IComparable(T) Interface

Defines a generalized comparison method that a value type or class implements to create a type-specific comparison method for ordering instances.

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

type IComparable<'T> =  interface end

Type Parameters

in T

The type of objects to compare.

This type parameter is contravariant. That is, you can use either the type you specified or any type that is less derived. For more information about covariance and contravariance, see Covariance and Contravariance in Generics.

The IComparable(T) type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryCompareToCompares the current object with another object of the same type.
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This interface is implemented by types whose values can be ordered; for example, the numeric and string classes. A value type or class implements the CompareTo(T) method to create a type-specific comparison method suitable for purposes such as sorting.

The IComparable(T) interface defines the CompareTo(T) method, which determines the sort order of instances of the implementing type. The IEquatable(T) interface defines the Equals method, which determines the equality of instances of the implementing type.

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

Value

Meaning

Less than zero

This object is less than the object specified by the CompareTo method.

Zero

This object is equal to the method parameter.

Greater than zero

This object is greater than the method parameter.

The IComparable(T) interface provides a strongly typed comparison method for ordering members of a generic collection object. Because of this, it is usually not called directly from developer code. Instead, it is called automatically by methods such as List(T).Sort() and Add.

Notes to Implementers

Replace the type parameter of the IComparable(T) interface with the type that is implementing this interface.

The following code example illustrates the implementation of IComparable for a simple Temperature object. The example creates a SortedList(TKey, TValue) collection of strings with Temperature object keys, and adds several pairs of temperatures and strings to the list out of sequence. In the call to the Add method, the SortedList(TKey, TValue) collection uses the IComparable(T) implementation to sort the list entries, which are then displayed in order of increasing temperature.

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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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