GenericParameterAttributes Enumeration

 
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Describes the constraints on a generic type parameter of a generic type or method.

This enumeration has a FlagsAttribute attribute that allows a bitwise combination of its member values.

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

[FlagsAttribute]
public enum class GenericParameterAttributes

Member nameDescription
Contravariant

The generic type parameter is contravariant. A contravariant type parameter can appear as a parameter type in method signatures.

Covariant

The generic type parameter is covariant. A covariant type parameter can appear as the result type of a method, the type of a read-only field, a declared base type, or an implemented interface.

DefaultConstructorConstraint

A type can be substituted for the generic type parameter only if it has a parameterless constructor.

None

There are no special flags.

NotNullableValueTypeConstraint

A type can be substituted for the generic type parameter only if it is a value type and is not nullable.

ReferenceTypeConstraint

A type can be substituted for the generic type parameter only if it is a reference type.

SpecialConstraintMask

Selects the combination of all special constraint flags. This value is the result of using logical OR to combine the following flags: DefaultConstructorConstraint, ReferenceTypeConstraint, and NotNullableValueTypeConstraint.

VarianceMask

Selects the combination of all variance flags. This value is the result of using logical OR to combine the following flags: Contravariant and Covariant.

The members of the GenericParameterAttributes enumeration are divided into two groups, the variance group and the special constraints group. To test a GenericParameterAttributes value for variance flags, first perform a bitwise AND operation with VarianceMask. If the result is None, there are no variance flags. Similarly, use SpecialConstraintMask to test for constraint flags.

The following code example defines a generic type Test with two type parameters. The second type parameter has a base class constraint and a reference type constraint. When the program executes, the constraints are examined using the Type::GenericParameterAttributes property and the Type::GetGenericParameterConstraints method.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Collections;
using namespace System::Reflection;

// Define a sample interface to use as an interface constraint.
interface class ITest{};

// Define a base type to use as a class constraint.
public ref class Base{};

// Define the generic type to examine. The first generic type parameter,
// T, derives from the class Base and implements ITest. This demonstrates
// a base class constraint and an interface constraint. In the .NET
// Framework version 2.0, C++ has no way of expressing special constraints.
// See the C# example code.
//
generic <typename T, typename U>
   where T :  Base, ITest
ref class Test {};

// Define a type that derives from Base and implements interface
// ITest. This type satisfies the constraint on T in class Test.
public ref class Derived: public Base, public ITest {};

public ref class Example
{
public:
   static void Main()
   {
      // Create a constructed type from Test<T,U>, and from it
      // get the generic type definition.
      //
      Type^ def = Test::typeid;
      Console::WriteLine( L"\r\nExamining generic type {0}", def );

      // Get the type parameters of the generic type definition,
      // and display them.
      //
      for each (Type^ tp in def->GetGenericArguments())
      {
         Console::WriteLine( L"\r\nType parameter: {0}", tp);
         Console::WriteLine( L"\t{0}", 
            ListGenericParameterAttributes( tp ) );

         // List the base class and interface constraints. The
         // constraints do not appear in any particular order. If
         // there are no class or interface constraints, an empty
         // array is returned.
         //
         for each (Type^ constraint in tp->GetGenericParameterConstraints())
         {
            Console::WriteLine( L"\t{0}", constraint );
         }
      }
   }

private:

   // List the variance and special constraint flags. 
   //
   static String^ ListGenericParameterAttributes( Type^ t )
   {
      String^ retval;
      GenericParameterAttributes gpa = t->GenericParameterAttributes;

      // Select the variance flag.
      GenericParameterAttributes variance =
         static_cast<GenericParameterAttributes>(
            gpa & GenericParameterAttributes::VarianceMask );

      if ( variance == GenericParameterAttributes::None )
            retval = L"No variance flag;";
      else
      {
         if ( (variance & GenericParameterAttributes::Covariant) !=
               GenericParameterAttributes::None )
            retval = L"Covariant;";
         else
            retval = L"Contravariant;";
      }

      // Select the special constraint flags.
      GenericParameterAttributes constraints =
         static_cast<GenericParameterAttributes>(
            gpa & GenericParameterAttributes::SpecialConstraintMask);

      if ( constraints == GenericParameterAttributes::None )
            retval = String::Concat( retval, L" No special constraints" );
      else
      {
         if ( (constraints & GenericParameterAttributes::ReferenceTypeConstraint) !=
               GenericParameterAttributes::None )
            retval = String::Concat( retval, L" ReferenceTypeConstraint" );

         if ( (constraints & GenericParameterAttributes::NotNullableValueTypeConstraint) !=
               GenericParameterAttributes::None )
            retval = String::Concat( retval, L" NotNullableValueTypeConstraint" );

         if ( (constraints & GenericParameterAttributes::DefaultConstructorConstraint) !=
               GenericParameterAttributes::None )
            retval = String::Concat( retval, L" DefaultConstructorConstraint" );
      }

      return retval;
   }
};

int main()
{
   Example::Main();
}

/* This example produces the following output:

Examining generic type Test`2[T,U]

Type parameter: T
        No variance flag; No special constraints
        Base
        ITest

Type parameter: U
        No variance flag; No special constraints
 */

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 8
.NET Framework
Available since 2.0
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Silverlight
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1
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