John Sheehan - Runscope John Sheehan - Runscope - 1 year ago 80
C# Question

Dynamically adding items to a List<T> through reflection

Lets say I have this class

class Child {
public string FirstName { get; set; }
public string LastName { get; set; }

class Container {
public List<Child> { get; set; }

I'm working on a deserializer of sorts and I want to be able to create and populate the
list from the data retrieved. I've gotten this far (I've cut out a lot of handling for other types for this example so its unnecessarily "iffy" but bare with me):

var props = typeof(Container).GetProperties();

foreach (var prop in props) {
var type = prop.PropertyType;
var name = prop.Name;

if (type.IsGenericType) {
var t = type.GetGenericArguments()[0];

if (type == typeof(List<>)) {
var list = Activator.CreateInstance(type);
var elements = GetElements();

foreach (var element in elements) {
var item = Activator.CreateInstance(t);
Map(item, element);

// ??? how do I do list.Add(item) here?

prop.SetValue(x, list, null); // x is an instance of Container


I can't figure out how to cast
to essentially
so I can access the add method and add the item.

Answer Source

I would say you should cast down to System.Collections.IList and directly call the Add method. Pros: simple, no ugly reflection. Cons: causes boxing for Lists containing value types.

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