Aidan Aidan - 1 month ago 6
C# Question

Use a delegate for the equality comparer for LINQ's Distinct()

I have a LINQ Distinct() statement that uses my own custom comparer, like this:

class MyComparer<T> : IEqualityComparer<T> where T : MyType
{
public bool Equals(T x, T y)
{
return x.Id.Equals(y.Id);
}

public int GetHashCode(T obj)
{
return obj.Id.GetHashCode();
}
}

...

var distincts = bundle.GetAllThings.Distinct(new MyComparer<MySubType>());


This is all fine and dandy and works as I want. Out of curiosity, do I need to define my own Comparer, or can I replace it with a delegate? I thought I should be able to do something like this:

var distincts = bundle.GetAllThings.Distinct((a,b) => a.Id == b.Id);


But this doesn't compile. Is there a neat trick?

Answer

Distinct takes an IEqualityComparer as the second argument, so you will need an IEqualityComparer. It's not too hard to make a generic one that will take a delegate, though. Of course, this has probably already been implemented in some places, such as MoreLINQ suggested in one of the other answers.

You could implement it something like this:

public static class Compare
{
    public static IEnumerable<T> DistinctBy<T, TIdentity>(this IEnumerable<T> source, Func<T, TIdentity> identitySelector)
    {
        return source.Distinct(Compare.By(identitySelector));
    }

    public static IEqualityComparer<TSource> By<TSource, TIdentity>(Func<TSource, TIdentity> identitySelector)
    {
        return new DelegateComparer<TSource, TIdentity>(identitySelector);
    }

    private class DelegateComparer<T, TIdentity> : IEqualityComparer<T>
    {
        private readonly Func<T, TIdentity> identitySelector;

        public DelegateComparer(Func<T, TIdentity> identitySelector)
        {
            this.identitySelector = identitySelector;
        }

        public bool Equals(T x, T y)
        {
            return Equals(identitySelector(x), identitySelector(y));
        }

        public int GetHashCode(T obj)
        {
            return identitySelector(obj).GetHashCode();
        }
    }
}

Which gives you the syntax:

source.DistinctBy(a => a.Id);

Or, if you feel it's clearer this way:

source.Distinct(Compare.By(a => a.Id));