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IComparer Interface

Exposes a method that compares two objects.

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

[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public interface IComparer

This interface is used in conjunction with the Array.Sort and Array.BinarySearch methods. It provides a way to customize the sort order of a collection.

The default implementation of this interface is the Comparer class. For the generic version of this interface, see System.Collections.Generic.IComparer<T>.

The following code example demonstrates the use of the IComparer interface to sort an ArrayList object. In this example, the IComparer interface is implemented using the CaseInsensitiveComparer class to reverse the order of the contents of the ArrayList.

using System;
using System.Collections;

public class SamplesArrayList  {

   public class myReverserClass : IComparer  {

      // Calls CaseInsensitiveComparer.Compare with the parameters reversed. 
      int IComparer.Compare( Object x, Object y )  {
          return( (new CaseInsensitiveComparer()).Compare( y, x ) );
      }

   }

   public static void Main()  {

      // Creates and initializes a new ArrayList.
      ArrayList myAL = new ArrayList();
      myAL.Add( "The" );
      myAL.Add( "quick" );
      myAL.Add( "brown" );
      myAL.Add( "fox" );
      myAL.Add( "jumps" );
      myAL.Add( "over" );
      myAL.Add( "the" );
      myAL.Add( "lazy" );
      myAL.Add( "dog" );

      // Displays the values of the ArrayList.
      Console.WriteLine( "The ArrayList initially contains the following values:" );
      PrintIndexAndValues( myAL );

      // Sorts the values of the ArrayList using the default comparer.
      myAL.Sort();
      Console.WriteLine( "After sorting with the default comparer:" );
      PrintIndexAndValues( myAL );

      // Sorts the values of the ArrayList using the reverse case-insensitive comparer.
      IComparer myComparer = new myReverserClass();
      myAL.Sort( myComparer );
      Console.WriteLine( "After sorting with the reverse case-insensitive comparer:" );
      PrintIndexAndValues( myAL );

   }

   public static void PrintIndexAndValues( IEnumerable myList )  {
      int i = 0;
      foreach ( Object obj in myList )
         Console.WriteLine( "\t[{0}]:\t{1}", i++, obj );
      Console.WriteLine();
   }

}


/* 
This code produces the following output.
The ArrayList initially contains the following values:
        [0]:    The
        [1]:    quick
        [2]:    brown
        [3]:    fox
        [4]:    jumps
        [5]:    over
        [6]:    the
        [7]:    lazy
        [8]:    dog

After sorting with the default comparer:
        [0]:    brown
        [1]:    dog
        [2]:    fox
        [3]:    jumps
        [4]:    lazy
        [5]:    over
        [6]:    quick
        [7]:    the
        [8]:    The

After sorting with the reverse case-insensitive comparer:
        [0]:    the
        [1]:    The
        [2]:    quick
        [3]:    over
        [4]:    lazy
        [5]:    jumps
        [6]:    fox
        [7]:    dog
        [8]:    brown 
*/

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

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