C#-Indexers

Indexer in C#

A C#-Indexer allows objects to be indexed like an array.

As discussed earlier, a string variable is actually an object of the String class. Further, the String class is actually an array of Char objects. In this way, the string class implements an indexer so we can access any character (Char object) by its index.


Syntax:

A one dimensional indexer has the following syntax :

element-type this[int index] {

   // The get accessor.
   get {
      // return the value specified by index
   }
   
   // The set accessor.
   set {
      // set the value specified by index
   }
}

Use of C#-Indexer:

Declaration of behavior of an indexer is to some extent similar to a property. similar to the properties, you use  get and set accessors for defining an indexer. However, properties return or set a specific data member, whereas indexers returns or sets a particular value from the object instance. In other words, it breaks the instance data into smaller parts and indexes each part, gets or sets each part.

Defining a property involves providing a property name. Indexers are not defined with names, but with the this keyword, which refers to the object instance.


Example :

using System;

namespace IndexerApplication {
   
   class IndexedNames {
      private string[] namelist = new string[size];
      static public int size = 10;
      
      public IndexedNames() {
         for (int i = 0; i < size; i++)
         namelist[i] = "N. A.";
      }
      public string this[int index] {
         get {
            string tmp;
         
            if( index >= 0 &amp;&amp; index <= size-1 ) {
               tmp = namelist[index];
            } else {
               tmp = "";
            }
            
            return ( tmp );
         }
         set {
            if( index >= 0 &amp;&amp; index <= size-1 ) {
               namelist[index] = value;
            }
         }
      }
      static void Main(string[] args) {
         IndexedNames names = new IndexedNames();
         names[0] = "Zara";
         names[1] = "Riz";
         names[2] = "Nuha";
         names[3] = "Asif";
         names[4] = "Davinder";
         names[5] = "Sunil";
         names[6] = "Rubic";
         
         for ( int i = 0; i < IndexedNames.size; i++ ) {
            Console.WriteLine(names[i]);
         }
         Console.ReadKey();
      }
   }

Overloaded Indexers:

Indexers can be overloaded. Indexers can also be declared with multiple parameters and each parameter may be a different type. It is not necessary that the indexes have to be integers. C# allows indexes to be of other types, for example, a string.

Example :

using System;

namespace IndexerApplication {
   class IndexedNames {
      private string[] namelist = new string[size];
      static public int size = 10;
      
      public IndexedNames() {
         for (int i = 0; i < size; i++) {
            namelist[i] = "N. A.";
         }
      }
      public string this[int index] {
         get {
            string tmp;
            
            if( index >= 0 && index <= size-1 ) {
               tmp = namelist[index];
            } else {
               tmp = "";
            }
            
            return ( tmp );
         }
         set {
            if( index >= 0 &amp;&amp; index <= size-1 ) {
               namelist[index] = value;
            }
         }
      }
      
      public int this[string name] {
         get {
            int index = 0;
            
            while(index < size) {
               if (namelist[index] == name) {
                return index;
               }
               index++;
            }
            return index;
         }
      }

      static void Main(string[] args) {
         IndexedNames names = new IndexedNames();
         names[0] = "Zara";
         names[1] = "Riz";
         names[2] = "Nuha";
         names[3] = "Asif";
         names[4] = "Davinder";
         names[5] = "Sunil";
         names[6] = "Rubic";
         
         //using the first indexer with int parameter
         for (int i = 0; i < IndexedNames.size; i++) {
            Console.WriteLine(names[i]);
         }
         
         //using the second indexer with the string parameter
         Console.WriteLine(names["Nuha"]);
         Console.ReadKey();
      }
   }
}

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