IComparable.CompareTo(Object) IComparable.CompareTo(Object) IComparable.CompareTo(Object) IComparable.CompareTo(Object) Method

Definition

Compares 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.

public:
 int CompareTo(System::Object ^ obj);
public int CompareTo (object obj);
abstract member CompareTo : obj -> int
Public Function CompareTo (obj As Object) As Integer

Parameters

obj
Object Object Object Object

An object to compare with this instance.

Returns

A value that indicates the relative order of the objects being compared. The return value has these meanings:

Value Meaning
Less than zero This instance precedes obj in the sort order.
Zero This instance occurs in the same position in the sort order as obj.
Greater than zero This instance follows obj in the sort order.

Exceptions

obj is not the same type as this instance.

Examples

The following example illustrates the use of CompareTo to compare a Temperature object implementing IComparable with another object. The Temperature object implements CompareTo by simply wrapping a call to the Int32.CompareTo method.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Collections;

public ref class Temperature: public IComparable {
   /// <summary>
   /// IComparable.CompareTo implementation.
   /// </summary>
protected:
   // The value holder
   Double m_value;

public:
   virtual Int32 CompareTo( Object^ obj ) {
   
      if (obj == nullptr) return 1;
      
      if ( obj->GetType() == Temperature::typeid ) {
         Temperature^ temp = dynamic_cast<Temperature^>(obj);

         return m_value.CompareTo( temp->m_value );
      }
      throw gcnew ArgumentException(  "object is not a Temperature" );
   }

   property Double Value {
      Double get() {
         return m_value;
      }
      void set( Double value ) {
         m_value = value;
      }
   }

   property Double Celsius  {
      Double get() {
         return (m_value - 32) / 1.8;
      }
      void set( Double value ) {
         m_value = (value * 1.8) + 32;
      }
   }
};

int main()
{
   ArrayList^ temperatures = gcnew ArrayList;
   // Initialize random number generator.
   Random^ rnd = gcnew Random;

   // Generate 10 temperatures between 0 and 100 randomly.
   for (int ctr = 1; ctr <= 10; ctr++)
   {
      int degrees = rnd->Next(0, 100);
      Temperature^ temp = gcnew Temperature;
      temp->Value = degrees;
      temperatures->Add(temp);
   }

   // Sort ArrayList.
   temperatures->Sort();
      
   for each (Temperature^ temp in temperatures)
      Console::WriteLine(temp->Value);
   return 0;
}
// The example displays the following output to the console (individual
// values may vary because they are randomly generated):
//       2
//       7
//       16
//       17
//       31
//       37
//       58
//       66
//       72
//       95
using System;
using System.Collections;

public class Temperature : IComparable 
{
    // The temperature value
    protected double temperatureF;

    public int CompareTo(object obj) {
        if (obj == null) return 1;
        
        Temperature otherTemperature = obj as Temperature;
        if (otherTemperature != null) 
            return this.temperatureF.CompareTo(otherTemperature.temperatureF);
        else
           throw new ArgumentException("Object is not a Temperature");
    }

    public double Fahrenheit 
    {
        get 
        {
            return this.temperatureF;
        }
        set {
            this.temperatureF = value;
        }
    }

    public double Celsius 
    {
        get 
        {
            return (this.temperatureF - 32) * (5.0/9);
        }
        set 
        {
            this.temperatureF = (value * 9.0/5) + 32;
        }
    }
}

public class CompareTemperatures
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      ArrayList temperatures = new ArrayList();
      // Initialize random number generator.
      Random rnd = new Random();
      
      // Generate 10 temperatures between 0 and 100 randomly.
      for (int ctr = 1; ctr <= 10; ctr++)
      {
         int degrees = rnd.Next(0, 100);
         Temperature temp = new Temperature();
         temp.Fahrenheit = degrees;
         temperatures.Add(temp);   
      }

      // Sort ArrayList.
      temperatures.Sort();
      
      foreach (Temperature temp in temperatures)
         Console.WriteLine(temp.Fahrenheit);
            
   }
}
// The example displays the following output to the console (individual
// values may vary because they are randomly generated):
//       2
//       7
//       16
//       17
//       31
//       37
//       58
//       66
//       72
//       95
Imports System.Collections

Public Class Temperature
    Implements IComparable
    ' The temperature value
    Protected temperatureF As Double

    Public Overloads Function CompareTo(ByVal obj As Object) As Integer _
        Implements IComparable.CompareTo
        
        If obj Is Nothing Then Return 1

        Dim otherTemperature As Temperature = TryCast(obj, Temperature)
        If otherTemperature IsNot Nothing Then
            Return Me.temperatureF.CompareTo(otherTemperature.temperatureF)
        Else
           Throw New ArgumentException("Object is not a Temperature")
        End If   
    End Function

    Public Property Fahrenheit() As Double
        Get
            Return temperatureF
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Double)
            Me.temperatureF = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    Public Property Celsius() As Double
        Get
            Return (temperatureF - 32) * (5/9)
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As Double)
            Me.temperatureF = (Value * 9/5) + 32
        End Set
    End Property
End Class

Public Module CompareTemperatures
   Public Sub Main()
      Dim temperatures As New ArrayList
      ' Initialize random number generator.
      Dim rnd As New Random()
      
      ' Generate 10 temperatures between 0 and 100 randomly.
      For ctr As Integer = 1 To 10
         Dim degrees As Integer = rnd.Next(0, 100)
         Dim temp As New Temperature
         temp.Fahrenheit = degrees
         temperatures.Add(temp)   
      Next

      ' Sort ArrayList.
      temperatures.Sort()
      
      For Each temp As Temperature In temperatures
         Console.WriteLine(temp.Fahrenheit)
      Next      
   End Sub
End Module
' The example displays the following output to the console (individual
' values may vary because they are randomly generated):
'       2
'       7
'       16
'       17
'       31
'       37
'       58
'       66
'       72
'       95

Remarks

The CompareTo method is implemented by types whose values can be ordered or sorted. It is called automatically by methods of non-generic collection objects, such as Array.Sort, to order each member of the array. If a custom class or structure does not implement IComparable, its members cannot be ordered and the sort operation can throw an InvalidOperationException.

This method is only a definition and must be implemented by a specific class or value type to have effect. The meaning of the comparisons specified in the Return Value section ("precedes", "occurs in the same position as", and "follows") depends on the particular implementation.

By definition, any object compares greater than (or follows) null, and two null references compare equal to each other.

The parameter, obj, must be the same type as the class or value type that implements this interface; otherwise, an ArgumentException is thrown.

Notes to Implementers

For objects A, B and C, the following must be true:

A.CompareTo(A) must return zero.

If A.CompareTo(B) returns zero, then B.CompareTo(A) must return zero.

If A.CompareTo(B) returns zero and B.CompareTo(C) returns zero, then A.CompareTo(C) must return zero.

If A.CompareTo(B) returns a value other than zero, then B.CompareTo(A) must return a value of the opposite sign.

If A.CompareTo(B) returns a value x not equal to zero, and B.CompareTo(C) returns a value y of the same sign as x, then A.CompareTo(C) must return a value of the same sign as x and y.

Notes to Callers

Use the CompareTo(Object) method to determine the ordering of instances of a class.

Applies to

See Also