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IComparable Interface

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Defines a generalized type-specific comparison method that a value type or class implements to order or sort its instances.

Namespace:   System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)
Public Interface IComparable
public interface IComparable
public interface class IComparable
type IComparable =  interface end
public interface IComparable

The IComparable type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public method CompareToCompares the current instance with another object of the same type and returns an integer that indicates whether the current instance precedes, follows, or occurs in the same position in the sort order as the other object.
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This interface is implemented by types whose values can be ordered or sorted. It requires that implementing types define a single method, CompareTo(Object), that indicates whether the position of the current instance in the sort order is before, after, or the same as a second object of the same type. The instance's IComparable implementation is called automatically by methods such as Array.Sort and ArrayList.Sort.

The implementation of the CompareTo(Object) method must return an Int32 that has one of three values, as shown in the following table.

Value

Meaning

Less than zero

The current instance precedes the object specified by the CompareTo method in the sort order.

Zero

This current instance occurs in the same position in the sort order as the object specified by the CompareTo method.

Greater than zero

This current instance follows the object specified by the CompareTo method in the sort order.

All numeric types (such as Int32 and Double) implement IComparable, as do String, Char, and DateTime. Custom types should also provide their own implementation of IComparable to enable object instances to be ordered or sorted.