Edward Tanguay Edward Tanguay - 13 days ago 9
C# Question

How do you use Func<> and Action<> when designing applications?

All the examples I can find about Func<> and Action<> are simple as in the one below where you see how they technically work but I would like to see them used in examples where they solve problems that previously could not be solved or could be solved only in a more complex way, i.e. I know how they work and I can see they are terse and powerful, so I want to understand them in a larger sense of what kinds of problems they solve and how I could use them in the design of applications.

In what ways (patterns) do you use Func<> and Action<> to solve real problems?

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

namespace TestFunc8282
{
class Program
{
static void Main(string[] args)
{
//func with delegate
Func<string, string> convert = delegate(string s)
{
return s.ToUpper();
};

//func with lambda
Func<string, string> convert2 = s => s.Substring(3, 10);

//action
Action<int,string> recordIt = (i,title) =>
{
Console.WriteLine("--- {0}:",title);
Console.WriteLine("Adding five to {0}:", i);
Console.WriteLine(i + 5);
};

Console.WriteLine(convert("This is the first test."));
Console.WriteLine(convert2("This is the second test."));
recordIt(5, "First one");
recordIt(3, "Second one");

Console.ReadLine();

}
}
}

Answer

They're also handy for refactoring switch statements.

Take the following (albeit simple) example:

public void Move(int distance, Direction direction)
{
    switch (direction)
    {
        case Direction.Up :
            Position.Y += distance;
            break;
        case Direction.Down:
            Position.Y -= distance;
            break;
        case Direction.Left:
            Position.X -= distance;
            break;
        case Direction.Right:
            Position.X += distance;
            break;
    }
}

With an Action delegate, you can refactor it as follows:

static Something()
{
    _directionMap = new Dictionary<Direction, Action<Position, int>>
    {
        { Direction.Up,    (position, distance) => position.Y +=  distance },
        { Direction.Down,  (position, distance) => position.Y -=  distance },
        { Direction.Left,  (position, distance) => position.X -=  distance },
        { Direction.Right, (position, distance) => position.X +=  distance },
    };
}

public void Move(int distance, Direction direction)
{
    _directionMap[direction](this.Position, distance);
}