johnc johnc - 1 month ago 12
C# Question

Create Generic method constraining T to an Enum

I'm building a function to extend the Enum.Parse concept that


  • Allows a default value to be parsed in case that an Enum value is not found

  • Is case insensitive



So I wrote the following:

public static T GetEnumFromString<T>(string value, T defaultValue) where T : Enum
{
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(value)) return defaultValue;
foreach (T item in Enum.GetValues(typeof(T)))
{
if (item.ToString().ToLower().Equals(value.Trim().ToLower())) return item;
}
return defaultValue;
}


I am getting a Error Constraint cannot be special class 'System.Enum'.

Fair enough, but is there a workaround to allow a Generic Enum, or am I going to have to mimic the Parse function and pass a type as an attribute, which forces the ugly boxing requirement to your code.

EDIT All suggestions below have been greatly appreciated, thanks.

Have settled on (I've left the loop to maintain case insensitivity - I am usng this when parsing XML)

public static class EnumUtils
{
public static T ParseEnum<T>(string value, T defaultValue) where T : struct, IConvertible
{
if (!typeof(T).IsEnum) throw new ArgumentException("T must be an enumerated type");
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(value)) return defaultValue;

foreach (T item in Enum.GetValues(typeof(T)))
{
if (item.ToString().ToLower().Equals(value.Trim().ToLower())) return item;
}
return defaultValue;
}
}


EDIT: (16th Feb 2015) Julien Lebosquain has recently posted a compiler enforced solution below, which is well worth a look, and an upvote. I will remove this edit if the solution bubbles further up the page.

Answer

Since Enum Type implements IConvertible interface, a better implementation should be something like this:

public T GetEnumFromString<T>(string value) where T : struct, IConvertible
{
   if (!typeof(T).IsEnum) 
   {
      throw new ArgumentException("T must be an enumerated type");
   }

   //...
}

This will still permit passing of value types implementing IConvertible. The chances are rare though.