Faithlife.Reflection

Faithlife.Reflection provides helpers for reflecting over .NET types.

NuGet

Overview

The Faithlife.Reflection class library makes reflecting over .NET types more intuitive and more efficient compared to using raw .NET reflection.

For now, the focus is on DTOs and tuples.

Consult the reference documentation for specific details.

DTOs

A DTO (data transfer object) typically has one or more read/write properties and a default constructor.

The DtoInfo static class makes it easy to:

  • enumerate the public non-static properties and fields of a DTO type, both read/write and read-only
  • get the name, type, and other metadata for each property/field of the DTO type
  • get or set the value of a property/field of an instance of the DTO
  • create a new instance of the DTO
  • shallow clone an existing instance of the DTO

Anonymous types and other DTO types with read-only properties are also supported. Enumerating properties and getting property values will work fine, but other operations like setting properties will fail at runtime.

Accessing info

To access the information for a DTO, call DtoInfo.GetInfo. The generic overload, DtoInfo.GetInfo<T>(), is slightly more efficient and returns information with stronger types than the non-generic overload, DtoInfo.GetInfo(Type).

Getting properties

The following method creates a dictionary of property names and values from an arbitrary DTO instance. (Try it!)

static IReadOnlyDictionary<string, object> ConvertDtoToDictionary(object dto) =>
    DtoInfo.GetInfo(dto.GetType()).Properties.ToDictionary(x => x.Name, x => x.GetValue(dto));

For example, ConvertDtoToDictionary(new { one = 1, two = "II" }) returns new Dictionary<string, object> { ["one"] = 1, ["two"] = "II" }.

Setting properties

The following method creates a new instance of the specified type and sets its Id property to the specified string. (Try it!)

static T CreateWithId<T>(string id)
{
    var dtoInfo = DtoInfo.GetInfo<T>();
    var dto = dtoInfo.CreateNew();
    dtoInfo.GetProperty<string>("Id").SetValue(dto, id);
    return dto;
}

For example, CreateWithId<Widget>("xyzzy") returns new Widget { Id = "xyzzy" }.

Tuples

C# 7 introduced syntax for tuples, which use the System.ValueTuple<...> types. Before that, the System.Tuple<...> types were commonly used. This library supports both kinds of tuples.

The TupleInfo static class makes it easy to:

  • determine if a type is a tuple type
  • enumerate the types of the tuple items (even for tuples with more than seven items)
  • create a tuple from a list of objects

Accessing info

To access the information for a tuple, call TupleInfo.GetInfo. The generic overload, TupleInfo.GetInfo<T>(), is slightly more efficient and returns information with stronger types than the non-generic overload, TupleInfo.GetInfo(Type).

Creating a tuple

The following method splits a string and converts the substrings to items of the specified tuple. (Try it!)

static T SplitString<T>(string text, char delim)
{
    var tupleInfo = TupleInfo.GetInfo<T>();
    var items = new object[tupleInfo.ItemTypes.Count];
    var strings = text.Split(delim, tupleInfo.ItemTypes.Count);
    for (int i = 0; i < strings.Length; i++)
    {
        var itemType = tupleInfo.ItemTypes[i];
        itemType = Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(itemType) ?? itemType;
        items[i] = Convert.ChangeType(strings[i], itemType, CultureInfo.InvariantCulture);
    }
    return tupleInfo.CreateNew(items);
}

For example, SplitString<(bool, string, int?)>("true,hey,2", ',') returns the tuple (true, "hey", 2).