so is
by struggling with each one, trying every possible path.
We strongly encourage doing the exercises as you study. These “wrestles”
prepare you to understand concepts in the subsequent sections. We also
encourage loading as many examples as you can, modifying them to answer
the “what if I do this” questions that surely come to mind as you study.

The build system


Unit testing ensures the reliability of this book’s code: this book builds.2 We
find that technical texts (especially those about new technologies) all too

2 As this is a “sample” of the full text, the sample by itself will not build because of files

required from the full text. However, the full text builds.

2 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


often include such errors in code that either won’t compile or whose output is
incorrect. We rely on our automated build system, written specifically for this
book, to verify that every example and all output in this book are correct. The
build system alone raises this book to a class above the norm.

As Microsoft© released Community Technology Previews (CTPs), beta


releases, and final releases, we automatically ran each example in this book
with them. Every time our build system reported an error, we researched the
revision that triggered it (including some that stopped the compile process or
affected output). Our build system caught every change, and we corrected
each one.

The build system also ensures crucial features as:

• No duplicate example file names.

• No unnecessary or duplicate using declarations.

• No code wrapping in the printed book.

• All lines commented as //c! introduce a compiler error.

• All lines commented as //e! throw exceptions.

• Opening braces never appear on a line by themselves.

• Examples that do not compile have the error text embedded directly
in them, with which the build system also verifies.

• Etc.

We also wrote several automated tests for the build system itself (we tested
our tester). We used the test-driven approach, adding each test before
modifying the build system to pass that test. This is state-of-the-art, two-
tiered “test-driven development.” We test the build system, and the build
system tests the book.

Finally, hidden examples catch changes in the language, testing verbal


statements that do not require a full example to prove. These examples do not
show in the printed version of the book, however, the build system executes
them as it does any other. You will find these examples in the HiddenCheck
directory of the book’s source code.

Preface King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 3


[[[Appendix XXX]]] describes the build system directives that you’ll
encounter throughout the book. Although it’s not necessary for you to
understand the build system to learn from this book, it helps.

Reviews
No test is as effective as a code review. We’ve used this book in three separate
courses (two at Neumont University, and one for consulting at a professional
development house). Each run weeded out its own issues and errors in this
text.

Errors
Painstaking attention to detail can guarantee many, but not all, aspects of this
work. If you find an error or omission, please call it to our attention at
[[[tic#errors@gmail.com]]].

Source Code
On www.MindView.net, you will find the installer for this book’s code. It
installs Visual Studio projects that contain all the code organized by chapter.
It also contains each example in its compiled version.

The MindView.Util.dll assembly


Verbiage on what it is, etc. we scatter examples throughout the book for the
mindview.util, but many features pulled from the main volumes (printing
collections)

The book’s build system compiles all cs files within the MindView\Util
directory into a single DLL file called MindView.Util.dll

Talk about response files and how mindview.util is included in the response
file, deploy system puts the line in the response file

Using this book to teach a class


Because all the solutions to exercises are included in the back of the book,
they may initially seem like they are not suitable as homework exercises when

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using this book for teaching a seminar or a college class. There are two
approaches we suggest when teaching from the book:

1. Choose selected book exercises as homework assignments, but do


not grade the homework. Notify the students that you will use the
exercises as the basis for quiz and test questions. This provides
incentive for students to thoroughly understand the exercises and
solutions that you’ve assigned.

2. Create variations of our exercises as homework questions.

Dedications
Jamie:
Many technical authors dedicate their work to close loved ones. My wife
thinks this is strange, so I’ll forgo doing so. My siblings and in-laws already
think my excitement over “dry” technical texts is abnormal. My in-laws are
very artistic, and they often impress everyone by displaying their finished
work. In return, I tried framing some of my code for a family party, but
unfortunately, it didn’t have the same effect.

I hope that for you, the book has meaning. It is people like you that truly
appreciate how code is an art. Therefore, I dedicate this text to all who get
excited when wrestling any sort of technical text, especially this one. Being a
teacher, I know quite a few who do.

Many thanks to Neumont University’s Advanced C# classes, whose rigorous


review enabled Bruce and I to correct flaws we would have missed.

Preface King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 5


Simple New
Features
C# 3.0’s basic features are simple but powerful.
More sophisticated features follow in later chapters.

Extension methods
Extension methods1 make an existing type meet your needs by effectively (but
not literally) adding new methods.2 You can call an extension method like
any other non-static method of that class.

For example, even with all DateTime’s existing functionality, it doesn’t


support combining two DateTime instances when one holds only a unique
date and the other only a unique time. A normal static method provides one
solution, yet a normal static method becomes an extension method with the
addition of the this modifier to the first argument:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\CombiningDateTimes.cs
using System;

static class CombiningDateTimes {


// "this" indicates an extension method:
static DateTime
Merge(this DateTime datePart, DateTime timePart) {
return new DateTime(datePart.Year, datePart.Month,
datePart.Day, timePart.Hour, timePart.Minute,
timePart.Second);
}
static void Main() {

1 Some languages call these multimethods.


2 Extension methods are different than inheritance; we compare the two approaches later.

Techniques like inheritance, composition, and operator overloading are covered in


[[[reference]]].

7
DateTime datePart =
DateTime.Parse("11/15/2008 12:00:00 AM");
DateTime timePart =
DateTime.Parse("1/1/1001 9:23:00 PM");
// Normal static syntax:
Console.WriteLine(Merge(datePart, timePart));
// Extension method syntax:
Console.WriteLine(datePart.Merge(timePart));
}
} /* Output:
11/15/2008 9:23:00 PM
11/15/2008 9:23:00 PM
*///:~

In this example, we Merge( ) datePart’s date with timePart’s time.

An extension method must be a static member of a non-generic, non-nested


static class. The this modifier applied to the first argument signals the
compiler that Merge( ) is an extension method for the DateTime class.

When it discovers that Merge( ) is not an ordinary, non-static DateTime


instance method, the compiler searches all in-scope static classes. If it finds a
class that contains a Merge( ) extension method which takes a DateTime as
its first argument and the rest of the arguments match, the compiler rewrites
the call as a normal static method call. Thus, we effectively extend the
DateTime structure to include a Merge( ) method.

If DateTime had a Merge( ) instance method, you could only invoke the
extension method using static method syntax,
DateTimeExtensions.Merge( ).

The compiler issues an ambiguity error when it finds that multiple possible
matching extension methods are in scope.

Although Merge( ) is public, you can also make private extension methods
usable only within that static class. Extension methods are essentially static
methods with special lookup help from the compiler. They have fewer
privileges than native method; normal accessibility rules apply.3

3To achieve full access, a programming language must support open classes (e.g., Ruby
and Smalltalk).

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Extension methods allow clients to add their own functionality, thus
DateTime designers needn’t guess what methods their clients will need.
This feature is especially useful for interfaces, where having fewer methods
benefits the implementer but not necessarily the client. For example, using
IEnumerable’s only method, GetEnumerator( ), we can derive such
information as whether each of two sequences is the same length and if each
corresponding element is equal.4 We’ll do this while beginning to create the
MindView.Util.Enumerable class, which includes some features we think
that System.Linq.Enumerable (a class that we explore in great detail later
in the book) could have included:
//: MindView.Util\Enumerable.1.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System.Collections;

namespace MindView.Util {
public static partial class Enumerable {
public static bool
SequenceEqual(this IEnumerable first,
IEnumerable second) {
if(object.ReferenceEquals(first, second))
return true;
IEnumerator enumerator1 = first.GetEnumerator();
IEnumerator enumerator2 = second.GetEnumerator();
while(enumerator1.MoveNext()) {
if(!enumerator2.MoveNext())
return false; // Not same length
object leftVal = enumerator1.Current;
object rightVal = enumerator2.Current;
// If either is null, but not both, then not equal:
if(leftVal == null || rightVal == null) {
if(leftVal != rightVal)
return false;
} else if(leftVal is IEnumerable &&
rightVal is IEnumerable) {
// Recursively check IEnumerable sequences
if(!(leftVal as IEnumerable)
.SequenceEqual(rightVal as IEnumerable))

4 The “CF:” at the top of the file stands for “CompileFlags.” Our build system inserts text

after the CF: on the compiler command line, as you would to compile the examples by
hand. (A guide to the build system’s meta-instructions appears in the Introduction.)

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 9


return false;
} else if(!leftVal.Equals(rightVal))
return false;
}
if(enumerator2.MoveNext())
return false; // Not same length
return true;
}
}
} ///:~

Now we can use SequenceEqual( ) without the IEnumerable designers


adding it to their interface:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\SequenceEqualDemo.cs
using MindView.Util;
using System.Collections;
using System.Diagnostics;

class SequenceEqualDemo {
static void Main() {
ArrayList list1 = new ArrayList();
ArrayList list2 = new ArrayList();
Debug.Assert(list1.SequenceEqual(list2));
Debug.Assert(list2.SequenceEqual(list1));
list1.Add(7);
Debug.Assert(!list1.SequenceEqual(list2));
Debug.Assert(!list2.SequenceEqual(list1));
list2.Add(7);
Debug.Assert(list1.SequenceEqual(list2));
Debug.Assert(list2.SequenceEqual(list1));
list2.Add(8);
Debug.Assert(!list1.SequenceEqual(list2));
Debug.Assert(!list2.SequenceEqual(list1));
list1.Add(8);
Debug.Assert(list1.SequenceEqual(list2));
Debug.Assert(list2.SequenceEqual(list1));
list1.Add("now a string object");
Debug.Assert(!list1.SequenceEqual(list2));
Debug.Assert(!list2.SequenceEqual(list1));
}
} ///:~

10 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


System.Linq.Enumerable already has a SequenceEqual( ) method like
this one, but it uses the generic IEnumerable.5 However, you must use our
version of SequenceEqual( ) for a non-generic IEnumerable (instead of
System.Linq.Enumerable’s).6

We use Debug.Assert( ) here to prove our results. The book’s build system
catches failed assertions. You will soon see a cleaner approach.

Extension methods are similar to operator overloading; both are static


methods with special help from the compiler, which calls the method passing
the operands as arguments.

Exercise 1: Make an Add( ), Subtract( ), Multiply( ), and Divide( )


extension method for int.

Exercise 2: Make two extension methods: a ToArrayList( ) that


converts its IEnumerable argument to an ArrayList, and a generic
ForEach( ) method that iterates over its IEnumerable<T> argument
executing its second System.Action<T> delegate argument on each
element.

Inheritance vs. extension methods


You normally create an extension method to add only a method or two to an
existing type. However, you can use extension methods to extend the
functionality of sealed types, from which you cannot inherit. So sometimes
extension methods are your only option, even though the semantics are not
identical to inheritance.

You can inherit a new type from a base type and add an ordinary instance
method, but you must use a downcast to call that method with a base-type
reference. Also, if you want that method to be common among all derivations
then you must add it to all derived types. C# 3.0 lets you add extension
methods directly to the base type:7

5 Microsoft’s version doesn’t recursively check nested IEnumerables as ours does.


6Microsoft told us that the omission of a SequenceEqual( ) for a non-generic
IEnumerable was an oversight.
7You should add an extension method only when it makes sense for a given type. Note that
the Visitor design pattern is sometimes used for this purpose.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 11


//: SimpleNewFeatures\ExtendingTheBase.cs

abstract class Vehicle {


public void Start() {}
public void Stop() {}
}

class Scooter : Vehicle {}


class Bus : Vehicle {}

static class VehicleExtensions {


public static void StartAndStop(this Vehicle vehicle) {
vehicle.Start();
// Sleep a minute or two...
vehicle.Stop();
}
}

class ExtendingTheBase {
static void Main() {
Vehicle vehicle = new Scooter();
vehicle.StartAndStop();
vehicle = new Bus();
vehicle.StartAndStop();
// You can still use the derived reference:
new Scooter().StartAndStop();
}
} ///:~

StartAndStop( ) works on any Vehicle subclass because it extends


Vehicle.

If we want to use ordinary method-call syntax in C# 2.0 but Vehicle’s


declaration is inaccessible, we must add StartAndStop( ) to an abstract
subclass of Vehicle.8 Adding an intermediate class is not an ideal solution,
but is preferable to requiring each Vehicle subclass to define a
StartAndStop( ). However, we still cannot call StartAndStop( ) on other
types that inherit directly from Vehicle.

Extension methods are not polymorphic:

8 Such an exercise appears at the end of the section.

12 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


//: SimpleNewFeatures\ExtensionMethodsNotPolymorphic.cs
using System.Diagnostics;

abstract class Vehicle {}

class Motorcycle : Vehicle {}

static class VehicleExtensions2 {


public static string StartAndStop(this Vehicle vehicle) {
return "Vehicle.StartAndStop()";
}
public static
string StartAndStop(this Motorcycle motorcycle) {
return "Motorcycle.StartAndStop()";
}
}

class ExtensionsNotPolymorphic {
static void Main() {
Vehicle vehicle = new Motorcycle();
Debug.Assert(
vehicle.StartAndStop() == "Vehicle.StartAndStop()");
Debug.Assert((vehicle as Motorcycle)
.StartAndStop() == "Motorcycle.StartAndStop()");
}
} ///:~

At runtime, vehicle references a Motorcycle, but the compiler, not the


runtime, resolves the StartAndStop( ) call. Extension methods are useful
only for simple situations; use normal object-oriented techniques when you
require polymorphic methods.

If you need an extension method determined by the runtime type of your


object, you can use the is operator, but the result is a messy maintenance
nightmare:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\DynamicExtensionMethods.cs

abstract class Vehicle {}


class MotorCycle : Vehicle {}
class Scooter : Vehicle {}
class Bus : Vehicle {}
class Car : Vehicle {}
class Truck : Vehicle {}

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 13


class SUV : Truck {}

static class VehicleExtensions {


public static void Accelerate(this Vehicle vehicle) {
if(vehicle is MotorCycle)
(vehicle as MotorCycle).Accelerate();
else if(vehicle is Scooter)
(vehicle as Scooter).Accelerate();
else if(vehicle is Bus)
(vehicle as Bus).Accelerate();
else if(vehicle is Car)
(vehicle as Car).Accelerate();
else if(vehicle is Truck) {
// Must first check Truck subtypes:
if(vehicle is SUV)
(vehicle as SUV).Accelerate();
// Otherwise, treat it as a basic Truck:
else
(vehicle as Truck).Accelerate();
}
}
static void Accelerate(this MotorCycle motorcycle) {
"MotorCycle.Accelerate()".P();
}
static void Accelerate(this Scooter scooter) {
"Scooter.Accelerate()".P();
}
static void Accelerate(this Bus bus) {
"Bus.Accelerate()".P();
}
static void Accelerate(this Car car) {
"Car.Accelerate()".P();
}
static void Accelerate(this Truck truck) {
"Truck.Accelerate()".P();
}
static void Accelerate(this SUV suv) {
"SUV.Accelerate()".P();
}
}

class DynamicExtensionMethods {
static void Main() {
Vehicle vehicle = new Truck();

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vehicle.Accelerate();
vehicle = new MotorCycle();
vehicle.Accelerate();
vehicle = new SUV();
vehicle.Accelerate();
}
} /* Output:
Truck.Accelerate()
MotorCycle.Accelerate()
SUV.Accelerate()
*///:~

In Accelerate(Vehicle) we use is to detect the runtime type, and then use


as to cast the argument, then call Accelerate( ) again. The compiler resolves
this to <cast>.Accelerate( ), and invokes the proper version.

The code above looks highly suspect; it’s not easy to read and will be
expensive to maintain. If you add a class to the hierarchy, you must also
remember to add the appropriate checks. This is error prone because you
could add a class and easily forget to add the checks.

If you introduce a new subtype, like SUV, you must check first for the
supertype (Truck), then all possible subtypes within that check. If the object
isn’t one of the subtypes, then you must treat it as “just” a supertype. Anyone
who inserts new subtypes must be aware of, and conform to this convention.

This is the kind of programming you want to avoid; if you’re using extension
methods this heavily you may want to rethink your solution.

Exercise 3: Change ExtendingTheBase.cs to use an intermediate base


class rather than extension methods.

Utilities for this book


We use extension methods to simplify code throughout the book. For
example, our P( ) method prints its argument to the Console:
//: MindView.Util\Printer.1.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System;
using System.Collections;

public enum POptions { NoNewLines, InsertNewLines }

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 15


public static partial class Printer {
public static void P<T>(this T item) {
if(item is IEnumerable && !(item is string))
(item as IEnumerable).P();
else
Console.WriteLine(item);
}
public static void P(this object item, string message) {
item.P(message, POptions.NoNewLines);
}
public static void P(this object item, string message,
POptions pOptions) {
(message + ": " + GetSeperator(pOptions) + item).P();
}
static string GetSeperator(POptions pOptions) {
return pOptions == POptions.InsertNewLines ?
Environment.NewLine : string.Empty;
}
} ///:~

P( ) simply replaces the Console.WriteLine( ) statement. Notice that the


overloaded versions invoke the first version.

The filename Printer.1.cs follows this book’s naming convention for files
that hold partial types. We’ll later add partial declaration files to Printer
(Printer.2.cs, etc.). We print IEnumerable sequences of items differently
than other objects, as upcoming overloads demonstrate.

POptions is a simple enum that determines whether the output should


include newlines in the appropriate locations. We use this to make the output
more readable.

Our build system compiles all the .cs files in the MindView.Util directory
to create the MindView.Util.dll assembly. P( ) is automatically available
after our installer configures your compiler’s response file, and requires no
using statement (as most MindView.Util.dll components do).9

Here is a simple demonstration of P( ):


//: SimpleNewFeatures\SimplePrintStatements.cs

9See the Introduction for details. Note that when you create your own Visual Studio
project, you must add a reference to MindView.Util.dll to access the library.

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using System;

class SimplePrintStatements {
static void Main() {
Console.WriteLine("Hello");
"Hello".P();
Console.WriteLine(5);
5.P();
Console.WriteLine("some message" + ": " +
"some text");
"some text".P("some message");
}
} /* Output:
Hello
Hello
5
5
some message: some text
some message: some text
*///:~

Note that the output of each pair of print statements is identical.

P( ) reduces visual noise 10 in this book.11 Besides saving space, it reads more
intuitively at the end of statements (as opposed to the more common
Console.WriteLine( ), which you must ignore at the beginning to decipher
print statements). Mentally, you can naturally truncate P( ) from end of the
print statement.

MindView.Util’s True( ) method Assert( )s that its argument is true; the


False( ) method asserts that its argument is false. AssertEquals( )
simplifies asserting object equivalence:
//: MindView.Util\Asserter.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using MindView.Util;
using System.Collections;
using System.Diagnostics;

10 You could also use methods like P( ) for logging. For example, a T( ) method could call

Trace.Write( ).
11 You won’t see it elsewhere outside this book unless others adopt it.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 17


public static class Asserter {
public static void True(this bool value) {
Debug.Assert(value);
}
public static void False(this bool value) {
Debug.Assert(!value);
}
public static void
AssertEquals<T>(this T left, T right) {
if(left == null || right == null)
object.ReferenceEquals(left, right).True();
else if(left is IEnumerable && right is IEnumerable)
(left as IEnumerable)
.AssertEquals(right as IEnumerable);
else
left.Equals(right).True();
}
public static void
AssertEquals(this IEnumerable left, IEnumerable right) {
left.SequenceEqual(right).True();
}
public static void ExceptionFailed() {
Debug.Assert(false, "Exception failed to throw");
}
} ///:~

Note how SequenceEqual( ) from Enumerable.1.cs handles the special


case of two IEnumerable operands in the last overload of
AssertEquals( ).12

We now insert verifications inline where possible rather than printing output
that appears at the end of listings. This simplifies interpreting the examples:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\BasicAssertions.cs
using System;
using MindView.Util;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class BasicAssertions {

12 We wrote our non-generic SequenceEqual( ) just for cases like this version of
AssertEquals( ). Since you don’t need to know the exact types our SequenceEqual( )
contains, you can compare any container regardless of its contained types.

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static void Main() {
Random random = new Random(47);
random.Next().Equals(601795864).True();
(random.Next() == 1305670887).True();
random.Next().AssertEquals(1332423928);
random.Next().Equals(5).False();
List<int> list = new List<int>();
list.SequenceEqual(list).True();
// Shorter syntax to above:
list.AssertEquals(list);
}
} ///:~

We rely on Asserter’s methods throughout this book. Our build system


catches failed assertions, so when you see True( ), False( ), or
AssertEquals( ), you know the code is correct.

Exercise 4: Use Asserter to show that (1) the compiler interns string
literals;13 (2) boxing a value type twice produces two different objects; (3) by
default, enum members not assigned an explicit value will take their
predecessor’s plus one (unless they are also the first members, whose value is
zero); and (4) System.Linq.Enumerable.Range( ) returns a numeric
sequence of values.

Extended delegates
A delegate instance normally references a method with a signature and return
type that matches the delegate. Here we demonstrate how you can create
delegates to extension methods:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ExtendedDelegates.cs
using System;

class ExtendedDelegates {
static void Main() {
object obj = new object();
Action<object> action;
//c! action = Asserter.AssertEquals<object>;
// Must use extension syntax:
action = obj.AssertEquals;

13 Look up string.IsInterned( ) in the documentation.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 19


action(obj); // obj.AssertEquals(obj)
action.Method.Name.AssertEquals("AssertEquals");
action.Target.AssertEquals(obj);
// Doesn't work with value types:
int value = 5;
/*c!
Action<int> action2 = value.AssertEquals;
*/
}
} ///:~

Remember that the build system uncomments lines marked //c!, or blocks
marked /*c!, and ensures that they cause a compile error.

A delegate simply points to a Method and a Target object.14 The built-in


generic Action delegate references methods that take one object and return
void. Notice the compiler prevents direct assignment of the extension
method to action. Instead, we must bind the action’s Target to the
extended obj and AssertEquals( ) to its Method using extension method
syntax.

AssertEquals( ) takes two arguments. However, when we use extension


method syntax to assign obj.AssertEquals to action, the compiler binds
the first argument to obj, and thus treats AssertEquals( ) as if it took only
one argument (instead of two).

Exercise 5: Use extension method syntax to assign a delegate to a


System.Linq.Enumerable’s Min( ) invoked upon a List of random
numbers. Make sure that invoking the delegate returns the smallest value.
} ///:~

Other rules
Extension methods can never redefine existing methods. For example,
ToLower( ) can mean nothing else for a string:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ExtensionPrecedence.cs

static class StringExtensions {


public static string ToLower(this string str) {

14 The details are more complex. (See [[[reference]]] for more on delegates.)

20 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


return str.ToUpper();
}
}

class ExtensionPrecedence {
static void Main() {
string s = "ABCdef";
s.ToLower().AssertEquals("abcdef");
// Must call it directly:
StringExtensions.ToLower(s).AssertEquals("ABCDEF");
}
} ///:~

Because string’s existing ToLower( ) method takes no arguments,


StringExtensions’ attempt to redefine ToLower( ) fails. The compiler
searches a type for a match first and stops when it finds one. The this
modifier in StringExtensions.ToLower( ) is wasted here.

However, the compiler applies our ToLower( ) when it has different


arguments than string.ToLower( )’s:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\CompilerSearchContinues.cs

static class StringExtensions2 {


public static string
ToLower(this string s, int i) {
return s.ToUpper() + new string('a', i);
}
}

class CompilerSearchContinues {
static void Main() {
string s = "afds";
s.ToLower(5).AssertEquals("AFDSaaaaa");
}
} ///:~

An extension method call on a null reference causes no


NullReferenceException, because the compiler translates extension
method calls into static method calls:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\NoNullReferenceException.cs

static class NoNullReferenceException {


static void SomeMethod(this object o) {}

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 21


static void Main() {
object obj = null;
obj.SomeMethod();
}
} ///:~
The compiler rewrites our method call to
NoNullReferenceException.SomeMethod(obj), so we never call
SomeMethod( ) directly on obj.

You cannot call extension methods with an implicit this:


//: SimpleNewFeatures\SelfPrinter.cs

class SelfPrinter {
public void PrintYourSelf() {
//c! P();
this.P();
}
static void Main() {
new SelfPrinter().PrintYourSelf();
}
} /* Output:
SelfPrinter
*///:~

You cannot implicitly invoke the in-scope P( ) in PrintYourSelf( ), as you


can with ordinary methods. You must instead use this to trigger the compiler
to search through the available extension methods.

A properly deployed extension method improves your code’s legibility, but


too many extension methods can make your code harder to understand (as
does excessive operator overloading). Consider whether your extension
method clarifies or obfuscates your code’s meaning. Can you achieve the
same result with normal static methods?

Exercise 6: Put two extension methods with the same signature in two
separate classes, each within a unique namespace. Put each in their own file.
In a third file, bring both classes into scope with using statements, and
invoke the methods using extension syntax rather than normal static-method
call syntax. Does the compiler issue an ambiguity error? What happens when
you declare a third class after the using statements to introduce a third,
same-signature extension method?

22 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Exercise 7: Create an IndexesOf( ) string extension method that
returns all of a given string’s indices instead of just the first one (as
IndexOf( ) does).

Implicitly-typed local variables


Object declarations are often redundant. Consider the following:
Letter letter = new Letter();
That code uses the same type name to declare the type of the variable (the
first “Letter”) and to instantiate an instance (the second “Letter”).

C# 3.0’s implicitly typed local variables don’t require you to repeat the type
name when you define such a variable inside a method or property. Instead,
when you declare the type as var, the compiler infers the type from the
initialization expression as if you had defined it explicitly. The compiler
issues an error if you have no initialization expression, or if you later assign a
different type of object to the variable:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ImplicitVariableTypes.cs

class ImplicitVariableTypes {
// Implicit typing doesn't work with fields:
//c! static var field = new ImplicitVariableTypes();
static void Main() {
ImplicitVariableTypes a = new ImplicitVariableTypes();
// Identical to above:
var b = new ImplicitVariableTypes();
// Can't change b's type:
//c! b = 5;
// Somewhat ambiguous with primitive types:
var c = 5;
c.GetType().AssertEquals(typeof(int));
// Less ambiguous with a suffix code:
var d = 1.1f;
//c! var e; // Error, no expression
}
} ///:~

In this example, the variable c is an int because 5 falls into the range of an
int, but type inference automatically changes the type to a uint when the
compile-time initialization value is greater than int.MaxValue. We declare

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 23


primitives explicitly herein, since we needn’t repeat their type names to
declare and initialize them.

Type inference is especially valuable for longer declarations, especially


generics:
var robots = new Dictionary<int, List<Robot>>();
By eliminating redundancies, var makes the declaration simpler to write and
read. Also, if you later change the generic type arguments, you only need to
update the initialization.

You cannot use var for fields.15 In fact, C# 3.0 includes var because it is the
only way to declare variables of anonymous types (shown later).

The compiler sets var declared variables to the exact type with which you
initialize it. You must explicitly declare a variable’s type when you initialize it
with a derived type in order to make its compile-time type a base type.

Exercise 8: Use var to assign a variable to a derived type. Prove that you
cannot assign a base object or a different derived type to your variable.

Exercise 9: Prove that the compiler still infers the correct type when you
assign a var variable using a complicated initialization expression, for
example:
var value = ((new Random().Next().ToString() +
"some string").Substring(3, 3) + AnotherMethod())
.ToUpper();

15C# author Anders Hejlsberg’s email to the authors explains how this might eventually be
possible: “One reason [implicitly-typed fields are not supported] is complexity. If we
support ‘var’ for fields we would really need to also support it for properties and method
return values . . . [and] resolve ‘var’ usages that depend on other ‘var’ usages. The other
reason is the . . . CLR only supports ‘nominal types,’ i.e., types that have a declared name,
and we emulate structural types by having the compiler generate anonymous type names
which are never revealed to the user. . . . If ‘var’ was permitted for fields, properties, and
methods, it would be possible to capture an anonymous type and make it public. . . . One
way to avoid the issue altogether is to support ‘var’ only with local variables—which are
never public. We may indeed relax the restrictions on ‘var’ in the future, once we make
progress on these underlying issues. Meanwhile, we have the simple rule that ‘var’ can only
be used for local variables.”

24 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Exercise 10: Prove that var is not a keyword by creating a variable
named var. Can the compiler still infer a variable’s type when it is declared
using var?

Automatic properties
It’s common for types to have several properties that only expose a backing
field. You could instead just make such fields public, but when you change a
field to a property after client programmers compile against it, the client code
breaks. The differences between the metadata for a field and a property forces
them to recompile, and this is the primary reason for the use of properties
even when those properties don’t do anything extra.

Threading is another reason public fields are problematic, because you can
guard code, but not data. A field accessible from outside the class is always
vulnerable to access by multiple threads.16

Properties that only expose a get and set for a backing field are inherently
noisy, even when Visual Studio and some third party plug-ins assume the
burden of generating the code for them. Automatic properties add an implicit
backing field for you:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\Person.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System.Text;

public class Person {


int id; // Normal backing field
public Person() {}
public Person(int id) { ID = id; }
// Normal property:
public int ID {
get { return id; }
set { id = value; }
}
// Automatic properties:
public string FirstName { get; set; }
public string LastName { get; set; }

16MethodImplOptionsAttribute with MethodImplOptions.Synchronized is the


only way to make an automatic property thread-safe, but it produces other problems.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 25


// We use ToString() in later examples:
public override string ToString() {
var ret = new StringBuilder();
ret.AppendLine("ID: " + id);
ret.AppendLine(" FirstName: " + FirstName);
ret.Append(" LastName: " + LastName);
return ret.ToString();
}
} ///:~

Automatic properties must have both an empty set and an empty get (the
single semicolon makes the “empty body”). The compiler generates a hidden
backing field that you cannot access.

An empty set by itself is useless. Likewise, you can read but never change the
backing field’s default value of an empty get by itself (also pointless).

In C# 2.0, you can apply access modifiers to decrease the visibility of either
the get or set accessors, a feature C# 3.0’s automatic properties also support:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\LimitedAccess.cs

class Sibling {
int irritationCount;
public void Irritate() {
Angry = ++irritationCount >= 3;
}
public bool Angry { private set; get; }
}

class LimitedAccess {
static void Main() {
var sibling = new Sibling();
sibling.Irritate();
sibling.Irritate();
sibling.Irritate();
sibling.Angry.True();
//c! sibling.Angry = false;
}
} ///:~

Angry is visible only from within the Sibling class.

26 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Automatic properties satisfy both interfaces’ and abstract classes’17
requirements:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ImplementingInterfaces.cs
// {CF: /target:library}

// Interface property syntax


// resembles automatic property syntax:
interface SomeInterface {
int WriteOnly { set; }
int ReadOnly { get; }
int ReadAndWrite { get; set; }
}

// To use automatic properties when implementing an


// interface, you must also add the missing accessors:
class Implementer : SomeInterface {
public int WriteOnly { get; set; }
public int ReadOnly { get; set; }
public int ReadAndWrite { get; set; }
} ///:~

Implementer’s automatic properties satisfy SomeInterface’s


requirements. To use automatic properties in the class definition you must
add the missing get or set. Implementer demonstrates the case of a class
that defines an implementation larger than its interface (SomeInterface)
requires.

If Implementer used public fields rather than automatic properties, the


compiler would issue an error.

When you have a private backing field, there’s a tendency to use the field
directly within the class instead of using the property. However, if you later
add some code within the field’s associated property, the direct field access
doesn’t cause the new code to execute. Automatic properties hide the backing
field, preventing you from accessing the field directly. If you later change your
automatic property to a normal property with some boundary checks, you
need not update all references to the property.

Exercise 11: Change Person’s ID field to an automatic property.

17 See exercises for a twist with abstract classes.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 27


Exercise 12: Change ImplementingInterfaces.cs to prove that
automatic properties also satisfy abstract property definitions.

Exercise 13: Create a simple Rectangle class with Width, Height, and
Area properties.

Exercise 14: Make one of Implementer’s properties a public field and


note the compiler error.

Implicitly-typed arrays
The compiler can infer an array’s type using C# 3.0’s new array-creation
syntax:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\NewArrayCreationSyntax.cs

class NewArrayCreationSyntax {
static void Main() {
// C# 1.0:
int[] ints1 = { 5, 4, 3 };
int[] ints2 = new int[] { 5, 4, 3 };
// C# 3.0:
int[] ints3 = new[] { 5, 4, 3 };
var ints4 = new[] { 5, 4, 3 };
// ints3 and ints4 is an array of ints:
ints3.GetType().AssertEquals(typeof(int[]));
ints4.GetType().AssertEquals(typeof(int[]));
}
} ///:~

3.0’s syntax enables the compiler to determine the array type by examining
the types of all the expressions within curly braces. ints3’s and ints4’s array
initializer values are ints, so that makes them int[]s.

The compiler infers a C# 1.0 curly-brace-initialized array from the type on the
left of the assignment:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\NakedBracesRequireLeftHandType.cs

class NakedBracesRequireLeftHandType {
static void Main() {
int[] ints = { 1, 2, 3 };
//c! var ints2 = { 1, 2, 3 };
// Must state type directly or

28 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// use implicitly-typed array:
var ints3 = new int[] { 1, 2, 3 };
var ints4 = new[] { 1, 2, 3 };
}
} ///:~

In 3.0 syntax, the compiler infers the array type by finding exactly one type to
which all types must convert. When it finds no single type, the compiler
issues an error:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ConvertibleToOnetype.cs

class Base {}
class Derived1 : Base {}
class Derived2 : Base {}

class ConvertibleToOnetype {
static void Main() {
// Everything implicitly convertible to double:
var doubles = new[] { 5, 4, 3.5 };
doubles.GetType().AssertEquals(typeof(double[]));
// Not OK, decimal incompatible with double:
//c! var unknown1 = new[] { 5, 3m, 7.5 };
/*c!
// Not OK, Derived1 not convertible to Derived2,
// and Derived2 not convertible to Derived1:
var unknown2 =
new[] { new Derived1(), new Derived2() };
*/
// Now OK, everything convertible to Base:
var baseArray = new[] {
new Derived1(), new Derived2(), new Base()
};
baseArray.GetType().AssertEquals(typeof(Base[]));
// OK, everything convertible to object:
var objectArray = new[] {
new Derived1(), new Derived2(), new Base(),
new object()
};
objectArray.GetType().AssertEquals(typeof(object[]));
}
} ///:~

The compiler exempts unknown2’s Base from possible array types since it
is not in the initialization list. However, after baseArray adds a Base to the

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 29


initialization list, the compiler can convert everything to a Base, so it makes
baseArray a Base[].

The objectArray definition adds an object to baseArray’s list. Derived1


and Derived2 are implicitly convertible to both Base and object. The
compiler infers the type to be object[] because Base is convertible to
object, making object is the only common type.

The term “implicit conversion” covers the gamut of conversions, not just
upcasts and widening conversions:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ImplictConversionOperators.cs

class CommonType {}

class Convertible1 {
public static implicit
operator CommonType(Convertible1 toConvert) {
return null;
}
}

class Convertible2 {
public static implicit
operator CommonType(Convertible2 toConvert) {
return null;
}
}

class ImplictConversionOperators {
static void Main() {
/*c!
var unknown = new[] {
new Convertible1(), new Convertible2()
};
*/
var commonTypeArray = new[] {
new Convertible1(), new Convertible2(),
new CommonType()
};
commonTypeArray.GetType()
.AssertEquals(typeof(CommonType[]));
}
} ///:~

30 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


In this example, ConvertibleType1’s and ConvertibleType2’s conversion
operators convert them to CommonType.18 Because unknown’s
initialization contains no CommonType, the compiler doesn’t consider
CommonType a candidate for the array type.

The following example demonstrates an ambiguity error when there is more


than one possible type for conversion:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\AmbiguityErrors.cs

class CommonType1 {}
class CommonType2 {}

// Two types with implicit conversions to both


// CommonType1 and CommonType2:

class ConvertibleType1 {
public static implicit
operator CommonType1(ConvertibleType1 toConvert) {
return null;
}
public static implicit
operator CommonType2(ConvertibleType1 toConvert) {
return null;
}
}

class ConvertibleType2 {
public static implicit
operator CommonType1(ConvertibleType2 toConvert) {
return null;
}
public static implicit
operator CommonType2(ConvertibleType2 toConvert) {
return null;
}
}

class AmbiguityErrors {
static void Main() {

18 See the Operator Overloading chapter in the [[[reference]]] for help understanding

conversion operators.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 31


/*c!
var ambiguous1 = new[] {
new ConvertibleType1(), new ConvertibleType2()
};
*/
var nonAmbiguous1 = new[] {
new ConvertibleType1(), new ConvertibleType2(),
new CommonType1()
};
nonAmbiguous1.GetType()
.AssertEquals(typeof(CommonType1[]));
/*c!
var ambiguous2 = new[] {
new ConvertibleType1(), new ConvertibleType2(),
new CommonType1(), new CommonType2()
};
*/
var nonAmbiguous2 = new[] {
new ConvertibleType1(), new ConvertibleType2(),
new CommonType1(), new CommonType2(),
new object()
};
nonAmbiguous2.GetType()
.AssertEquals(typeof(object[]));
}
} ///:~

ConvertibleType1 and ConvertibleType2 are now convertible to both


CommonType1 and CommonType2. The compiler issues an error when it
finds no single common type defined for ambiguous1.

We add a CommonType1 in nonAmbiguous1’s definition, so the other


types implicitly convert to CommonType1. However, we only complicate
matters by adding a CommonType2 to ambiguous2, for now the compiler
cannot choose any single target type. nonAmbiguous2’s initialization
expression includes an object that resolves the type of the array. Everything
implicitly converts to object, which cannot be implicitly converted to any
other type.

The example illustrates why you must avoid any possible ambiguity. We shall
later demonstrate that implicitly typed arrays are also the only way to create
concrete arrays of anonymous types.

32 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Object initializers
Initializing an object with multiple properties presents the potential
confusion of writing several constructors for each permutation of property
names. You can instead create an object and then set its properties:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\SettingProperties.cs
// {CF: /reference:Person.dll}

class SettingProperties {
static void Main() {
var person = new Person(3);
person.FirstName = "Suzanne";
person.LastName = "Barney";
person.P();
}
} /* Output:
ID: 3
FirstName: Suzanne
LastName: Barney
*///:~

However, the FirstName and LastName should not appear in separate


statements, because setting them is part of our initialization process. Using
C# 3.0’s object initializers, you can set properties in a member initializer list
that follows your constructor call:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ObjectInitializers.cs
// {CF: /reference:Person.dll}

class ObjectInitializers {
static void Main() {
// Parenthesis on parameterless
// constructor are optional:
var person = new Person
{ FirstName = "Suzanne", LastName = "Barney" };
person.P();
// Call parameterized constructor
// and use initializer list:
person = new Person(4)
{ FirstName = "Joe", LastName = "Sandstrom" };
person.P();
person = new Person
{ ID = 12, FirstName = "Bob", LastName = "Dobbs" };

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 33


person.P();
}
} /* Output:
ID: 0
FirstName: Suzanne
LastName: Barney
ID: 4
FirstName: Joe
LastName: Sandstrom
ID: 12
FirstName: Bob
LastName: Dobbs
*///:~

This technique works for any field and property as long as you have access to
set it. The compiler translates the initializers as if the properties were on
separate lines (as we did explicitly in SettingProperties.cs). You can also
call parameterized constructors before the initializer list, as we do here.

You can nest initializations of any objects that your object contains, like so:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\NestedInitializers.cs

class Object1 {
public Object2 Object2;
}

class Object2 {
public Object3 Object3;
}

class Object3 {
public int Field;
}

class NestedInitializers {
static void Main() {
var object1 = new Object1 {
Object2 = new Object2 {
Object3 = new Object3 { Field = 5 }
}
};
}
} ///:~

34 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Take care not to nest initializer lists too deeply. The complexity of even
single-field object initializer lists increases with the number of fields.

Exercise 15: Change Person’s properties to fields. Prove that accessible


fields work in an initialization list.

Exercise 16: Initialize only the FirstName property of a Person object.


Exercise 17: Make both a type with an int Field, and a local variable
called Field. Why does it look odd when you initialize an instance of your
type’s Field with the local variable Field, and why is this not ambiguous?

Collection initializers
You can initialize any container using C# 3.0’s array-like syntax, as long as it
implements the non-generic IEnumerable19 interface and has an Add( )
method. Just separate the elements with commas inside a braced list:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\CollectionInitializers.cs
using System.Collections.Generic;

class CollectionInitializers {
static void Main() {
var ints = new List<int>() { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
ints.AssertEquals(new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 });
// Parentheses not required:
var ints2 = new List<int> { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
ints2.AssertEquals(ints);
// Initialized via both parameter and initializer:
var ints3 = new List<int>(ints) { 6, 7 };
ints3.AssertEquals(new[] { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 });
// Can nest:
var nested = new List<List<int>> {
new List<int> { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 },
new List<int> { 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 },
new List<int> { 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 }
};
nested.P("nested");
}

19 You’re only required to implement the non-generic IEnumerable interface, but its

generic counterpart implements the non-generic version, so it works too.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 35


} /* Output:
nested: [
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5],
[6, 7, 8, 9, 10],
[11, 12, 13, 14, 15]
]
*///:~

The compiler translates every element in the comma-separated list to Add( )


calls, starting with the first.

In nested’s case, the compiler creates the first nested List, Add( )ing each
of its elements. It then Add( )’s that first List to nested. The compiler
repeats the process for the two subsequent Lists.

IEnumerable has no Add( ) method, so it appears odd to require


initializable types to implement it. It would seem that any type with an
Add( ) method could theoretically qualify. However, the word “add” is
overloaded, for example “add an element to a sequence” or “add these two
numbers.

Early drafts of C# 3.0’s standard actually required the initialized type to


implement ICollection (which has an Add( )) instead of IEnumerable.
However, most “collection” types implement IEnumerable, and many of
these have an Add( ) method, but only a few implement ICollection.20
ICollection doesn’t fit many container types, whereas IEnumerable
naturally fits almost all of them by its simplicity. Thus C# 3.0 defines
“collection” as a type that implements IEnumerable and has an accessible
Add( ) method.

The compiler’s normal overload resolution determines the appropriate


Add( ) call. You call multi-argument Add( ) methods by enclosing the
parameters in additional curly braces:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\AddOverloads.cs
using System.Collections;

class SomeCollection : IEnumerable {


public IEnumerator GetEnumerator() { return null; }

20 You usually satisfy foreach’s requirement by implementing IEnumerable. (See


[[[reference]]] for details.)

36 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


public void Add(int i) { ("Add(" + i + ")").P(); }
public void Add(char c) { ("Add(" + c + ")").P(); }
public void Add(int i, char c) {
("Add(" + i + ", " + c + ")").P();
}
}

class AddOverloads {
static void Main() {
var someCollection = new SomeCollection {
5, 'x', { 10, 'z' }
};
}
} /* Output:
Add(5)
Add(x)
Add(10, z)
*///:~

The compiler resolves the appropriate Add( ) method for each value in the
initializer list.

Exercise 18: Use collection initializer syntax to create a Dictionary that


stores a random number for the Key, and an IEnumerable of random
numbers and random length for the Value.

Exercise 19: Write code to prove whether a Stack, a LinkedList, and a


Queue meet C# 3.0’s definition of “collection.”

Exercise 20: When you have an IEnumerable type without an Add( )


method, but a valid Add( ) extension method is in scope, does your type then
qualify as a C# 3.0 collection type?

Exercise 21: Write code that proves the Add( ) method must be perfectly
cased (i.e. “Add”, not “ADD” or “add”).

Exercise 22: Write code that proves the compiler initializes nested
collections immediately, Add( )ing each one individually instead of creating
them all and then adding them as a batch at the end.

Anonymous types
C# 3.0’s anonymous types are types that store data and contain no user code.
The compiler generates the classes with properties that have associated

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 37


backing fields.21 To declare an anonymous type, follow new with curly
braces:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\BasicAnonymousTypes.cs

class BasicAnonymousTypes {
static int SomeProperty {
get { return 5; }
}
static void Main() {
// Create an anonymous type:
var type1 = new { SomeProperty };
type1.SomeProperty.AssertEquals(5);
var type2 = new { DifferentFieldName = SomeProperty };
type2.DifferentFieldName.AssertEquals(5);
//c! type2.SomeProperty.AssertEquals(5);
var type3 = new {
AnotherFieldName = SomeProperty,
SomeProperty
};
type3.AnotherFieldName.AssertEquals(5);
type3.SomeProperty.AssertEquals(5);
int someVariable = 10;
var type4 = new {
SomeProperty,
someVariable,
AnotherProperty = someVariable * 10,
};
type4.someVariable.AssertEquals(10);
type4.SomeProperty.AssertEquals(5);
type4.AnotherProperty.AssertEquals(100);
}
} ///:~

You reference the property names with normal syntax (as seen with the
AssertEquals( ) calls). The compiler performs the normal checks to ensure
that you use the properties correctly.

21 In C++ these are sometimes called “PODS,” i.e., Plain Old Data Structures, and in Java

they are called POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects), but neither provides direct language
support.

38 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


The compiler generates only properties, not public fields. The compiler infers
the name and type of type1’s only property, SomeProperty, from its
initialization expression. Since we use “SomeProperty” in type1’s anonymous
type declaration, the compiler gives the anonymous type a “SomeProperty”
property to which it assigns BasicAnonymousTypes.SomeProperty’s
value.

You explicitly create an anonymous type field by stating a name followed by


an assignment (as we did with DifferentFieldName). Note that type2’s
type has no SomeProperty property.

As type3 and type4 show, you can mix the two techniques any way you like.
The optional comma that ends type4’s declaration makes it easier to add
lines to it later. Notice that we use a local variable to create type4’s
someVariable property.

Anonymous type declarations look much like ordinary object initializer lists
but without a type name; they instead take the unique (hidden) type name
that the compiler generates. The generated type inherits directly from
object.

Anonymous types are immutable,22 so no generated property has a set


accessor. The compiler converts anonymous type initializations to
constructor parameters rather than setting each property after it runs a
default constructor.

var is the only way to declare a reference to an anonymous type or sequence


of anonymous types. You use C# 3.0’s new array declaration syntax to create
arrays of anonymous types:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\ArraysOfAnonymousTypes.cs

class ArraysOfAnonymousTypes {
static void Main() {
var tuples = new[] {
new { FirstName = "Joe", LastName = "Jewkes"},
new { FirstName = "Sarah", LastName = "Newby"},
new { FirstName = "John", LastName = "Freeman"}
};

22 One significant advantage to the immutability of anonymous types is in threading; it’s

impossible multiple threads to interfere with each other via immutable objects.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 39


foreach(var tuple in tuples)
tuple.P();
}
} /* Output:
{ FirstName = Joe, LastName = Jewkes }
{ FirstName = Sarah, LastName = Newby }
{ FirstName = John, LastName = Freeman }
*///:~

We can’t explicitly state the tuples array type because the compiler generates
anonymous type names for the array elements. C# 3.0’s array-creation syntax
tells the compiler to insert the compiler-generated type name.

The compiler considers two anonymous types to be the same type only when
they have identical property names with identical types in identical order.
When an anonymous type fails to meet any of these requirements, the
compiler generates a different type:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\DifferentAnonymousTypes.cs

class DifferentAnonymousTypes {
static void Main() {
// Same field names of same type in same order
// use same compiler-generated anonymous type:
var anonymous1 =
new { Property1 = 5, Property2 = "Hello" };
var anonymous2 =
new { Property1 = 10, Property2 = "London" };
anonymous1.GetType()
.AssertEquals(anonymous2.GetType());
// Different property names produce
// different anonymous types:
var type1 = new { SomeProperty = 5 };
var type2 = new { AnotherProperty = 5 };
type1.GetType().Equals(type2.GetType()).False();
// Different property types make
// different anonymous types:
var type3 = new { SomeProperty = 5 };
var type4 = new { SomeProperty = "5" };
type3.GetType().Equals(type4.GetType()).False();
// Different property order creates
// different anonymous types:
var type5 = new {
FirstProperty = 5,

40 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


SecondProperty = 5
};
var type6 = new {
SecondProperty = 5,
FirstProperty = 5
};
type5.GetType().Equals(type6.GetType()).False();
}
} ///:~

The compiler overrides ToString( ), Equals( ), and GetHashCode( )


when it generates an anonymous type:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\GeneratedMethods.cs

static class GeneratedMethods {


static void Main() {
var anonymous = new {
Property1 = 5, Property2 = "Hello"
};
anonymous.ToString().AssertEquals(
"{ Property1 = 5, Property2 = Hello }");
anonymous.GetHashCode().AssertEquals(1231812064);
anonymous = new {
Property1 = 5, Property2 = "Hello"
};
// Same hash code:
anonymous.GetHashCode().AssertEquals(1231812064);
anonymous = new {
Property1 = 5, Property2 = "Hi"
};
anonymous.ToString().AssertEquals(
"{ Property1 = 5, Property2 = Hi }");
// GetHashCode() value changes:
anonymous.GetHashCode().AssertEquals(392710151);
// Generated Equals() compares property values:
var another = new {
Property1 = 5, Property2 = "Hi"
};
anonymous.AssertEquals(another); // Call Equals()
// No == operator generated:
(anonymous == another).False();
another = new {
Property1 = 5, Property2 = "Howdy"
};

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 41


anonymous.Equals(another).False();
}
} ///:~

The compiler-generated GetHashCode( ) calculates its value from the


generated type’s property values rather than from the default
implementation.23 We show that GetHashCode( ) returns a different value
when we change a property value.

object’s implementation of Equals( ) returns true when this and the


Equals( ) argument reference the same object. However, for anonymous
types, the compiler generates an Equals( ) override that compares each
property value in the anonymous type to its corresponding property value in
the other instance:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\AnonymousEquals.cs

class HeldType {
string id;
public HeldType(string id) { this.id = id; }
public override bool Equals(object obj) {
// Trace statement proves this method is called:
"Equals()".P(id);
return true;
}
}

class AnonymousEquals {
static void Main() {
var typeHolder =
new { Property = new HeldType("held1") };
// AssertEquals() calls Equals():
typeHolder.AssertEquals(typeHolder);
var typeHolder2 =
new { Property = new HeldType("held2") };
typeHolder.AssertEquals(typeHolder2);
typeHolder = new { Property = (HeldType)null };
"Trying null...".P();

23For reference types, the default implementation guarantees a unique identity within an
app domain until the garbage collector reclaims the object, after which the value can be
used again. The default implementation uses reflection for value types, generating a
unique value from the field values.

42 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


typeHolder.Equals(typeHolder2).False();
typeHolder2 = new { Property = (HeldType)null };
typeHolder.AssertEquals(typeHolder2);
// Two anonymous types of differing
// types are never equal:
var oneType = new { A = 5, B = 5 };
var twoType = new { B = 5, A = 5 };
oneType.Equals(twoType).False();
}
} /* Output:
held1: Equals()
held1: Equals()
Trying null...
*///:~
Notice that typeHolder calls Equals( ) on its members (as shown in the
output “held1: Equals()”).

For null values to be equal, the matching property values from both objects
must be null. In typeHolder and typeHolder2’s definitions, we must cast
null to HeldType because the compiler cannot infer type information from
just null.

Anonymous types differ from normal types only in that we cannot explicitly
state the compiler-generated anonymous type name. However, we can reflect
an anonymous type to show what the compiler creates:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\AnonymousReflection.cs

class AnonymousReflection {
static void Main() {
var type1 = new { Property = 5 }.GetType();
type1.Name.AssertEquals("<>f__AnonymousType0`1");
// Inherits from Object:
type1.BaseType.AssertEquals(typeof(object));
// Closed type:
type1.ToString()
.AssertEquals("<>f__AnonymousType0`1[System.Int32]");
// It's a generic type with one type argument:
type1.GetGenericArguments().Length.AssertEquals(1);
// Only has one property:
type1.GetProperties().Length.AssertEquals(1);
var propertyInfo = type1.GetProperties()[0];
propertyInfo.Name.AssertEquals("Property");
propertyInfo.PropertyType.AssertEquals(typeof(int));

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 43


// Immutable:
propertyInfo.CanRead.True();
propertyInfo.CanWrite.False();
// Has one contructor for the initialization:
type1.GetConstructors().Length.AssertEquals(1);
type1.GetConstructors()[0].ToString()
.AssertEquals("Void .ctor(Int32)");
// Reuses the generic type from before because
// property names match (but property types don't):
var type2 = new { Property = "Hi" }.GetType();
type2.Name.AssertEquals(type1.Name);
// But the "closed" type" differs:
type2.ToString().AssertEquals(
"<>f__AnonymousType0`1[System.String]");
var type3 = new { DifferentName = "Hi" }.GetType();
// Generates new anonymous type
// since property names differ:
type3.Name.AssertEquals("<>f__AnonymousType1`1");
}
} ///:~

This example uses reflection, which we explore in detail at [[[reference]]].

The compiler generates the name <>f__AnonymousType0`1 for the first


anonymous type. The “`1” indicates one generic type argument (the arity).
The compiler uses the same generic type for the second anonymous type’s
identical property names. However, two anonymous types with different
closed types are not the same.24

The last anonymous has a different property name, so the compiler generates
a new generic type for it.

Do not rely on such reflected information; we use it here as a learning tool


only. This implementation’s details, current at this book’s printing, could
change in future versions.25

24 A closed type is a generic type with actual type arguments. For example, List<int> is a

closed type. (See the Generics chapter in [[[reference]]].)


25 Our build system discovers any such changes, so we will update the code distribution

accordingly.

44 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Although you can’t use the generated type name explicitly, all the normal
compile-time checks still apply; you can’t assign an incorrect type to a
generated property, for example. Anonymous types are just compiler-
generated classes, so generic type inference is the same. The compiler infers
the generic parameter when you pass an anonymous type to a generic method
(a simple feature you’ll appreciate in the Query Expressions chapter).

Exercise 23: Add five instances of some anonymous type to a List. Give
the anonymous type three integer fields: a value, its square, and its cube.

Exercise 24: Make two instances of an anonymous type that holds


another anonymous type that holds a HeldType from
AnonymousEquals.cs. Call Equals( ) on the first-anonymous type, and
notice that HeldType.Equals( )’s trace statement prints successfully
(indicating that the second-level Equals( ) is indeed generated).

Exercise 25: (Advanced.) Use reflection to determine whether the


compiler reuses the same generated generic type if you change only the order
of the identical property names and property types of two anonymous types.

Lambda expressions
Anonymous methods, inherently verbose,26 can clutter your code, making it
hard to read (though they are a convenient way to pass one temporary
method to another). C# 3.0 introduces lambda expressions that need only
the parameters and the statements to make an anonymous method:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\LambdaIntro.cs
using System;

class LambdaIntro {
static void CheckLessThanFive(Predicate<int> predicate) {
predicate(10).False();
predicate(0).True();
}
static void Main() {

26 Even anonymous methods that contain only one statement are inherently bulky: you

must write the delegate keyword, declare parameters with their types and encapsulate
them in parentheses, add braces, and add semicolons to the end of statements. So rather
than write an anonymous method that spans multiple lines, make it a member of your
class.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 45


// Anonymous method:
CheckLessThanFive(delegate(int i) { return i < 5; });
// Equivalent lambda expression:
CheckLessThanFive(i => i < 5);
}
} ///:~

Note that you can declare a lambda expression much more concisely than an
anonymous method by removing unnecessary tokens such as parentheses,
the delegate keyword, etc.

The => symbol identifies a lambda expression, and separates the arguments
from the statements. Here, the lambda expression declares i as an argument
to the method, and returns the value of the expression i < 5. The anonymous
method and the lambda expression both produce nearly identical MSIL.

Note that the compiler preserves static type safety when it infers lambda
arguments. Anything you do with the argument that is undefined for the
inferred type causes an error.

The compiler examines the lambda expression’s defining context to infer i’s
type. Here it infers that i is an int because predicate’s type is
Predicate<int>. The result of a single-statement lambda expression is the
lambda’s return type, which must implicitly convert to the target delegate’s
return type (the same as with anonymous methods).

Although it’s common to write single-statement lambda expressions like the


one above, nothing limits your lambda expression to just one line or
parameter:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\LambdaVariations.cs
using System;

delegate void Parameterless();

class LambdaVariations {
static void Main() {
// Assign the lambda expression to a variable:
Predicate<int> predicate1 = i => i < 6;
predicate1(4).True();
predicate1(7).False();
// Can't use var because compiler
// relies on target delegate type:
//c! var illegal = j => j < 6;

46 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// Can put parentheses on a single parameter,
// but it's not necessary:
Predicate<int> predicate2 = (i) => i < 6;
// Parentheses required with more than one parameter:
Comparison<int> comparer = (l, r) => l - r;
comparer(5, 10).AssertEquals(-5);
// Explicitly typed paramaters
comparer = (int l, int r) => l - r;
comparer(5, 10).AssertEquals(-5);
// Parameterless lambda requires parentheses:
Parameterless parameterless =
() => Console.Write("hello, ");
for(int i = 0; i < 3; i++)
parameterless();
Console.WriteLine();
// More than one statement requires braces:
parameterless = () => {
Console.Write(1);
Console.Write(2);
Console.WriteLine();
};
parameterless();
// return keyword required with braces
Predicate<int> predicate3 =
i => { 3.P(); return true; };
predicate3(20).True();
// Can't have return without braces
//c! predicate = i => return true;
}
} /* Output:
hello, hello, hello,
12
3
*///:~

If there’s only one argument, you don’t need parentheses.

Multiple-statement lambda expressions require curly braces. The braces


clarify which statements comprise your lambda expression. You use the
return keyword when your braced lambda expression returns a value.

You need not specify an argument type that the compiler can infer. In the
definition of illegal, we cannot use var for type inference because there’s not
enough information to infer j’s type. In predicate1’s definition,

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 47


Predicate<int> provides the extra context the compiler requires to infer the
argument types and return types of the lambda expression.

Even when they have extra tokens, lambda expressions are much more
succinct than anonymous methods. We use several lambda expressions in a
single statement in the Query Expressions chapter.

The compiler inserts a return when you assign a lambda expression to a


delegate that returns anything but void:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\LambdasMayReturnVoid.cs
using System;

class LambdasMayReturnVoid {
static void Main() {
// Func<int> returns int:
Func<int> func = () => 5;
// Action<int> takes int, returns void:
Action<int> action = i => i.P();
}
} ///:~

Func returns a value (int, in this case; we introduce Func shortly), so the
compiler inserts the return keyword before the ‘5’ in its generated method.
Action doesn’t return anything, so the compiler doesn’t insert a return
statement.

Consider the error message in this example:27


//: SimpleNewFeatures\LambdaExpressionIsAnExpression.cs
// {CompileTimeError: Only assignment, call, increment,
// decrement, and new object expressions can be used as
// a statement}
using System;

class LambdaExpressionIsAnExpression {
static void Main() {
Action<int> action2 = i => i + 1;
}
} ///:~

27The CompileTimeError flag tells our build system that the example should not
compile and indicates the compiler error string. Our build system verifies that error.

48 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


The compiler detects that Action returns void and inserts no return before
i + 1. If we do this:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\PlainExpression.cs
// {CompileTimeError: Only assignment, call, increment,
// decrement, and new object expressions can be used as
// a statement}
using System;

class PlainExpression {
static void Main() {
int i = 5;
i + 1;
}
} ///:~

The error messages are the same. The last line in Main( ) causes the error
because it has no side effects (and makes no sense). Only assignment, call,
increment, decrement, and new object expressions can act as statements by
themselves because of their side effects.

We’d get an entirely different error message if the compiler inserted a


return:
//: SimpleNewFeatures\BadReturn.cs
// {CompileTimeError: Since 'System.Action<int>' returns
// void, a return keyword must not be followed by an
// object expression}
using System;

class BadReturn {
static void Main() {
Action<int> action2 = i => { return i + 1; };
}
} ///:~

We added braces in order to include the return. The compiler never inserts a
return inside a braced lambda.

Exercise 26: Write a single-argument lambda expression whose


parameter the compiler infers as a DateTime. Access the Day property from
within the lambda. Make another lambda whose parameter type the compiler
infers as an int. Again, try to access the Day property. Prove that the
compiler catches the error.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 49


Exercise 27: Make a List of random TimeSpans between 0 and 24
hours. Use FindAll( ) to locate all TimeSpans less than 12 hours, Exists( )
to see if any have an Hours property value of five, TrueForAll( ) to ensure
each is between 0 and 24 hours, and ConvertAll( ) to return just the Hours
portion of each. Use lambda expressions for all calls.

Exercise 28: Write a Generate<T>( ) method that returns an


IEnumerable<T>. Have it take two arguments: an int with the number of
items to generate, and a no-arg delegate that returns a type T. Make it
execute the delegate the given number of times, yielding each result. Hint:
You may wish to use the Func delegate talked about in the next section
instead of making your own.

Exercise 29: Fill two Lists with the same random numbers. Sort( ) both
lists in descending order, and use RemoveAll( ) to take out the odd
numbers. For the first list, use anonymous methods, for the second list, use
lambda expressions. Verify that they produce identical results
(TrueForAll( )).

Func
C# 3.0 introduces System.Func, which is the core delegate type for many of
C# 3.0’s features. Func replaces most of the generic delegate types
introduced in version 2.0.

Func has as many as five generic overloads. In the declaration for a Func,
the first n-1 generic arguments specify the delegate argument types, and the
last generic argument always specifies the return type.
//: SimpleNewFeatures\FuncDemo.cs
using System;

class FuncDemo {
static void Main() {
Predicate<int> predicate = x => x < 3;
predicate(2).True();
// Can just use Func instead:
Func<int, bool> predicate2 = x => x < 3;
predicate2(2).True();
Comparison<int> comparer1 =
(left, right) => left – right;
comparer1(5, 3).AssertEquals(2);
// Equivalent Func replacement:

50 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Func<int, int, int> comparer2 =
(left, right) => left - right;
comparer2(5, 3).AssertEquals(2);
// Func can't replace Action because
// Action doesn't return a value:
Action<int> action1 = x => x.P();
action1(3);
//c! Func action2 = x => x.P();
}
} /* Output:
3
*///:~

You can use Func if your method returns a value, instead of searching the
standard namespaces for an appropriate delegate type. Here, we show how to
use Func instead of Predicate or Comparison. However, do use
Predicate when it makes your code more readable; it requires only one
generic argument, whereas Func requires two.

Func’s last generic argument always determines its return type.

Exercise 30: Write a basic selection sort algorithm that returns an


IEnumerable and takes an IEnumerable and a Func<T, T, int> as the
comparer. Test your algorithm.

Simple New Features King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 51


Query Expressions
C# 3.0 query expressions provide SQL-like syntax for
querying objects.
Query expressions change the way we think about data. Database
programming has typically been considered a foreign discipline, outside the
world of “normal programming.” Query expressions don’t require that you
leave your programming paradigm to work with a database. They provide a
bridge between the two.

Basic LINQ
You can query objects as abstract data stores with LINQ (Language
INtegrated Query, pronounced “link”). These objects range from normal in-
memory objects to those that abstract away other data stores such as
databases, files, web services, etc.

Query syntax is very different from ordinary programming prose. Query


expressions return an IEnumerable or IQueryable object.1

Consider these simple query expressions:


//: QueryExpressions\SimpleIntro.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class SimpleIntro {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
IEnumerable<int> copy =
from number in numbers
select number;
copy.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
object.ReferenceEquals(numbers, copy).False();
var timesTen =

1 In fact, query expressions can return any type (as we will later demonstrate), but they

ordinarily return either an IEnumerable or an IQueryable.

52 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from number in numbers
select number * 10;
timesTen.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[10, 20, 30, 40, 50]
*///:~

Every query expression begins with from followed by an identifier, then in


followed by the source. from is like foreach, except the compiler infers the
iteration variable type,2 and from is not a native looping construct. Most
query expressions end with a select clause to choose the objects they return.

In this example, the iteration variable number produces each element from
the source numbers. The first query expression selects each element in the
array, which produces a copy of numbers.

The second query expression performs the same selection as the first, then
multiplies each value by ten in the select clause.

We usually use var with queries, as we did in the second query. However, in
the first query, we wanted to show copy’s compile-time type.

While from may seem like another foreach, it’s declarative because we
express our goal but not how to achieve it. So a query expression can say “get
all the numbers” or “get all the numbers times ten,” while a foreach requires
that you write code to multiply each number by ten; then store the result in a
temporary List; and finally return the List upcast to an IEnumerable.

When you understand how query expressions work, you’ll appreciate their
power, brevity and clarity (and that of such related technologies as LINQ to
SQL, LINQ to XML, etc. found in later chapters).

Contextual keywords such as from, etc. are keywords only in the context of a
query. To treat them normally within a query, precede them with an @:
//: QueryExpressions\ContextualKeywords.cs
using System.Linq;

2 We will show you how you can also specify the type.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 53


class ContextualKeywords {
static void Main() {
var from = new[] { 1, 2, 3 };
/*c!
var result1 =
from f in from
select f + 1;
*/
// Using '@':
var result2 =
from f in @from
select f + 1;
}
} ///:~

We used an @ symbol to access the array from, since its name is also a
contextual keyword inside a query. However, you should avoid situations that
force you to use @, because they are confusing.

Translation
Query expressions’ type-safe SQL-like syntax requires very few additions to
C#.3 The compiler translates query clauses to normal method calls:
//: QueryExpressions\SelectTranslation.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class SelectTranslation {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
IEnumerable<int> timesTen =
from number in numbers
select number * 10;
timesTen.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
// The compiler translates the query into:
timesTen =
numbers.Select(number => number * 10);
timesTen.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
// Which further translates,

3 However, notice that all the reserved words in query expressions must be in lower case,

whereas SQL keywords are not case-sensitive.

54 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// using extension method rules:
timesTen =
Enumerable.Select(numbers, number => number * 10);
timesTen.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
[10, 20, 30, 40, 50]
[10, 20, 30, 40, 50]
[10, 20, 30, 40, 50]
*///:~

Here, the compiler converts the select clause into a Select( ) instance
method call on numbers. It also converts the select expression into a full
lambda expression, using from’s iteration variable name as the lambda’s
argument name. Since Array has no Select( ) method, the compiler’s search
for possible extension methods finds System.Linq.Enumerable.Select( ),
which takes an IEnumerable for its first argument and a Func for its
second.

The query expression imports no special types (as foreach does). The
compiler won’t find an appropriate Select( ) unless you either include a
using System.Linq statement or bring your own Select( ) into scope.

Recall that the generic delegate Func takes as many as four arguments of any
type and returns a non-void value. The compiler-converted lambda becomes
our Func.

The from clause, which has no direct translation, only states the source
name and brings the lambda argument name into scope.

Select( ) invokes the Func on each item to yield each result. Its code might
look something like this:
//: QueryExpressions\SelectCode.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class CustomEnumerable {


public static IEnumerable<U>
Select<T, U>(this IEnumerable<T> collection,
Func<T, U> selector) {
"Select()".P();
foreach(T element in collection)
yield return selector(element);

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 55


}
// Other query expression helper methods go here...
}

class SelectCode {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var timesTen =
from number in numbers
select number * 10;
timesTen.AssertEquals(new[] { 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 });
}
} /* Output:
Select()
*///:~

Once the compiler converts select to .Select( ), our Select( ) method is the
only one in scope, and it satisfies the extension method lookup, so the
compiler uses it (as its trace statement shows).

The compiler resolves query clauses to any extension method with the proper
signature, not just Enumerable’s, as the exclusion of
“using System.Linq” in this example demonstrates. In fact, even if we
brought System.Linq.Enumerable into scope with a using statement, the
compiler would resolve to the still “nearer” in scope
CustomEnumerable.Select( ).

Enumerable and Queryable4 methods match every possible query


expression clause, such as select (and many others shown throughout this
chapter). Although you usually want the lookup to resolve to Enumerable’s
methods or Queryable’s methods, you can provide your own as we did here.
The compiler first searches the source for any ordinary method that satisfies
the lookup, then for possible extensions, so Select( ) needn’t always be an
extension method. The compiler issues an error if it finds no matching
method:
//: QueryExpressions\NoValidOverload.cs
// {CompileTimeError: Could not find an implementation
// of the query pattern for source type

4 Our focus here is Enumerable; you will see Queryable later, and the idea is much the

same.

56 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// 'NoValidOverload'. 'Select' not found.}

class NoValidOverload {
static void Main() {
var source = new NoValidOverload();
var result =
from s in source
select s;
}
} ///:~

Select( )’s generic Func takes two type arguments. You can return a
different type than your select data source provides, as this example shows:
//: QueryExpressions\SelectingADifferentType.cs
using System.Linq;

class SelectingADifferentType {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var lessThanThree =
from i in numbers
select i < 3;
lessThanThree.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
[True, True, False, False, False]
*///:~

Thus, our lambda takes an int and returns a bool, which indicates whether
an item’s value is less than 3. However, knowing the values are less than three
isn’t as useful as retrieving them. We use a where to retrieve those items:
//: QueryExpressions\WhereClause.cs
using System.Linq;

class WhereClause {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var lessThanThree =
from i in numbers
where i < 3
select i;
var result = new[] { 1, 2 };
lessThanThree.AssertEquals(result);

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 57


// Could translate to:
lessThanThree =
numbers
.Where(i => i < 3)
.Select(i => i);
lessThanThree.AssertEquals(result);
}
} ///:~

where is a syntactic revision, like select. The compiler chains successive


clauses as method invocations, using select’s source as where’s return value
in this example.

We encourage you to complete the translation steps in the exercises where


applicable.

Exercise 1: From a sequence of strings, select the ones with no vowels,


uppercasing the ones you select.

Exercise 2: Look up Enumerable.Range( ) and use it to create a


number source to write a query that calculate the squares of the odd numbers
from 1 to 100.

Exercise 3: Modify Select( ) in SelectCode.cs so the select clause


returns 100 for each element instead of using the selector argument.5

Exercise 4: When you add a using for System.Linq to SelectCode.cs,


does the compiler still resolve to CustomEnumerable’s Select( ) method
or use Enumerable’s instead?

Exercise 5: Write a Where( ) method and use it in a query. Give it a


trace statement to prove the compiler calls your version instead of
Enumerable’s.

Exercise 6: Here’s a twist: create a Select( ) method that handles the


following query expression:
bool returnedValue =
from s in 5
select 5.5;

5 We suggest, for practice with these exercises, that you first formulate the query and then

translate it into Enumerable calls.

58 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Degeneracy
Query expressions must end with either a select clause or a group…by
clause (which we look at later). However, a select with a lambda that only
returns its argument just wastes processing time; we call such clauses
degenerate. The compiler removes degenerate Select( ) calls:
//: QueryExpressions\DegenerateSelect.cs
using System.Linq;

class DegenerateSelect {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var lessThanThree =
from i in numbers
where i < 3
select i;
var result = new[] { 1, 2 };
lessThanThree.AssertEquals(result);
// Actual translation:
lessThanThree =
numbers
.Where(i => i < 3);
// No Select() here
lessThanThree.AssertEquals(result);
}
} ///:~

The compiler never eliminates a Select( ) call that would produce a direct
reference to the original source:
//: QueryExpressions\SelectNotRemoved.cs
using System.Linq;

class SelectNotRemoved {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var copy =
from n in numbers
select n;
object.ReferenceEquals(numbers, copy).False();
}
} ///:~

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 59


Here, only the numbers object would remain if the compiler removed the
degenerate Select( ) call.

Exercise 7: Prove that the compiler drops degenerate select clauses by


relying on the trace statement within Select( ) in SelectCode.cs. Make two
queries, one with a degenerate select clause, and one without, and notice
that the trace statement only prints for the non-degenerate select clause.

Exercise 8: Does the compiler consider a where true clause to be


degenerate? That is, does it consider it a waste of processor cycles and thus
eliminate the clause in the translation? Write code to prove your answer.

Chained where clauses


You can chain where clauses, just like Where( ) methods:
//: QueryExpressions\MultipleWhereClauses.cs
using System.Linq;

class MultipleWhereClauses {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var betweenOneAndFive =
from n in numbers
where n < 5
where n > 1
select n;
betweenOneAndFive.AssertEquals(new[] { 2, 3, 4 });
// Translates to:
var betweenOneAndFive2 =
numbers
.Where(n => n < 5)
.Where(n => n > 1);
// Select() is degenerate
betweenOneAndFive.AssertEquals(betweenOneAndFive2);
// Which further translates, via
// extension method rules:
var betweenOneAndFive3 =
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.Where(numbers, n => n < 5),
n => n > 1);
betweenOneAndFive2.AssertEquals(betweenOneAndFive3);
}
} ///:~

60 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


The compiler invokes the where clauses in the order they appear. The first
where filters for values less than 5, and the second determines which of
those are greater than 1.6

The rest of Main( ) shows the full translation process. The compiler first
syntactically transforms multiple where clauses into a chain of Where( )
calls, and drops the degenerate Select( ). Since IEnumerable has no
Where( ) method, the compiler follows the standard extension method
protocol, translating the instance method calls to static calls on
Enumerable, and rewriting our chained Where( ) calls as nested
Where( ) calls.

Notice that for each anonymous method it generates, the compiler repeats the
variable name n. Each where clause becomes a Where( ) call with its own
anonymous method argument.

We verify identical results by checking all three queries.

Exercise 9: Make a HasWhere object with a Where( ) instance method


(instead of the static extension methods we’ve used thus far). Make another
class that has Where( ) and Select( ) extension methods. Put trace
statements in all methods (be sure to distinguish between the two Where( )
methods). Use an instance of HasWhere for a query expression’s source.
Which Where( ) does the compiler use? Does this setup cause any issues
with the Select( ) extension method (make sure your select isn’t
degenerate)?

Introduction to
Deferred Execution
When do queries actually execute? A query is an expression describing what
you want. Only when you iterate through the results do the gears actually
start to turn. This is called deferred execution.7 We’ll save the details for later
in the book, but at this point you must understand the basics:

6 As we will see, the values pass through one by one, not as an entire set.
7 Some programmers will see a similarity to lazy evaluation here.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 61


//: QueryExpressions\DeferredIntro.cs
using System.Linq;

class DeferredIntro {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3 };
var result =
from n in numbers
select n * 10;
result.AssertEquals(new[] { 10, 20, 30 });
numbers[1] = 234;
// Changes result:
result.AssertEquals(new[] { 10, 2340, 30 });
}
} ///:~

You assume that changing a value in numbers after setting result to a


query based on numbers does not affect result. However, you can see here
that it does.

If you are familiar with iterators8 (and C#’s yield mechanism), this should
make some sense, since iterators are simply objects that store a data retrieval
mechanism. They don’t execute that mechanism until you enumerate the
results. You can also see this behavior in this example:
//: QueryExpressions\DeferredIteration.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class MyExtensions {


public static IEnumerable<U>
Select<T, U>(this IEnumerable<T> collection,
Func<T, U> selector) {
"Select()".P();
foreach(T element in collection)
yield return selector(element);
}
}

class DeferredIteration {
static void Main() {

8 Later in the chapter we show details of how this works with iterators.

62 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


int[] ints = { 1, 2, 3 };
var result =
from i in ints
select i;
result.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
result.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
result.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
Select()
[1, 2, 3]
Select()
[1, 2, 3]
Select()
[1, 2, 3]
*///:~

We write the query in Main( ) once, but print the results three times. Each
time that P( ) iterates through the results, the code within Select( ) executes
(as shown by the “Select( )” trace statement). Initially you’d expect the trace
statement to print only once, but C# implements iterators in a way that
causes it to print each time you iterate through the results.9

Deferred execution is essential when implementing composability, which we


cover later in the chapter.

Multiple froms
We can use multiple from clauses, much like control structures such as
foreach and for:
//: QueryExpressions\MultipleFroms.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class MultipleFroms {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
// Query expression:

9 See appendix [[[xxx]]] for a refresher on iterators if necessary.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 63


var additions1 =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
select n1 + n2;
additions1.AssertEquals(new[] { 4, 5, 5, 6 });
// Nested loops:
var additions2 = new List<int>();
foreach(int n1 in numbers1)
foreach(int n2 in numbers2)
additions2.Add(n1 + n2);
additions2.AssertEquals(additions1);
}
} ///:~

The query iterates through every element in numbers2 for every element in
numbers1, adding each pair. The nested foreach loops do the same.
However, from is not a built-in looping construct like foreach, so you can
think of each from clause as virtually iterating through its source elements;
from just states the iteration variable’s name and source.

Each from, pairing all its values with other froms, makes a Cartesian
product, or a cross-join. This is sometimes referred to as an uncontrolled join
because it combines all the elements without a condition. You don’t usually
want this, but it has some uses. Later you’ll see inner joins and outer joins,
which are more common.

The foreach approach requires an extra List, whereas query expressions


generate their own sequence. You’ll learn how this works later in the chapter.

Here’s how the compiler translates the above query:


//: QueryExpressions\MultipleFromsTranslation.cs
using System.Linq;

class MultipleFromsTranslation {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
var additions1 =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
select n1 + n2;
additions1.AssertEquals(new[] { 4, 5, 5, 6 });
// Translates to:

64 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


var additions2 =
numbers1.SelectMany(
n1 => numbers2, // n1 not used here
(n1, n2) => n1 + n2);
additions2.AssertEquals(additions1);
// Converted via extension method rules:
var additions3 =
Enumerable.SelectMany(numbers1,
n1 => numbers2,
(n1, n2) => n1 + n2);
additions3.AssertEquals(additions2);
}
} ///:~

SelectMany( ) takes the source collection and two delegates, expressed here
as lambdas. The first delegate10 returns a sequence of items to combine with
every element in the source collection. The second delegate produces a value
from every pair. Our custom implementation of SelectMany( ) makes this
clearer:
//: QueryExpressions\SelectingMany.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class ManySelector {


public static IEnumerable<S> Select<T, S>(
IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, S> selector) {
// One foreach:
foreach(T tValue in source)
yield return selector(tValue);
}
public static IEnumerable<R> SelectMany<T, C, R>(
this IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, IEnumerable<C>> collectionSelector,
Func<T, C, R> resultSelector) {
// Two foreachs:
foreach(T tValue in source)
foreach(C cValue in collectionSelector(tValue))
yield return resultSelector(tValue, cValue);
}

10 Notice the first lambda doesn’t even use its n1 argument.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 65


}

class SelectingMany {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
var query =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
select n1 + n2;
// Compare our version against Enumerable's:
var enumerableNumbers =
System.Linq.Enumerable.SelectMany(numbers1,
n1 => numbers2, // n1 not used here
(n1, n2) => n1 + n2);
var manySelectorNumbers =
ManySelector.SelectMany(numbers1,
n1 => numbers2,
(n1, n2) => n1 + n2);
enumerableNumbers.AssertEquals(new[] { 4, 5, 5, 6 });
enumerableNumbers.AssertEquals(manySelectorNumbers);
}
} ///:~

Select( ) has one foreach, whereas SelectMany( ) has two.11


SelectMany( )’s first foreach iterates over source, passing each element
to collectionSelector, which returns a sequence for the second foreach.
The second foreach passes both iteration variables to resultSelector.

Another overload of SelectMany( ) takes one delegate instead of two;


eliminating resultSelector, it provides the same results as above:
//: QueryExpressions\AlternativeSelectMany.cs
using System.Linq;

class AlternativeSelectMany {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
var query1 =
from n1 in numbers1

11 We repeat Select( )’s implementation for convenience.

66 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from n2 in numbers2
select n1 + n2;
// Alternative translation:
var query2 = numbers1.SelectMany(
n1 => numbers2.Select(n2 => n1 + n2));
query1.AssertEquals(new[] { 4, 5, 5, 6 });
query1.AssertEquals(query2);
}
} ///:~

This overload of SelectMany( ) takes the source (numbers1 becomes the


first parameter) and a lambda that returns an IEnumerable. This technique
uses variable captures instead of passing both iteration variables to a second
delegate, which becomes more apparent with deeper levels of nesting. We
demonstrate by adding another from layer to the custom implementation of
this version of SelectMany( ):
//: QueryExpressions\SelectingManyWithCaptures.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class ManySelector2 {


public static IEnumerable<S> Select<T, S>(
IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, S> selector) {
foreach(T tValue in source)
yield return selector(tValue);
}
public static IEnumerable<S> SelectMany<T, S>(
IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, IEnumerable<S>> selector) {
foreach(T tValue in source)
foreach(S sValue in selector(tValue))
yield return sValue;
}
}

class SelectingManyWithCaptures {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
int[] numbers3 = { 5, 6 };
var result =

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 67


from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
from n3 in numbers3
select n1 + n2 + n3;
result.AssertEquals(
new[] { 9, 10, 10, 11, 10, 11, 11, 12 });
// Possible translation:
var sequenceNumbers =
Enumerable.SelectMany(numbers1,
n1 => Enumerable.SelectMany(numbers2,
n2 => Enumerable.Select(numbers3,
n3 => n1 + n2 + n3)));
result.AssertEquals(sequenceNumbers);
// Which translates to:
var manySelectorNumbers =
ManySelector2.SelectMany(numbers1,
n1 => ManySelector2.SelectMany(numbers2,
n2 => ManySelector2.Select(numbers3,
n3 => n1 + n2 + n3)));
sequenceNumbers.AssertEquals(manySelectorNumbers);
}
} ///:~

Again, while SelectMany( ) has two foreaches, the second foreach yields
its value directly instead of the result of a second delegate call. We use
variable captures to nest lambdas within lambdas rather than explicitly
passing parameters to each method. The innermost lambda captures the
values of n1 and n2, down to Select( )’s lambda, which produces a single
value by combining them with n3. Here’s another demonstration:
//: QueryExpressions\NestedCaptures.cs
using System;

class NestedCaptures {
static void Main() {
Func<int, int> aDel = a => {
Func<int, int> bDel = b => {
Func<int, int> cDel = c => a + b + c;
return cDel(3);
};
return bDel(2);
};
aDel(1).AssertEquals(6);
}

68 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


} ///:~

We nest three simple lambdas that all accept and return an int. The
invocation of its owning lambda instantiates each variable capture,12 binding
the current value of its parent’s parameters. When we invoke aDel that
invokes bDel, which invokes cDel; this binds a to 1, b to 2, and c to 3. cDel’s
lambda captures a and b, and combines it with the argument c for a sum of 6.

Note that the lambda’s caller determines the argument value, not the lambda
itself. So, Main( ) determines a’s value (not aDel); aDel determines b’s
value (not bDel); and bDel determines c’s value (not cDel). cDel combines
all the values, while invoking each delegate determines the current value.
This works much like currying (shown in the Functional Programming
chapter).

Within a query expression, from clauses state a source and bring parameter
names into scope. The translation of from depends on what follows it:

1. The first from produces the query’s initial sequence object.

2. The compiler combines a from followed directly by a select into a


single SelectMany( ) call (given that the from is not the query’s
initial from, as covered by rule 1).

3. Any other from’s not accounted for by rules 1 and 2 translate into a
SelectMany( ).

The following example demonstrates these rules and also shows that the
compiler does use SelectMany( ) (without using captures):
//: QueryExpressions\ActualCompilerTranslation.cs
using System.Linq;

class ActualCompilerTranslation {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
int[] numbers3 = { 5, 6 };
var result =
from n1 in numbers1

12 C# implements variable captures using objects (see the C# standard).

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 69


from n2 in numbers2
from n3 in numbers3
select n1 + n2 + n3;
result.AssertEquals(
new[] { 9, 10, 10, 11, 10, 11, 11, 12 });
// Translation:
var resultTranslation =
numbers1
.SelectMany(n1 => numbers2, // n1 not used
// Compiler packs into anonymous type
// instead of using variable captures:
(n1, n2) => new { n1, n2 })
.SelectMany(temp => numbers3, // temp not used
(temp, n3) => temp.n1 + temp.n2 + n3);
result.AssertEquals(resultTranslation);
}
} ///:~

Note the compiler’s approach: It chains rather than nests the SelectMany( )
calls. The compiler translates the first from into the initial source:
numbers1. The second from does not fall under rule 1 or 2, thus the
compiler converts it to a SelectMany( ) call. The last from is not the initial
from, and it is also followed by a select clause, thus rule 2 applies. The
compiler combines both clauses into a single SelectMany( ), rather than
two separate calls: SelectMany( ) for the last from, and a Select( ) for the
select.

Our first SelectMany( ) call returns a source for a subsequent clause. The
compiler packs multiple values into an anonymous type to pass them to the
next call.13 The first SelectMany( ) produces an IEnumerable of each
anonymous type; the second SelectMany( ) consumes that IEnumerable.
temp represents each anonymous instance. We created the name “temp”; the
compiler can call it anything it wants.

The select clause adds the values of n1, n2, and n3. The compiler explicitly
scopes n1 and n2 from temp in the last lambda. Thus the first
SelectMany( ) packs, and the last SelectMany( ) unpacks and combines
the values with n3 (its second lambda parameter).

13 The capture approach does not require the “packing” technique.

70 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Exercise 10: Use string’s CompareTo( ) method to list all unique pairs
of programmer names: Jeff, Andrew, Craig, Susan, Derek, Drew, Katlyn.
Store each pair in an anonymous type with First and Second fields.

Exercise 11: Use both the compiler’s approach (packing into temporary
anonymous types) and the variable capture approach (nesting lambda
expressions) to translate your solution for the previous exercise.

Exercise 12: Generalize your solution to the programming pair exercise


to create a generic Combine( ) method. (Hint: You will have to create your
own type to contain both members of each pair.)

Exercise 13: How would AlternativeSelectMany.cs’s “alternative


translation” change if its query contained a where clause?

Exercise 14: Write code to prove how


ActualCompilerTranslation.cs’s translation changes if the compiler
converts all froms except the first into SelectMany( ) calls. (That is, it
converts the select clause into a normal Select( ) call instead of combining
the last from and select into a single SelectMany( ).)

Transparent identifiers
To the compiler, temp is a transparent identifier. A transparent identifier
exposes its members without requiring explicit scoping. C# doesn’t provide
transparent identifiers for direct use by the programmer. For example:
//: QueryExpressions\TransparentIdentifierDemo.cs

class Holder {
public int Value { get; set; }
}

class TransparentIdentifierDemo {
static void Main() {
var holder = new Holder();
// If transparent identifiers were
// available, you could do this:
//c! Value = 5;
// (The compiler can do that, we can’t)
// Instead, we must explicitly scope:
holder.Value = 5;
}

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 71


} ///:~

If holder were a transparent identifier, then Value would be in scope and


the line marked //c! would compile. You would write only Value instead of
holder.Value. The compiler would simply insert the “holder.” for you.

Although the compiler doesn’t make transparent identifiers available to you,


it uses them internally when packing and unpacking values into anonymous
types. In ActualCompilerTranslation.cs, we omitted a translation step
between the original query and the translation that follows it. In what follows,
we introduce another layer of from, including the intermediate step we left
out in the ActualCompilerTranslation.cs that uses transparent
identifiers:
//: QueryExpressions\WithTransparentIdentifiers.cs
using System.Linq;

class WithTransparentIdentifiers {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
int[] numbers3 = { 5, 6 };
int[] numbers4 = { 7, 8 };
var result =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
from n3 in numbers3
from n4 in numbers4
select n1 + n2 + n3 + n4;
result.AssertEquals(new[] { 16, 17, 17, 18, 17, 18,
18, 19, 17, 18, 18, 19, 18, 19, 19, 20 });
// Intermediate translation:
/*c!
var resultTranslation1 =
numbers1
.SelectMany(n1 => numbers2, // n1 not used
(n1, n2) => new { n1, n2 })
// We use "t" in lieu of "transparent":
.SelectMany(t => numbers3, // t not used
(t1, n3) => new { t1, n3 })
.SelectMany(t2 => numbers4,
// Notice not scoping here:
(t2, n4) => n1 + n2 + n3 + n4);
*/

72 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// Next step in translation is
// to scope transparent identifiers:
var resultTranslation2 =
numbers1
.SelectMany(n1 => numbers2, // n1 not used
(n1, n2) => new { n1, n2 })
.SelectMany(t => numbers3, // t not used
(t1, n3) => new { t1, n3 })
.SelectMany(t2 => numbers4,
// Compiler explicitly scopes for us:
(t2, n4) => t2.t1.n1 + t2.t1.n2 + t2.n3 + n4);
result.AssertEquals(resultTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

The last line in the second query is the catch: when the compiler rewrites our
select clause to a SelectMany( ) call, it places the expression
“n1 + n2 + n3 + n4” verbatim within the lambda expression. But n1, n2, and
n3 are not in scope because they are packed away in t2 (which further holds
t1). However, t2 and t1 are transparent identifiers, thus the compiler can see
right through each layer to n1, n2, and n3. The compiler explicitly scopes
them for us (see the last line of the last query).

The compiler uses transparent identifiers combined with the packing


technique in several places, as you’ll see throughout the rest of the chapter.

Iteration Variable Scope


Notice in the previous example that many lambda arguments in the
SelectMany( ) calls are not used. Although we didn’t need these
parameters, the compiler doesn’t omit them in the translation, as this would
cause a compile-time error. Remember that from not only states a source,
but also brings its iteration variable into scope. So a subsequent from can
use an outer from’s iteration variable:
//: QueryExpressions\UsingScopedVariablesInFollowingFrom.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class UsingScopedVariablesInFollowingFrom {
static IEnumerable<int> GetRandomNumbers(int amount) {
Random rand = new Random(47);

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 73


for(int i = 0; i < amount; i++)
yield return rand.Next(100);
}
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = new[] { 1, 2, 3 };
var result =
from n in numbers
from randomValue in GetRandomNumbers(n)
select n * randomValue;
int[] answer = new[] { 28, 56, 120, 84, 180, 186 };
result.AssertEquals(answer);
// Translation:
var result2 =
numbers.SelectMany(n => GetRandomNumbers(n),
(n, randomValue) => n * randomValue);
result2.AssertEquals(answer);
}
} ///:~

The second from passes n from the first from to


GetRandomNumbers( ). As the translation shows, SelectMany( )’s first
lambda uses its argument in this case.

As a side note, it’s better to make Random objects static members rather
than local members. However, in this book, we wish to verify results via
assertions, thus GetRandomNumbers( ) must return an identical
sequence each time it is called.

You can intermix from and where clauses, but take care to maintain
readability:
//: QueryExpressions\MixingWhere.cs
using System.Linq;

class MixingWhere {
static void Main() {
int[] odds = { 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 };
int[] evens = { 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 };
var confusing =
from o in odds
where o < 7
from e in evens
where o > 1
where e < 6

74 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


select o * e;
var better =
from o in odds
where o < 7
where o > 1
from e in evens
where e < 6
select o * e;
var better2 =
from o in odds
from e in evens
where o > 1 && o < 7
where e < 6
select o * e;
var best =
from o in odds
from e in evens
where o > 1 && o < 7 && e < 6
select o * e;
// All achieve same results:
confusing.AssertEquals(new[] { 6, 12, 10, 20 });
confusing.AssertEquals(better);
better.AssertEquals(better2);
better2.AssertEquals(best);
}
} ///:~

As a practice, keep from clauses at the top of the query and where clauses to
a minimum.14

Following the rules outlined before, the first from translates to the query’s
original source. The rest translate to SelectMany( ). Here’s part of the first
query’s translation:
//: QueryExpressions\MixingWhereConversions.cs
using System.Linq;

class MixingWhereConversions {
static void Main() {
int[] odds = { 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 };

14 Although it’s generally better to sacrifice speed for readability, and we’d expect you’d do

so here, we point out an alternative approach in the exercise at the end of this section.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 75


int[] evens = { 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 };
var confusing =
from o in odds
where o < 7
from e in evens
where o > 1
where e < 6
select o * e;
// Skipping the transparent idntifier step...
var confusingTranslated =
odds // Direct translation to the source
.Where(o => o < 7)
.SelectMany(o => evens, (o, e) => new { o, e })
// We use "nt" in lieu of "nonTransparent":
.Where(nt => nt.o > 1)
.Where(nt => nt.e < 6)
.Select(nt => nt.o * nt.e);
confusing.AssertEquals(confusingTranslated);
}
} ///:~

As you list more from clauses, the translation of multiple froms becomes
more complex. The compiler, however, continues to apply the rules:
//: QueryExpressions\SuperFroms.cs
using System.Linq;

class SuperFroms {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
int[] numbers3 = { 4, 5 };
int[] numbers4 = { 6, 7 };
var additions1 =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
// The last two froms:
from n3 in numbers3
from n4 in numbers4
select n1 + n2 + n3 + n4;
additions1.AssertEquals(new[] { 14, 15, 15, 16, 15,
16, 16, 17, 15, 16, 16, 17, 16, 17, 17, 18 });
// Skipping the transparent idntifier step...
// Translates to:
var additions2 =

76 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


numbers1 // Rule 1
.SelectMany(n1 => numbers2, // Rule 3
(n1, n2) => new { n1, n2 })
// We use "nt" in lieu of "nonTransparent":
.SelectMany(nt1 => numbers3, // Rule 3
(nt1, n3) => new { nt1, n3 })
.SelectMany(nt2 => numbers4, // Rule 2
(nt2, n4) =>
nt2.nt1.n1 + nt2.nt1.n2 +
nt2.n3 + n4);
additions1.AssertEquals(additions2);
}
} ///:~

The compiler keeps packing values into anonymous types until the last from.
The first SelectMany( ) packs n1 and n2 together in an anonymous
instance. The second SelectMany( ) packs each of these into a new
anonymous instance together with n3. The last SelectMany( ) unpacks each
value, explicitly scoping them in the sum to produce the final value.

Notice that we have three SelectMany( ) calls instead of four. The query
ends with a from clause followed immediately by a select. The compiler
combines these two into a single SelectMany( ).

Exercise 15: How does SuperFroms.cs’s translation change when you


insert a “where true” between the third and fourth from?

Exercise 16: We performed the first step of translating


MixingWhere.cs’s first query in MixingWhereConversions.cs. Perform
this same first step on the rest of the queries.

Exercise 17: Below you see a variation to the queries in


MixingWhere.cs. One requires less iterations than the other. Which is it,
and why?
var approach1 =
from o in odds
from e in evens
where o > 1 && o < 7
where e < 6
select o * e;
var approach2 =
from o in odds

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 77


where o > 1 && o < 7
from e in evens
where e < 6
select o * e;

More complex data


For many of the following examples, we use Microsoft’s Northwind sample
database, which includes sales data for a fictitious importer/exporter,
Northwind Traders.15

We’ll work with databases directly in the LINQ to SQL chapter. For now, we
just need the data that LINQ to SQL provides into in-memory objects. First,
we define a simple abstract class that determines equality by comparing its
property values to those of its other argument:
//: MindView.Util\Equalable.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System.Linq;

namespace MindView.Util {
public abstract class Equalable {
public override bool Equals(object other) {
var myType = GetType();
if(!myType.Equals(other.GetType()))
return false;
var properties = myType.GetProperties();
var equalProperties =
from p in properties
let leftValue = p.GetValue(this, null)
let rightValue = p.GetValue(other, null)
where leftValue == rightValue ||
(leftValue != null &&
leftValue.Equals(rightValue))
select p;
return equalProperties.Count() == properties.Length;
}
}
} ///:~

15 “Sample Databases Included with Access” (Microsoft Office Online, 2007, Microsoft, 19

Feb. 2007 (see http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/access/HP051886201033.aspx).

78 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


This uses a relatively simple form of reflection in the expression
myType.GetProperties( ).16 All you need to understand at this point is
that any object that inherits from Equalable will, by default, compare
property values to determine equality, rather than just comparing references.
The default object.Equals( ) only compares references, finding them
“equal” if both refer to the same object. Equalable.Equals( ) compares all
its corresponding property values for equality.

The query finds all the properties that have matching values. If the number of
property values that match is not equal to the actual number of properties, we
consider the two objects unequal. Note that the behavior of query expressions
is distinctly different from regular code – for example, even though the query
expression looks like a loop, you cannot just return false from within that
“loop” the first time two values are inequal, as you might do with regular
code. The query expression must run to completion before we are able to
evaluate the results.17

Count( ) is an Enumerable extension method that returns the number of


items in the sequence.

Notice that the let clause injects the temporary variables leftValue and
rightValue. We explore let clauses soon, but notice how these two simple
variables clarify the code. Without let clauses, we’d have to repeat the
GetValue( ) calls everywhere we use the variables.

One major downside to Equalable is that to use it, it must be your base
class. This doesn’t make sense because Equalable is more of a simple utility
than a definition about what your object is. However, for this book’s simple
demonstrations, we find using Equalable as a base-class vital to proving
many assertions in the text. It may or may not be useful in your own
programming. It makes several examples that follow clear and correct.18

16 If you don’t understand reflection, see [[[Either Richter’s book, or an appendix, or

both]]].
17 Later you will see the Any( ) method, which you could use here to eliminate some

processor cycles.
18 Indeed, even in the FCL there are some deep and complicated hierarchies based on

designs like this. It makes one wonder if the functionality is worth the complexity.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 79


In practice, queries involve more complex data structures than the simple
types we’ve queried so far (such as ints and strings). We’ve created pure
data-oriented classes that use data from the Northwind database —
Customer, Order, OrderDetail, and Product. Since they inherit from
Equalable, they compare their property values to determine equality
(critical in many later assertions):
//: MindView.Util\NorthwindDataClasses.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System;
using MindView.Util;
using System.Data.Linq.Mapping;

[Table(Name = "Customers")]
public class Customer : Equalable {
[Column] public string CustomerID { get; set; }
[Column] public string ContactName { get; set; }
[Column] public string Country { get; set; }
[Column] public string Phone { get; set; }
}

[Table(Name = "Orders")]
public class Order : Equalable {
[Column] public int OrderID { get; set; }
[Column] public string CustomerID { get; set; }
[Column] public DateTime OrderDate { get; set; }
[Column] public DateTime? ShippedDate { get; set; }
[Column] public string ShipCountry { get; set; }
}

[Table(Name = "Order Details")]


public class OrderDetail : Equalable {
[Column] public int OrderID { get; set; }
[Column] public int ProductID { get; set; }
[Column] public short Quantity { get; set; }
[Column] public decimal UnitPrice { get; set; }
}

[Table(Name = "Products")]
public class Product : Equalable {
[Column] public int ProductID { get; set; }
[Column] public string ProductName { get; set; }
} ///:~

80 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


The MindView.Util.Northwind class populates in-memory objects with
data from the database.19 (Later we’ll study the LINQ to SQL attributes
TableAttribute and ColumnAttribute.):20
//: MindView.Util\Northwind.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System.Data.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

public static class Northwind {


static DataContext db =
new DataContext("Data Source=(local);" +
"Initial Catalog=Northwind;" +
"Integrated Security=True");
public static IEnumerable<Customer> Customers {
get {
return db.GetTable<Customer>();
}
}
public static IEnumerable<Order> Orders {
get {
return db.GetTable<Order>();
}
}
public static IEnumerable<OrderDetail> OrderDetails {
get {
return db.GetTable<OrderDetail>();
}
}
public static IEnumerable<Product> Products {
get {
return db.GetTable<Product>();
}
}

19 For our purposes in this text, we ignore OrderDetail’s Discount.


20 You must modify the connection string to point to your own copy of the Northwind

database. The hard-coded connection string shown here assumes you installed SQL Server
and attached the Northwind database to it. If you download SQL Server Express as
freeware, be sure to put the proper path to your database file. Your connection string will
be similar to
@"Data Source=.\SQLEXPRESS;AttachDbFilename=C:\NORTHWND.MDF;Integrated
Security=True;User Instance=True".

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 81


} ///:~

The DataContext db object pulls from the Northwind database to populate


in-memory objects. We show the details in the LINQ to SQL chapter.

Here is a simple example using the Northwind class:


//: QueryExpressions\NorthwindAccess.cs
using System.Linq;
using MindView.Util;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class NorthwindAccess {
static void
ShowFirstThree<T>(IEnumerable<T> enumerable,
string message) {
(from item in enumerable.Take(3)
select Reflector.
PropertyValuesToString(item)).P(message);
}
static void Main() {
ShowFirstThree(Northwind.Customers, "Customers");
ShowFirstThree(Northwind.Products, "Products");
ShowFirstThree(Northwind.Orders, "Orders");
ShowFirstThree(Northwind.OrderDetails, "OrderDetails");
}
} /* Output:
Customers: [
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ContactName = Maria Anders, Country
= Germany, Phone = 030-0074321 },
{ CustomerID = ANATR, ContactName = Ana Trujillo, Country
= Mexico, Phone = (5) 555-4729 },
{ CustomerID = ANTON, ContactName = Antonio Moreno,
Country = Mexico, Phone = (5) 555-3932 }
]
Products: [
{ ProductID = 17, ProductName = Alice Mutton },
{ ProductID = 3, ProductName = Aniseed Syrup },
{ ProductID = 40, ProductName = Boston Crab Meat }
]
Orders: [
{ OrderID = 10248, CustomerID = VINET, OrderDate =
7/4/1996 12:00:00 AM, ShippedDate = 7/16/1996 12:00:00 AM,
ShipCountry = France },

82 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


{ OrderID = 10249, CustomerID = TOMSP, OrderDate =
7/5/1996 12:00:00 AM, ShippedDate = 7/10/1996 12:00:00 AM,
ShipCountry = Germany },
{ OrderID = 10250, CustomerID = HANAR, OrderDate =
7/8/1996 12:00:00 AM, ShippedDate = 7/12/1996 12:00:00 AM,
ShipCountry = Brazil }
]
OrderDetails: [
{ OrderID = 10248, ProductID = 11, Quantity = 12,
UnitPrice = 14.0000 },
{ OrderID = 10248, ProductID = 42, Quantity = 10,
UnitPrice = 9.8000 },
{ OrderID = 10248, ProductID = 72, Quantity = 5, UnitPrice
= 34.8000 }
]
*///:~

The Northwind class properties Customers, Products, Orders, and


OrderDetails return IEnumerables that produce instances of those
classes. (The LINQ to SQL chapter shows how to query the data using
IQueryable.)

ShowFirstThree( ) dumps the first three objects to the console. The


Enumerable extension method Take( ) returns the number of items
requested. MindView.Util.Reflector.PropertyValuesToString( )
dumps an object’s property values to a string (following the same format the
compiler uses when generating ToString( ) for an anonymous type).

Exercise 18: Use the Northwind class to list the names of Customers
who live in Mexico.

Exercise 19: Write a query using the NorthWind class that pairs all
Mexican customers with American customers.

let clauses
let clauses place intermediate results in a temporary variable within query
expressions. These intermediate variables clarify complex expressions:
//: QueryExpressions\LetClause.cs
using System.Linq;

class LetClause {
static void Main() {

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 83


int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
// Select all numbers and their square
// for numbers with a square that is
// greater than five:
var squareGreaterThanFive =
from n in numbers
let square = n * n
where square > 5
select new { n, square };
squareGreaterThanFive.P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ n = 3, square = 9 },
{ n = 4, square = 16 },
{ n = 5, square = 25 }
]
*///:~

square is a temporary variable inside our query. We could write this query
without the let clause, but we’d have to repeat the expression “n * n” twice.
let clauses, like many local variables, provide a way to factor your code on the
smallest level. They also enhance readability.

You can see the benefit of intermediate variables in this more complex query
expression:
//: QueryExpressions\RootFinder.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class Coefficients {
public double A { get; set; }
public double B { get; set; }
public double C { get; set; }
}

class RootFinder {
static void Main() {
// Coefficients for the quadratic formula
var coefficients = new List<Coefficients> {
new Coefficients { A = 1, B = 3, C = -4},
new Coefficients { A = 1, B = -6, C = 9 },
new Coefficients { A = 1, B = -4, C = 8}

84 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


};
// Put both roots into an anonymous type (ugly):
var roots =
from c in coefficients
select new {
FirstRoot = (-c.B + Math.Sqrt(
Math.Pow(c.B, 2) - 4 * c.A * c.C)) /
(2 * c.A),
SecondRoot = (-c.B - Math.Sqrt(
Math.Pow(c.B, 2) - 4 * c.A * c.C)) /
(2 * c.A)
};
// Factor and make more readable:
var roots2 =
from c in coefficients
let negativeB = -c.B
let bSquared = Math.Pow(c.B, 2)
let fourAC = 4 * c.A * c.C
let sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(bSquared - fourAC)
let twoA = 2 * c.A
select new {
FirstRoot =
(negativeB + sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA,
SecondRoot =
(negativeB - sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA
};
roots.AssertEquals(roots2);
roots.P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ FirstRoot = 1, SecondRoot = -4 },
{ FirstRoot = 3, SecondRoot = 3 },
{ FirstRoot = NaN, SecondRoot = NaN }
]
*///:~

The program implements the quadratic formula:

-b ± b 2 − 4ac
x=
2a

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 85


We use lists of Coefficient objects in the quadratic formula. The duplicate
expressions that make the first query more difficult to read also make it
harder to maintain.

We improve legibility in the second query with variables that match the
solution’s equation names. We use variable names like twoA and fourAC to
make the select clause read more like the actual formula.

Note that AssertEquals( ) ensures identical sequences of anonymous types


from both select clauses.

For math buffs, coefficients contains the three possible situations for the
quadratic formula, respectively: two roots, exactly one root, and no roots

The compiler translates let clauses into nested queries, which we examine in
the Nested Queries section of this chapter.

Exercise 20: Select the value and the square root of the numbers 1 to 100
with square roots greater than 5 and less than 6. Use a let clause.

Ordering data
orderby sorts data:
//: QueryExpressions\Ordering.cs
using System.Linq;

class Ordering {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 3, 6, 4, 8, 2 };
var ascending =
from n in numbers
orderby n
select n;
ascending.AssertEquals(new[] { 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 });
var ascendingTranslation1 =
// select is degenerate, so just OrderBy():
numbers.OrderBy(n => n);
ascending.AssertEquals(ascendingTranslation1);
var ascendingTranslation2 =
Enumerable.OrderBy(numbers, n => n);
ascendingTranslation1
.AssertEquals(ascendingTranslation2);
// More realistic example:

86 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


var ordered =
from o in Northwind.Orders
orderby o.OrderDate
select o;
var orderedTranslation1 =
Northwind.Orders.OrderBy(o => o.OrderDate);
ordered.AssertEquals(orderedTranslation1);
var orderedTranslation2 =
Enumerable.OrderBy(Northwind.Orders,
o => o.OrderDate);
orderedTranslation1.AssertEquals(orderedTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

When you sort with orderby, your type must implement IComparable.

In the next example, descending overrides the default ascending (which


sorts the data from low to high). We also apply orderby to more than one
field:21
//: QueryExpressions\Ordering2.cs
using System.Linq;

class Ordering2 {
static void Main() {
var ordered =
from c in Northwind.Customers
orderby c.Country descending,
c.ContactName ascending
select new { c.Country, c.ContactName } ;
// Translates to
var orderedTranslation1 = Northwind.Customers.
OrderByDescending(c => c.Country).
ThenBy(c => c.ContactName).
Select(c => new { c.Country, c.ContactName });
ordered.AssertEquals(orderedTranslation1);
// Which translates using extension
// method lookup rules:
var orderedTranslation2 =
Enumerable.Select(

21 Your query can redundantly specify ascending the same way we specify descending

in the next example.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 87


Enumerable.ThenBy(
Enumerable.OrderByDescending(Northwind.Customers,
c => c.Country),
c => c.ContactName),
c => new { c.Country, c.ContactName });
orderedTranslation1.AssertEquals(orderedTranslation2);
ordered.Take(10).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Carlos González },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Carlos Hernández },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Felipe Izquierdo },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Manuel Pereira },
{ Country = USA, ContactName = Art Braunschweiger },
{ Country = USA, ContactName = Fran Wilson },
{ Country = USA, ContactName = Helvetius Nagy },
{ Country = USA, ContactName = Howard Snyder },
{ Country = USA, ContactName = Jaime Yorres },
{ Country = USA, ContactName = John Steel }
]
*///:~

First we order by Country, then by ContactName. We specified


descending for Country, so “Venezuela” comes before “USA.”
descending changes the OrderBy( ) call to an OrderByDescending( )
call. The ContactNames are ordered within the Country names. Here,
orderby arranges each ContactName by its Country and sorts the
ContactNames within each Country group.

The compiler changes successive ordering conditions to ThenBy( ) and


ThenByDescending( ) calls. Like chained clauses, each returned collection
is passed to the subsequent clause. ThenBy( ) and ThenByDescending( )
must consider their original source order when ordering the items. If the
compiler used successive OrderBy( ) calls instead of ThenBy( ) calls in this
example, the country names would re-scramble, but the ContactNames
would be ordered as a whole.

OrderBy( ) and OrderByDescending( ) return IOrderedEnumerable


or IOrderedQueryable objects depending on whether you’re using
Enumerable or Queryable. The types that implement these interfaces
must maintain the input sequence’s original order criteria while ordering by
the new criteria. For example, since we ordered by Country then

88 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


ContactName, the IOrderedEnumerable must maintain the Country
order while ordering the ContactNames. ThenBy( ) and
ThenByDescending( ) also return objects that implement these interfaces,
thus you can order by as many fields as needs be.

Exercise 21: Sort all Orders shipped to Mexico and Germany by


CustomerID and descending order of ShippedDate.

Exercise 22: What’s the UnitPrice of the most expensive Product ever
sold?

Exercise 23: Prove that an OrderBy( ) followed by a ThenBy( ) does


not always produce the same results as an OrderBy( ) followed by another
OrderBy( ).

Exercise 24: Sort all the Customer Phone numbers ignoring


parentheses. Keep the parentheses, however, in your output.

Grouping data
You often want to group data by selected properties. For example,
Ordering2.cs places ContactNames by their Country; group…by puts
the items into actual groups:
//: QueryExpressions\Grouping.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class Grouping {
static void Main() {
// group...by makes IGrouping objects:
IEnumerable<IGrouping<string, string>> grouped1 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
group c.ContactName by c.Country;
foreach(IGrouping<string, string> group in
grouped1.Take(3))
group.Take(2).P(group.Key, POptions.NoNewLines);
// Translation:
var grouped2 =
Northwind.Customers
.GroupBy(c => c.Country, c => c.ContactName);
grouped1.AssertEquals(grouped2);
var grouped3 =

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 89


Enumerable.GroupBy(Northwind.Customers,
c => c.Country, c => c.ContactName);
grouped2.AssertEquals(grouped3);
}
} /* Output:
Germany: [Maria Anders, Hanna Moos]
Mexico: [Ana Trujillo, Antonio Moreno]
UK: [Thomas Hardy, Victoria Ashworth]
*///:~

The first declarations are explicit (instead of using var), so you see the query
expression’s product.

group...by groups one item based on another and returns a sequence of


IGrouping objects. Here, grouping the ContactNames by their Country
produces grouped1.

IGrouping has a Key and is an IEnumerable of items in the group. In this


example, each IGrouping’s Key is the Country, and each is an
IEnumerable of the ContactNames.

The compiler translates group…by to GroupBy( ) (shown above).


group…by must be the last clause in your query (like select) and it chooses
data (also like select). See, for instance, ContactNames in the example
above. Notice that the lambda order is swapped in the translation.

To limit the output, we Take( ) the first three groups, and then the first two
items in each group.

You can also group the actual objects, or generate groups of new objects,
instead of a grouping of property values:
//: QueryExpressions\GroupingDifferentTypes.cs
using System.Linq;

class GroupingDifferentTypes {
static void Main() {
// Group actual elements:
var grouped1 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
group c by c.Country;
// Print number in each group:
foreach(var group in grouped1.Take(3))
group.Count().P(group.Key);

90 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// Uses a different overload in translation:
var grouped2 =
Northwind.Customers.GroupBy(c => c.Country);
grouped1.AssertEquals(grouped2);
var grouped3 =
Enumerable.GroupBy(
Northwind.Customers, c => c.Country);
grouped2.AssertEquals(grouped3);
// Same grouping criteria but
// creates anonymous instances:
var differentType =
from c in Northwind.Customers
group new { c.CustomerID, c.ContactName }
by c.Country;
foreach(var group in differentType.Take(3))
group.P(group.Key);
}
} /* Output:
Germany: 11
Mexico: 5
UK: 7
Germany: [
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ContactName = Maria Anders },
{ CustomerID = BLAUS, ContactName = Hanna Moos },
{ CustomerID = DRACD, ContactName = Sven Ottlieb },
{ CustomerID = FRANK, ContactName = Peter Franken },
{ CustomerID = KOENE, ContactName = Philip Cramer },
{ CustomerID = LEHMS, ContactName = Renate Messner },
{ CustomerID = MORGK, ContactName = Alexander Feuer },
{ CustomerID = OTTIK, ContactName = Henriette Pfalzheim },
{ CustomerID = QUICK, ContactName = Horst Kloss },
{ CustomerID = TOMSP, ContactName = Karin Josephs },
{ CustomerID = WANDK, ContactName = Rita Müller }
]
Mexico: [
{ CustomerID = ANATR, ContactName = Ana Trujillo },
{ CustomerID = ANTON, ContactName = Antonio Moreno },
{ CustomerID = CENTC, ContactName = Francisco Chang },
{ CustomerID = PERIC, ContactName = Guillermo Fernández },
{ CustomerID = TORTU, ContactName = Miguel Angel Paolino }
]
UK: [
{ CustomerID = AROUT, ContactName = Thomas Hardy },
{ CustomerID = BSBEV, ContactName = Victoria Ashworth },

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 91


{ CustomerID = CONSH, ContactName = Elizabeth Brown },
{ CustomerID = EASTC, ContactName = Ann Devon },
{ CustomerID = ISLAT, ContactName = Helen Bennett },
{ CustomerID = NORTS, ContactName = Simon Crowther },
{ CustomerID = SEVES, ContactName = Hari Kumar }
]
*///:~

The Enumerable extension method Count( ) returns the number of items


in the sequence.

The compiler uses a different overload of GroupBy( ) when we group the


actual Customer objects because the source collection already has the
objects we are choosing. We no longer require the third argument selector
method. This may be why the group…by clause arguments are swapped in
comparison to the GroupBy( ) method arguments. Most of the clauses map
the arguments to their respective method calls in the same order as they
appear in the clause. However, group…by breaks this trend, possibly
because of this particular overload. If the delegate arguments were swapped,
the compiler would have to always include the unnecessary selector.

The last grouping also groups by Country, but we choose a new anonymous
instance instead of Customers or a Customer property value as before.

There is also a version of GroupBy( ) that takes an IEqualityComparer


for the selected items, so you can provide a comparer that determines which
elements are equal. You must call this overload explicitly (there’s no query
expression syntax support).

To group by more than one field, use anonymous types to group by more
than one field. For example, here we find Customers who have made more
than one Order on the same OrderDate by grouping by the CustomerID
and the OrderDate:
//: QueryExpressions\GroupingByMoreThanOneField.cs
using System.Linq;

class GroupingByMoreThanOneField {
static void Main() {
var groups =
from o in Northwind.Orders
group o by new { o.CustomerID, o.OrderDate };
var moreThanOneOrderOnASingleDay =

92 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from g in groups
where g.Count() > 1
orderby g.Key.CustomerID
select g.Key.CustomerID;
moreThanOneOrderOnASingleDay.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
[BOTTM, GREAL, KOENE, LACOR, LINOD, SAVEA, SAVEA]
*///:~

Notice the composite grouping condition in the first query expression. The
second query takes these groups and finds the ones with more than one
element. Such groups mean that the Customer made more than one order
on the OrderDate.

The CustomerID “SAVEA” appears twice in the output because that


Customer made multiple Orders on more than one OrderDate. We could
eliminate this with Distinct( ), but the output is interesting enough to keep.

group…by maintains the original order of its input sequence. If you wish the
groups to be ordered, you must orderby the grouping criteria. If you wish
the elements within the group to be ordered, you must order them as well:
//: QueryExpressions\OrderedGroups.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class OrderedGroups {
static void ShowSomeGroups(string message,
IEnumerable<Customer> customers) {
(message + ":").P();
var grouped =
from c in customers
group c.ContactName by c.Country;
foreach(var group in grouped.Take(3))
group.Take(3)
.P(" " + group.Key, POptions.NoNewLines);
}
static void Main() {
ShowSomeGroups("No ordering", Northwind.Customers);
ShowSomeGroups("Ordered by ContactName",
Northwind.Customers.OrderBy(c => c.ContactName));
ShowSomeGroups("Ordered by Country",
Northwind.Customers.OrderBy(c => c.Country));

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 93


ShowSomeGroups("Ordered by ContactName then Country",
Northwind.Customers.OrderBy(c => c.ContactName)
.ThenBy(c => c.Country));
ShowSomeGroups("Ordered by Country then ContactName",
Northwind.Customers.OrderBy(c => c.Country)
.ThenBy(c => c.ContactName));
}
} /* Output:
No ordering:
Germany: [Maria Anders, Hanna Moos, Sven Ottlieb]
Mexico: [Ana Trujillo, Antonio Moreno, Francisco Chang]
UK: [Thomas Hardy, Victoria Ashworth, Elizabeth Brown]
Ordered by ContactName:
Spain: [Alejandra Camino, Diego Roel, Eduardo Saavedra]
Germany: [Alexander Feuer, Hanna Moos, Henriette
Pfalzheim]
Mexico: [Ana Trujillo, Antonio Moreno, Francisco Chang]
Ordered by Country:
Argentina: [Patricio Simpson, Yvonne Moncada, Sergio
Gutiérrez]
Austria: [Roland Mendel, Georg Pipps]
Belgium: [Catherine Dewey, Pascale Cartrain]
Ordered by ContactName then Country:
Spain: [Alejandra Camino, Diego Roel, Eduardo Saavedra]
Germany: [Alexander Feuer, Hanna Moos, Henriette
Pfalzheim]
Mexico: [Ana Trujillo, Antonio Moreno, Francisco Chang]
Ordered by Country then ContactName:
Argentina: [Patricio Simpson, Sergio Gutiérrez, Yvonne
Moncada]
Austria: [Georg Pipps, Roland Mendel]
Belgium: [Catherine Dewey, Pascale Cartrain]
*///:~

ShowSomeGroups( ) displays some sample group names along with some


of the items in each group.

When we order by just the ContactNames, the groups are unordered, but
the actual elements within each group are ordered. This is reversed when we
order only by the Country names. Notice that ordering by ContactName
then Country puts the ContactNames in order, but the group names are
re-scrambled during the grouping process. However, ordering by Country
and then ContactName orders both the group names, and the elements
within each group, which is usually what you want.

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Exercise 25: Use the Enumerable.Count( ) to find the number of
elements in each group of OrderDetails, grouped by their ProductID.

Exercise 26: List each country and its number of Customers (much like
the previous exercise).

Exercise 27: Group all Customers by whether their Phone numbers


include parentheses. Although not necessary to solve this exercise, try making
a custom IEqualityComparer to accomplish the task.

Joining data
Foreign-key-constraints require a value to exist in one table in order for it to
exist in another table. For example, for an Order to exist, its CustomerID
must exist in the Customer table:
//: QueryExpressions\ACustomersOrders.cs
using System.Linq;

class ACustomersOrders {
static void Main() {
string customerID =
Northwind.Customers.ElementAt(15).CustomerID;
var orders =
from o in Northwind.Orders
where o.CustomerID.Equals(customerID)
select o.OrderID;
orders.P(customerID, POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
CONSH: [10435, 10462, 10848]
*///:~

Here we first grab an arbitrary CustomerID, and then find all orders with
that same CustomerID. Using the Northwind databases’ default setup, if
you attempt to insert an Order for a CustomerID that doesn’t exist, the
database will give you an error saying you violated the foreign key constraint.

It’s common to combine the data from different tables on foreign keys,22
which you do using a join:

22 You can join on any fields you like, but foreign keys are the most common.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 95


//: QueryExpressions\Join.cs
using System.Linq;

class Join {
static void Main() {
// Get the customers with their order dates:
var customerOrders =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders on
c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
select new { c.ContactName, o.OrderID };
// Translation:
var customerOrdersTranslation1 =
Northwind.Customers.Join(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(c, o) => new { c.ContactName, o.OrderID });
customerOrders.AssertEquals(
customerOrdersTranslation1);
var customerOrdersTranslation2 =
Enumerable.Join(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,
o => o.CustomerID,
(c, o) => new { c.ContactName, o.OrderID });
customerOrdersTranslation1.AssertEquals(
customerOrdersTranslation2);
// Can forgo the join and use multiple from clauses:
var customerOrders2 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
from o in Northwind.Orders
where c.CustomerID == o.CustomerID
select new { c.ContactName, o.OrderID };
customerOrders.AssertEquals(customerOrders2);
customerOrders.Take(10).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, OrderID = 10643 },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, OrderID = 10692 },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, OrderID = 10702 },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, OrderID = 10835 },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, OrderID = 10952 },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, OrderID = 11011 },
{ ContactName = Ana Trujillo, OrderID = 10308 },
{ ContactName = Ana Trujillo, OrderID = 10625 },

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{ ContactName = Ana Trujillo, OrderID = 10759 },
{ ContactName = Ana Trujillo, OrderID = 10926 }
]
*///:~

The compiler changes a join clause to a Join( ) call. Join( ) takes two
collections and a selector method for each. Both selectors return the values to
compare with the other’s corresponding result. For example, we can’t
compare Customer objects directly to Order objects. Instead, the first
selector returns a Customer’s CustomerID, and the second selector
returns an Order’s CustomerID. Join( ) finds any matching pairs and
sends them to its last selector argument.

Two from clauses achieve the same results without the join in the last query.
We replace join with from, on with where, and equals with ==. But this is
less intuitive and requires a SelectMany( ) and Where( ) call instead of a
single Join( ), which evaluates all the data at once with no extra steps.

Notice that the compiler combined the join and select clause into a single
Join( ) call. This is fine because Join( )’s last delegate is considered a
selector. We’ve seen similar behavior before with multiple from clauses
followed directly by a select (the compiler combines the last from and
select into a single SelectMany( ) call instead of a SelectMany( ) followed
by Select( )). When the join clause is not immediately followed by a select,
the compiler packs values into an anonymous type for further evaluation:
//: QueryExpressions\JoinNotFollowedBySelect.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoinNotFollowedBySelect {
static void Main() {
var customerOrders =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders on
c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
where c.Country.Contains('a') // Now a where clause
select new { c.ContactName, o.OrderID };
// Different translation this time:
var customerOrdersTranslation =
Northwind.Customers.Join(
Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,
o => o.CustomerID, (c, o) => new { c, o })
.Where(temp => temp.c.Country.Contains('a'))

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 97


.Select(temp =>
new { temp.c.ContactName, temp.o.OrderID });
customerOrders.AssertEquals(customerOrdersTranslation);
}
} ///:~

Now the compiler packs c and o together into an anonymous type, and
extracts c in the Where( ), and both c and o in the Select( ).

Since join, like from, introduces another iteration variable and a source, you
can refer to the iteration variable later in the query. However, you are
restricted as to where you can use the variable:
//: QueryExpressions\JoinVariableRestrictions.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoinVariableRestrictions {
static void Main() {
var joined =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
// OK:
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
select new { c, o };
/*c!
var error =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
// c only available on left side of "equals"
// o only available on right side of "equals"
on o.CustomerID equals c.CustomerID
select new { c, o };
*/
// This makes sense when you
// look at the translation:
var error2 =
Northwind.Customers.Join(Northwind.Orders,
o => o.CustomerID, // o is really a Customer!
c => c.CustomerID, // c is really an Order!
(c, o) => new { c, o });
}
} ///:~

The second query attempts to use o on the left side of the equals and c on
the right. But Customers is the left input, and Orders is the right. Thus

98 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


swapping the variables doesn’t make sense, and the compiler catches it. The
translation further illustrates this. Although the translation compiles, o is
really the Customer object, and c is the Order.

joins can be used in long chains:


//: QueryExpressions\JoinChains.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoinChains {
static void Main() {
// Get all the products a customer has ordered:
var customerProducts =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
join d in Northwind.OrderDetails
on o.OrderID equals d.OrderID
join p in Northwind.Products
on d.ProductID equals p.ProductID
select new { c.ContactName, p.ProductName };
customerProducts.Take(5).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Rössle
Sauerkraut },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Chartreuse
verte },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Spegesild },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Vegie-spread
},
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Aniseed Syrup
}
]
*///:~

We must join several data sources to map each ContactName to the


ProductNames they have purchased.

The translation of the query above is rather involved because it requires the
compiler to pack several layers deep, one layer for each subsequent join:
//: QueryExpressions\JoinChainsTranslated.cs
using System.Linq;

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 99


class JoinChainsTranslated {
static void Main() {
var customerProducts =
Northwind.Customers
.Join(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(c, o) => new { c, o })
.Join(Northwind.OrderDetails,
// nt means "nonTransparent"
nt => nt.o.OrderID, d => d.OrderID,
(nt, d) => new { nt, d })
.Join(Northwind.Products,
nt2 => nt2.d.ProductID,
p => p.ProductID,
(nt2, p) => new {
nt2.nt.c.ContactName,
p.ProductName
});
customerProducts.Take(5).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Rössle
Sauerkraut },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Chartreuse
verte },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Spegesild },
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Vegie-spread
},
{ ContactName = Maria Anders, ProductName = Aniseed Syrup
}
]
*///:~

Notice the first Join( ) packs c and o together into an anonymous type. The
second Join( ) unpacks o in its first lambda (we named the anonymous type
instance nt) to select OrderID for comparison. In its final selector lambda,
the second Join( ) packs temp into yet another anonymous type for the
third Join( ). The third Join( )’s first and last lambda expressions also
unpack. Notice in the last lambda how far the compiler must unpack to
retrieve ContactName.

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You can join any two data sources on anything as long as the types on both
side of the equals are compatible. This is an excellent way to join on more
than one field (or, a more likely situation, composite keys):
//: QueryExpressions\JoiningOnMoreThanOneField.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoiningOnMoreThanOneField {
static void Main() {
var moreThanOneField =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on new { c.CustomerID, c.Country } equals
new { o.CustomerID, Country = o.ShipCountry }
select new { c.ContactName, o.OrderID };
}
} ///:~

Here we join Customers and Orders when the CustomerIDs match, and
when the Country and ShipCountry match, respectively. We use an
anonymous type on both sides of the equals. This is possible because the
compiler generates Equals( ) and GetHashCode( ) for anonymous types.

joins will also group with into, but we must first examine some other
concepts.

Exercise 28: Use a join and a group…by to group all OrderIDs by


their Customer ContactNames. (Hint: In the translation, you must pack
values in the Join( ) for extraction by GroupBy( )).

Exercise 29: join Customers with itself to find any Customers that
have the same ContactName.

Exercise 30: Pair all Customers together, listing the Customer with
the earlier name in the alphabet first. (Hint: A join won’t work for this one.
Why not?)

Exercise 31: List each CustomerID along with the ProductIDs they
ordered, as well as the number of times they have ordered that Product.
(Hint: group the OrderDetails by an anonymous type that holds each
CustomerID with the ProductID, then count how many are in each
group).

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 101


Exercise 32: Join Customers with Orders on Customer.Country
and Order.ShipCountry.

Exercise 33: You’ve seen iteration variables on the proper sides of the
equals. Now try this variation in JoinChains.cs: join Orders to
OrderDetails to Customers to Products, in that order. Does this work?
Why? (Hint: The translation makes the answer clear.)

Exercise 34: Write two queries to retrieve all Orders, pairing each
Order with its OrderDetails into an anonymous type:
a. The first query uses a join
b. The second query uses multiple froms

Nested Queries
A nested query is a query within a query.

Since queries evaluate IEnumerable types,23 preparing data via


IEnumerable extension methods is a form of a nested query:
//: QueryExpressions\DataPrep.cs
using System.Linq;

class DataPrep {
static void Main() {
var firstOrderedDates =
from o in Northwind.Orders.Take(10)
orderby o.OrderDate
select o.OrderDate;
firstOrderedDates.P();
}
} /* Output:
[
7/4/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/5/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/8/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/8/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/9/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/10/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/11/1996 12:00:00 AM,

23 The semantics are the same for both IEnumerable and IQueryable, and

Enumerable and Queryable.

102 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


7/12/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/15/1996 12:00:00 AM,
7/16/1996 12:00:00 AM
]
*///:~

Calling Take(10) on Orders in the from clause filters out the first ten
Order objects before the query evaluates its results. You must call Take( )
directly because there’s no clause that maps to it in query expressions. In this
example, you could consider Take( ) a nested query because it manipulates
the data before the from clause.

If you are querying a non-generic type, cast each element by following the
variable declaration with the proper typename. The compiler prepares the
data via a Cast( ) call, making this a form of a nested query:
//: QueryExpressions\Casting.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections;

class Casting {
static void Main() {
var numbers = new ArrayList(new []{ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 });
var timesTwo =
from int n in numbers // Explicit declaration
select n * 2;
// Translates to:
timesTwo =
from n in numbers.Cast<int>()
select n * 2;
// Translates to:
timesTwo =
numbers.Cast<int>().Select(n => n * 2);
// Translates to:
timesTwo =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Cast<int>(numbers), n => n * 2);
}
} ///:~

Cast( ) converts the non-generic ArrayList of numbers to


IEnumerable<T>, where T is the target cast type (int in this example). Of
course, the cast will fail if any object in the container is not convertible to the
target type.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 103


You can also cast in join clauses, since join is a form of from:
//: QueryExpressions\CastingJoins.cs
using System.Linq;
using MindView.Util;

static class CastingJoins {


static void Main() {
var customers = Northwind.Customers.ToArrayList();
var orders = Northwind.Orders.ToArrayList();
var customerOrderDates =
from Customer c in customers
join Order o in orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
select new { c.ContactName, o.OrderDate };
}
} ///:~

For demonstration only, we put Customers and Orders into an ArrayList


and cast them back.

Since query expressions are expressions, you can use them anywhere an
IEnumerable is needed. For example, here we use a nested query (instead
of a join) to find all Customers who have Orders.
//: QueryExpressions\CustomersWithOrders.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomersWithOrders {
static void Main() {
// Find all customers that have orders:
var result1 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
where
(from o in Northwind.Orders
select o.CustomerID).Contains(c.CustomerID)
select c;
// Two customers that don't have any orders:
(Northwind.Customers.Count() - result1.Count())
.AssertEquals(2);
// Slightly more readable using Select() directly:
var result2 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
where Northwind.Orders.Select(o => o.CustomerID)
.Contains(c.CustomerID)

104 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


select c;
result1.AssertEquals(result2);
// Above query is a step in the translation. The rest:
var result3 =
Northwind.Customers.Where(c =>
Northwind.Orders.Select(o => o.CustomerID)
.Contains(c.CustomerID));
// Select() is degenerate
result2.AssertEquals(result3);
var result4 =
Enumerable.Where(Northwind.Customers,
c => Enumerable.Contains(
Enumerable.Select(Northwind.Orders,
o => o.CustomerID),
c.CustomerID)
);
result3.AssertEquals(result4);
}
} ///:~

The outer query embeds a query in the where clause (instead of from, as we
just saw).

Exercise 35: Use nested queries to find all the Customer


ContactNames in the three countries that have the most Orders.
(Hint: Write a query in the where clause to find the three countries with the
most orders, then combine that query with Enumerable.Contains( ) in the
where.)

into
As we said earlier, query expressions must end in either a select or
group…by. Therefore, you must insert all filtering, joining, and ordering
clauses before the final selection clause. into, however, places each result of
the query above it into a variable for the query below. into concatenates two
queries, and the first query appears to continue after its selection clause:
//: QueryExpressions\Into.cs
using System.Linq;

class Into {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 };
// Without into:

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 105


var results1 =
from i in
// Above query:
from o in numbers
where o < 7
select o
// Below query:
where i > 1
select i;
// into nests its above query into its below query
var results2 =
// Above query:
from o in numbers
where o < 7
select o into i
// Below query:
where i > 1
select i;
results1.AssertEquals(results2);
}
} ///:~

Notice that into simply re-orders the queries, nesting its above query into a
hidden from clause for its below query.

into allows us to write queries in their order of execution, which improves


readability appreciably (and spares you deciphering from the innermost
query outward).

into also works with group…by. Here is the same query expressed three
different ways, the first two without into:
//: QueryExpressions\NestedGrouping.cs
using System.Linq;

class NestedGrouping {
static void Main() {
// How many orders from each country?
// Get groupings first:
var groupedOrders =
from o in Northwind.Orders
group o by o.ShipCountry;
// Count each element in each IGrouping:
var counts1 =
from g in groupedOrders

106 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


select new {
Country = g.Key,
OrderCount = g.Count()
};
// Or, just nest the first query:
var counts2 =
from g in
from o in Northwind.Orders
group o by o.ShipCountry
select new {
Country = g.Key,
OrderCount = g.Count()
};
counts1.AssertEquals(counts2);
// Using into is best:
var counts3 =
from o in Northwind.Orders
group o by o.ShipCountry into g
select new {
Country = g.Key,
OrderCount = g.Count()
};
counts2.AssertEquals(counts3);
}
} ///:~

Remember GroupBy( ) returns IGrouping objects, which are Keys


mapped to an IEnumerable sequence of the objects. We Count( ) the
number of elements in each group and choose the result using the
corresponding Key (ShipCountry name) in an anonymous type.

The first approach stores the results of the first of its two queries in the
temporary groupedOrders variable. The second approach nests the first
query, so it needs no temporary variable. The into clause makes the last
query much easier to read.

into’s elegance makes our third approach the best of three solutions (though
they retrieve the same results). into with a group…by nests the preceding
query into a variable for the following query, making the two queries read as
one.24

24 Just as we have used a select clause for the same result.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 107


Exercise 36: Rewrite the first query in GroupingDifferentTypes.cs to
combine each group’s Key and Count( ) into a single anonymous object
(instead of having to Count( ) within the foreach).

Exercise 37: Use into to find all the Customers in the three countries
with the most orders. This is a slight revision of [[[exercise x]]]

Exercise 38: List all CustomerIDs along with the ProductIDs they
ordered combined with the number of times they ordered that product. Sort
the results by descending number of times that the Customer ordered each
Product. Use a group into for this repeat of Exercise {#?field code}.

let clause translations


Now that you understand nested queries, you can decipher the compiler’s
translation of let clauses. C# uses transparent identifiers when translating
let clauses:
//: QueryExpressions\LetClauseExposed.cs
using System.Linq;

class LetClauseExposed {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
// You saw this query before
// in the let clause section:
var squareGreaterThanFive =
from n in numbers
let square = n * n
where square > 5
select new { n, square };
squareGreaterThanFive.P();
// Translates to:
/*c!
var squareGreaterThanFiveTranslation =
from transparent in
from n in numbers
select new { n, square = n * n }
where square > 5
select new { n, square };
*/
// Scope transparent identifiers:
var squareGreaterThanFiveTranslation2 =
from nonTransparent in

108 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from n in numbers
select new { n, square = n * n }
where nonTransparent.square > 5
select new { nonTransparent.n,
nonTransparent.square };
squareGreaterThanFive
.AssertEquals(squareGreaterThanFiveTranslation2);
// etc.
}
} /* Output:
[
{ n = 3, square = 9 },
{ n = 4, square = 16 },
{ n = 5, square = 25 }
]
*///:~

The middle query doesn’t compile because C# doesn’t provide transparent


identifiers directly. Internally, however, the compiler uses them to make
query expressions easier to read and write.

The compiler shifts the let expression into a nested query with a single
select (as the second query shows). The nested query packs the original
iteration variable (n) and a second field using the let variable name
(square = n * n) into an anonymous type.

The compiler’s let clause translation poses an issue: we don’t want to be


aware of the anonymous type. Transparent variables resolve this by opening
their scope. For example, the second query’s transparent variable is an
instance of the generated anonymous type with fields {n, square}. The
query doesn’t compile because we don’t explicitly scope
transparent.square in the where and the last select clause. Yet the first
query compiles when the compiler translates it in exactly the same way. The
compiler puts square into scope by explicitly scoping it, as shown in the
third query (the next step in the translation process).

The basic use of let would require deeper knowledge if we had to be aware of
and compensate for the compiler-injected anonymous type and query.
Writing and reading let clauses would feel unnatural.

Notice that if the compiler allowed us to refer directly to the transparent


identifier, we could select it rather than having to repack both n and square
together into an anonymous type. It so happens that what we’re selecting has

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 109


the same structure as the transparent identifier, but this is usually not the
case.

When you have multiple let clauses, the rules apply recursively, as each let
clause injects a nested from and packs transparent identifiers within
transparent identifiers:
//: QueryExpressions\MultipleLetClauses.cs
using System.Linq;

class MultipleLetClauses {
static void Main() {
var productDetailPrices =
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
let FullPrice = od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice
let Key = new { od.OrderID, od.ProductID }
select new { Key, FullPrice };
// Rewrite first let to nested from:
/*c!
var productDetailPricesTranslation1 =
from transparent1 in
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
select new { od,
FullPrice = od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice }
let Key = new { od.OrderID, od.ProductID }
select new { Key, FullPrice };
*/
// Now rewrite second let clause to nested from:
/*c!
var productDetailPricesTranslation2 =
from transparent2 in
from transparent1 in
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
select new {
od,
FullPrice = od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice
}
select new {
transparent1,
Key = new { od.OrderID, od.ProductID }
}
select new { Key, FullPrice };
*/
// Scope the transparent identifiers:

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var productDetailPricesTranslation3 =
from transparent2 in
from transparent1 in
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
select new {
od,
FullPrice = od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice
}
select new {
transparent1,
Key = new {
transparent1.od.OrderID,
transparent1.od.ProductID
}
}
select new {
transparent2.Key,
transparent2.transparent1.FullPrice
};
productDetailPrices.AssertEquals(
productDetailPricesTranslation3);
// Rewrite to extension-method calls:
var productDetailPricesTranslation4 =
Northwind.OrderDetails.
Select(
od => new {
od,
FullPrice = od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice
}).
Select(transparent1 => new {
transparent1,
Key = new {
transparent1.od.OrderID,
transparent1.od.ProductID
}
}).
Select(transparent2 => new {
transparent2.Key,
transparent2.transparent1.FullPrice
});
productDetailPricesTranslation3.AssertEquals(
productDetailPricesTranslation4);
// Finally rewrite to static-method calls:
var productDetailPricesTranslation5 =

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 111


Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(
Northwind.OrderDetails,
od => new {
od,
FullPrice = od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice
}),
transparent1 => new {
transparent1,
Key = new {
transparent1.od.OrderID,
transparent1.od.ProductID
}
}),
transparent2 => new {
transparent2.Key,
transparent2.transparent1.FullPrice
});
productDetailPricesTranslation4.AssertEquals(
productDetailPricesTranslation5);
}
} ///:~

The compiler processes let clauses from the top down. First it makes a nested
from clause to introduce a transparent identifier for FullPrice. Then it
repeats the step for Key, making the first nested query into yet another
nested query.

Although we commented the transparent identifier code, notice that the


compiler can scope a variable regardless of the level of nesting. For example,
the compiler explicitly qualifies productDetailTranslation2’s FullPrice,
even though it’s nested in transparent2.transparent1.FullPrice in the
next step of the translation (productDetailPricesTranslation3).

This example makes clear how much the compiler works when you give it
more than one let clause (though the extra compiler time is minimal).

Each let clause translation begins by indenting the from together with its let
clause. Then we change the let clause to an anonymous-type select that
combines the iteration variable and let variable. Then we write another from
clause at the top that introduces a transparent variable.

112 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Exercise 39: Show all the intermediate steps of translating the last query
in RootFinder.cs.

Exercise 40: The Customer’s ContactName field combines a space-


separated first name and last name (and sometimes a middle name or middle
token, such as “de Castro”). Using let clauses, write a query that retrieves
first and last (or last part of) names, and packs the two strings into an
anonymous type with FirstName and LastName properties.

let vs. into


Both let and into introduce temporary variables in a query and translate into
nested queries for another from clause, with only slightly different
semantics.25

Here we’ll reconsider a query that sums the squares of all numbers (as in the
LetClause.cs exercise). This time we introduce our square variable using
an into instead of a let clause, and compare both approaches:
//: QueryExpressions\IntoVsLet.cs
using System.Linq;

class IntoVsLet {
static void Main() {
var numbers = new[] { 1, 3, 2 };
var withLet =
from n in numbers
let square = n * n // "let" version
select square + square;
var withInto =
from n in numbers
select n * n into square // "into" version
select square + square;
withLet.AssertEquals(withInto);
// Skipping transparent identifier
// step in the translation here:
var withLetTranslation1 =
from nt in
from n in numbers
select new { n, square = n * n }

25 Our thanks to Levi Beaver for the question that inspired this section.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 113


select nt.square + nt.square;
var withIntoTranslation1 =
from square in
from n in numbers
select n * n
select square + square;
withLet.AssertEquals(withLetTranslation1);
withInto.AssertEquals(withIntoTranslation1);
var withLetTranslation2 =
numbers
.Select(n => new { n, square = n * n })
.Select(nt => nt.square + nt.square);
withLetTranslation1.AssertEquals(withLetTranslation2);
var withIntoTranslation2 =
numbers
.Select(n => n * n)
.Select(square => square + square);
withIntoTranslation1
.AssertEquals(withIntoTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

These two queries sum every element’s square. The only difference between
them appears in the second line of each query, when they introduce square.

The key difference between the two (very similar) translations lies in the
whether a temporary anonymous type is used. into shifts its query’s top
portion to a nested query, but let’s conversion combines the iteration
variable and the new variable, square, into the resulting anonymous type.
Therefore, while into’s original iteration variable n falls out of scope, let
packs both n and the new variable square into an anonymous type, so both
remain in scope for further query clauses.

Consider the readability of both approaches: into gives the impression that
we are moving into another query, while let says “make a variable with this
value.” let is therefore more appropriate in this situation.

Exercise 41: Try to change both queries in IntoVsLet.cs to select each


value and the sum of its square into an anonymous type, instead of just the
square. See what kind of compiler messages this produces.

114 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


joining into
You have seen how into concatenates queries with select and group…by
clauses. join clauses are into’s third and final use, with some semantic
changes.

Our previous join examples work until we try to group the results. For
example, each Customer is likely to have more than one Order (a one-to-
many relationship), so joining Orders with Customers produces duplicate
Customers paired with each unique Order. We could fix this by grouping
after the join:
//: QueryExpressions\JoiningThenGrouping.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoiningThenGrouping {
static void Main() {
// Count how many orders each Customer has:
var customerOrderCounts =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
group o by c.CustomerID into customerOrders
select new {
CustomerID = customerOrders.Key,
NumOrders = customerOrders.Count()
};
customerOrderCounts.Take(3).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumOrders = 6 },
{ CustomerID = ANATR, NumOrders = 4 },
{ CustomerID = ANTON, NumOrders = 7 }
]
*///:~

We eliminate duplicate Customer objects by pairing each Customer with


its Orders, and then group the Orders by their CustomerID.

The above approach first joins, then groups. When we instead place into
after the join clause, we group while joining:
//: QueryExpressions\GroupingWhileJoining.cs

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 115


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

class GroupingWhileJoining {
static void Main() {
var customerOrderCounts =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
into customerOrders
select new {
c.CustomerID,
NumOrders = customerOrders.Count()
};
customerOrderCounts.Take(3).P();
// Translation:
var customerOrderCountsTranslation1 =
Northwind.Customers.GroupJoin(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(Customer c, IEnumerable<Order> customerOrders)
=> new {
c.CustomerID,
NumOrders = customerOrders.Count()
});
customerOrderCountsTranslation1
.AssertEquals(customerOrderCounts);
var customerOrderCountsTranslation2 =
Enumerable.GroupJoin(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,
o => o.CustomerID,
(Customer c, IEnumerable<Order> customerOrders) =>
new {
c.CustomerID,
NumOrders = customerOrders.Count()
});
customerOrderCountsTranslation1
.AssertEquals(customerOrderCountsTranslation2);
}
} /* Output:
[
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumOrders = 6 },
{ CustomerID = ANATR, NumOrders = 4 },
{ CustomerID = ANTON, NumOrders = 7 }
]

116 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


*///:~

The first query retrieves the same results as JoiningThenGrouping.cs.


However, the into after join now implicitly groups by the join condition,
which eliminates the explicit group…by clause.

Here we could also directly reference c.CustomerID in the selection,


rather than pulling the CustomerID from grouped.Key, as we did in
JoiningThenGrouping.cs. However, we can now reference the
Customer’s ContactName (which is friendlier) rather than CustomerID.
In JoiningThenGrouping.cs, we can only do this by re-joining the result
to the Customers.

GroupJoin( ) changes customerOrders’s type to an


IEnumerable<Order>, instead of JoiningThenGrouping.cs’s
IGrouping, as the translation shows. We thereby get the actual Customer
object with an IEnumerable of its orders, instead of an IGrouping (just a
Key and the Customer’s Orders).26

Except for their last lambdas, GroupJoin( )’s arguments are identical to
Join( )’s. Join( )’s invokes its last lambda expression for each
Customer-Order pair. GroupJoin( ) invokes its last lambda once for each
Customer, along with that Customer’s IEnumerable<Order>.27

Because grouping is implicit in a join into, you see no group…by. Here,


into groups the right side of a join (Orders) by the left side (Customer
ContactName).

Our previous into examples with select and group….by showed how it
nested its “above” query into its “below” query. When into follows join it
chains the queries differently, by embedding its below query in the
GroupJoin( )’s lambda expression. In the above example,
customerOrders is a lambda expression parameter that has each of the

26 Its IEnumerable<Order> compile-time type masks its actual runtime type, an

IGrouping<string, Order>. You could cast it and then assert that its Key is equal to
the corresponding Customer parameter’s CustomerID.
27 Notice a subtle difference between Join( ) and GroupJoin( ). Join( ) invokes its last

lambda for each matching pair. Customers without Orders won’t have any pairs, so the
last lambda never executes. However, GroupJoin( ) produces each Customer with an
IEnumerable of its orders, even when that IEnumerable is empty. You can use this
empty IEnumerable to perform an outer join, something you’ll see later.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 117


Customer’s orders. This lambda is the selector, making GroupJoin( ) a
selection operation, like select and group…by.

GroupJoin( ) returns an IEnumerable<ResultType>, as opposed to


GroupBy( )’s return of the IEnumerable<IGrouping<ResultType>>.
Since GroupJoin( )’s last lambda is a selector, GroupJoin( ), in effect,
combines group…by and select.

Notice in the example that o drops out of scope once all the Orders (o) are in
customerOrders, so you see no o parameter in the translation’s last
lambda. The compiler issues an error if you try to use o after the join…into
in the original query. In fact, we can now reuse the identifier and, with a
from, create an identical new sequence of o from customerOrders:
//: QueryExpressions\ExtractingAGroupedJoin.cs
using System.Linq;

class ExtractingAGroupedJoin {
static void Main() {
// Get all CustomerIDs with their OrderIDs:
var contactNamesToOrderDates =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
into customerOrders
from o in customerOrders // New o
select new { c.ContactName, o.OrderDate };
// Same as doing a normal join:
var contactNamesToOrderDates2 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
select new { c.ContactName, o.OrderDate };
contactNamesToOrderDates
.AssertEquals(contactNamesToOrderDates2);
}
} ///:~

The first query counterproductively joins into customerOrders then


extracts the results back out in the subsequent from, which translates to a
SelectMany( ). The second query just joins with no implicit grouping, and
produces the same results. As you’ll see shortly, however, an outer join
requires extracting join…into.

118 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Notice that AssertEquals( ) works with neither result ordered. All grouping
methods maintain their sequences’ original input order, maintaining both the
left and right sequence order as their elements are grouped.

The choice of which sequence is on the left and which is on the right doesn’t
matter when you join without an into, but is crucial when into follows join,
because they group at the same time:
//: QueryExpressions\JoiningOrder.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoiningOrder {
static void Main() {
var customerOrderDates =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
orderby c.CustomerID, o.OrderDate
select new { c.CustomerID, o.OrderDate };
// Can swap join order, doesn't affect anything:
var customerOrderDates2 =
from o in Northwind.Orders
join c in Northwind.Customers
on o.CustomerID equals c.CustomerID
orderby c.CustomerID, o.OrderDate
select new { c.CustomerID, o.OrderDate };
customerOrderDates.AssertEquals(customerOrderDates2);
}
} ///:~

The first query joins Customers to Orders; the second joins Orders to
Customers. We sort both queries to compare the results.

We’d get IEnumerables of one Customer for every single Order if we


joined Orders to Customers rather than Customers to Orders in
GroupingWhileJoining.cs, because each Order has only one associated
Customer. This is the same as a normal join, except each element from the
right sequence is placed by itself in a new sequence.

If anything other than a select follows a join…into, the compiler packs the
results into a temporary anonymous object (transparent identifier) for the
chains’ next clause. Recall that multiple froms do the same:
//: QueryExpressions\CustomersWithMostOrders.cs

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 119


using System.Linq;

class CustomersWithMostOrders {
static void Main() {
// Which three customers have the most orders?
var result =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
into customerOrders
orderby customerOrders.Count() descending
select c.ContactName;
result.Take(3).P(POptions.NoNewLines);
/*c!
// Transparent identifiers:
var resultTranslation1 =
Northwind.Customers
.GroupJoin(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(c, customerOrders) => new { c, customerOrders })
.OrderByDescending(t => customerOrders.Count())
.Select(t => c.ContactName);
*/
var resultTranslation2 =
Northwind.Customers
.GroupJoin(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(c, customerOrders) => new { c, customerOrders })
.OrderByDescending(
nt => nt.customerOrders.Count())
.Select(nt => nt.c.ContactName);
result.AssertEquals(resultTranslation2);
var resultTranslation3 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.OrderByDescending(
Enumerable.GroupJoin(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,
o => o.CustomerID,
(c, customerOrders) =>
new { c, customerOrders }),
nt => nt.customerOrders.Count()),
nt => nt.c.ContactName);
resultTranslation2.AssertEquals(resultTranslation3);
}

120 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


} /* Output:
[Jose Pavarotti, Roland Mendel, Horst Kloss]
*///:~

Since GroupJoin( ) also performs the selection, a second subsequent


Select( ) call is unnecessary when only a select clause follows a join…into.
However, when another clause follows the join…into (as orderby does in
this example), the compiler packs the results in the GroupJoin( ) lambda
and unpacks them in the OrderByDescending( ) lambda. It also inserts
the Select( ) call and unpacks there.

Like GroupBy( ), GroupJoin( ) has an overload that takes an


IEqualityComparer. The exercises for the Grouping Data section explore
how this works.

Exercise 42: Find all Products never ordered using join into and
Count( ).

Exercise 43: Group Orders with Customers rather than Customers


with Orders in GroupingWhileJoining.cs.

Exercise 44: Use a join into to find Customers who have made at least
$15,000 in Orders.

Outer joins
Outer joins come in three types: left, right, and full. Right and left outer joins
retain all elements on their respective sides, even if they have no opposite-
side matches. Full outer joins retain all elements on both sides, even if they
have no opposite-side matches.

join is an “inner join” that excludes Customers who have no Orders.


Therefore, we must use an outer join to count all Customer Orders
(including Orderless Customers).

Using left outer joins in a query expression is fairly easy. However, a right
outer join requires you to swap the input sequences, and thus convert it to a
left outer join.

Query expressions don’t directly support outer joins, so you must use a join
into (GroupJoin( )) combined with Enumerable.DefaultIfEmpty( ):
//: QueryExpressions\OuterJoins.cs

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 121


using System.Linq;

class OuterJoins {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 2, 3 };
// 1) An inner join is just a normal join:
var numbers =
from n1 in numbers1
join n2 in numbers2
on n1 equals n2
select new { n1, n2 };
numbers.P("Inner join");
// 2) A left outer join requires grouping:
numbers =
from n1 in numbers1
join n2 in numbers2
on n1 equals n2 into n2s
from n2 in n2s.DefaultIfEmpty(-1)
select new { n1, n2 };
numbers.P("Left outer join");
// 3) A right outer join is just a left
// outer join with swapped arguments:
numbers =
from n2 in numbers2
join n1 in numbers1
on n2 equals n1 into n1s
from n1 in n1s.DefaultIfEmpty(-1)
select new { n1, n2 };
numbers.P("Right outer join");
}
} /* Output:
Inner join: [
{ n1 = 2, n2 = 2 }
]
Left outer join: [
{ n1 = 1, n2 = -1 },
{ n1 = 2, n2 = 2 }
]
Right outer join: [
{ n1 = 2, n2 = 2 },
{ n1 = -1, n2 = 3 }
]
*///:~

122 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


numbers1 intersects numbers2 at the element 2. Inner joining the two
sequences exposes this intersection by returning only the 2s paired together
(excluding 1 and 3, as the output shows).

The second query joins on the same condition, but groups the results into
n2s. We call DefaultIfEmpty( ) on these IEnumerable<int> objects to
re-extract the n2 values from n2s. DefaultIfEmpty( ) returns any non-
empty original sequence, and for any empty sequence returns an
IEnumerable<T> that holds a single instance of T’s default value.
Alternatively, we pass our own default value by supplying -1. Aside from our
addition of a DefaultIfEmpty( ) call, this technique, is similar to
ExtractingAGroupedJoin.cs.

GroupJoin( ) invokes its last lambda expression once for every element on
the left side, even when they match no right-side elements. Thus, we still get
an empty IEnumerable<int> object that represents elements from the
right side (e.g., the second query still gives us 1 from numbers1, although its
corresponding numbers2 n2s sequence is empty). Because
DefaultIfEmpty( ) supplies a dummy item for 1, we do not lose non-
matching left side elements from the join.

Remember, we can only accomplish a right outer join in a query expression


by swapping the inputs, so the last join is really a left outer join. SQL has
syntax for performing right outer joins, but joining right or joining left is
determined by which table comes first.

Here we use an outer join to get all Customers with and without Orders:
//: QueryExpressions\AllCustomers.cs
using System.Linq;

class AllCustomers {
static void Main() {
var all =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders on
c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
into customerOrders
from co in customerOrders.DefaultIfEmpty()
let OrderID = co == null ? -1 : co.OrderID
orderby OrderID
select new { c.ContactName, OrderID };
all.Take(5).P();

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 123


all.OrderBy(a => a.ContactName).Take(10).
P("Ordered by ContactName");
}
} /* Output:
[
{ ContactName = Diego Roel, OrderID = -1 },
{ ContactName = Marie Bertrand, OrderID = -1 },
{ ContactName = Paul Henriot, OrderID = 10248 },
{ ContactName = Karin Josephs, OrderID = 10249 },
{ ContactName = Mario Pontes, OrderID = 10250 }
]
Ordered by ContactName: [
{ ContactName = Alejandra Camino, OrderID = 10281 },
{ ContactName = Alejandra Camino, OrderID = 10282 },
{ ContactName = Alejandra Camino, OrderID = 10306 },
{ ContactName = Alejandra Camino, OrderID = 10917 },
{ ContactName = Alejandra Camino, OrderID = 11013 },
{ ContactName = Alexander Feuer, OrderID = 10277 },
{ ContactName = Alexander Feuer, OrderID = 10575 },
{ ContactName = Alexander Feuer, OrderID = 10699 },
{ ContactName = Alexander Feuer, OrderID = 10779 },
{ ContactName = Alexander Feuer, OrderID = 10945 }
]
*///:~

customerOrders is an IEnumerable<Order> that holds all the Orders


for a single Customer. For Customers with no Orders, customerOrders
is empty, so we use DefaultIfEmpty( ) to provide a null value. The from
that follows extracts the Customer’s Orders one-by-one into co.

The let clause introduces OrderID for the subsequent orderby and select
clause. OrderID is the actual Order.OrderID except when co is null. In
that case, the let clause sets OrderID to -1, a dummy value.28

Notice the output shows -1 for the first two Customer OrderIDs, which
signifies that they have no corresponding Orders.

Sorting the data by ContactName (in the second part of the output) makes
it more meaningful. To reduce the noise of changing the order with a full
query, we call OrderBy( ) directly, and pass a lambda expression to return

28 You could also use the Null Object pattern, if you wish to join against actual Order

objects rather than just the OrderIDs.

124 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


the ContactName. However, this second OrderBy( ) call makes the
original orderby a waste of processor cycles.

There are several ways to find Customers with no Orders:


//: QueryExpressions\CustomersWithoutOrders.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomersWithoutOrders {
static void Main() {
var noOrders =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders on
c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID into joined
where joined.Count() == 0
select c;
noOrders.Count().AssertEquals(2);
// Using Enumerable.Except():
var customerIDs =
from c in Northwind.Customers
select c.CustomerID;
var orderCustomerIDs =
from o in Northwind.Orders
select o.CustomerID;
var noOrdersIDs = customerIDs.Except(orderCustomerIDs);
noOrdersIDs.Count().AssertEquals(2);
}
} ///:~

The first query uses join into combined with a where clause to remove the
groups of Orders whose Count( ) is not zero, instead of re-extracting the
Orders from joined.

The second approach retrieves all CustomerIDs from both Customers and
Orders and then calls Except( ). This Enumerable extension method
returns a sequence of all left-sequence items that are not also in the right
sequence (set difference). Thus, here it returns all CustomerIDs not found
in Orders.

Exercise 45: Translate the second query in OuterJoins.cs. Notice


where the DefaultIfEmpty( ) call comes within the translation. How does
this allow for outer joins?

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 125


Exercise 46: Use an outer join.to again find any Products never
ordered (as in [[[formatting Exercise 42: ]]]).

Exercise 47: Rewrite the last approach in


CustomersWithoutOrders.cs so that it does not use the temporary
variables customerIDs and orderCustomerIDs.

Other query operators


Enumerable has several extension methods such as Take( ),
SequenceEqual( ), and Except( ). These are not mapped to query
expression clauses; you invoke them as extension methods on any
IEnumerable object (as we’ve seen).

For example, Array has no Contains( ) method. As a workaround, we call


the static Array.IndexOf( ) method and check the return value for -1.
However, Enumerable provides a Contains( ) extension method in
addition to several others for IEnumerable types such as Array:
//: QueryExpressions\EnumerableOperators.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;

class EnumerableOperators {
static void Main() {
int[] first = { 1, 2, 3 };
int[] second = { 4, 5, 6 };
// Concatenate first and second into one sequence:
var numbers = first.Concat(second);
// Compare numbers against another sequence:
numbers.SequenceEqual(
new[]{ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 }).True();
// Count the elements:
numbers.Count().AssertEquals(6);
// Count elements less than four:
numbers.Count(x => x < 4).AssertEquals(3);
// There's a LongCount() version for large collections
// Reverse the sequence:
numbers.Reverse()
.AssertEquals(new[]{ 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 });
// Add all the numbers:
numbers.Sum().AssertEquals(1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6);
// Sum the OrderDetail amounts:

126 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Northwind.OrderDetails.Sum(
od => od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice)
.AssertEquals(1354458.5900m);
// Average the numbers:
double average = numbers.Average();
(Math.Abs(average - 3.5) < double.Epsilon).True();
// Average the OrderDetail amounts:
Northwind.OrderDetails
.Average(od => od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice)
.AssertEquals(628.51906728538283062645011601m);
// What's the minimum?
numbers.Min().AssertEquals(1);
// What's the maximum?
numbers.Max().AssertEquals(6);
// Convert numbers to an array:
int[] intArray = numbers.ToArray();
intArray.AssertEquals(numbers);
// Cast all elements from a non-generic
// container to a generic one:
var nonGenericList = MindView.Util.
Enumerable.ToArrayList(numbers);
var numbers2 = nonGenericList.Cast<int>();
// Are all elements from numbers equal
// to all elements in numbers2?
numbers.SequenceEqual(numbers2).True();
// Are all numbers less than 7?
numbers.All(x => x < 7).True();
// Are any numbers less than 3?
numbers.Any(x => x < 3).True();
// Does numbers contain 3 or 9?
numbers.Contains(3).True();
numbers.Contains(9).False();
// First() and Last() throw exceptions
// when elements cannot be found.
// Get the first element:
numbers.First().AssertEquals(1);
// Get the first even element:
numbers.First(x => x % 2 == 0).AssertEquals(2);
// Get the first odd element, or
// default(T) if none are found:
numbers.FirstOrDefault(x => x % 2 == 1)
.AssertEquals(1);
// Get the first element greater than 6, 6 not
// present, so default(T) returned (0 for int):

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 127


numbers.FirstOrDefault(x => x > 6).AssertEquals(0);
// Get the last element:
numbers.Last().AssertEquals(6);
// Get last odd element:
numbers.Last(x => x % 2 == 1).AssertEquals(5);
// Get last odd element or default(T):
numbers.LastOrDefault(x => x % 2 == 1).AssertEquals(5);
// Get the last element greater than 6, 6 not
// present, so default(T) returned:
numbers.LastOrDefault(x => x > 6).AssertEquals(0);
// Get the single element from the sequence:
new[]{ 8 }.Single().AssertEquals(8);
// Get the single element, or the default value:
new[]{ 8 }.SingleOrDefault().AssertEquals(8);
new int[]{}.SingleOrDefault().AssertEquals(0);
// Get the single element 2 less than 5:
numbers.Single(x => x + 2 == 5).AssertEquals(3);
// Same as above, but default returned if not found:
numbers.SingleOrDefault(x => x + 2 == 5)
.AssertEquals(3);
numbers.SingleOrDefault(x => x > 6).AssertEquals(0);
// Retrieve by index:
numbers.ElementAt(2).AssertEquals(3);
numbers.ElementAtOrDefault(2).AssertEquals(3);
numbers.ElementAtOrDefault(10).AssertEquals(0);
// Return a default value if nothing to iterate:
var enumerable = numbers.DefaultIfEmpty();
enumerable.AssertEquals(numbers);
enumerable = numbers.DefaultIfEmpty(5);
enumerable.AssertEquals(numbers);
enumerable = new int[]{}.DefaultIfEmpty();
enumerable.Single().AssertEquals(0);
enumerable = new int[]{}.DefaultIfEmpty(10);
enumerable.Single().AssertEquals(10);
numbers2 = new[]{ 9, 8, 8, 4, 3, 4, };
// Notice Union(), Intersect(), and Except()
// (set difference) remove duplicate values
// because they are set operations:
var temp = numbers.Union(numbers2);
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 8});
temp = numbers.Intersect(numbers2);
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 3, 4 });
temp = numbers.Except(numbers2);
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 1, 2, 5, 6 });

128 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// Remove duplicates:
temp = numbers2.Distinct();
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 9, 8, 4, 3 });
// Get the first four numbers:
numbers2 = new[]{ 3, 2, 1, 5, 1, 2, 3 };
temp = numbers2.Take(4);
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 3, 2, 1, 5});
// Get the first set of numbers less than 5:
temp = numbers2.TakeWhile(x => x < 5);
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 3, 2, 1 });
// Skip the first four numbers:
temp = numbers2.Skip(4);
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 1, 2, 3});
// Skip the first set of numbers less than 5:
temp = numbers2.SkipWhile(x => x < 5);
temp.AssertEquals(new[]{ 5, 1, 2, 3 });
// Generate a range of 5 numbers starting
// at 100 (only works with integers):
numbers = Enumerable.Range(100, 5);
numbers.AssertEquals(
new[]{ 100, 101, 102, 103, 104 });
// Repeat a value n times, (works with any type):
Enumerable.Repeat(3.14, 3).AssertEquals(
new[]{ 3.14, 3.14, 3.14 });
// Generate an empty container:
Enumerable.Empty<Customer>().Count().AssertEquals(0);
}
} ///:~

This example shows most of the Enumerable methods not mapped to query
expression clauses, many of which you have seen. Most are self-explanatory,
and the comments help decipher the rest.

Enumerable extension methods bridge the gap between an IEnumerable


consumer and an IEnumerable implementer. Suppose client A and client B
need an intersecting subset of methods. The interface implementer can
implement only the intersection, reducing coupling to either client.

For example, client A may need only Count( ) but not Take( ), while
client B needs Take( ) but not Count( ). However, both need
GetEnumerator( ). Whomever implements IEnumerable only wants to
provide GetEnumerator( ), not Count( ) or Take( ). Extension methods
provide a compromise by allowing A to add Count( ) and B to add Take( );
the implementer must only provide GetEnumerator( ). The more methods

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 129


an interface contains the less likely someone will implement it because not all
the methods make sense for their implementation.

When you write your own collection class you must decide, for instance,
whether to implement ICollection or just IEnumerable. The ICollection
interface provides your clients with more methods, but it also couples you to
your clients more than IEnumerable. The Enumerable extension
methods provide a compromise.29

All of Enumerable’s methods are termed standard query operators,


meaning that they come with the standard library. As always, you can add
your own extension methods in a separate static class.

Where( ), Select( ), SelectMany( ), SkipWhile( ), and TakeWhile( )


all have overloads that pass the item index with the element:
//: QueryExpressions\Indexing.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;

class Indexing {
static void Main() {
Func<int, int, bool> func =
(value, index) => 1 < index && index < 4;
var elements = new[] { 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 };
// Get all elements with indices between 1 and 4:
elements.Where(func).AssertEquals(new[] { 9, 10 });
// Determine whether the index is between 1 and 4:
elements.Select(func).AssertEquals(
new[] { false, false, true, true, false });
// Skip the first 2 elements:
elements.SkipWhile((value, index) => index < 2)
.AssertEquals(new[] { 9, 10, 11 });
// Take the first three elements:
elements.TakeWhile((value, index) => index < 3)
.AssertEquals(new[] { 7, 8, 9 });
// Take the odd values or until the index passes 4:
elements.TakeWhile(
(value, index) => index < 4 && value % 2 == 1)
.AssertEquals(new[] { 7 });

29 However, Enumerable extension methods cannot produce ICollection’s Add( ) and

Remove( ) methods, so in that case you must decide between the two approaches.

130 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


}
} ///:~

func’s lambda doesn’t use the value argument, but the various standard
query operator overloads require that signature.

Because func has a name (so it can be used in multiple places), it’s almost
the same as an ordinary method, but it’s slightly less verbose. In your own
code you must decide whether this apparent simplification is worth the
potential added confusion for the reader.

Average( ), Sum( ), Max( ), and Min( ) all run a delegate on each element
when you provide one:
//: QueryExpressions\TransformingAggregation.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;

class TransformingAggregation {
static void Main() {
int[] values = new[] { 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 };
// Average distance from 10:
values.Average(val => Math.Abs(val - 10))
.AssertEquals(1.2);
// Sum the truncated square roots:
values.Sum(val => (int)Math.Sqrt(val))
.AssertEquals(14);
// Find the max remainder dividing by 7:
values.Max(val => val % 7).AssertEquals(5);
// Find the min remainder dividing by 7:
values.Min(val => val % 7).AssertEquals(1);
}
} ///:~

Each algorithm executes the lambda on the individual elements, then uses
the resulting value. For example, the Average( ) call averages the distance of
each element to 10, instead of just the original values.

OfType<T>( ) produces a sequence containing objects of (or derived from)


type T:
//: QueryExpressions\OfTypeDemo.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 131


class Base {}
class D1 : Base {}
class D2 : Base {}
class D2Child : D2 {}

class OfTypeDemo {
static void Main() {
var list = new List<Base> { new D1(),
new D2(), new D1(), new D2(), new D2Child() };
IEnumerable<D2> d2s = list.OfType<D2>();
d2s.P("d2s's Types", POptions.NoNewLines);
// Can do same thing using a where clause,
// but it returns an IEnumerable<Base>
// instead of IEnumerable<D2>:
IEnumerable<Base> moreD2s =
from c in list
where c is D2
select c;
moreD2s.P("moreD2s's Types", POptions.NoNewLines);
moreD2s.GetType().GetGenericArguments()[0]
.AssertEquals(typeof(Base));
}
} /* Output:
d2s's Types: [D2, D2, D2Child]
moreD2s's Types: [D2, D2, D2Child]
*///:~

We fill list with all possible derivations of Base. OfType<D2>( ) returns all
items of (or derived from) type D2. We explicitly declare d2’s type instead of
using var, to show that OfType( ) returns an IEnumerable<D2> instead
of another IEnumerable<Base>. We could instead use a where clause to
retrieve the same results as OfType( ) (the last part of the example), but a
where clause returns an IEnumerable<Base> rather than an
IEnumerable<D2> (even though the IEnumerable<Base> is only
holding D2s).

Sum( ) and Average( ) are basic aggregate functions (they take several
inputs and return a single value), but you can perform custom operations
using Enumerable’s Aggregate( ) method. For example, you can multiply
instead of Add( )ing:
//: QueryExpressions\AggregateDemo.cs
using System.Linq;

132 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


class AggregateDemo {
static int
PrintWhileMultiplying(int currentTotal, int nextValue) {
currentTotal.P(" currentTotal");
nextValue.P(" nextValue");
return currentTotal * nextValue;
}
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 4, 5, 6 };
"Run 1:".P();
numbers.Aggregate(PrintWhileMultiplying)
.AssertEquals(4 * 5 * 6);
// Overloaded to take a custom seed:
"Run 2:".P();
numbers.Aggregate(100, PrintWhileMultiplying)
.AssertEquals(100 * 4 * 5 * 6);
// Can also do an operation at the end:
"Run 3:".P();
numbers
.Aggregate(100, PrintWhileMultiplying, x => x / 3)
.AssertEquals((100 * 4 * 5 * 6) / 3);
// PrintWhileMultiplying is for demonstration.
// You would normally use a lambda instead:
"Run 4: (no output)".P();
numbers.Aggregate((c, n) => c * n)
.AssertEquals(4 * 5 * 6);
}
} /* Output:
Run 1:
currentTotal: 4
nextValue: 5
currentTotal: 20
nextValue: 6
Run 2:
currentTotal: 100
nextValue: 4
currentTotal: 400
nextValue: 5
currentTotal: 2000
nextValue: 6
Run 3:
currentTotal: 100
nextValue: 4
currentTotal: 400

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 133


nextValue: 5
currentTotal: 2000
nextValue: 6
Run 4: (no output)
*///:~

The simplest Aggregate( ) takes a delegate which requires two arguments:


the current running result and the next value in the sequence. The output
shows the first iteration, starting with the first element (4) and the
nextValue (5). The currentTotal in the next iteration provides the result
(20), which we then multiply by 6.

You can pass a custom seed value by inserting it before your operation in the
Aggregate( ) call. In “Run 2,” Aggregate( ) uses 100 as the first element
rather than the first element in the sequence.

“Run 3” performs an operation on, and then returns, the end result. Here, we
divide the result by 3.

Enumerable also contains a few methods that convert IEnumerable


objects to different collection types; for example, ToArray( ) produces an
Array object and ToList( ) produces a generic List:
//: QueryExpressions\ToConcreteSequences.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class ToConcreteSequences {
static void Main() {
// Convert an IEnumerable<Customer> to an array:
Customer[] custArray = Northwind.Customers.ToArray();
// Convert an IEnumerable<Customer> to a List:
List<Customer> custList = Northwind.Customers.ToList();
// Can just use List constructor:
custList = new List<Customer>(Northwind.Customers);
}
} ///:~

Alternatively, you can pass an IEnumerable to List’s constructor, but the


above form is more succinct.

To find Customers by their CustomerIDs you could repeat the tedious and
inefficient linear search through a sequence. However, ToDictionary( )
creates a Dictionary from linear data, using a lambda to select the key:

134 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


//: QueryExpressions\DictionaryTransform.cs
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class DictionaryTransform {
static void Main() {
// Map CustomerIDs to Customers:
IDictionary<string, Customer> customerIDsToCustomer =
Northwind.Customers.ToDictionary(c => c.CustomerID);
customerIDsToCustomer["QUICK"].ContactName
.AssertEquals("Horst Kloss");
// Map CustomerIDs to contact names:
IDictionary<string, string> customerIDsToContactNames =
Northwind.Customers.ToDictionary(c => c.CustomerID,
// Second lambda determines the Values:
c => c.ContactName);
customerIDsToContactNames["QUICK"]
.AssertEquals("Horst Kloss");
}
} ///:~

The first form selects only the keys for the Dictionary. The values default to
the objects in the source sequence (here, the actual Customer objects). The
second form uses an additional lambda to choose the values.

ToDictionary( ) throws an exception when your lambda returns a duplicate


key. For example, if you use the Customer Country field as a key, you’ll get
an error, because one Country maps to multiple Customers. ToLookup( )
is the better option for this.

ILookup maps keys to IGroupings. If you must find groups by their Key,
then ToLookup( ) is better than only a group…by. This eliminates the
need for a linear search through the groups:
//: QueryExpressions\Lookups.cs
using System.Linq;

class Lookups {
static void Main() {
// Group customers by their country:
ILookup<string, Customer> countryToCustomers =
Northwind.Customers.ToLookup(c => c.Country);
countryToCustomers.Count.AssertEquals(21);
countryToCustomers.Contains("France").True();

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 135


countryToCustomers["USA"].Count().AssertEquals(13);
// It takes more work to grab individual
// groups using query expressions:
var countryGroups =
from c in Northwind.Customers
group c by c.Country;
countryGroups.Count().AssertEquals(21);
countryGroups
.Select(g => g.Key)
.Contains("France").True();
countryGroups
.Single(g => g.Key == "USA")
.Count().AssertEquals(13);
}
} ///:~

ToLookup( ) and ToDictionary( ) have identical overloads. (We omitted


the overloads that take an IEqualityComparer.)

You can see that ILookup is an easier way to retrieve individual groups.
ToLookup( ) returns a runtime type of System.Linq.Lookup.

Exercise 48: Retrieve the first three Country names from an


alphabetical list of Customers’ countries. Find all the ContactNames of
Customers in those three countries.

Exercise 49: Write a non-generic version of


System.Linq.Enumerable.Concat( ).

Exercise 50: Combine two queries with Concat( ) to retrieve the names
and nationalities of Customers from the USA and Mexico. Note in this
sample output that nationality differs from Country name:
{ Name = Francisco Chang, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Guillermo Fernández, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Miguel Angel Paolino, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Howard Snyder, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Yoshi Latimer, Nationality = American },
{ Name = John Steel, Nationality = American },

Exercise 51: Find the following:


a. The most parts in any Customer’s ContactName (Hint: use
Split( )). Check the results three times using Any( ), All( ), and
Count( ).

136 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


b. The latest and earliest OrderDate.

c. The first and last Customers whose names contain a


lowercase ‘q’ (in ContactName order).

d. The 15th Customer (in ContactName order).

e. All Customer ContactNames that begin with ‘R’ (don’t use


where or Where( )).

f. The last three Customer ContactNames (in ContactName


order).

Exercise 52: Use Aggregate( ) to output Customer ContactName


first names, separated by the vertical-bar character (|), and surround the
entire string with square brackets, as seen in this sample output (which only
shows three names):
[Maria | Ana | Antonio]

Exercise 53: Put all the OrderDetails in an ILookup, and look them
up by OrderID, counting the number in at least three groups.

Exercise 54: Retrieve three different sequences of Customer


ContactNames in three different alphabetical ranges: a-g, h-q, and r-z.

Query Expressions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 137


Exercise Solutions
Chapter 1
Exercise 1: Make an Add( ), Subtract( ), Multiply( ), and Divide( )
extension method for int.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\ExtendingInt.cs

using System.Diagnostics;
static class ExtendingInt {
static int Add(this int left, int right) {
return left + right;
}
static int Subtract(this int left, int right) {
return left - right;
}
static int Divide(this int left, int right) {
return left / right;
}
static int Multiply(this int left, int right) {
return left * right;
}
static void Main() {
Debug.Assert(1.Add(2) == 3);
Debug.Assert(3.Subtract(4) == -1);
Debug.Assert(6.Divide(2) == 3);
Debug.Assert(5.Multiply(8) == 40);
Debug.Assert(5.Add(8).Subtract(2).Multiply(3)
.Subtract(10) == 23);
}
} ///:~

We obviously don’t need methods that just mimic existing operators.


However, notice that each method takes and returns an int, so we can chain
the extension results. You’ll appreciate this flexibility when you use
IEnumerable in upcoming query expression exercises.

We use Debug.Assert( ) here to show results inline. You will soon see some
assertion methods that make this a bit cleaner.

139
Exercise 2: Make two extension methods: a ToArrayList( ) that
converts its IEnumerable argument to an ArrayList, and a generic
ForEach( ) method that iterates over its IEnumerable<T> argument
executing its second System.Action<T> delegate argument on each
element.
//: MindView.Util\Enumerable.2.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace MindView.Util {
public static partial class Enumerable {
public static ArrayList
ToArrayList<T>(this IEnumerable<T> sequence) {
var ret = new ArrayList();
foreach(T item in sequence)
ret.Add(item);
return ret;
}
public static void ForEach<T>(
this IEnumerable<T> sequence, Action<T> action) {
foreach(T element in sequence)
action(element);
}
}
} ///:~
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\EnumerableTests.cs
using System;
using MindView.Util;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class SimpleEnumerableTest {
static void Main() {
List<int> list = new List<int>();
Random rand = new Random(47);
for(int i = 0; i < 5; i++)
list.Add(rand.Next());
rand = new Random(47);
foreach(int i in list.ToArrayList())
Debug.Assert(i == rand.Next());

140 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


((IEnumerable<int>)list).ForEach(Console.WriteLine);
}
} /* Output:
601795864
1305670887
1332423928
1266970102
914533663
*///:~

ArrayList contains no constructor that takes IEnumerable, so we wrote


ToArrayList( ). We use this utility later in the book, hence, it’s in the
MindView.Util.dll assembly.

Array has a static ForEach( ) for any type of Array, and List has a non-
static ForEach( ). However, System.Linq.Enumerable doesn’t contain
a ForEach( ) for any type of IEnumerable, so again it’s another utility
method in the MindView.Util.dll.

Notice we must upcast list to IEnumerable for the compiler to resolve its
lookup to our version of ForEach( ).

Also notice that ToArrayList( ) doesn’t require a generic argument,


whereas ForEach( ) does. If you do nothing specific for the contained types
in your IEnumerable argument, you don’t need the generic IEnumerable
argument.

Exercise 3: Change ExtendingTheBase.cs to use an intermediate base


class rather than extension methods.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\ExtendingTheBase.cs

abstract class Vehicle {


public void Start() {}
public void Stop() {}
}

abstract class VehicleAdditions : Vehicle {


public void StartAndStop() {
Start();
// Sleep a minute or two...
Stop();
}
}

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 141


class Car : VehicleAdditions {}
class Bus : VehicleAdditions {}
class Scooter : Vehicle {}

class ExtendingTheBase {
static void Main() {
VehicleAdditions vehicle = new Car();
vehicle.StartAndStop();
vehicle = new Bus();
vehicle.StartAndStop();
//c! vehicle = new Scooter();
}
} ///:~

Our approach here differs from the more flexible extension method approach
mainly by requiring vehicle to be a VehicleAdditions reference rather
than just a plain Vehicle.

In addition, Scooter includes no StartAndStop( ) method, because it


doesn’t inherit from our intermediate class.

Exercise 4: Use Asserter to show that (1) the compiler interns string
literals;1 (2) boxing a value type twice produces two different objects; (3) by
default, enum members not assigned an explicit value will take their
predecessor’s plus one (unless they are also the first members, whose value is
zero); and (4) System.Linq.Enumerable.Range( ) returns a numeric
sequence of values.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\SimpleTruths.cs
using System.Linq;

enum MyEnum {
Member1,
Member2,
Member3 = -5,
Member4
}

class SimpleTruths {
static void Main() {

1 Look up string.IsInterned( ) in the documentation.

142 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// (1) Interning:
string string1 = "my string";
string string2 = "my string";
// Both reference same object:
object.ReferenceEquals(string1, string2).True();
string.IsInterned("another literal")
.AssertEquals("another literal");
// (2) Boxing:
int i = 5;
object o1 = i, o2 = i;
object.ReferenceEquals(o1, o2).False();
o1.AssertEquals(o2);
o1 = o2;
object.ReferenceEquals(o1, o2).True();
// (3) Enums:
0.AssertEquals((int)MyEnum.Member1);
1.AssertEquals((int)MyEnum.Member2);
(-5).AssertEquals((int)MyEnum.Member3);
(-4).AssertEquals((int)MyEnum.Member4);
// (4) Range() produces a sequence:
Enumerable.Range(5, 5).AssertEquals(
new int[] { 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 });
}
} ///:~

We took different approaches to prove each assertion. While True( ) and


False( ) remain useful on occasion, we prefer AssertEquals( ) to
something.Equals(somethingElse).True( ).

Exercise 5: Use extension method syntax to assign a delegate to a


System.Linq.Enumerable’s Min( ) invoked upon a List of random
numbers. Make sure that invoking the delegate returns the smallest value.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\MinninAround.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

delegate int ReturnsInt();

class MinninAround {
static void Main() {
Random rand = new Random(47);
List<int> list = new List<int>();
for(int i = 0; i < 10; i++)

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 143


list.Add(rand.Next(1000));
ReturnsInt findMin = list.Min;
findMin().AssertEquals(21);
list.AddRange(new int[] { 43, 19, 33, 20 });
findMin().AssertEquals(19);
}
} ///:~

Notice that findMin binds to members from list and Enumerable.Min( ),


two completely separate types,.

Later we’ll show you collection initializers that append all the items.

Exercise 6: Put two extension methods with the same signature in two
separate classes, each within a unique namespace. Put each in their own file.
In a third file, bring both classes into scope with using statements, and
invoke the methods using extension syntax rather than normal static-method
call syntax. Does the compiler issue an ambiguity error? What happens when
you declare a third class after the using statements to introduce a third,
same-signature extension method?
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\First.cs
// {CF: /target:library}

namespace SomeSpace {
public static class First {
public static void SomeMethod(this object o) {}
}
} ///:~
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\Second.cs
// {CF: /target:library}

namespace SomeSpace2 {
public static class Second {
public static void SomeMethod(this object o) {}
}
} ///:~
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\ExtensionAmbiguity.cs
// {CF: /reference:First.dll,Second.dll}
// {IE: NeedlessUsings}
using SomeSpace;
using SomeSpace2;

144 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


static class MoreExtensions {
public static void SomeMethod(this object o) {}
}

class ExtensionAmbiguity {
static void Main() {
object o = new object();
o.SomeMethod();
}
} ///:~

If you remove MoreExtensions.SomeMethod( ), the compiler issues an


ambiguity error upon finding that two equally scoped SomeMethod( )s
satisfy the lookup. When MoreExtensions.SomeMethod( ) is available,
it’s “nearer” in scope than the other two.

Extension methods cannot be members of nested classes, so we can never


introduce an even “nearer-in-scope” SomeMethod( ) in a nested class
inside ExtensionAmbiguity.

NeedlessUsings tells the book’s build system not to flag an error if the
example compiles successfully, even when the extra using statements are
superfluous.

Exercise 7: Create an IndexesOf( ) string extension method that


returns all of a given string’s indices instead of just the first one (as
IndexOf( ) does).
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\MultipleIndexes.cs
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class StringExtensions {


public static IEnumerable<int> IndexesOf(
this string target, string value) {
for(int i = target.IndexOf(value); i != -1;
i = target.IndexOf(value, i + 1))
yield return i;
}
}

class MultipleIndices {
static void Main() {
string str = "abc123def123ghi123j12";
str.IndexesOf("123").AssertEquals(new[] { 3, 9, 15 });

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 145


// Can call normal, but not as "OOpish":
StringExtensions.IndexesOf(str, "123")
.AssertEquals(new[] { 3, 9, 15 });
}
} ///:~

You can implement the algorithm in a number of ways.

We can, for example, create a private IndexesOf( ) if we put the extension


method into a static class of MultipleIndices rather than in a separate
class.

Exercise 8: Use var to assign a variable to a derived type. Prove that you
cannot assign a base object or a different derived type to your variable.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\ImplicitDerivedType.cs

class Base {}
class Derived1 : Base {}
class Derived2 : Base {}

class ImplicitDerivedType {
static void Main() {
var value = new Derived1();
//c! value = new Derived2();
//c! value = new Base();
// value is not read-only:
value = new Derived1();
}
} ///:~

The compiler determines value’s type (Derived1) at compile time just as if


we had declared it explicitly.

Exercise 9: Prove that the compiler still infers the correct type when you
assign a var variable using a complicated initialization expression, for
example:
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\ComplicatedInitialization.cs
using System;

class ComplicatedInitialization {
static void Main() {
var value = ((new Random().Next().ToString() +
"some string").Substring(3, 3) + AnotherMethod())

146 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


.ToUpper();
value.GetType().AssertEquals(typeof(string));
value = "some string";
//c! value = new object();
}
static string AnotherMethod() {
return "this method returns a string";
}
} ///:~

The compiler infers an implicitly typed local variable’s type, just as it has
always determined expression return types.

The GetType( ).AssertEquals( ) call doesn’t verify value’s compile-time


type, but only verifies the runtime type. The attempt to assign the
new object to value proves value’s compile-time type.

Exercise 10: Prove that var is not a keyword by creating a variable


named var. Can the compiler still infer a variable’s type when it is declared
using var?
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\VarIsNotAKeyword.cs

class VarIsNotAKeyword {
public void LocalVariableNamedVar() {
int var = 5;
var type = new VarIsNotAKeyword();
}
}

class TypeNamedVar {
class var {
public string SomeProperty { get; set; }
}
void VarIsNowARealType() {
//c! var v = new VarIsNotAKeyword();
var v2 = null;
v2 = new var();
v2.SomeProperty = "Some value";
// Seriously confusing:
var var = new var(); // Har har har!
}
static void Main(string[] args) {
new VarIsNotAKeyword().LocalVariableNamedVar();

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 147


new TypeNamedVar().VarIsNowARealType();
}
} ///:~

The variable var that we declare in this example in no way inhibits the
compiler from using var to infer a variable’s type from an initialization
expression. Both ways work because the compiler determines var’s meaning
contextually. (You should never write such confusing code in practice.)

We created var, a nested type in TypeNamedVar that overrides implicit-


type inference whenever it is in-scope. Therefore, VarIsNowARealType()’s
first line doesn’t compile. The compiler uses the actual type when it cannot
infer var from the initialization expression.

Notice that the compiler cannot infer v2’s type from null.

Exercise 11: Change Person’s ID field to an automatic property.


//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\Person.cs
// {CF: /target:library}

class Person {
public Person() {}
public Person(int id) { ID = id; }
public int ID { set; get; }
public string FirstName { get; set; }
public string LastName { get; set; }
public void Print() {
ID.P("ID");
FirstName.P(" FirstName"); // Spaces for indentation
LastName.P(" LastName");
}
} ///:~

Notice that the order doesn’t matter for the get and set accessors.

Exercise 12: Change ImplementingInterfaces.cs to prove that


automatic properties also satisfy abstract property definitions.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\AbstractProperties.cs
// {CF: /target:library}

// Interface property syntax resembles


// automatic property syntax:
abstract class SomeAbstract {

148 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


public abstract int ReadAndWrite { get; set; }
}

// To use automatic properties when implementing an


// interface, you must also add the missing accessors:
class Implementer : SomeAbstract {
public override int ReadAndWrite { get; set; }
} ///:~

Note that interfaces and abstract classes work differently. abstract members
are also virtual, thus properties that override cannot define more or less
than the property in the abstract base.

In other words, if an abstract property only defines a get, the implementer


cannot define a set because there is nothing to override. However, if we
don’t define a set, then our concrete property cannot be an automatic
property. Therefore, we can only use automatic properties to satisfy abstract
properties that have both a get and a set.

Exercise 13: Create a simple Rectangle class with Width, Height, and
Area properties.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\AutomaticRectangle.cs

class Rectangle {
public Rectangle(int width, int height) {
Width = width;
Height = height;
}
public double Width { get; set; }
public double Height { set; get; }
public double Area {
get { return Width * Height; }
}
}

class AutomaticRectangle {
static void Main() {
var rectangle = new Rectangle(5, 10);
rectangle.Width.AssertEquals(5);
rectangle.Height.AssertEquals(10);
rectangle.Area.AssertEquals(50);
}
} ///:~

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 149


Notice that Width and Height simply wrap backing fields, which makes
them an opportune use of an automatic property. Area’s derived value,
however, requires a body for get.

Exercise 14: Make one of Implementer’s properties a public field and


note the compiler error.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\ImplementingInterfaces.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
// {CompileTimeError: 'Implementer' does not implement
// interface member 'SomeInterface.ReadAndWrite'}

interface SomeInterface {
int WriteOnly { set; }
int ReadOnly { get; }
int ReadAndWrite { get; set; }
}

class Implementer : SomeInterface {


public int WriteOnly { get; set; }
public int ReadOnly { get; set; }
public int ReadAndWrite;
} ///:~

The CompileTimeError flag indicates the error you get when you compile
this solution. Our build system verifies that the compiler produces the
message after the flag.

Exercise 15: Change Person’s properties to fields. Prove that accessible


fields work in an initialization list.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\CanInitializePublicFields.cs

class PersonWithPublicFields {
public int ID;
public string FirstName;
public string LastName;
}

class CanInitializePublicFields {
static void Main() {
var person = new PersonWithPublicFields {
FirstName = "Joe"
};
person.ID.AssertEquals(0);

150 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


person.FirstName.AssertEquals("Joe");
person.LastName.AssertEquals(null);
}
} ///:~

We removed the constructors and ToString( ) for brevity.

Exercise 16: Initialize only the FirstName property of a Person object.


(See solution to previous exercise.)

Exercise 17: Make both a type with an int Field, and a local variable
called Field. Why does it look odd when you initialize an instance of your
type’s Field with the local variable Field, and why is this not ambiguous?
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\Fields.cs

class MyType {
public int Field;
}

class Fields {
static void Main() {
int Field = 10;
MyType type = new MyType { Field = Field };
type.Field.AssertEquals(Field);
}
} ///:~

Although it looks like we assigned a property value to itself, in fact an implicit


“type.” prepends the left side of the assignment.

Exercise 18: Use collection initializer syntax to create a Dictionary that


stores a random number for the Key, and an IEnumerable of random
numbers and random length for the Value.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\InitializeADictionary.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class InitializeADictionary {
static Random rand = new Random(47);
const int Max = 100;
static IEnumerable<int> RandomSequence() {
// C# 3.0 provides better ways to do

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 151


// this that you will see later:
var ret = new List<int>();
int amount = rand.Next(5);
for(int i = 0; i < amount; i++)
ret.Add(rand.Next(Max));
return ret;
}
static void Main() {
var dictionary =
new Dictionary<int, IEnumerable<int>> {
{ rand.Next(Max), RandomSequence() },
{ 55, new List<int> { rand.Next(Max),
rand.Next(Max), rand.Next(Max), rand.Next(Max) }},
{ rand.Next(Max), RandomSequence() },
};
foreach(var pair in dictionary)
pair.Value.P(pair.Key.ToString(),
POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
28: [62, 58, 42]
55: [63, 96, 2, 79]
60: [16, 94, 92, 88]
*///:~

We generate both an IEnumerable of random length and one that is hard-


coded.

We return a List rather than using yield to avoid deferred execution. You’ll
understand what that means later, but for now you can change our solution to
use yield and run the foreach in Main( ) twice. You’ll get different output
both times.

Exercise 19: Write code to prove whether a Stack, a LinkedList, and a


Queue meet C# 3.0’s definition of “collection.”
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\NotCollections.cs
// {IE: NeedlessUsings}
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class NotCollections {
static void HasNoAddMethod(Type type) {
foreach(var methodInfo in type.GetMethods())
if(methodInfo.Name == "Add")

152 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


false.True(); // Bombs
}
static void Main() {
HasNoAddMethod(typeof(Stack<>));
HasNoAddMethod(typeof(Queue<>));
HasNoAddMethod(typeof(LinkedList<>));
// Compile agrees with our checks:
//c! new Stack<int> { 5 };
//c! new Queue<int> { 5 };
//c! new LinkedList<int> { 5 };
}
} ///:~

None of the three has an Add( ) method, therefore none is a “collection”


according to 3.0’s definition. Notably though, these are commonly used
System.Collections.Generic types.

Calling True( ) on false causes a failed assertion, but the solution never
reaches that line of code.

Exercise 20: When you have an IEnumerable type without an Add( )


method, but a valid Add( ) extension method is in scope, does your type then
qualify as a C# 3.0 collection type?
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\AddExtension.cs
// {CompileTimeError: 'MyEnumerable' does not contain
// a definition for 'Add'}
using System.Collections;

class MyEnumerable : IEnumerable {


public IEnumerator GetEnumerator() {
yield break;
}
}

static class AddExtensionMakesNoDifference {


static void
Add(this MyEnumerable myEnumerable, object o) {}
static void Main() {
MyEnumerable myEnumerable = new MyEnumerable { 5 };
}
} ///:~

The Add( ) extension does not qualify MyEnumerable as a “collection”


type.

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 153


Exercise 21: Write code that proves the Add( ) method must be perfectly
cased (i.e. “Add”, not “ADD” or “add”).
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\PerfectCasing.cs
// {CompileTimeError: 'MyEnumerable' does not contain
// a definition for 'Add'}
using System.Collections;

class MyEnumerable : IEnumerable {


public IEnumerator GetEnumerator() {
yield break;
}
static void add(object o) {}
static void ADD(object o) {}
}

static class AddExtensionMakesNoDifference {


static void Main() {
MyEnumerable myEnumerable = new MyEnumerable { 5 };
}
} ///:~

This shows the same issue as the previous exercise solution.

Exercise 22: Write code that proves the compiler initializes nested
collections immediately, Add( )ing each one individually instead of creating
them all and then adding them as a batch at the end.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\OrderOfAddCalls.cs
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class MyCollection<T> : IEnumerable<T> {


public IEnumerator<T> GetEnumerator() {
yield break;
}
IEnumerator IEnumerable.GetEnumerator() {
return GetEnumerator();
}
public void Add(T item) {
("Add<" + typeof(T) + ">()").P();
}
}

class OrderOfAddCalls {

154 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


static void Main() {
new MyCollection<MyCollection<int>> {
new MyCollection<int> { 1, 2 },
new MyCollection<int> { 3, 4 }
};
}
} /* Output:
Add<System.Int32>()
Add<System.Int32>()
Add<MyCollection`1[System.Int32]>()
Add<System.Int32>()
Add<System.Int32>()
Add<MyCollection`1[System.Int32]>()
*///:~

The trace statements provide the proof. The first nested MyCollection is
initialized then Add( )ed to the outer collection. The process repeats for the
second.

Exercise 23: Add five instances of some anonymous type to a List. Give
the anonymous type three integer fields: a value, its square, and its cube.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\SquaresAndCubes.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class SquaresAndCubes {
static void Main() {
var answer = new List<object>();
for(int Value = 1; Value <= 5; Value++)
answer.Add(new {
Value,
Square = (int)Math.Pow(Value, 2),
Cube = (int)Math.Pow(Value, 3)
});
answer.P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ Value = 1, Square = 1, Cube = 1 },
{ Value = 2, Square = 4, Cube = 8 },
{ Value = 3, Square = 9, Cube = 27 },
{ Value = 4, Square = 16, Cube = 64 },
{ Value = 5, Square = 25, Cube = 125 }
]

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 155


*///:~

We must use List<object> because we cannot explicitly state the name of


the anonymous type as the generic argument. We named our iteration
variable Value instead of i to avoid explicitly naming the anonymous type’s
first field. You’ll see how the compiler infers a generic sequence’s type when
we revisit this in the Query Expressions chapter.

Exercise 24: Make two instances of an anonymous type that holds


another anonymous type that holds a HeldType from
AnonymousEquals.cs. Call Equals( ) on the first-anonymous type, and
notice that HeldType.Equals( )’s trace statement prints successfully
(indicating that the second-level Equals( ) is indeed generated).
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\AnonymousEqualsDeeper.cs

class HeldType {
string id;
public HeldType(string id) { this.id = id; }
public override bool Equals(object obj) {
// Trace statement proves this method is called:
"Equals()".P(id);
return true;
}
}

class AnonymousEqualsDeeper {
static void Main() {
var outer = new {
Inner = new { Held = new HeldType("first") }
};
outer.Equals(outer);
var outer2 = new {
Inner = new { Held = new HeldType("second") }
};
outer.Equals(outer2);
outer2.Equals(outer);
}
} /* Output:
first: Equals()
first: Equals()
second: Equals()
*///:~

156 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


This exercise shows that the rules for the compiler-generated Equals( ) are
recursive, as we would expect. outer calls Equals( ) on its only member,
Inner, which again calls Equals( ) on its only member, Held.

Notice how the output varies depending on which reference we invoke


Equals( ).

Exercise 25: (Advanced.) Use reflection to determine whether the


compiler reuses the same generated generic type if you change only the order
of the identical property names and property types of two anonymous types.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\DifferentGeneratedTypes.cs

class DifferentGeneratedTypes {
static void Main() {
var anonymous1 = new { Property1 = 5, Property2 = 6 };
var anonymous2 = new { Property2 = 6, Property1 = 5 };
// The types are not the same:
anonymous1.GetType()
.Equals(anonymous2.GetType()).False();
// What the compiler is doing:
anonymous1.GetType().Name
.AssertEquals("<>f__AnonymousType0`2");
anonymous2.GetType().Name
.AssertEquals("<>f__AnonymousType1`2");
}
} ///:~

The compiler generates different generic types. If the compiler reused the
same type, then two instances could possibly be equal even though the
property order differs.

Exercise 26: Write a single-argument lambda expression whose


parameter the compiler infers as a DateTime. Access the Day property from
within the lambda. Make another lambda whose parameter type the compiler
infers as an int. Again, try to access the Day property. Prove that the
compiler catches the error.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\LambdaInference.cs
using System;

delegate void DateTimeDelegate(DateTime dateTime);


delegate void IntDelegate(int theInt);

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 157


class LambdaInference {
static void Main() {
DateTimeDelegate del1 = d => d.Day.P();
//c! IntDelegate del2 = d => d.Day.P();
}
} ///:~

The compiler catches the error. Lambdas maintain compile-time type safety,
even when using type inference.

Exercise 27: Make a List of random TimeSpans between 0 and 24


hours. Use FindAll( ) to locate all TimeSpans less than 12 hours, Exists( )
to see if any have an Hours property value of five, TrueForAll( ) to ensure
each is between 0 and 24 hours, and ConvertAll( ) to return just the Hours
portion of each. Use lambda expressions for all calls.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\ListOperations.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class ListOperations {
static Random rand = new Random(47);
static IEnumerable<TimeSpan> RandomSpans() {
int amount = rand.Next(20);
for(int i = 0; i < amount; i++)
// Keep each within 24 hours:
yield return new TimeSpan(rand.Next(24),
rand.Next(60), rand.Next(60));
}
static void Main() {
// Could call ToList() here, but we haven't
// introduced it in the book yet:
var list = new List<TimeSpan>(RandomSpans());
list.Sort();
list.P("list", POptions.NoNewLines);
list.FindAll(ts => ts.TotalHours < 12)
.P("Less than 12 hours", POptions.NoNewLines);
list.Exists(t => t.Hours == 5).False();
list.TrueForAll(t =>
0 < t.TotalHours && t.TotalHours < 24).True();
list.ConvertAll(ts => ts.Hours).P("Hours",
POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:

158 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


list: [00:47:36, 10:37:57, 14:37:35, 22:09:56, 22:52:22]
Less than 12 hours: [00:47:36, 10:37:57]
Hours: [0, 10, 14, 22, 22]
*///:~

Compared to anonymous methods, lambda expressions significantly reduce


the labor of this exercise.

Later we’ll use Enumerable.Select( ), which is a more generic version of


ConvertAll( ).

Exercise 28: Write a Generate<T>( ) method that returns an


IEnumerable<T>. Have it take two arguments: an int with the number of
items to generate, and a no-arg delegate that returns a type T. Make it
execute the delegate the given number of times, yielding each result. Hint:
You may wish to use the Func delegate talked about in the next section
instead of making your own.
//: MindView.Util\Enumerable.3.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace MindView.Util {
public static partial class Enumerable {
public static IEnumerable<T> Generate<T>(int amount,
Func<T> generator) {
for(int i = 0; i < amount; i++)
yield return generator();
}
}
} ///:~

We use Generate( ) in the next exercise.

Exercise 29: Fill two Lists with the same random numbers. Sort( ) both
lists in descending order, and use RemoveAll( ) to take out the odd
numbers. For the first list, use anonymous methods, for the second list, use
lambda expressions. Verify that they produce identical results
(TrueForAll( )).
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\RemovingOdds.cs
using System;
using MindView.Util;

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 159


using System.Collections.Generic;

class RemovingOdds {
static void Main() {
var rand = new Random(47);
// You may have made a for loop for this:
var one = new List<int>(
Enumerable.Generate<int>(100, rand.Next));
var two = new List<int>(one);
one.AssertEquals(two);
one.Sort(delegate(int left, int right) {
return right.CompareTo(left);
});
two.Sort((left, right) => right.CompareTo(left));
one.AssertEquals(two);
one.RemoveAll(delegate(int i) { return i % 2 != 0; });
two.RemoveAll(i => i % 2 != 0);
one.AssertEquals(two);
one.TrueForAll(delegate(int i) { return i % 2 == 0; })
.True();
two.TrueForAll(i => i % 2 == 0).True();
}
} ///:~

The System.MindView.Enumerable.Generate( ) method executes its


given delegate n times, yielding each result.

Notice that the anonymous methods and the lambda expressions look much
the same, but the anonymous methods are much more succinct.

Later in the book we will introduce System.Linq.Enumerable.Where( ),


which filters much like RemoveAll( ), but works on any IEnumerable.

Exercise 30: Write a basic selection sort algorithm that returns an


IEnumerable and takes an IEnumerable and a Func<T, T, int> as the
comparer. Test your algorithm.
//: SimpleNewFeaturesSolutions\FuncSelectionSort.cs
using System;
using MindView.Util;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class FuncSelectionSort {


static IEnumerable<T> SelectionSort<T>(
this IEnumerable<T> sequence,

160 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Func<T, T, int> comparer) {
var list = new List<T>(sequence);
// Selection:
for(int i = 0; i < list.Count; i++) {
int smallest = i;
for(int j = smallest + 1; j < list.Count; j++)
if(comparer(list[j], list[smallest]) < 0)
smallest = j;
T temp = list[i];
list[i] = list[smallest];
list[smallest] = temp;
}
return list;
}
static void Main() {
Func<IEnumerable<int>> generation = () =>
Enumerable.Generate<int>(5, new Random(47).Next);
generation().SelectionSort((l, r) => l - r)
.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
generation().SelectionSort((l, r) => r - l)
.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
}
} /* Output:
[601795864, 914533663, 1266970102, 1305670887, 1332423928]
[1332423928, 1305670887, 1266970102, 914533663, 601795864]
*///:~

Writing the SelectionSort( ) helps acquaint you with Func.

We also used Func in Main( ) to generate identical sequences of random


numbers for sorting in ascending and descending order. Later you will see
OrderBy( ) that has Func choose what objects to compare. It then relies on
the chosen objects to implement IComparable (instead of using a two-arg
Func as we did here).

Chapter 2
Exercise 1: From a sequence of strings, select the ones with no vowels,
uppercasing the ones you select.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\NoVowels.cs
using System.Linq;

class NoVowels {

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 161


static void Main() {
var strings = new[] {
"bcd", "baCd", "bCdF",
"hOwdy", "l8R", "abracadabra",
};
var noVowels =
from s in strings
where s.ToLower().IndexOfAny(
new[] { 'a', 'e', 'i', 'o', 'u' }) == -1
select s.ToUpper();
noVowels.AssertEquals(new[] { "BCD", "BCDF", "L8R" });
// Translation:
var noVowels2 =
strings.Where(s => s.ToLower()
.IndexOfAny(new[] { 'a', 'e', 'i', 'o', 'u' }) == -1)
.Select(s => s.ToUpper());
noVowels.AssertEquals(noVowels2);
var noVowels3 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
strings, s => s.ToLower().IndexOfAny(new[] {
'a', 'e', 'i', 'o', 'u' }) == -1),
s => s.ToUpper());
noVowels2.AssertEquals(noVowels3);
}
} ///:~

At first query expressions may seem limited in their ability, but since they are
simply syntactic rewrites, normal code within each clause is legal.

Exercise 2: Look up Enumerable.Range( ) and use it to create a


number source to write a query that calculate the squares of the odd numbers
from 1 to 100.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\SquaresOfOddNumbers.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;

class SquaresOfOddNumbers {
static void Main() {
var answer1 =
from i in Enumerable.Range(1, 100)
where i % 2 == 1
select (int)Math.Pow(i, 2);
var answer2 =

162 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Enumerable.Range(1, 100)
.Where(i => i % 2 == 1)
.Select(i => (int)Math.Pow(i, 2));
answer1.AssertEquals(answer2);
var answer3 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(Enumerable.Range(1, 100),
i => i % 2 == 1),
i => (int)Math.Pow(i, 2));
answer2.AssertEquals(answer3);
// Verify answer1 by hand:
var enumerator = answer1.GetEnumerator();
foreach(int i in Enumerable.Range(1, 100)) {
if(i % 2 == 0)
continue;
enumerator.MoveNext().True();
Math.Pow(i, 2).AssertEquals(enumerator.Current);
}
enumerator.MoveNext().False();
}
} ///:~

Range( ) returns a sequence of numbers. The queries in answer1 and


answer2 differ mainly in the dots, parentheses, capitalized clause name
(select vs. .Select( )), and conversion of the lambda bodies to actual
lambdas (i =>).

Since all expressions convert into lambdas and method calls, we can use any
legal C#. We cast the result of Math.Pow( ) (a double) back to an int so
that the query returns an IEnumerable<int> and not an
IEnumerable<double>. Later we’ll study Enumerable’s Cast<T>( )
method, which casts all the elements to a target type T.

The third approach is harder to read. C# 3.0 greatly enhances the legibility of
extension methods with syntactic rewrites, even though extension methods
allow you to write query-like code with normal static methods.

Exercise 3: Modify Select( ) in SelectCode.cs so the select clause


returns 100 for each element instead of using the selector argument.2

2 We suggest, for practice with these exercises, that you first formulate the query and then

translate it into Enumerable calls.

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 163


//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\SelectCodeModified.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class CustomEnumerable {


public static IEnumerable<int>
Select(this IEnumerable<int> collection,
Func<int, int> selector) {
foreach(int element in collection)
yield return 100;
}
// Other query expression helper methods go here
}

class SelectCode {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var timesTen =
from number in numbers
select number * 10;
timesTen.AssertEquals(
new[] { 100, 100, 100, 100, 100 });
var timesTenTranslation1 =
numbers.Select(number => number * 10);
timesTen.AssertEquals(timesTenTranslation1);
var timesTenTranslation2 =
CustomEnumerable.Select(numbers,
number => number * 10);
timesTenTranslation1
.AssertEquals(timesTenTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

We change all type arguments to int to satisfy the compiler, since 100 is
hard-coded as our return value.

Notice the expression in the select clause is now useless since our Select( )
ignores it.

Having confirmed that the first query yields the expected result, we then
show the compiler’s three-step translation, inserting tests between each stage
that verify identical results.

164 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Exercise 4: When you add a using for System.Linq to SelectCode.cs,
does the compiler still resolve to CustomEnumerable’s Select( ) method
or use Enumerable’s instead?
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\SelectWithNeedlessUsing.cs
// {IE: NeedlessUsings}
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class CustomEnumerable {


public static IEnumerable<U>
Select<T, U>(this IEnumerable<T> collection,
Func<T, U> selector) {
"Select()".P();
foreach(T element in collection)
yield return selector(element);
}
// Other query expression helper methods go here
}

class SelectCode {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
var timesTen =
from number in numbers
select number * 10;
timesTen.AssertEquals(new[] { 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 });
}
} /* Output:
Select()
*///:~

The compiler chooses CustomEnumerable’s Select( ) — still “nearer” in


scope than Enumerable’s — even when we add using.

Exercise 5: Write a Where( ) method and use it in a query. Give it a


trace statement to prove the compiler calls your version instead of
Enumerable’s.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomWhereMethod.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class MyExtensions {

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 165


public static IEnumerable<T> Where<T>(
this IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, bool> predicate) {
"Where()".P();
foreach(T item in source)
if(predicate(item))
yield return item;
}
}

class CustomWhereMethod {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 3, 6, 3, 2, 5, 7, 8 };
var result1 =
from i in numbers
where i % 2 == 0
select i;
result1.AssertEquals(new[] { 6, 2, 8 });
var result2 =
numbers.Where(i => i % 2 == 0); // Degenerate select
result2.AssertEquals(result1);
var result3 =
MyExtensions.Where(numbers, i => i % 2 == 0);
result3.AssertEquals(result2);
}
} /* Output:
Where()
Where()
Where()
Where()
Where()
*///:~

Where( ) is much like Select( ) except that it uses its delegate for a test
instead of a transformation. For each item that passes the predicate,
Where( ) yields that item. Of course, you can write the algorithm to do
whatever you like instead, though doing so would cause confusion.

You would initially expect three “Where( )” trace statements in the output.
We explain this behavior in the section that follows in the book.

Exercise 6: Here’s a twist: create a Select( ) method that handles the


following query expression:
bool returnedValue =

166 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from s in 5
select 5.5;
//: QueryExpressions\AbnormalSelectMethod.cs
using System;

static class AbnormalSelectMethod {


static bool Select(this int i, Func<char, double> func) {
return false;
}
static void Main() {
(from s in 5 select 5.5).False();
5.Select(s => 5.5).False();
Select(5, s => 5.5).False();
}
} ///:~

We drop the returnedValue variable because False( ) proves that the


query returns a bool by requiring bool for its type.

This query expression uses an int as the source and returns a bool, whereas
most query expressions use an IEnumerable or IQueryable as their
source and/or return type.

Note the syntactic revision: the compiler inserts a parameter s for the
anonymous method even though we don’t use s in the lambda.

Exercise 7: Prove that the compiler drops degenerate select clauses by


relying on the trace statement within Select( ) in SelectCode.cs. Make two
queries, one with a degenerate select clause, and one without, and notice
that the trace statement only prints for the non-degenerate select clause.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\DegeneratesDontPrint.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class CustomEnumerable {


public static IEnumerable<U>
Select<T, U>(this IEnumerable<T> collection,
Func<T, U> selector) {
"Select()".P();
foreach(T element in collection)
yield return selector(element);
}

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 167


}

class DegeneratesDontPrint {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = { 1, 2, 3 };
var notDegenerate1 =
from number in numbers
select number;
notDegenerate1.AssertEquals(numbers);
var notDegenerate2 =
from number in numbers
select number + 5;
notDegenerate2.AssertEquals(new[] { 6, 7, 8 });
var degenerate =
from number in numbers
where number < 5
select number;
"No trace statement here...".P();
degenerate.AssertEquals(numbers);
}
} /* Output:
Select()
Select()
No trace statement here...
*///:~

Sure enough, the compiler drops the degenerate select clause, thus there’s
no output for the last query.

Exercise 8: Does the compiler consider a where true clause to be


degenerate? That is, does it consider it a waste of processor cycles and thus
eliminate the clause in the translation? Write code to prove your answer.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\WhereTrueNotDegenerate.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class WhereTrueNotDegenerate {


static IEnumerable<T>
Where<T>(this IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, bool> predicate) {
"Where()".P();
foreach(T item in source)
if(predicate(item))

168 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


yield return item;
}
static void Main() {
int[] numbers = {};
(from i in numbers
where true
select i + 1).AssertEquals(new int[0]);
}
} /* Output:
Where()
*///:~

The trace statement proves that where true is not considered degenerate.

Exercise 9: Make a HasWhere object with a Where( ) instance method


(instead of the static extension methods we’ve used thus far). Make another
class that has Where( ) and Select( ) extension methods. Put trace
statements in all methods (be sure to distinguish between the two Where( )
methods). Use an instance of HasWhere for a query expression’s source.
Which Where( ) does the compiler use? Does this setup cause any issues
with the Select( ) extension method (make sure your select isn’t
degenerate)?
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\IntermixedMethods.cs
using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class Extensions {


public static IEnumerable<U>
Select<T, U>(this IEnumerable<T> collection,
Func<T, U> selector) {
"Select()".P();
foreach(T element in collection)
yield return selector(element);
}
public static
IEnumerable<T> Where<T>(this IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, bool> func) {
"Extension Where()".P();
foreach(T i in source)
if(func(i))
yield return i;
}

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 169


}

class HasWhere : IEnumerable<int> {


List<int> elements = new List<int> { 5, 2, 7 };
public IEnumerable<int> Where(Func<int, bool> func) {
"Instance Where()".P();
foreach(int i in elements)
if(func(i))
yield return i;
}
public IEnumerator<int> GetEnumerator() {
return elements.GetEnumerator();
}
IEnumerator IEnumerable.GetEnumerator() {
return GetEnumerator();
}
}

class IntermixedMethods {
static void Main() {
var hasWhere = new HasWhere();
var result =
from i in hasWhere
where i % 2 == 1
select i * 10;
result.AssertEquals(new[] { 50, 70 });
}
} /* Output:
Select()
Instance Where()
*///:~

Following the rules of extension methods, the compiler uses the instance
Where( ) method instead of the extension version. However, since
HasWhere has no Select( ), the rules simply reapply, and the compiler
chooses the Select( ) extension method. This provides the greatest flexibility.

Exercise 10: Use string’s CompareTo( ) method to list all unique pairs
of programmer names: Jeff, Andrew, Craig, Susan, Derek, Drew, Katlyn.
Store each pair in an anonymous type with First and Second fields.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\ProgrammerPairs.cs
using System.Linq;

170 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


class ProgrammerPairs {
static void Main() {
var programmers = new[] { "Jeff", "Andrew",
"Craig", "Susan", "Derek", "Drew", "Katlyn"
};
var pairs =
from programmer1 in programmers
from programmer2 in programmers
where programmer1.CompareTo(programmer2) < 0
select new {
First = programmer1,
Second = programmer2
};
pairs.P();
// Translation:
var pairs2 =
programmers
.SelectMany(
programmer1 => programmers,
(programmer1, programmer2) =>
new { programmer1, programmer2 })
.Where(temp =>
temp.programmer1.CompareTo(temp.programmer2)< 0)
.Select(
temp => new {
First = temp.programmer1,
Second = temp.programmer2
});
pairs.AssertEquals(pairs2);
// Further translation of extension methods:
var pairs3 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.SelectMany(programmers,
programmer1 => programmers,
(programmer1, programmer2) =>
new { programmer1, programmer2 }),
temp => temp.programmer1.CompareTo(
temp.programmer2) < 0),
temp => new {
First = temp.programmer1,
Second = temp.programmer2
});
pairs2.AssertEquals(pairs3);

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 171


}
} /* Output:
[
{ First = Jeff, Second = Susan },
{ First = Jeff, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Craig },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Susan },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Derek },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Drew },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Craig, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Craig, Second = Susan },
{ First = Craig, Second = Derek },
{ First = Craig, Second = Drew },
{ First = Craig, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Derek, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Derek, Second = Susan },
{ First = Derek, Second = Drew },
{ First = Derek, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Drew, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Drew, Second = Susan },
{ First = Drew, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Katlyn, Second = Susan }
]
*///:~

When CompareTo( ) returns a negative value, the name on the left is “less
than” the name on the right. This enables us to remove duplicates and
identical-name pairs.

P( ) with a Boolean argument inserts newlines between each element.

To show the compiler’s translation, we replace clauses with dots and method
names. By moving the method names and inserting commas, we convert
extension methods to normal static method calls.

Exercise 11: Use both the compiler’s approach (packing into temporary
anonymous types) and the variable capture approach (nesting lambda
expressions) to translate your solution for the previous exercise.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\PairsWithCaptures.cs
using System.Linq;

class PairsWithCaptures {

172 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


static void Main() {
var programmers = new[] { "Jeff", "Andrew",
"Craig", "Susan", "Derek", "Drew", "Katlyn"
};
var pairs =
from programmer1 in programmers
from programmer2 in programmers
where programmer1.CompareTo(programmer2) < 0
select new {
First = programmer1,
Second = programmer2
};
pairs.P();
// See previous solution to see compiler's approach.
// With captures:
var pairs2 =
programmers.SelectMany(
programmer1 => programmers
.Where(programmer2 =>
programmer1.CompareTo(programmer2) < 0)
.Select(
programmer2 => new {
First = programmer1,
Second = programmer2
}));
pairs.AssertEquals(pairs2);
var pairs3 =
Enumerable.SelectMany(programmers,
programmer1 =>
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(programmers,
programmer2 =>
programmer1.CompareTo(programmer2) < 0),
programmer2 => new {
First = programmer1,
Second = programmer2
}));
pairs2.AssertEquals(pairs3);
}
} /* Output:
[
{ First = Jeff, Second = Susan },
{ First = Jeff, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Jeff },

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 173


{ First = Andrew, Second = Craig },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Susan },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Derek },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Drew },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Craig, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Craig, Second = Susan },
{ First = Craig, Second = Derek },
{ First = Craig, Second = Drew },
{ First = Craig, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Derek, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Derek, Second = Susan },
{ First = Derek, Second = Drew },
{ First = Derek, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Drew, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Drew, Second = Susan },
{ First = Drew, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Katlyn, Second = Susan }
]
*///:~

We include the original query for convenience, and to compare the capture
results with those of the compiler’s. Notice that captures don’t require
packing values into temporary anonymous types. They require nested
lambdas, however, so before translating the extension methods the
intermediate translation nests rather than chaining. This syntax is easier to
read and write, whether in a query expression or with chained extension
methods.

Exercise 12: Generalize your solution to the programming pair exercise


to create a generic Combine( ) method. (Hint: You will have to create your
own type to contain both members of each pair.)
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\GenericCombine.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class Pair<T, U> {


public T First { get; set; }
public U Second { get; set; }
public override string ToString() {
return "{ First = " + First + ", Second = " +
Second + " }";

174 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


}
}

static class GenericCombine {


static IEnumerable<Pair<T, T>>
Combine<T>(this IEnumerable<T> left,
IEnumerable<T> right) where T : IComparable {
return
from first in left
from second in right
where first.CompareTo(second) < 0
select new Pair<T, T> {
First = first,
Second = second
};
}
static void Main() {
var programmers = new[] { "Jeff", "Andrew",
"Craig", "Susan", "Derek", "Drew", "Katlyn"
};
programmers.Combine(programmers)
.OrderBy(p => p.First)
.ThenBy(p => p.Second).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ First = Andrew, Second = Craig },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Derek },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Drew },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Andrew, Second = Susan },
{ First = Craig, Second = Derek },
{ First = Craig, Second = Drew },
{ First = Craig, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Craig, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Craig, Second = Susan },
{ First = Derek, Second = Drew },
{ First = Derek, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Derek, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Derek, Second = Susan },
{ First = Drew, Second = Jeff },
{ First = Drew, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Drew, Second = Susan },

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 175


{ First = Jeff, Second = Katlyn },
{ First = Jeff, Second = Susan },
{ First = Katlyn, Second = Susan }
]
*///:~

We built Pair to expand the scope of our select result (a downside of


factoring into the Combine( ) method), since anonymous types are usable
only within their declared method.

We use OrderBy( ) and ThenBy( ) to make the output a bit clearer. Later
in the book, you will see how these two methods work.

Exercise 13: How would AlternativeSelectMany.cs’s “alternative


translation” change if its query contained a where clause?
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\AlternativeWithWhere.cs
using System.Linq;

class AlternativeWithWhere {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
var query1 =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
where n1 + n2 < 10
select n1 + n2;
// Alternative translation:
var query2 = numbers1.SelectMany(
n1 => numbers2.Where(n2 => n1 + n2 < 10)
.Select(n2 => n1 + n2));
query1.AssertEquals(new[] { 4, 5, 5, 6 });
query1.AssertEquals(query2);
}
} ///:~

The Where( ) call falls in place before the Select( ) call. Notice that both
capture n1’s value since we nest them within the first lambda expression’s
body.

Exercise 14: Write code to prove how


ActualCompilerTranslation.cs’s translation changes if the compiler
converts all froms except the first into SelectMany( ) calls. (That is, it

176 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


converts the select clause into a normal Select( ) call instead of combining
the last from and select into a single SelectMany( ).)
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\WastedSelect.cs
using System.Linq;

class WastedSelect {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
int[] numbers3 = { 5, 6 };
var result =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
from n3 in numbers3
select n1 + n2 + n3;
result.AssertEquals(
new[] { 9, 10, 10, 11, 10, 11, 11, 12 });
// Bogus translation:
var resultTranslation =
numbers1
.SelectMany(n1 => numbers2, // n1 not used
(n1, n2) => new { n1, n2 })
.SelectMany(temp1 => numbers3, // temp not used
(temp1, n3) => new { temp1, n3 })
.Select(
temp2 =>
temp2.temp1.n1 + temp2.temp1.n2 + temp2.n3);
result.AssertEquals(resultTranslation);
}
} ///:~

This exercise produces an unnecessary Select( ) for the last select clause.
The second SelectMany( ) further packs the first’s results into another
temporary anonymous type for the subsequent Select( ). However, this
produces the same result as ActualCompilerTranslation.cs, which
performs both steps in one SelectMany( ).

Exercise 15: How does SuperFroms.cs’s translation change when you


insert a “where true” between the third and fourth from?
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\SuperFromsWithWhere.cs
using System.Linq;

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 177


class SuperFromsWithWhere {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 3, 4 };
int[] numbers3 = { 4, 5 };
int[] numbers4 = { 6, 7 };
var additions1 =
from n1 in numbers1
from n2 in numbers2
// The last two froms:
from n3 in numbers3
where true
from n4 in numbers4
select n1 + n2 + n3 + n4;
additions1.AssertEquals(new[] { 14, 15, 15, 16, 15,
16, 16, 17, 15, 16, 16, 17, 16, 17, 17, 18 });
// New translation:
var additions2 =
numbers1
.SelectMany(n1 => numbers2,
(n1, n2) => new { n1, n2 })
.SelectMany(temp1 => numbers3,
(temp1, n3) => new { temp1, n3 })
.Where(temp2 => true)
.SelectMany(n4 => numbers4,
(temp2, n4) => temp2.temp1.n1 + temp2.temp1.n2 +
temp2.n3 + n4);
additions1.AssertEquals(additions2);
}
} ///:~

The where clause doesn’t change too much. The four froms still produce
three SelectMany( )s, and the packing and unpacking into and out of
transparent identifiers is much the same.

Exercise 16: We performed the first step of translating


MixingWhere.cs’s first query in MixingWhereConversions.cs. Perform
this same first step on the rest of the queries.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\MixingWhereTranslations.cs
using System.Linq;

class MixingWhereTranslations {
static void Main() {
int[] odds = { 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 };

178 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


int[] evens = { 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 };
var better =
from o in odds
where o < 7
where o > 1
from e in evens
where e < 6
select o * e;
var betterTranslation =
odds
.Where(o => o < 7)
.Where(o => o > 1)
.SelectMany(o => evens, (o, e) => new { o, e })
.Where(temp => temp.e < 6)
.Select(temp => temp.o * temp.e);
var better2 =
from o in odds
from e in evens
where o > 1 && o < 7
where e < 6
select o * e;
var better2Translation =
odds
.SelectMany(o => evens, (o, e) => new { o, e })
.Where(temp => temp.o > 1 && temp.o < 7)
.Where(temp => temp.e < 6)
.Select(temp => temp.o * temp.e);
var best =
from o in odds
from e in evens
where o > 1 && o < 7 && e < 6
select o * e;
var bestTranslation =
odds.SelectMany(o => evens, (o, e) => new { o, e })
.Where(temp => temp.o > 1 &&
temp.o < 7 && temp.e < 6)
.Select(temp => temp.o * temp.e);
better.AssertEquals(betterTranslation);
betterTranslation.AssertEquals(better2);
better2.AssertEquals(better2Translation);
better2Translation.AssertEquals(best);
best.AssertEquals(bestTranslation);
}
} ///:~

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 179


If you follow the three rules outlined in this section, the translation is
straightforward.

Exercise 17: Below you see a variation to the queries in


MixingWhere.cs. One requires less iterations than the other. Which is it,
and why?
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\MixingWhereAlternative.cs
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class Extensions {


static int selectCount;
static int selectManyCount;
static int whereCount;
public static IEnumerable<U>
Select<T, U>(this IEnumerable<T> collection,
Func<T, U> selector) {
foreach(T element in collection) {
selectCount++;
yield return selector(element);
}
}
public static IEnumerable<R> SelectMany<T, C, R>(
this IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, IEnumerable<C>> collectionSelector,
Func<T, C, R> resultSelector) {
foreach(T tValue in source)
foreach(C cValue in collectionSelector(tValue)) {
selectManyCount++;
yield return resultSelector(tValue, cValue);
}
}
public static
IEnumerable<T> Where<T>(this IEnumerable<T> source,
Func<T, bool> func) {
foreach(T i in source) {
whereCount++;
if(func(i))
yield return i;
}
}
public static void ReportCounts() {
whereCount.P("Where() iteration count");

180 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


selectManyCount.P("SelectMany() iteration count");
selectCount.P("Select() iteration count");
(whereCount + selectManyCount + selectCount).P("Total");
whereCount = selectManyCount = selectCount = 0;
}
}

class MixingWhereAlternative {
static void Main() {
int[] odds = { 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 };
int[] evens = { 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 };
var approach1 =
from o in odds
from e in evens
where o > 1 && o < 7
where e < 6
select o * e;
approach1.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
Extensions.ReportCounts();
var approach2 =
from o in odds
where o > 1 && o < 7
from e in evens
where e < 6
select o * e;
approach2.P(POptions.NoNewLines);
Extensions.ReportCounts();
}
} /* Output:
[6, 12, 10, 20]
Where() iteration count: 35
SelectMany() iteration count: 25
Select() iteration count: 4
Total: 64
[6, 12, 10, 20]
Where() iteration count: 15
SelectMany() iteration count: 10
Select() iteration count: 4
Total: 29
*///:~

In the text we recommend putting all froms together at the top of your
query, however, this is only a recommendation. We feel, at least in this case,
that doing so makes for the best approach. However, we must point out that

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 181


many times you sacrifice speed for readability, though usually the cost goes
unnoticed.

In this solution, we again created our own Select( ), SelectMany( ), and


Where( ) methods. However, in our version, we also track the number of
iterations each makes. Calling ReportCounts( ) prints the current values
and resets them to zero.

The second approach mixes the from and where clauses, which requires
less iterations. The where removes the unwanted items before the second
from clause. The first query, however, combines all items with all other
items, even the unwanted items, and then filters using the where.

Exercise 18: Use the Northwind class to list the names of Customers
who live in Mexico.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomersInMexico.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomersInMexico {
static void Main() {
var mexicanCustomers =
from c in Northwind.Customers
where c.Country == "Mexico"
select c.ContactName;
mexicanCustomers.P();
var mexicanCustomersTranslated1 =
Northwind.Customers
.Where(c => c.Country == "Mexico")
.Select(c => c.ContactName);
mexicanCustomers
.AssertEquals(mexicanCustomersTranslated1);
var mexicanCustomersTranslated2 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(Northwind.Customers,
c => c.Country == "Mexico"),
c => c.ContactName);
mexicanCustomersTranslated1
.AssertEquals(mexicanCustomersTranslated2);
}
} /* Output:
[
Ana Trujillo,
Antonio Moreno,

182 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Francisco Chang,
Guillermo Fernández,
Miguel Angel Paolino
]
*///:~

The static Northwind properties return IEnumerables, making them ideal


sources for a query.

Exercise 19: Write a query using the NorthWind class that pairs all
Mexican customers with American customers.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\MexicansAndAmericans.cs
using System.Linq;

class MexicansAndAmericans {
static void Main() {
var result =
from m in Northwind.Customers
where m.Country == "Mexico"
from a in Northwind.Customers
where a.Country == "USA"
select new {
Mexican = m.ContactName,
American = a.ContactName
};
var resultTranslated =
Northwind.Customers
.Where(m => m.Country == "Mexico")
.SelectMany(m => Northwind.Customers,
(m, a) => new { m, a })
.Where(temp => temp.a.Country == "USA")
.Select(temp => new {
Mexican = temp.m.ContactName,
American = temp.a.ContactName
});
result.AssertEquals(resultTranslated);
var resultTranslated2 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.SelectMany(
Enumerable.Where(Northwind.Customers,
m => m.Country == "Mexico"),
m => Northwind.Customers,
(m, a) => new { m, a }),

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 183


temp => temp.a.Country == "USA"),
temp => new {
Mexican = temp.m.ContactName,
American = temp.a.ContactName
});
resultTranslated.AssertEquals(resultTranslated2);
}
} ///:~

Two froms is like a Cartesian product. We discussed this earlier in the book.

Exercise 20: Select the value and the square root of the numbers 1 to 100
with square roots greater than 5 and less than 6. Use a let clause.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\SquareRootsBetween5And8.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;

class SquareRootsBetween5And8 {
static void Main() {
// Without a let:
var answer =
from val in Enumerable.Range(1, 100)
where 5 < Math.Sqrt(val) && Math.Sqrt(val) < 6
select new {
Value = val,
SquareRoot = Math.Sqrt(val)
};
answer.P();
var answer2 =
from val in Enumerable.Range(1, 100)
let sqrt = Math.Sqrt(val)
where 5 < sqrt && sqrt < 6
select new {
Value = val,
SquareRoot = sqrt
};
answer.AssertEquals(answer2);
// Alternative approach:
var answer3 =
from val in Enumerable.Range(26, 10)
select new {
Value = val,
SquareRoot = Math.Sqrt(val)
};

184 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


answer2.AssertEquals(answer3);
}
} /* Output:
[
{ Value = 26, SquareRoot = 5.09901951359278 },
{ Value = 27, SquareRoot = 5.19615242270663 },
{ Value = 28, SquareRoot = 5.29150262212918 },
{ Value = 29, SquareRoot = 5.3851648071345 },
{ Value = 30, SquareRoot = 5.47722557505166 },
{ Value = 31, SquareRoot = 5.56776436283002 },
{ Value = 32, SquareRoot = 5.65685424949238 },
{ Value = 33, SquareRoot = 5.74456264653803 },
{ Value = 34, SquareRoot = 5.8309518948453 },
{ Value = 35, SquareRoot = 5.91607978309962 }
]
*///:~

The temporary sqrt variable in the second query makes it easier to read. It’s
also less error-prone, because the expression Math.Sqrt(value) is
comprised of the two expressions Math.Sqrt( ) and value.

You can eliminate the where clause by setting your Range( ) parameters
correctly (as in our second query), which makes the let unnecessary.

We show the translations later in the chapter.

Exercise 21: Sort all Orders shipped to Mexico and Germany by


CustomerID and descending order of ShippedDate.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\OrdersToMexicoAndGermany.cs
using System.Linq;

class OrdersToMexicoAndGermany {
static void Main() {
var solution =
from o in Northwind.Orders
where o.ShipCountry == "Germany" ||
o.ShipCountry == "Mexico"
orderby o.CustomerID, o.ShippedDate descending
select new { o.CustomerID, o.ShippedDate };
solution.Take(10).P();
var solutionTranslation1 =
Northwind.Orders
.Where(o => o.ShipCountry == "Germany" ||
o.ShipCountry == "Mexico")

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 185


.OrderBy(o => o.CustomerID)
.ThenByDescending(o => o.ShippedDate)
.Select(o => new { o.CustomerID, o.ShippedDate });
solution.AssertEquals(solutionTranslation1);
var solutionTranslation2 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.ThenByDescending(
Enumerable.OrderBy(
Enumerable.Where(Northwind.Orders,
o => o.ShipCountry == "Germany" ||
o.ShipCountry == "Mexico"),
o => o.CustomerID),
o => o.ShippedDate),
o => new { o.CustomerID, o.ShippedDate });
solutionTranslation1.AssertEquals(solutionTranslation2);
}
} /* Output:
[
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ShippedDate = 4/13/1998 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ShippedDate = 3/24/1998 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ShippedDate = 1/21/1998 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ShippedDate = 10/21/1997 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ShippedDate = 10/13/1997 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, ShippedDate = 9/2/1997 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ANATR, ShippedDate = 3/11/1998 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ANATR, ShippedDate = 12/12/1997 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ANATR, ShippedDate = 8/14/1997 12:00:00 AM
},
{ CustomerID = ANATR, ShippedDate = 9/24/1996 12:00:00 AM
}
]
*///:~

We get more meaningful output using an anonymous type to choose the


OrderID and OrderDate, and Take( ) to limit the output.

186 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Exercise 22: What’s the UnitPrice of the most expensive Product ever
sold?
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\MostExpensiveProduct.cs
using System.Linq;

class MostExpensiveProduct {
static void Main() {
var prices =
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
orderby od.UnitPrice descending
select od.UnitPrice;
// One way to get the first item:
var enumerator = prices.GetEnumerator();
enumerator.MoveNext().True();
decimal mostExpensive1 = enumerator.Current;
mostExpensive1.AssertEquals(263.5m);
// Better way to get the first item:
decimal mostExpensive2 = prices.First();
mostExpensive1.AssertEquals(mostExpensive2);
// No need for temporary "prices" variable:
decimal mostExpensive3 =
(from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
orderby od.UnitPrice descending
select od.UnitPrice).First();
mostExpensive2.AssertEquals(mostExpensive3);
// Translation:
decimal mostExpensive4 =
Northwind.OrderDetails
.OrderByDescending(od => od.UnitPrice)
.Select(od => od.UnitPrice)
.First();
mostExpensive3.AssertEquals(mostExpensive4);
decimal mostExpensive5 =
Enumerable.First(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.OrderByDescending(
Northwind.OrderDetails,
od => od.UnitPrice),
od => od.UnitPrice));
mostExpensive4.AssertEquals(mostExpensive5);
// Query not necessary. Just use Max():
decimal mostExpensive6 =
Northwind.OrderDetails.Max(od => od.UnitPrice);

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 187


mostExpensive5.AssertEquals(mostExpensive6);
}
} ///:~

The last query alone would suffice, but you’ll find that practice with different
approaches helps you understand queries.

The beginning of the solution shows the initial approach you should take. We
order the largest UnitPrices first, and then use enumerators to extract the
first item. You use First( ) (as shown later) to extract the first element.

We introduce Max( ) here, which extracts the item directly, and is more
efficient than ordering the data and then taking the first item.

Exercise 23: Prove that an OrderBy( ) followed by a ThenBy( ) does


not always produce the same results as an OrderBy( ) followed by another
OrderBy( ).
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\MessingUpTheOrder.cs
using System.Linq;

class MessingUpTheOrder {
static void Main() {
var wantedCountries = new[] { "Venezuela", "Italy" };
var source = Northwind.Customers.Where(c =>
wantedCountries.Contains(c.Country));
var twoOrderBys =
source
.Where(c => wantedCountries.Contains(c.Country))
.OrderBy(c => c.Country)
.OrderBy(c => c.ContactName)
.Select(c => new { c.Country, c.ContactName });
var orderByThenBy =
source
.Where(c => wantedCountries.Contains(c.Country))
.OrderBy(c => c.Country)
.ThenBy(c => c.ContactName)
.Select(c => new { c.Country, c.ContactName });
twoOrderBys.Equals(orderByThenBy).False();
twoOrderBys.P("twoOrderBys");
orderByThenBy.P("orderByThenBy");
}
} /* Output:
twoOrderBys: [
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Carlos González },

188 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Carlos Hernández },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Felipe Izquierdo },
{ Country = Italy, ContactName = Giovanni Rovelli },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Manuel Pereira },
{ Country = Italy, ContactName = Maurizio Moroni },
{ Country = Italy, ContactName = Paolo Accorti }
]
orderByThenBy: [
{ Country = Italy, ContactName = Giovanni Rovelli },
{ Country = Italy, ContactName = Maurizio Moroni },
{ Country = Italy, ContactName = Paolo Accorti },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Carlos González },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Carlos Hernández },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Felipe Izquierdo },
{ Country = Venezuela, ContactName = Manuel Pereira }
]
*///:~

Printing the results of these two queries shows that the order of the Country
values is not preserved after the OrderBy( ) of the ContactNames.

Exercise 24: Sort all the Customer Phone numbers ignoring


parentheses. Keep the parentheses, however, in your output.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\SortingWithNoParens.cs
using System.Linq;

class SortingWithNoParens {
static void Main() {
var ignoringParens =
from c in Northwind.Customers
orderby c.Phone.Replace("(", "")
select c.Phone;
ignoringParens.Take(3).P(POptions.NoNewLines);
var ignoringParensTranslated =
Northwind.Customers
.OrderBy(c =>
c.Phone.Replace("(", "").Replace(")", ""))
.Select(c => c.Phone);
ignoringParens.AssertEquals(ignoringParensTranslated);
var ignoringParensTranslated2 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.OrderBy(Northwind.Customers,
c => c.Phone.Replace("(", "")
.Replace(")", "")),

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 189


c => c.Phone);
}
} /* Output:
[011-4988260, (02) 201 24 67, 0221-0644327]
*///:~

We remove the parenthesis in the orderby, but we don’t want to remove it in


the select. The output still contains the parenthesis.

Exercise 25: Use the Enumerable.Count( ) to find the number of


elements in each group of OrderDetails, grouped by their ProductID.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\GroupingDetails.cs
using System.Linq;

class GroupingDetails {
static void Main() {
var answer1 =
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
orderby od.ProductID
group od by od.ProductID;
foreach(var group in answer1.Take(5))
group.Count().P(group.Key.ToString());
// Translation:
var answer2 =
Northwind.OrderDetails
.OrderBy(od => od.ProductID)
.GroupBy(od => od.ProductID);
answer1.AssertEquals(answer2);
var answer3 =
Enumerable.GroupBy(
Enumerable.OrderBy(Northwind.OrderDetails,
od => od.ProductID),
od => od.ProductID);
answer2.AssertEquals(answer3);
// Alternative method you'll see
// later in the book:
var differentApproach =
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
orderby od.ProductID
group od by od.ProductID into g
let count = g.Count()
orderby count descending
select new { g.Key, Count = count };
differentApproach.Take(5).P();

190 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


}
} /* Output:
1: 38
2: 44
3: 12
4: 20
5: 10
[
{ Key = 59, Count = 54 },
{ Key = 24, Count = 51 },
{ Key = 31, Count = 51 },
{ Key = 60, Count = 51 },
{ Key = 56, Count = 50 }
]
*///:~

Note that with the translation there may be no Select( ) at the end, because
you can end a query with select or group…by (a special form of select).

We take advantage of P( )’s optional descriptive string parameter to display


the Key in our output. The first part of the output shows the ProductID
with the number of times that Product has been ordered.

A more sensible alternative query might be, “What are our most popular
products?” We group as we did before, but then use into to order the groups
by their (descending) number of elements. You’ll see into in depth later in
the chapter.

Exercise 26: List each country and its number of Customers (much like
the previous exercise).
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomerCountryCounts.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomerCountryCounts {
static void Main() {
var solution1 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
group c by c.Country;
foreach(var group in solution1)
group.Count().P(group.Key);
var solution2 =
Northwind.Customers.GroupBy(c => c.Country);
solution1.AssertEquals(solution2);

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 191


var solution3 =
Enumerable.GroupBy(Northwind.Customers,
c => c.Country);
solution2.AssertEquals(solution3);
}
} /* Output:
Germany: 11
Mexico: 5
UK: 7
Sweden: 2
France: 11
Spain: 5
Canada: 3
Argentina: 3
Switzerland: 2
Brazil: 9
Austria: 2
Italy: 3
Portugal: 2
USA: 13
Venezuela: 4
Ireland: 1
Belgium: 2
Norway: 1
Denmark: 2
Finland: 2
Poland: 1
*///:~

The translations take up most of the space in this rather simple query (as
usual).

Exercise 27: Group all Customers by whether their Phone numbers


include parentheses. Although not necessary to solve this exercise, try making
a custom IEqualityComparer to accomplish the task.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\GroupingByParens.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

static class StringExtension {


public static bool HasParens(this string s) {
return s.Contains("(") && s.Contains(")");
}

192 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


}

class ParensComparer : IEqualityComparer<string> {


public bool Equals(string left, string right) {
if(left.HasParens() && right.HasParens())
return true;
if(!left.HasParens() && !right.HasParens())
return true;
return false;
}
public int GetHashCode(string str) {
return str.HasParens() ? 1 : 0;
}
}

class GroupingByParens {
static void Main() {
Func<Customer, bool> phoneHasParens =
c => c.Phone.HasParens();
Func<Customer, bool> phoneDoesNotHaveParens =
c => !phoneHasParens(c);
// Simple approach:
var groups =
from c in Northwind.Customers
group c by c.Phone.HasParens();
groups.Count().AssertEquals(2);
groups.First().Count(phoneHasParens).AssertEquals(0);
groups.Last().Count(phoneDoesNotHaveParens)
.AssertEquals(0);
// Alternative approach with ParensComparer:
var grouped =
Northwind.Customers.GroupBy(o => o.Phone,
o => o, new ParensComparer());
grouped.Count().AssertEquals(2);
var group1 = grouped.First();
var group2 = grouped.Last();
group1.Key.AssertEquals("030-0074321");
group2.Key.AssertEquals("(5) 555-4729");
group1.Count(phoneHasParens).AssertEquals(0);
group2.Count(phoneDoesNotHaveParens).
AssertEquals(0);
}
} ///:~

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 193


The string extension method HasParens( ) returns true when a string
contains both left and right parentheses.

ParensComparer is a custom IEqualityComparer for this solution.


ParensComparer.Equals( ) returns true when both the left and the right
have or lack parentheses. GetHashCode( ) returns the same value for
strings with or without parentheses.

The tricky part of this exercise is that GroupBy( ) must select the Phone as
the grouping criteria and then forward all the elements to
ParensComparer for the rest of the logic. But once the structure is
complete, the actual GroupBy( ) call is rather simple.

We verify our results, relying on methods shown later in the book. First( )
returns the first element in the sequence. Last( ) retrieves the last. Since
there are only two groups, these methods come in handy.

The version of Count( ) we use here counts the number of items for which
the predicate returns true. Note how these declarative methods make code
much easier to decipher (and write) compared to C# 2.0 techniques.

The first approach is much more succinct, and the group Keys is also more
meaningful (it is a bool indicating whether the group has parentheses or
not). The second approach just picks a random element in the group as the
key, since all elements are considered equal by whether or not they have
parentheses.

Exercise 28: Use a join and a group…by to group all OrderIDs by


their Customer ContactNames. (Hint: In the translation, you must pack
values in the Join( ) for extraction by GroupBy( )).
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomerOrders.cs
using System.Linq;

class Join {
static void Main() {
var customerOrders1 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders on
c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
group o.OrderID by c.ContactName;
// Translation:
var customerOrders2 =

194 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Northwind.Customers
.Join(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(c, o) => new { c, o })
.GroupBy(temp => temp.c.ContactName,
temp => temp.o.OrderID);
customerOrders1.AssertEquals(customerOrders2);
var customerOrders3 =
Enumerable.GroupBy(
Enumerable.Join(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,
o => o.CustomerID, (c, o) => new { c, o }),
temp => temp.c.ContactName,
temp => temp.o.OrderID);
customerOrders2.AssertEquals(customerOrders3);
}
} ///:~

join introduces the iteration variable o, so we can use it in the group clause.
The translation requires packing values into temporary types because of the
chaining nature of the clauses.

Grouping by ContactName is not necessarily a good idea because, within


the Northwind database, ContactName is not guaranteed to be unique.
However, it happens that in the sample database that ContactName is
unique, so it makes a good exercise.

Exercise 29: join Customers with itself to find any Customers that
have the same ContactName.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\IdenticalContactNames.cs
using System.Linq;

class IdenticalContactNames {
static void Main() {
var identicalContactNames1 =
from c1 in Northwind.Customers
join c2 in Northwind.Customers
on c1.ContactName equals c2.ContactName
where c1.CustomerID != c2.CustomerID
select new {
ID1 = c1.CustomerID,
ID2 = c2.CustomerID
};

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 195


identicalContactNames1.Count().AssertEquals(0);
// Translation:
var identicalContactNames2 =
Northwind.Customers
.Join(Northwind.Customers,
c1 => c1.ContactName, c2 => c2.ContactName,
(c1, c2) => new { c1, c2 })
.Where(temp =>
temp.c1.CustomerID != temp.c2.CustomerID)
.Select(temp =>
new {
ID1 = temp.c1.CustomerID,
ID2 = temp.c2.CustomerID
});
identicalContactNames2.Count().AssertEquals(0);
var identicalContactNames3 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.Join(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Customers, c1 => c1.ContactName,
c2 => c2.ContactName,
(c1, c2) => new { c1, c2 }),
temp =>
temp.c1.CustomerID != temp.c2.CustomerID),
temp =>
new {
ID1 = temp.c1.CustomerID,
ID2 = temp.c2.CustomerID
});
identicalContactNames3.Count().AssertEquals(0);
// Alternative approach:
// join is from, where is on, equals is ==
var identicalContactNames4 =
from c1 in Northwind.Customers
from c2 in Northwind.Customers
where c1.ContactName == c2.ContactName
where c1.CustomerID != c2.CustomerID
select new {
ID1 = c1.CustomerID,
ID2 = c2.CustomerID
};
identicalContactNames4.Count().AssertEquals(0);
// Translation a little different:
var identicalContactNames5 =

196 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Northwind.Customers
.SelectMany(c1 => Northwind.Customers,
(c1, c2) => new { c1, c2 })
.Where(temp =>
temp.c1.ContactName == temp.c2.ContactName)
.Where(temp =>
temp.c1.CustomerID != temp.c2.CustomerID)
.Select(temp =>
new {
ID1 = temp.c1.CustomerID,
ID2 = temp.c2.CustomerID
});
identicalContactNames5.Count().AssertEquals(0);
}
} ///:~

No Customers have identical ContactNames. But you shouldn’t rely on


this, as only unique CustomerIDs are guaranteed. Code that depended on
unique ContactNames would have problems with a duplicate.

If you know SQL, you understand that a cross-join with WHERE can do the
same as a normal JOIN, and you can JOIN on conditions other than equality
(less than, greater than, not equal, etc.). In C#, however, you can join only
where one item equals the other, which is almost all join cases. C# also
requires any other filtering criteria to be placed in where clauses (for
example, we join equal contact names but filter out those with identical
CustomerIDs).

The last query replaces the first query’s join, on, and equals with from,
where, and ==, which naturally changes its translation.

Exercise 30: Pair all Customers together, listing the Customer with
the earlier name in the alphabet first. (Hint: A join won’t work for this one.
Why not?)
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomerPairs.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomerPairs {
static void Main() {
// Limit output with Take():
var source = Northwind.Customers.Take(3);
var pairs =
from a in source

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 197


from b in source
where a.ContactName.CompareTo(b.ContactName) < 0
select new {
First = a.ContactName,
Second = b.ContactName
};
pairs.P();
var pairsTranslated =
source
.SelectMany(a => source, (a, b) => new { a, b })
.Where(temp => temp.a.
ContactName.CompareTo(temp.b.ContactName) < 0)
.Select(temp => new {
First = temp.a.ContactName,
Second = temp.b.ContactName
});
pairs.AssertEquals(pairsTranslated);
var pairsTranslated2 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.SelectMany(source, a => source,
(a, b) => new { a, b }),
temp => temp.a.ContactName.CompareTo(
temp.b.ContactName) < 0),
temp => new {
First = temp.a.ContactName,
Second = temp.b.ContactName
});
pairsTranslated.AssertEquals(pairsTranslated2);
}
} /* Output:
[
{ First = Ana Trujillo, Second = Maria Anders },
{ First = Ana Trujillo, Second = Antonio Moreno },
{ First = Antonio Moreno, Second = Maria Anders }
]
*///:~

We must use a Cartesian product (two froms instead of a single from with a
join). Query expressions allow only equi-joins by requiring the equals
keyword within the join.

198 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


In SQL, you can JOIN on other conditions besides equality, but such joins are
rare. To do the same in a C# query expression, you must use two froms with
a where, which in many cases may not be as fast as a join.

Exercise 31: List each CustomerID along with the ProductIDs they
ordered, as well as the number of times they have ordered that Product.
(Hint: group the OrderDetails by an anonymous type that holds each
CustomerID with the ProductID, then count how many are in each
group).

Notice that the original query takes us straight to the easy-to-read answer
(which is also relatively easy to write). The alternative is an imperative
approach, used in the verification code at the end of the solution. Since
anonymous types override Equals( ) and GetHashCode( ), we can use
them as a grouping criteria, as we did here. Thus we group every combination
of CustomerID and ProductId together, and Count( ) the number in each
group.

Exercise 32: Join Customers with Orders on Customer.Country


and Order.ShipCountry.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\FreakyJoin.cs
using System.Linq;

class FreakyJoin {
static void Main() {
var goodPracticeButUseless =
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.Country equals o.ShipCountry
select new { c.Country, o.ShipCountry };
goodPracticeButUseless.All(temp =>
temp.Country.Equals(temp.ShipCountry)).True();
var translation1 =
Northwind.Customers.Join(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.Country, o => o.ShipCountry,
(c, o) => new { c.Country, o.ShipCountry });
goodPracticeButUseless.AssertEquals(translation1);
var translation2 =
Enumerable.Join(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Orders,
c => c.Country, o => o.ShipCountry,
(c, o) => new { c.Country, o.ShipCountry });

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 199


translation1.AssertEquals(translation2);
}
} ///:~

As long as the types on both sides of the join match, it doesn’t matter where
the values come from. This is not necessarily a useful join, but it
demonstrates the concept.

All( ) is an extension method you’ll see later. It returns true if the lambda
returns true for every element in the sequence.

Exercise 33: You’ve seen iteration variables on the proper sides of the
equals. Now try this variation in JoinChains.cs: join Orders to
OrderDetails to Customers to Products, in that order. Does this work?
Why? (Hint: The translation makes the answer clear.)
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\AlternativeJoinChains.cs
using System.Linq;

class AlternativeJoinChains {
static void Main() {
var customerProducts =
from o in Northwind.Orders
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on o.OrderID equals od.OrderID
join c in Northwind.Customers
on o.CustomerID equals c.CustomerID
join p in Northwind.Products
on od.ProductID equals p.ProductID
select new { c.ContactName, p.ProductName };
// This works because transparent identifiers
// fall into place on the left side of the equals:
/*c!
var customerProductsTranslation =
Northwind.Orders
.Join(Northwind.OrderDetails,
o => o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(o, od) => new { o, od })
.Join(Northwind.Customers,
// We use "t" in lieu of "transparent":
t1 => o.CustomerID,
c => c.CustomerID, (t1, c) =>
new { t1, c })
.Join(Northwind.Products,

200 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


t2 => od.ProductID, p => p.ProductID,
(t2, p) =>
new { c.ContactName, p.ProductName });
*/
var customerProductsTranslation2 =
Northwind.Orders
.Join(Northwind.OrderDetails,
o => o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(o, od) => new { o, od })
.Join(Northwind.Customers, nt1 => nt1.o.CustomerID,
c => c.CustomerID, (nt1, c) => new { nt1, c })
.Join(Northwind.Products,
nt2 => nt2.nt1.od.ProductID, p => p.ProductID,
(nt2, p) =>
new { nt2.c.ContactName, p.ProductName });
customerProducts.AssertEquals(
customerProductsTranslation2);
var customerProductsTranslation3 =
Enumerable.Join(
Enumerable.Join(
Enumerable.Join(Northwind.Orders,
Northwind.OrderDetails,
o => o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(o, od) => new { o, od }),
Northwind.Customers, nt1 => nt1.o.CustomerID,
c => c.CustomerID, (nt1, c) => new { nt1, c }),
Northwind.Products, nt2 => nt2.nt1.od.ProductID,
p => p.ProductID, (nt2, p) =>
new { nt2.c.ContactName, p.ProductName });
customerProductsTranslation2.AssertEquals(
customerProductsTranslation3);
}
} ///:~

Transparent identifiers make this work. As the Join( ) calls chain, the
compiler keeps packing the iteration variables from any level of from or join
into temporary anonymous types. Thus any of these iteration variables are
available on the left side of the equals. Your only restriction is that you must
use the new iteration variable on the right side of the equals (or capture a
variable outside your query, but such a need should be rare or non-existent).

Exercise 34: Write two queries to retrieve all Orders, pairing each
Order with its OrderDetails into an anonymous type:
a. The first query uses a join

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 201


b. The second query uses multiple froms
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\JoinVsFrom.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoinVsFrom {
static void Main() {
var withJoin =
from o in Northwind.Orders
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on o.OrderID equals od.OrderID
select new { o, od };
var withJoinTranslated =
Northwind.Orders.Join(Northwind.OrderDetails,
o => o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(o, od) => new { o, od });
withJoin.AssertEquals(withJoinTranslated);
var withMultipleFroms =
from o in Northwind.Orders
from od in Northwind.OrderDetails
where o.OrderID == od.OrderID
select new { o, od };
withJoinTranslated.AssertEquals(withMultipleFroms);
var withMultipleFromsTranslated =
Northwind.Orders.
SelectMany(o => Northwind.OrderDetails,
(o, od) => new { o, od }).
Where(temp => temp.o.OrderID == temp.od.OrderID).
// The compiler doesn't need to insert this
// next step, but it does anyway:
Select(temp => new { temp.o, temp.od });
withMultipleFroms.AssertEquals(
withMultipleFromsTranslated);
}
} ///:~

Again, the only syntactic difference between a join and two froms is whether
you use on vs. where and equals vs. ==.

Notice the compiler combines the join and select clause into a single
Join( ) call. With multiple from clauses, the compiler follows the rules
outlined in the [[[Multiple Froms]]] section of the book. Thus, we get an extra
SelectMany( ) and Where( ), whereas the first query requires only a single
Join( ).

202 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


join is your best bet when joining on equality, which is the most common
join of all. It’s so common, in fact, it has its own term: equijoin.

Exercise 35: Use nested queries to find all the Customer


ContactNames in the three countries that have the most Orders.
(Hint: Write a query in the where clause to find the three countries with the
most orders, then combine that query with Enumerable.Contains( ) in the
where.)
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CountriesWithMostOrders.cs
using System.Linq;

class CountriesWithMostOrders {
static void Main() {
var topThreeCountries =
from c in Northwind.Customers
where
(from g in
from g in
from o in Northwind.Orders
group o by o.ShipCountry
orderby g.Count() descending
select g
select g.Key).Take(3).Contains(c.Country)
orderby c.ContactName
select c.ContactName;
var topThreeCountriesTranslation1 =
Northwind.Customers
.Where(c =>
Northwind.Orders.GroupBy(o => o.ShipCountry)
.OrderByDescending(g => g.Count())
.Select(g => g.Key).Take(3).Contains(c.Country))
.OrderBy(c => c.ContactName)
.Select(c => c.ContactName);
topThreeCountries.AssertEquals(
topThreeCountriesTranslation1);
var topThreeCountriesTranslation2 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.OrderBy(
Enumerable.Where(Northwind.Customers, c =>
Enumerable.Contains(
Enumerable.Take(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.OrderByDescending(

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 203


Enumerable.GroupBy(Northwind.Orders,
o => o.ShipCountry),
g => g.Count()),
g => g.Key),
3),
c.Country)),
c => c.ContactName),
c => c.ContactName);
topThreeCountriesTranslation1.AssertEquals(
topThreeCountriesTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

Nested queries in some cases help clarify a query. For example, here we
retrieve the top three countries, then get all customers in those countries.

Looking at the translation, there is really only one nested query, instead of
two as the original query makes it appear to be. That nested query is
embedded in the Where( ) call’s lambda expression. This is a huge benefit to
query expressions: they link together seamlessly.

Exercise 36: Rewrite the first query in GroupingDifferentTypes.cs to


combine each group’s Key and Count( ) into a single anonymous object
(instead of having to Count( ) within the foreach).
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\GroupingDifferentTypes.cs
using System.Linq;

class GroupingDifferentTypes {
static void Main() {
// Group actual elements:
var grouped =
from c in Northwind.Customers
group c by c.Country into g
select new { Country = g.Key, Count = g.Count() };
grouped.P();
var groupedTranslation1 =
from g in
from c in Northwind.Customers
group c by c.Country
select new { Country = g.Key, Count = g.Count() };
grouped.AssertEquals(groupedTranslation1);
var groupedTranslation2 =
from g in

204 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Northwind.Customers.GroupBy(c => c.Country)
select new { Country = g.Key, Count = g.Count() };
groupedTranslation1.AssertEquals(groupedTranslation2);
var groupedTranslation3 =
Northwind.Customers
.GroupBy(c => c.Country)
.Select(g =>
new { Country = g.Key, Count = g.Count() });
groupedTranslation2.AssertEquals(groupedTranslation3);
var groupedTranslation4 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.GroupBy(Northwind.Customers,
c => c.Country),
g => new { Country = g.Key, Count = g.Count() });
groupedTranslation3.AssertEquals(groupedTranslation4);
}
} /* Output:
[
{ Country = Germany, Count = 11 },
{ Country = Mexico, Count = 5 },
{ Country = UK, Count = 7 },
{ Country = Sweden, Count = 2 },
{ Country = France, Count = 11 },
{ Country = Spain, Count = 5 },
{ Country = Canada, Count = 3 },
{ Country = Argentina, Count = 3 },
{ Country = Switzerland, Count = 2 },
{ Country = Brazil, Count = 9 },
{ Country = Austria, Count = 2 },
{ Country = Italy, Count = 3 },
{ Country = Portugal, Count = 2 },
{ Country = USA, Count = 13 },
{ Country = Venezuela, Count = 4 },
{ Country = Ireland, Count = 1 },
{ Country = Belgium, Count = 2 },
{ Country = Norway, Count = 1 },
{ Country = Denmark, Count = 2 },
{ Country = Finland, Count = 2 },
{ Country = Poland, Count = 1 }
]
*///:~

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 205


Writing out all the translations, though tedious, helps you understand what
the compiler is doing. Notice the first translation has no method calls in it yet.
It simply rewrites the top query into a nested bottom query.

The first query is much more succinct than GroupingDifferentTypes.cs’s


original approach with the extra foreach loop. P( ) simply iterates over the
results and displays them on the console.

Exercise 37: Use into to find all the Customers in the three countries
with the most orders. This is a slight revision of [[[exercise x]]]
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\MostOrdersWithInto.cs
using System.Linq;

class MostOrdersWithInto {
static void Main() {
var topThreeCountries =
from c in Northwind.Customers
where
(from o in Northwind.Orders
group o by o.ShipCountry into g
orderby g.Count() descending
select g.Key).Take(3).Contains(c.Country)
orderby c.ContactName
select c.ContactName;
// Translation is same as we saw in
// previous exercise's solution.
}
} ///:~

Our solution to the original exercise required a lot of nested queries.


However, into removed two layers of from.

Exercise 38: List all CustomerIDs along with the ProductIDs they
ordered combined with the number of times they ordered that product. Sort
the results by descending number of times that the Customer ordered each
Product. Use a group into for this repeat of Exercise {#?field code}.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomerProductsWithInto.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomerProducts {
static void Main() {
var customerProducts =

206 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on o.OrderID equals od.OrderID
// Can't use a join into (discussed later)
// because grouping by different criteria:
group od by new { c.ContactName, od.ProductID }
into g
let Count = g.Count()
orderby Count descending
select new {
g.Key.ContactName,
g.Key.ProductID,
Count
};
customerProducts.Take(20).P();
// You don't know how to translate let clauses,
// but we do the translation for completeness.
// Change "into" to a nested query:
var customerProductsTranslation1 =
from g in
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on o.OrderID equals od.OrderID
// Can't use a join into (discussed later)
// because grouping by different criteria:
group od by new { c.ContactName, od.ProductID }
let Count = g.Count()
orderby Count descending
select new {
g.Key.ContactName,
g.Key.ProductID,
Count
};
customerProducts.AssertEquals(
customerProductsTranslation1);
// Convert let clause to transparent identifer,
// then non-transparent identifier (doing both
// steps in one here):
var customerProductsTranslation2 =
from nt in // "nonTransparent"

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 207


from g in
from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on o.OrderID equals od.OrderID
// Can't use a join into (discussed later)
// because grouping by different criteria:
group od by new { c.ContactName, od.ProductID }
select new { g, Count = g.Count() }
orderby nt.Count descending
select new {
nt.g.Key.ContactName,
nt.g.Key.ProductID,
nt.Count
};
customerProductsTranslation1.AssertEquals(
customerProductsTranslation2);
// Now onto extension-method syntax:
var customerProductsTranslation3 =
Northwind.Customers.
Join(Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(c, o) => new { c, o }).
Join(Northwind.OrderDetails,
temp => temp.o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(temp, od) => new { temp, od }).
GroupBy(temp2 => new {
temp2.temp.c.ContactName,
temp2.od.ProductID },
temp2 => temp2.od).
Select(g => new { g, Count = g.Count() }).
OrderByDescending(nt => nt.Count).
Select(nt =>
new {
nt.g.Key.ContactName,
nt.g.Key.ProductID,
nt.Count
});
customerProductsTranslation2.AssertEquals(
customerProductsTranslation3);
// Static method calls:
var customerProductsTranslation4 =
Enumerable.Select(

208 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Enumerable.OrderByDescending(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.GroupBy(
Enumerable.Join(
Enumerable.Join(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Orders,
c => c.CustomerID, o => o.CustomerID,
(c, o) => new { c, o }),
Northwind.OrderDetails,
temp => temp.o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(temp, od) => new { temp, od }),
temp2 => new {
temp2.temp.c.ContactName,
temp2.od.ProductID
}, temp2 => temp2.od),
g => new { g, Count = g.Count() }),
nt => nt.Count),
nt =>
new { nt.g.Key.ContactName, nt.g.Key.ProductID,
nt.Count });
customerProductsTranslation3.AssertEquals(
customerProductsTranslation4);

}
} /* Output:
[
{ ContactName = Jose Pavarotti, ProductID = 2, Count = 5
},
{ ContactName = Roland Mendel, ProductID = 24, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Roland Mendel, ProductID = 64, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Roland Mendel, ProductID = 31, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Roland Mendel, ProductID = 17, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Patricia McKenna, ProductID = 71, Count =
4 },
{ ContactName = Horst Kloss, ProductID = 42, Count = 4 },
{ ContactName = Horst Kloss, ProductID = 60, Count = 4 },
{ ContactName = Paula Wilson, ProductID = 56, Count = 4 },
{ ContactName = Paula Wilson, ProductID = 17, Count = 4 },
{ ContactName = Paula Wilson, ProductID = 62, Count = 4 },

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 209


{ ContactName = Jose Pavarotti, ProductID = 56, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Jose Pavarotti, ProductID = 41, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Jose Pavarotti, ProductID = 68, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Jose Pavarotti, ProductID = 13, Count = 4
},
{ ContactName = Palle Ibsen, ProductID = 77, Count = 4 },
{ ContactName = Thomas Hardy, ProductID = 31, Count = 3 },
{ ContactName = Christina Berglund, ProductID = 75, Count
= 3 },
{ ContactName = Christina Berglund, ProductID = 54, Count
= 3 },
{ ContactName = Hanna Moos, ProductID = 21, Count = 3 }
]
*///:~

The multiple join clauses cause the compiler to pack values into temporary
anonymous types. We’ll show you how to translate let clauses in the next
section.

Exercise 39: Show all the intermediate steps of translating the last query
in RootFinder.cs.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\RootFinderTranslation.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

class Coefficients {
public double A { get; set; }
public double B { get; set; }
public double C { get; set; }
}

class RootFinder {
static void Main() {
// Coefficients for the quadratic formula
var coefficients = new List<Coefficients> {
new Coefficients { A = 1, B = 3, C = -4},
new Coefficients { A = 2, B = -4, C = -3},
new Coefficients { A = 1, B = -2, C = -4}
};
var roots =

210 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from c in coefficients
let negativeB = -c.B
let bSquared = Math.Pow(c.B, 2)
let fourAC = 4 * c.A * c.C
let sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(bSquared - fourAC)
let twoA = 2 * c.A
select new {
FirstRoot =
(negativeB + sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA,
SecondRoot =
(negativeB - sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA
};
/*c!
var rootsTranslation1 =
from nt1 in // "nonTransparent1"
from c in coefficients
select new { c, negativeB = -c.B }
let bSquared = Math.Pow(c.B, 2)
let fourAC = 4 * c.A * c.C
let sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(bSquared - fourAC)
let twoA = 2 * c.A
select new {
FirstRoot =
(negativeB + sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA,
SecondRoot =
(negativeB - sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA
};
*/
/*c!
var rootsTranslation2 =
from nt2 in
from nt1 in
from c in coefficients
select new { c, negativeB = -c.B }
select new { nt1, bSquared = Math.Pow(c.B, 2) }
let fourAC = 4 * c.A * c.C
let sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(bSquared - fourAC)
let twoA = 2 * c.A
select new {
FirstRoot =
(negativeB + sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA,

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 211


SecondRoot =
(negativeB - sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA
};
*/
/*c!
var rootsTranslation3 =
from nt3 in
from nt2 in
from nt1 in
from c in coefficients
select new { c, negativeB = -c.B }
select new { nt1, bSquared = Math.Pow(c.B, 2) }
select new { nt2, fourAC = 4 * c.A * c.C }
let sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(bSquared - fourAC)
let twoA = 2 * c.A
select new {
FirstRoot =
(negativeB + sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA,
SecondRoot =
(negativeB - sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA
};
*/
/*c!
var rootsTranslation4 =
from nt4 in
from nt3 in
from nt2 in
from nt1 in
from c in coefficients
select new { c, negativeB = -c.B }
select new { nt1, bSquared = Math.Pow(c.B, 2) }
select new { nt2, fourAC = 4 * c.A * c.C }
select new {
nt3, sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(bSquared - fourAC)
}
let twoA = 2 * c.A
select new {
FirstRoot =
(negativeB + sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA,
SecondRoot =
(negativeB - sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA
};

212 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


*/
/*c!
var rootsTranslation5 =
from nt5 in
from nt4 in
from nt3 in
from nt2 in
from nt1 in
from c in coefficients
select new { c, negativeB = -c.B }
select new { nt1,
bSquared = Math.Pow(c.B, 2) }
select new { nt2, fourAC = 4 * c.A * c.C }
select new {
nt3, sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(bSquared - fourAC)
}
select new { nt4, twoA = 2 * c.A }
select new {
FirstRoot =
(negativeB + sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA,
SecondRoot =
(negativeB - sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / twoA
};
*/
// Scope all the transparent identifier variables:
var rootsTranslation6 =
from nt5 in
from nt4 in
from nt3 in
from nt2 in
from nt1 in
from c in coefficients
select new { c, negativeB = -c.B }
select new {
nt1,
bSquared = Math.Pow(nt1.c.B, 2)
}
select new {
nt2,
fourAC = 4 * nt2.nt1.c.A * nt2.nt1.c.C
}
select new {
nt3, sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 213


Math.Sqrt(nt3.nt2.bSquared - nt3.fourAC)
}
select new { nt4, twoA = 2 * nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.c.A }
select new {
FirstRoot =
(nt5.nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.negativeB +
nt5.nt4.sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / nt5.twoA,
SecondRoot =
(nt5.nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.negativeB -
nt5.nt4.sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / nt5.twoA
};
roots.AssertEquals(rootsTranslation6);
// Convert to extension method syntax:
var rootsTranslation7 =
coefficients.
Select(c => new { c, negativeB = -c.B }).
Select(nt1 => new {
nt1,
bSquared = Math.Pow(nt1.c.B, 2)
}).
Select(nt2 => new {
nt2,
fourAC = 4 * nt2.nt1.c.A * nt2.nt1.c.C
}).
Select(nt3 => new {
nt3,
sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(nt3.nt2.bSquared - nt3.fourAC)
}).
Select(nt4 => new {
nt4,
twoA = 2 * nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.c.A
}).
Select(nt5 => new {
FirstRoot =
(nt5.nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.negativeB +
nt5.nt4.sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / nt5.twoA,
SecondRoot =
(nt5.nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.negativeB -
nt5.nt4.sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / nt5.twoA
});
rootsTranslation6.AssertEquals(rootsTranslation7);
// Convert to static method calls:
var rootsTranslation8 =

214 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(coefficients,
c => new { c, negativeB = -c.B }),
nt1 => new {
nt1,
bSquared = Math.Pow(nt1.c.B, 2)
}),
nt2 => new {
nt2,
fourAC = 4 * nt2.nt1.c.A * nt2.nt1.c.C
}),
nt3 => new {
nt3,
sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC =
Math.Sqrt(nt3.nt2.bSquared - nt3.fourAC)
}),
nt4 => new {
nt4,
twoA = 2 * nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.c.A
}),
nt5 => new {
FirstRoot =
(nt5.nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.negativeB +
nt5.nt4.sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / nt5.twoA,
SecondRoot =
(nt5.nt4.nt3.nt2.nt1.negativeB -
nt5.nt4.sqrtBsquaredMinusFourAC) / nt5.twoA
});
rootsTranslation7.AssertEquals(rootsTranslation8);
}
} ///:~

These laborious translations pay off when your query doesn’t compile.
Practice with translations helps you to figure out how the compiler produces
error messages.

Exercise 40: The Customer’s ContactName field combines a space-


separated first name and last name (and sometimes a middle name or middle
token, such as “de Castro”). Using let clauses, write a query that retrieves

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 215


first and last (or last part of) names, and packs the two strings into an
anonymous type with FirstName and LastName properties.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomerNames.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomerNames {
static void Main() {
var names =
from c in Northwind.Customers
let parts = c.ContactName.Split()
let FirstName = parts[0]
let LastName = parts.Length == 2 ?
parts[1] : parts[2]
orderby LastName, FirstName
select new { LastName, FirstName };
// We'll forgo rewriting the translations
// having transparent identifiers.
// Rewrite first let clause:
var namesTranslation1 =
from nt1 in // nt1 means "nonTransparent1"
from c in Northwind.Customers
select new { c, parts = c.ContactName.Split() }
let FirstName = nt1.parts[0]
let LastName = nt1.parts.Length == 2 ?
nt1.parts[1] : nt1.parts[2]
orderby LastName, FirstName
select new { LastName, FirstName };
names.AssertEquals(namesTranslation1);
// Rewrite second let clause:
var namesTranslation2 =
from nt2 in
from nt1 in
from c in Northwind.Customers
select new { c, parts = c.ContactName.Split() }
select new { nt1, FirstName = nt1.parts[0] }
let LastName = nt2.nt1.parts.Length == 2 ?
nt2.nt1.parts[1] : nt2.nt1.parts[2]
orderby LastName, nt2.FirstName
select new { LastName, nt2.FirstName };
namesTranslation1.AssertEquals(namesTranslation2);
// Rewrite third let clause:
var namesTranslation3 =
from nt3 in

216 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


from nt2 in
from nt1 in
from c in Northwind.Customers
select new { c, parts = c.ContactName.Split() }
select new { nt1, FirstName = nt1.parts[0] }
select new { nt2,
LastName = nt2.nt1.parts.Length == 2 ?
nt2.nt1.parts[1] : nt2.nt1.parts[2] }
orderby nt3.LastName, nt3.nt2.FirstName
select new { nt3.LastName, nt3.nt2.FirstName };
namesTranslation2.AssertEquals(namesTranslation3);
// Rewrite to extension-method calls:
var namesTranslation4 =
Northwind.Customers.
Select(
c => new { c, parts = c.ContactName.Split() }).
Select(nt1 =>
new { nt1, FirstName = nt1.parts[0] }).
Select(nt2 => new {
nt2, LastName =
nt2.nt1.parts.Length == 2 ?
nt2.nt1.parts[1] : nt2.nt1.parts[2]
}).
OrderBy(nt3 => nt3.LastName).
ThenBy(nt3 => nt3.nt2.FirstName).
Select(nt3 => new { nt3.LastName,
nt3.nt2.FirstName });
namesTranslation3.AssertEquals(namesTranslation4);
// Rewrite to static method calls:
var namesTranslation5 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.ThenBy(
Enumerable.OrderBy(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Select(Northwind.Customers,
c => new { c,
parts = c.ContactName.Split() }),
nt1 => new { nt1,
FirstName = nt1.parts[0] }),
nt2 => new { nt2, LastName =
nt2.nt1.parts.Length == 2 ?
nt2.nt1.parts[1] : nt2.nt1.parts[2] }),
nt3 => nt3.LastName),

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 217


nt3 => nt3.nt2.FirstName),
nt3 => new { nt3.LastName, nt3.nt2.FirstName });
namesTranslation4.AssertEquals(namesTranslation5);
}
} ///:~

The let clauses make this query more readable and easier to maintain than if
we had to rewrite FirstName and LastName, the expressions that make up
parts.

Exercise 41: Try to change both queries in IntoVsLet.cs to select each


value and the sum of its square into an anonymous type, instead of just the
square. See what kind of compiler messages this produces.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\IntoVsLetTranslation.cs
using System.Linq;

class IntoVsLetTranslation {
static void Main() {
var numbers = new[] { 1, 3, 2 };
var withLet =
from n in numbers
let square = n * n // "let" version
select new { n, SumOfSquare = square + square};
/*c!
// Doesn't compile because n not
// in scope in last select clause:
var withInto =
from n in numbers
select n * n into square // "into" version
select new { n, SumOfSquare = square + square };
*/
var withLetTranslation1 =
from nt in
from n in numbers
select new { n, square = n * n }
select new { nt.n,
SumOfSquare = nt.square + nt.square };
/*c!
// Notice where n is available:
var withIntoTranslation1 =
from square in
// n is only in scope within the nested query:
from n in numbers
select n * n

218 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


// So can't access n here!:
select new { n, SumOfSquare = square + square };
*/
withLet.AssertEquals(withLetTranslation1);
var withLetTranslation2 =
numbers
.Select(n => new { n, square = n * n })
.Select(nt => new { nt.n,
SumOfSquare = nt.square + nt.square});
withLetTranslation1.AssertEquals(withLetTranslation2);
/*c!
var withIntoTranslation2 =
numbers
.Select(n => n * n)
.Select(square =>
// No n in scope:
new { n, SumOfSquare = square + square });
*/
}
} ///:~

This solution combined with the translations stresses the scoping differences
between a let and an into. withInto’s query seems like it should work, but
once you see the last line of the last translation, the problem becomes
apparent. It attempts to Select( ) an n that doesn’t exist as a lambda
parameter, and there is no outer level of scope that it may capture it from.

Exercise 42: Find all Products never ordered using join into and
Count( ).
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\NeverOrderedProducts.cs
using System.Linq;

class NeverOrderedProducts {
static void Main() {
var neverOrderedProducts =
from p in Northwind.Products
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on p.ProductID equals od.ProductID into grouped
where grouped.Count() == 0
select p;
neverOrderedProducts.Count().AssertEquals(0);
/*c!
// This step has transparent identifiers:

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 219


var neverOrderedProductsTranslation1 =
Northwind.Products
.GroupJoin(Northwind.OrderDetails,
p => p.ProductID, od => od.ProductID,
(p, grouped) => new { p, grouped })
.Where(transparent => grouped.Count() == 0)
.Select(transparent => p);
*/
var neverOrderedProductsTranslation2 =
Northwind.Products
.GroupJoin(Northwind.OrderDetails, p => p.ProductID,
od => od.ProductID,
(p, grouped) => new { p, grouped })
// nt means "non-transparent":
.Where(nt => nt.grouped.Count() == 0)
.Select(nt => nt.p);
neverOrderedProducts.AssertEquals(
neverOrderedProductsTranslation2);
var neverOrderedProductsTranslation3 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.GroupJoin(Northwind.Products,
Northwind.OrderDetails, p => p.ProductID,
od => od.ProductID,
(p, grouped) => new { p, grouped }),
nt => nt.grouped.Count() == 0),
nt => nt.p);
neverOrderedProductsTranslation2.AssertEquals(
neverOrderedProductsTranslation3);
// Better approach using Enumerable.Except():
var orderedProductIds =
Northwind.OrderDetails.Select(od => od.ProductID);
var allProductIds =
Northwind.Products.Select(p => p.ProductID);
allProductIds.Except(orderedProductIds).Count()
.AssertEquals(0);
}
} ///:~

The join into that produced IEnumerable objects is a great help, as we


now simply Count( ) the number in each sequence. (No Northwind
products were never ordered. )

220 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Joining OrderDetails to Products instead of Products to OrderDetails
is incorrect because there are no OrderDetails that do not have an
associated Product (all counts are non-zero).

Exercise 43: Group Orders with Customers rather than Customers


with Orders in GroupingWhileJoining.cs.
//: QueryExpressions\JoiningBackwards.cs
using System.Linq;

class JoiningBackwards {
static void Main() {
var customerOrderCounts =
from o in Northwind.Orders
join c in Northwind.Customers
on o.CustomerID equals c.CustomerID into grouped
orderby o.CustomerID
select new {
o.CustomerID,
NumCustomers = grouped.Count()
};
customerOrderCounts.Take(10).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ALFKI, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ANATR, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ANATR, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ANATR, NumCustomers = 1 },
{ CustomerID = ANATR, NumCustomers = 1 }
]
*///:~

As stated in the text, this query produces groups of just one element, and that
element is now Customer objects instead of Orders, which isn’t useful.

Exercise 44: Use a join into to find Customers who have made at least
$15,000 in Orders.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\ProfitableCustomers.cs

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 221


using System.Linq;

class ProfitableCustomers {
static void Main() {
var solution =
(from c in Northwind.Customers
join o in Northwind.Orders
on c.CustomerID equals o.CustomerID
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on o.OrderID equals od.OrderID into grouped
where grouped.Sum(
od => od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice) > 15000
select c.ContactName).Distinct();
/*c!
// Transparent identifier step:
var solutionTranslation1 =
Northwind.Customers
.Join(Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,
o => o.CustomerID, (c, o) => new { c, o })
.GroupJoin(Northwind.OrderDetails,
nt1 => o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(nt1, grouped) => new { nt1, grouped })
.Where(nt2 => grouped.Sum(od =>
od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice) > 15000)
.Select(nt2 => .c.ContactName).Distinct();
*/
var solutionTranslation2 =
Northwind.Customers
.Join(Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,
o => o.CustomerID, (c, o) => new { c, o })
.GroupJoin(Northwind.OrderDetails,
t => t.o.OrderID, od => od.OrderID,
(nt1, grouped) => new { nt1, grouped })
.Where(nt2 => nt2.grouped.Sum(od =>
od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice) > 15000)
.Select(nt2 => nt2.nt1.c.ContactName).Distinct();
solution.AssertEquals(solutionTranslation2);
var solutionTranslation3 =
Enumerable.Distinct(
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.GroupJoin(
Enumerable.Join(Northwind.Customers,
Northwind.Orders, c => c.CustomerID,

222 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


o => o.CustomerID, (c, o) => new { c, o }),
Northwind.OrderDetails, t => t.o.OrderID,
od => od.OrderID,
(nt1, grouped) => new { nt1, grouped }),
nt2 => Enumerable.Sum(nt2.grouped, od =>
od.Quantity * od.UnitPrice) > 15000),
nt2 => nt2.nt1.c.ContactName));
solutionTranslation2
.AssertEquals(solutionTranslation3);
}
} ///:~

Any kind of where on a group condition is like a SQL HAVING clause.

Notice the join into is only on the last join.

Exercise 45: Translate the second query in OuterJoins.cs. Notice


where the DefaultIfEmpty( ) call comes within the translation. How does
this allow for outer joins?
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\AnOuterJoinTranslation.cs
using System.Linq;

class AnOuterJoinTranslation {
static void Main() {
int[] numbers1 = { 1, 2 };
int[] numbers2 = { 2, 3 };
var numbers =
from n1 in numbers1
join n2 in numbers2
on n1 equals n2 into n2s
from n2 in n2s.DefaultIfEmpty(-1)
select new { n1, n2 };
/*c!
// Transparent identifier step:
var numbersTranslation1 =
numbers1
.GroupJoin(numbers2,
n1 => n1, n2 => n2,
(n1, n2s) => new { n1, n2s })
// We use "t" in lieu of "transparent":
.SelectMany(t =>
n2s.DefaultIfEmpty(-1),
(nt, n2) => new { nt.n1, n2 });
*/

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 223


var numbersTranslation2 =
numbers1
.GroupJoin(numbers2,
n1 => n1, n2 => n2,
(n1, n2s) => new { n1, n2s })
// We use "nt" in lieu of "nonTransparent":
.SelectMany(nt =>
nt.n2s.DefaultIfEmpty(-1),
(nt, n2) => new { nt.n1, n2 });
numbers.AssertEquals(numbersTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

The DefaultIfEmpty( ) call lands inside the SelectMany( )’s first lambda
expression. Recall that a from followed directly by a select (that is not the
query’s initial from) converts to a single SelectMany( ). This intermediate
from introduces another source and iteration variable, and the source
declaration is placed in this first lambda. See the [[[multiple froms]]] section
for a refresher if you need it.

Exercise 46: Use an outer join.to again find any Products never
ordered (as in [[[formatting Exercise 42: ]]]).
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\NeverOrderedOuterJoin.cs
using System.Linq;

class NeverOrderedOuterJoin {
static void Main() {
var neverOrderedProducts =
from p in Northwind.Products
join od in Northwind.OrderDetails
on p.ProductID equals od.ProductID into ods
from od in ods.DefaultIfEmpty()
where od == null
select p;
neverOrderedProducts.Count().AssertEquals(0);
var neverOrderedProductsTranslation1 =
Northwind.Products.GroupJoin(Northwind.OrderDetails,
p => p.ProductID, od => od.ProductID,
(p, ods) => new { p, ods }).
SelectMany(temp => temp.ods.DefaultIfEmpty(),
(temp, od) => new { temp, od }).
Where(temp2 => temp2.od == null).
Select(temp2 => temp2.temp.p);

224 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


neverOrderedProducts.AssertEquals(
neverOrderedProductsTranslation1);
var neverOrderedProductsTranslation2 =
Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(
Enumerable.SelectMany(
Enumerable.GroupJoin(Northwind.Products,
Northwind.OrderDetails,
p => p.ProductID, od => od.ProductID,
(p, ods) => new { p, ods }),
temp => temp.ods.DefaultIfEmpty(),
(temp, od) => new { temp, od }),
temp2 => temp2.od == null),
temp2 => temp2.temp.p);
neverOrderedProductsTranslation1.AssertEquals(
neverOrderedProductsTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

An outer join is not the ideal solution, but this is a good exercise of the
feature. This is much like [[[Exercise 42: ]]], but that exercise solved it a bit
more elegantly.

Exercise 47: Rewrite the last approach in


CustomersWithoutOrders.cs so that it does not use the temporary
variables customerIDs and orderCustomerIDs.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\DirectCalls.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomersWithoutOrders {
static void Main() {
var noOrdersIDs =
(from c in Northwind.Customers
select c.CustomerID).Except(
from o in Northwind.Orders
select o.CustomerID);
noOrdersIDs.Count().AssertEquals(2);
// We prefer the direct call approach better,
// (which is also the first step in the translation):
var noOrderIDsTranslation1 =
Northwind.Customers.Select(c => c.CustomerID)
.Except(Northwind.Orders.Select(o => o.CustomerID));
noOrdersIDs.AssertEquals(noOrderIDsTranslation1);
var noOrderIDsTranslation2 =

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 225


Enumerable.Except(
Enumerable.Select(Northwind.Customers,
c => c.CustomerID),
Enumerable.Select(Northwind.Orders,
o => o.CustomerID));
noOrderIDsTranslation1.AssertEquals(
noOrderIDsTranslation2);
}
} ///:~

Calling Select( ) directly seems less noisy than writing a full query
expression with a from and a select.

Exercise 48: Retrieve the first three Country names from an


alphabetical list of Customers’ countries. Find all the ContactNames of
Customers in those three countries.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomersInCountries.cs
using System.Linq;

class CustomersInCountries {
static void Main() {
var countries =
(from customer in Northwind.Customers
orderby customer.Country
select customer.Country).Distinct().Take(3);
// Alternative approach:
var countries2 =
Northwind.Customers
.Select(customer => customer.Country)
.Distinct()
.OrderBy(country => country)
.Take(3);
countries.AssertEquals(countries2);
var answer1 =
from c in Northwind.Customers
where countries.Contains(c.Country)
select c.ContactName;
answer1.P();
var answer2 =
Northwind.Customers
.Where(c => countries.Contains(c.Country))
.Select(c => c.ContactName);
answer1.AssertEquals(answer2);
var answer3 =

226 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


Enumerable.Select(
Enumerable.Where(Northwind.Customers,
c => countries.Contains(c.Country)),
c => c.ContactName);
answer2.AssertEquals(answer3);
}
} /* Output:
[
Patricio Simpson,
Roland Mendel,
Catherine Dewey,
Yvonne Moncada,
Georg Pipps,
Sergio Gutiérrez,
Pascale Cartrain
]
*///:~

The method call order for countries2 reads more sensibly than for
countries, where we must first order by c.Country, then extract each
Country from the Customer, then eliminate duplicates, and finally Take( )
the first three. In the second query, once we get all the countries and
eliminate duplicates, we just alphabetize what’s left and Take( ) the first
three.

Notice the Contains( ) Enumerable extension method in the where


clause.

Exercise 49: Write a non-generic version of


System.Linq.Enumerable.Concat( ).
//: MindView.Util\Enumerable.4.cs
// {CF: /target:library}
using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections;

namespace MindView.Util {
public static partial class Enumerable {
public static IEnumerable Concat(this IEnumerable left,
IEnumerable right) {
return System.Linq.Enumerable.Concat(
left.Cast<object>(), right.Cast<object>());
}

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 227


}
} ///:~

Notice that we adapt System.Linq.Enumerable’s Concat( ) method to


our needs, rather than “re-inventing the wheel” by writing two foreach
loops.

We included our solution in MindView.Util.Enumerable for later use.

Exercise 50: Combine two queries with Concat( ) to retrieve the names
and nationalities of Customers from the USA and Mexico. Note in this
sample output that nationality differs from Country name:
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\MexicansAndAmericans2.cs
using System.Linq;
using MindView.Util;
using System.Collections;

class MexicansAndAmericans {
static IEnumerable GetNationality(
string countryName, string nationalityName) {
return
from c in Northwind.Customers
where c.Country == countryName
select new {
Name = c.ContactName,
Nationality = nationalityName
};
}
static void Main() {
GetNationality("Mexico", "Mexican").Concat(
GetNationality("USA", "American")).P();
}
} /* Output:
[
{ Name = Ana Trujillo, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Antonio Moreno, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Francisco Chang, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Guillermo Fernández, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Miguel Angel Paolino, Nationality = Mexican },
{ Name = Howard Snyder, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Yoshi Latimer, Nationality = American },
{ Name = John Steel, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Jaime Yorres, Nationality = American },

228 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


{ Name = Fran Wilson, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Rene Phillips, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Paula Wilson, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Jose Pavarotti, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Art Braunschweiger, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Liz Nixon, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Liu Wong, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Helvetius Nagy, Nationality = American },
{ Name = Karl Jablonski, Nationality = American }
]
*///:~

We refactored the query expression into GetNationality( ) rather than


repeat it. However, we can only return GetNationality( )’s anonymous type
by upcasting it into objects. Hence, GetNationality( ) returns a non-
generic IEnumerable.

No built-in Concat( ) takes and returns a non-generic IEnumerable, so


the MindView.Util assembly includes our own simple adapter for the built-
in generic Concat( ) (it also solves Exercise [[[#{?field code here?}]]]).

Exercise 51: Find the following:


a. The most parts in any Customer’s ContactName (Hint: use
Split( )). Check the results three times using Any( ), All( ), and
Count( ).

b. The latest and earliest OrderDate.

c. The first and last Customers whose names contain a


lowercase ‘q’ (in ContactName order).

d. The 15th Customer (in ContactName order).

e. All Customer ContactNames that begin with ‘R’ (don’t use


where or Where( )).

f. The last three Customer ContactNames (in ContactName


order).
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\SimpleQueries.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;

class SimpleQueries {

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 229


static void Main() {
// No customer has more than
// three parts in their ContactName:
Northwind.Customers.Max(c => c.ContactName.Split()
.Length).AssertEquals(3);
// Can assert with an All() or Any():
Northwind.Customers
.All(c => c.ContactName.Split().Length <= 3).True();
Northwind.Customers
.Any(c => c.ContactName.Split().Length > 3).False();
Northwind.Customers.Count(
c => c.ContactName.Split().Length == 3)
.AssertEquals(3);
Northwind.Orders.Max(o => o.OrderDate)
.AssertEquals(DateTime.Parse("5/6/1998"));
Northwind.Orders.Min(o => o.OrderDate)
.AssertEquals(DateTime.Parse("7/4/1996"));
var orderedCustomers =
Northwind.Customers.OrderBy(c => c.ContactName);
Func<Customer, bool> containsQ =
c => c.ContactName.Contains("q");
orderedCustomers.First(containsQ).ContactName
.AssertEquals("Dominique Perrier");
orderedCustomers.Last(containsQ).ContactName
.AssertEquals("Frédérique Citeaux");
orderedCustomers.ElementAt(15).ContactName
.AssertEquals("Christina Berglund");
orderedCustomers
.Select(c => c.ContactName)
.SkipWhile(n => !n.StartsWith("R"))
.TakeWhile(n => n.StartsWith("R"))
.AssertEquals(new[] { "Renate Messner",
"Rene Phillips", "Rita Müller", "Roland Mendel" });
orderedCustomers.Skip(Northwind.Customers.Count() - 3)
.Select(c => c.ContactName).AssertEquals(new[] {
"Yoshi Tannamuri", "Yvonne Moncada",
"Zbyszek Piestrzeniewicz" });
}
} ///:~

We’ve factored out as much as possible by creating orderedCustomers and


containsQ rather than repeating their expressions within the queries that
follow.

230 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


We never use a query clause (though it’s possible in some cases). When you’re
already inserting other Enumerable extension methods, it’s sometimes
simpler just to add the Where( ), Select( ), etc

Notice that to find Customers that start with ‘R,’ we first select the
ContactName, then test for ‘R,’ rather than the other way around(which
works, but requires more dotting).

Exercise 52: Use Aggregate( ) to output Customer ContactName


first names, separated by the vertical-bar character (|), and surround the
entire string with square brackets, as seen in this sample output (which only
shows three names):
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\Aggregating.cs
using System.Linq;

class Aggregating {
static void Main() {
// Limit the output:
var customerNames = Northwind.Customers.Select(
c => c.ContactName.Split()[0]).Take(3);
customerNames.Aggregate(string.Empty,
(r, n) => r + n + " | ",
result => "[" + result.Trim(' ', '|') + "]").P();
("[" + customerNames.Aggregate((r, n) => r + " | " + n)
+ "]").P();
}
} /* Output:
[Maria | Ana | Antonio]
[Maria | Ana | Antonio]
*///:~

Note that we must seed the initial value with string.Empty in order to be
able to write the last lambda, which places brackets around the final result. Of
course, we can add the brackets after Aggregate( ) is finished, as we do in
the second approach.

Exercise 53: Put all the OrderDetails in an ILookup, and look them
up by OrderID, counting the number in at least three groups.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\OrderDetailLookup.cs
using System.Linq;

class OrderDetailLookup {

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 231


static void Main() {
var detailsLookup =
Northwind.OrderDetails.ToLookup(od => od.OrderID);
foreach(int orderID in Northwind.Orders.Take(3)
.Select(o => o.OrderID))
detailsLookup[orderID].Count()
.P(orderID + " detail count");
}
} /* Output:
10248 detail count: 3
10249 detail count: 2
10250 detail count: 3
*///:~

Although we haven’t used ILookup much in the book, it’s a very useful way
to show a master-detail relationship.

Exercise 54: Retrieve three different sequences of Customer


ContactNames in three different alphabetical ranges: a-g, h-q, and r-z.
//: QueryExpressionsSolutions\CustomerSections.cs
using System;
using System.Linq;
using MindView.Util;

class CustomerSections {
static void Main() {
Func<char, string, bool> lessThanEqual =
(c, s) => char.ToUpper(s[0]) <= c;
var curried = lessThanEqual.Curry();
var contactNames =
Northwind.Customers
.Select(c => c.ContactName.Split()[0])
.Take(20)
.OrderBy(cn => cn);
Func<string, bool> lessThanG = curried('G');
var lessThanQ = curried('Q');
var aThroughG = contactNames.TakeWhile(lessThanG);
var hThroughQ = contactNames.SkipWhile(lessThanG)
.TakeWhile(lessThanQ);
var rThroughZ = contactNames.SkipWhile(lessThanQ);
aThroughG.P("A-G", POptions.NoNewLines);
hThroughQ.P("H-Q", POptions.NoNewLines);
rThroughZ.P("R-Z", POptions.NoNewLines);
}

232 C# Query Expressions Preview Release 1.0


} /* Output:
A-G: [Ana, Ann, Antonio, Christina, Elizabeth, Elizabeth,
Francisco, Frédérique]
H-Q: [Hanna, Janine, Laurence, Maria, Martín, Patricio,
Pedro]
R-Z: [Roland, Sven, Thomas, Victoria, Yang]
*///:~
Again we use Take( ) to limit the output. We Select( ) the contact names
before doing anything else. After that, we’re simply working with a sequence
of strings, instead of having to dot into the Customer.ContactName in
each subsequent call.

Don’t be surprised if your solution is very different from ours. We couldn’t


resist using currying to solve this exercise, but you won’t see currying until
later in the book (in the Functional Programming chapter). The main reason
for doing so was to avoid repeating our lambda expression. Instead, we state
the lambda expression once, and then bind the first argument to the desired
value (Q or G).

We also used some composing tricks (shown soon in the book). Once we
create contactNames, we use that as our source for the subsequent queries,
rather than restating the initial query for every section of the alphabet.

Exercise Solutions King/Eckel ©2008 MindView, Inc. 233