cft

Lesser known C# features – Part 1

Language C# has become very powerful and mature over the years. As with any other language, C# also has few features which are used lesser than others.


user

Ankit Vijay

3 years ago | 3 min read

C#  has become very powerful and mature over the years. As w ith any other language, C# also has fa ew features which are used leslesse ser than others. These are useful but often forgotten features. Through a series of blog popostst, I want to talk about these lesser-known or used features of C#. This is Part 1 of the series.

Debugger Attributes

Debugger attributes help developers to customize output in the debugger window. These attributes are available in the  namespace.

attribute controls how a  type or member is displayed in the debugger windows. For example, consider the below class with  attribute.

[DebuggerDisplay("Name of employee is {FirstName} {Surname} and his department is {Department}")]public class Employee{ public string FirstName { get; set; } public string Surname { get; set; } public string Department { get; set; }}

When you debug code, you would see a message as shown below:

  • DebuggerBrowsable

DebuggerBrowser attribute can be used to further control how the properties and fields appear in the debugger window. This attribute takes  enum, which defines  states:  and

public class Employee{ [DebuggerBrowsable(DebuggerBrowsableState.Collapsed)] public string FirstName { get; set; } [DebuggerBrowsable(DebuggerBrowsableState.Never)] public string Surname { get; set; } [DebuggerBrowsable(DebuggerBrowsableState.RootHidden)] public List<string> Reportees { get; set; }}

The debug window output for above code would appear as below:

Other useful attributes available under this namespace are

  • DebuggerHidden
  • DebuggerNonUserCode
  • DebuggerVisualizer

You can refer to the  namespace to know more about these attributes.

CallerInfo Attributes

As the name suggests, these attributes help to track information of a caller. There are three types of CallerInfo attributes available:

  • CallerMemberName – Gives the name of the caller (eg. method or property name).
  • CallerFilePath –  Gives the fill path at the time of compilation of the source file that contains the caller.
  • CallerLineNumber – Gives the line number at which a method (caller) was called in the source file.

https://gist.github.com/ankitvijay/2400c1ebb26d3de3523c682d6d1a65c8#file-logger-cs

https://gist.github.com/ankitvijay/2400c1ebb26d3de3523c682d6d1a65c8#file-logger-cs

These attributes are available in the namespace.

Example, consider a class that logs message from the caller. While logging the message, we would like to get additional information about the method name, source line number etc. It is very tedious to pass this information for each message that needs to be logged. Instead, we can use Caller Info attributes to obtain the information.

using System.Diagnostics;using System.Runtime.CompilerServices;namespace CallerInfoExample{ public static class Logger { public static void Log(string message, [CallerFilePath] string sourceFilePath = "", [CallerLineNumber] int sourceLineNumber = 0, [CallerMemberName] string callerMemberName = "") { Log($"[Message]: {message}; [Source File Path]: {sourceFilePath}; " + $"[Source Line Number]: {sourceLineNumber}; [Caller Member Name]: {callerMemberName}; "); } private static void Log(string message) { Debug.WriteLine(message); } }}

namespace CallerInfoExample{ class Program { static void Main(string[] args) { Logger.Log("Testing logging inside Main() method"); } }}

When we call from  method, all we need to pass is the log message and rest of the information is obtained through CallerInfo attributes.

The output of above code snippet is:

[Message]: Testing logging inside Main() method; [Source File Path]: DriveLabel:\Full-Source-File-Path\Program.cs; [Source Line Number]: 7; [Caller Member Name]: Main;

 attribute is also used with   interface. This attributes helps you to keep your code clean as you no longer need to explicitly pass the property name that gets change. You can read more about the usage here.

Hope these tips would help you write better code. Stay tuned for more.

Also, please share any other lesser known C# features you have been using that you would like me to talk about in this series.

Upvote


user
Created by

Ankit Vijay

Hi... I’m Ankit Vijay. I hold around 14 years of experience in application development & consulting. I’m a Dotnet Foundation member. I have worked in various roles ranging from Individual Contributor, DevOps, Solution Architect, Consultant, and Dev Lead depending on the nature of the project. I am passionate about technology and write about the topics I love. If you like my blogs, you can follow me on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/vijayankit or GitHub @ https://github.com/ankitvijay


people
Post

Upvote

Downvote

Comment

Bookmark

Share


Related Articles