Trying to get generic when generic is not available

I am trying to develop some general purpose custom ValidationAttributes. The fact that one cannot create a generic subclass of an attribute is making me nuts.

Here is my code for the IsValid override in a ValidationAttribute to verify that the value of a property is unique:

public override bool IsValid(object value) { SomeDataContext context = SomeDataContext.GetNewDataContext(); Type tableType = typeof(Table<>).MakeGenericType(new Type[] { _EntityType }); var table = Activator.CreateInstance(tableType); //ITable table = context.GetTable(_EntityType); var codeProp = (from member in context.Mapping.GetMetaType(_EntityType).DataMembers where member.Name == _PropertyName select member.Member).Single(); ParameterExpression param = Expression.Parameter(_EntityType, "x"); MemberExpression memberExp = Expression.Property(param, (PropertyInfo)codeProp); Expression body = Expression.Equal(memberExp, Expression.Constant(value, typeof(char))); //var predicate = Expression.Lambda<Func<TEntityType, bool>>(body, param); Type lambdaType = typeof(Func<,>).MakeGenericType(_EntityType, typeof(bool)); var predicate = Expression.Lambda(lambdaType, body, param); object code = table.FirstOrDefault(predicate); if (code != null) { return false; } return true; }

This line:

object code = table.FirstOrDefault(predicate);

errors out:

'object' does not contain a definition for 'FirstOrDefault' and no extension ......etc.

How do I define, cast or otherwise get the compiler to recognize "table" as something that exposes a .FirstOrDefault method?



This will get you to a type that System.Linq.Enumerable can use:

IEnumerable<object> tableGeneric = ((IEnumerable)table).OfType<object>();

Three concerns:

<ol> <li>Don't use var so much - you'll lose track of your types.</li> <li>I'm unsure about using your predicate in a FirstOrDefault call - I don't see how the compiler can type check it. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb299425.aspx</li> <li>If you get the predicate working, .Any() might be a better choice than .FirstOrDefault()</li> </ol>


How do I define, cast or otherwise get the compiler to recognize "table" as something that exposes a .FirstOrDefault method?

By using an explicit cast to IEnumerable<> of something. Since you don't know the “something” in your case, you effectively cannot use FirstOrDefault. Simply implement the logic yourself:

var enumerator = ((IEnumerable)table).GetEnumerator(); object code = enumerator.MoveNext() ? enumerator.Value : null;


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