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Comparer.Compare Method

Performs a case-sensitive comparison of two objects of the same type and returns a value indicating whether one is less than, equal to, or greater than the other.

Namespace:  System.Collections
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)
public int Compare(
	Object a,
	Object b
)

Parameters

a
Type: System.Object

The first object to compare.

b
Type: System.Object

The second object to compare.

Return Value

Type: System.Int32
A signed integer that indicates the relative values of a and b, as shown in the following table.

Value

Meaning

Less than zero

a is less than b.

Zero

a equals b.

Greater than zero

a is greater than b.

Implements

IComparer.Compare(Object, Object)
ExceptionCondition
ArgumentException

Neither a nor b implements the IComparable interface.

-or-

a and b are of different types and neither one can handle comparisons with the other.

If a implements IComparable, then a. CompareTo (b) is returned; otherwise, if b implements IComparable, then the negated result of b. CompareTo (a) is returned.

Comparing null with any type is allowed and does not generate an exception when using IComparable. When sorting, null is considered to be less than any other object.

String comparisons might have different results depending on the culture. For more information on culture-specific comparisons, see the System.Globalization namespace and Globalizing and Localizing .NET Framework Applications.

The following code example shows how Compare returns different values depending on the culture associated with the Comparer.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Globalization;


public class SamplesComparer  {

   public static void Main()  {

      // Creates the strings to compare.
      String str1 = "llegar";
      String str2 = "lugar";
      Console.WriteLine( "Comparing \"{0}\" and \"{1}\" ...", str1, str2 );

      // Uses the DefaultInvariant Comparer.
      Console.WriteLine( "   Invariant Comparer: {0}", Comparer.DefaultInvariant.Compare( str1, str2 ) );

      // Uses the Comparer based on the culture "es-ES" (Spanish - Spain, international sort).
      Comparer myCompIntl = new Comparer( new CultureInfo( "es-ES", false ) );
      Console.WriteLine( "   International Sort: {0}", myCompIntl.Compare( str1, str2 ) );

      // Uses the Comparer based on the culture identifier 0x040A (Spanish - Spain, traditional sort).
      Comparer myCompTrad = new Comparer( new CultureInfo( 0x040A, false ) );
      Console.WriteLine( "   Traditional Sort  : {0}", myCompTrad.Compare( str1, str2 ) );

   }

}

/*
This code produces the following output.

Comparing "llegar" and "lugar" ...
   Invariant Comparer: -1
   International Sort: -1
   Traditional Sort  : 1

*/

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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