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DictionaryBase Class

Provides the abstract base class for a strongly typed collection of key/value pairs.

Namespace:  System.Collections
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[SerializableAttribute]
[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public abstract class DictionaryBase : IDictionary, 
	ICollection, IEnumerable

The foreach statement of the C# language (for each in Visual Basic) requires the type of each element in the collection. Since each element of the DictionaryBase is a key/value pair, the element type is not the type of the key or the type of the value. Instead, the element type is DictionaryEntry.

The foreach statement is a wrapper around the enumerator, which only allows reading from, not writing to, the collection.

NoteNote:

Because keys can be inherited and their behavior changed, their absolute uniqueness cannot be guaranteed by comparisons using the Equals method.

Notes to Implementers:

This base class is provided to make it easier for implementers to create a strongly typed custom collection. Implementers are encouraged to extend this base class instead of creating their own.

Members of this base class are protected and are intended to be used through a derived class only.

The following code example implements the DictionaryBase class and uses that implementation to create a dictionary of String keys and values that have a Length of 5 characters or less.

using System;
using System.Collections;

public class ShortStringDictionary : DictionaryBase  {

   public String this[ String key ]  {
      get  {
         return( (String) Dictionary[key] );
      }
      set  {
         Dictionary[key] = value;
      }
   }

   public ICollection Keys  {
      get  {
         return( Dictionary.Keys );
      }
   }

   public ICollection Values  {
      get  {
         return( Dictionary.Values );
      }
   }

   public void Add( String key, String value )  {
      Dictionary.Add( key, value );
   }

   public bool Contains( String key )  {
      return( Dictionary.Contains( key ) );
   }

   public void Remove( String key )  {
      Dictionary.Remove( key );
   }

   protected override void OnInsert( Object key, Object value )  {
      if ( key.GetType() != typeof(System.String) )
         throw new ArgumentException( "key must be of type String.", "key" );
      else  {
         String strKey = (String) key;
         if ( strKey.Length > 5 )
            throw new ArgumentException( "key must be no more than 5 characters in length.", "key" );
      }

      if ( value.GetType() != typeof(System.String) )
         throw new ArgumentException( "value must be of type String.", "value" );
      else  {
         String strValue = (String) value;
         if ( strValue.Length > 5 )
            throw new ArgumentException( "value must be no more than 5 characters in length.", "value" );
      }
   }

   protected override void OnRemove( Object key, Object value )  {
      if ( key.GetType() != typeof(System.String) )
         throw new ArgumentException( "key must be of type String.", "key" );
      else  {
         String strKey = (String) key;
         if ( strKey.Length > 5 )
            throw new ArgumentException( "key must be no more than 5 characters in length.", "key" );
      }
   }

   protected override void OnSet( Object key, Object oldValue, Object newValue )  {
      if ( key.GetType() != typeof(System.String) )
         throw new ArgumentException( "key must be of type String.", "key" );
      else  {
         String strKey = (String) key;
         if ( strKey.Length > 5 )
            throw new ArgumentException( "key must be no more than 5 characters in length.", "key" );
      }

      if ( newValue.GetType() != typeof(System.String) )
         throw new ArgumentException( "newValue must be of type String.", "newValue" );
      else  {
         String strValue = (String) newValue;
         if ( strValue.Length > 5 )
            throw new ArgumentException( "newValue must be no more than 5 characters in length.", "newValue" );
      }
   }

   protected override void OnValidate( Object key, Object value )  {
      if ( key.GetType() != typeof(System.String) )
         throw new ArgumentException( "key must be of type String.", "key" );
      else  {
         String strKey = (String) key;
         if ( strKey.Length > 5 )
            throw new ArgumentException( "key must be no more than 5 characters in length.", "key" );
      }

      if ( value.GetType() != typeof(System.String) )
         throw new ArgumentException( "value must be of type String.", "value" );
      else  {
         String strValue = (String) value;
         if ( strValue.Length > 5 )
            throw new ArgumentException( "value must be no more than 5 characters in length.", "value" );
      }
   }

}


public class SamplesDictionaryBase  {

   public static void Main()  {

      // Creates and initializes a new DictionaryBase.
      ShortStringDictionary mySSC = new ShortStringDictionary();

      // Adds elements to the collection.
      mySSC.Add( "One", "a" );
      mySSC.Add( "Two", "ab" );
      mySSC.Add( "Three", "abc" );
      mySSC.Add( "Four", "abcd" );
      mySSC.Add( "Five", "abcde" );

      // Display the contents of the collection using foreach. This is the preferred method.
      Console.WriteLine( "Contents of the collection (using foreach):" );
      PrintKeysAndValues1( mySSC );

      // Display the contents of the collection using the enumerator.
      Console.WriteLine( "Contents of the collection (using enumerator):" );
      PrintKeysAndValues2( mySSC );

      // Display the contents of the collection using the Keys property and the Item property.
      Console.WriteLine( "Initial contents of the collection (using Keys and Item):" );
      PrintKeysAndValues3( mySSC );

      // Tries to add a value that is too long. 
      try  {
         mySSC.Add( "Ten", "abcdefghij" );
      }
      catch ( ArgumentException e )  {
         Console.WriteLine( e.ToString() );
      }

      // Tries to add a key that is too long. 
      try  {
         mySSC.Add( "Eleven", "ijk" );
      }
      catch ( ArgumentException e )  {
         Console.WriteLine( e.ToString() );
      }

      Console.WriteLine();

      // Searches the collection with Contains.
      Console.WriteLine( "Contains \"Three\": {0}", mySSC.Contains( "Three" ) );
      Console.WriteLine( "Contains \"Twelve\": {0}", mySSC.Contains( "Twelve" ) );
      Console.WriteLine();

      // Removes an element from the collection.
      mySSC.Remove( "Two" );

      // Displays the contents of the collection.
      Console.WriteLine( "After removing \"Two\":" );
      PrintKeysAndValues1( mySSC );

   }

   // Uses the foreach statement which hides the complexity of the enumerator. 
   // NOTE: The foreach statement is the preferred way of enumerating the contents of a collection. 
   public static void PrintKeysAndValues1( ShortStringDictionary myCol )  {
      foreach ( DictionaryEntry myDE in myCol )
         Console.WriteLine( "   {0,-5} : {1}", myDE.Key, myDE.Value );
      Console.WriteLine();
   }

   // Uses the enumerator.  
   // NOTE: The foreach statement is the preferred way of enumerating the contents of a collection. 
   public static void PrintKeysAndValues2( ShortStringDictionary myCol )  {
      DictionaryEntry myDE;
      System.Collections.IEnumerator myEnumerator = myCol.GetEnumerator();
      while ( myEnumerator.MoveNext() )
         if ( myEnumerator.Current != null )  {
            myDE = (DictionaryEntry) myEnumerator.Current;
            Console.WriteLine( "   {0,-5} : {1}", myDE.Key, myDE.Value );
         }
      Console.WriteLine();
   }

   // Uses the Keys property and the Item property. 
   public static void PrintKeysAndValues3( ShortStringDictionary myCol )  {
      ICollection myKeys = myCol.Keys;
      foreach ( String k in myKeys )
         Console.WriteLine( "   {0,-5} : {1}", k, myCol[k] );
      Console.WriteLine();
   }

}


/* 
This code produces the following output.

Contents of the collection (using foreach):
   Three : abc
   Five  : abcde
   Two   : ab
   One   : a
   Four  : abcd

Contents of the collection (using enumerator):
   Three : abc
   Five  : abcde
   Two   : ab
   One   : a
   Four  : abcd

Initial contents of the collection (using Keys and Item):
   Three : abc
   Five  : abcde
   Two   : ab
   One   : a
   Four  : abcd

System.ArgumentException: value must be no more than 5 characters in length.
Parameter name: value
   at ShortStringDictionary.OnValidate(Object key, Object value)
   at System.Collections.DictionaryBase.System.Collections.IDictionary.Add(Object key, Object value)
   at SamplesDictionaryBase.Main()
System.ArgumentException: key must be no more than 5 characters in length.
Parameter name: key
   at ShortStringDictionary.OnValidate(Object key, Object value)
   at System.Collections.DictionaryBase.System.Collections.IDictionary.Add(Object key, Object value)
   at SamplesDictionaryBase.Main()

Contains "Three": True
Contains "Twelve": False

After removing "Two":
   Three : abc
   Five  : abcde
   One   : a
   Four  : abcd

*/

Public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

This implementation does not provide a synchronized (thread-safe) wrapper for a DictionaryBase, but derived classes can create their own synchronized versions of the DictionaryBase using the SyncRoot property.

Enumerating through a collection is intrinsically not a thread-safe procedure. Even when a collection is synchronized, other threads can still modify the collection, which causes the enumerator to throw an exception. To guarantee thread safety during enumeration, you can either lock the collection during the entire enumeration or catch the exceptions resulting from changes made by other threads.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0
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