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KeyedCollection.Dictionary Property

Gets the lookup dictionary of the KeyedCollection.

Namespace: System.Collections.ObjectModel
Assembly: mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

protected IDictionary<TKey,TItem> Dictionary { get; }
/** @property */
protected IDictionary<TKey,TItem> get_Dictionary ()

protected function get Dictionary () : IDictionary<TKey,TItem>

Not applicable.

Property Value

The lookup dictionary of the KeyedCollection, if it exists; otherwise, a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic).

By default, the KeyedCollection includes a lookup dictionary that is created when the first item is added. When an item is added to the KeyedCollection, the item's key is extracted once and saved in the lookup dictionary for faster searches. This behavior can be overridden by using the KeyedCollection(Generic IEqualityComparer,Int32) constructor and specifying a dictionary creation threshold.

Retrieving the value of this property is an O(1) operation.

The following code example shows how to override the protected ChangeItemKey method to support mutable keys, and how to override the protected InsertItem, RemoveItem, ClearItems, and SetItem methods to maintain the integrity of the keys and the collection.

The code example creates the MutableKeys collection, which derives from KeyedCollection, and the MutableKey class. The MutableKey class has a settable Key property. When a new key is assigned to the property, the property setter calls the internal (Friend in Visual Basic) ChangeKey method of the collection to test whether the new key would conflict with an existing key. If so, an exception is thrown and the property value is not changed.

In order to maintain the connection between a MutableKey object and the MutableKeys collection and to prevent an object from being inserted into two collections, the MutableKey class has an internal (Friend in Visual Basic) Collection field. This field is maintained by the protected methods that provide custom behavior for adding and removing items from the collection, such as the InsertItem method. The field is set when the item is added to a collection and cleared when the item is removed.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;

// This class demonstrates one way to use the ChangeItemKey
// method to store objects with keys that can be changed. The 
// ChangeItemKey method is used to keep the internal lookup
// Dictionary in sync with the keys of the stored objects. 
//
// MutableKeys stores MutableKey objects, which have an Integer
// Key property that can be set. Therefore, MutableKeys inherits
// KeyedCollection(Of Integer, MutableKey).
//
public class MutableKeys : KeyedCollection<int, MutableKey>
{
    // This parameterless constructor delegates to the base class 
    // constructor that specifies a dictionary threshold. A
    // threshold of 0 means the internal Dictionary is created
    // the first time an object is added.
    //
    public MutableKeys() : base(null, 0) {}
    
    protected override int GetKeyForItem(MutableKey item)
    {
        // The key is MutableKey.Key.
        return item.Key;
    }

    protected override void InsertItem(int index, MutableKey newItem)
    {
        if (newItem.Collection != null) 
            throw new ArgumentException("The item already belongs to a collection.");

        base.InsertItem(index, newItem);
        newItem.Collection = this;
    }

    protected override void SetItem(int index, MutableKey newItem)
    {
        MutableKey replaced = Items[index];

        if (newItem.Collection != null) 
            throw new ArgumentException("The item already belongs to a collection.");

        base.SetItem(index, newItem);
        newItem.Collection = this;
        replaced.Collection = null;
    }

    protected override void RemoveItem(int index)
    {
        MutableKey removedItem = Items[index];

        base.RemoveItem(index);
        removedItem.Collection = null;
    }

    protected override void ClearItems()
    {
        foreach( MutableKey mk in Items )
        {
            mk.Collection = null;
        }
        
        base.ClearItems();
    }

    internal void ChangeKey(MutableKey item, int newKey)
    {
        base.ChangeItemKey(item, newKey);
    }
    
    public void Dump()
    {
        Console.WriteLine("\nDUMP:");
        if (Dictionary == null)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("    The dictionary has not been created.");
        }
        else
        {
            Console.WriteLine("    Dictionary entries");
            Console.WriteLine("    ------------------");

            foreach( KeyValuePair<int, MutableKey> kvp in Dictionary )
            {
                Console.WriteLine("    {0} : {1}", kvp.Key, kvp.Value);
            }
        }

        Console.WriteLine("\n    List of items");
        Console.WriteLine("    -------------");

        foreach( MutableKey mk in Items )
        {
            Console.WriteLine("    {0}", mk);
        }
    }
}

public class Demo
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        MutableKeys mkeys = new MutableKeys();

        // The Add method is inherited from Collection.
        //
        mkeys.Add(new MutableKey(110072674, "Widget"));
        mkeys.Add(new MutableKey(110072675, "Sprocket"));

        mkeys.Dump();
    
        Console.WriteLine("\nCreate and insert a new item:");
        MutableKey test = new MutableKey(110072684, "Gear");
        mkeys.Insert(1, test);

        mkeys.Dump();

        try
        {
            Console.WriteLine("\nTry to insert the item again:");
            mkeys.Insert(1, test);
        }
        catch(ArgumentException ex)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Error: {0}", ex.Message);
        }

        Console.WriteLine("\nChange the Key property of the item:");
        test.Key = 100000072;

        mkeys.Dump();

        try
        {
            Console.WriteLine("\nTry to set the Key property to an existing key:");
            test.Key = 110072674;
        }
        catch(ArgumentException ex)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Error: {0}", ex.Message);
        }

        mkeys.Dump();
    }
    
    private static void Display(MutableKeys order)
    {
        Console.WriteLine();
        foreach( MutableKey item in order )
        {
            Console.WriteLine(item);
        }
    }
}

// This class has a key that can be changed.
// 
public class MutableKey
{

    public MutableKey(int newKey, string newValue)
    {
        _key = newKey;
        Value = newValue;
    } //New
    
    public string Value;
    internal MutableKeys Collection;
    
    private int _key;
    public int Key    
    {
        get
        {
            return _key;
        }
        set
        {
            if (Collection != null)
            {
                Collection.ChangeKey(this, value);
            }

            _key = value;
        }
    }

    public override string ToString()
    {
        return String.Format("{0,9} {1}", _key, Value);
    }
        
}

/* This code example produces the following output:

DUMP:
    Dictionary entries
    ------------------
    110072674 : 110072674 Widget
    110072675 : 110072675 Sprocket

    List of items
    -------------
    110072674 Widget
    110072675 Sprocket

Create and insert a new item:

DUMP:
    Dictionary entries
    ------------------
    110072674 : 110072674 Widget
    110072675 : 110072675 Sprocket
    110072684 : 110072684 Gear

    List of items
    -------------
    110072674 Widget
    110072684 Gear
    110072675 Sprocket

Try to insert the item again:
Error: The item already belongs to a collection.

Change the Key property of the item:

DUMP:
    Dictionary entries
    ------------------
    110072674 : 110072674 Widget
    110072675 : 110072675 Sprocket
    100000072 : 100000072 Gear

    List of items
    -------------
    110072674 Widget
    100000072 Gear
    110072675 Sprocket

Try to set the Key property to an existing key:
Error: An item with the same key has already been added.

DUMP:
    Dictionary entries
    ------------------
    110072674 : 110072674 Widget
    110072675 : 110072675 Sprocket
    100000072 : 100000072 Gear

    List of items
    -------------
    110072674 Widget
    100000072 Gear
    110072675 Sprocket
 */

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 1.0

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