Generic Delegates (C# Programming Guide)

A delegate can define its own type parameters. Code that references the generic delegate can specify the type argument to create a closed constructed type, just like when instantiating a generic class or calling a generic method, as shown in the following example:

public delegate void Del<T>(T item);
public static void Notify(int i) { }

Del<int> m1 = new Del<int>(Notify);

C# version 2.0 has a new feature called method group conversion, which applies to concrete as well as generic delegate types, and enables you to write the previous line with this simplified syntax:

Del<int> m2 = Notify;

Delegates defined within a generic class can use the generic class type parameters in the same way that class methods do.

class Stack<T>
    T[] items;
    int index;

    public delegate void StackDelegate(T[] items);

Code that references the delegate must specify the type argument of the containing class, as follows:

private static void DoWork(float[] items) { }

public static void TestStack()
    Stack<float> s = new Stack<float>();
    Stack<float>.StackDelegate d = DoWork;

Generic delegates are especially useful in defining events based on the typical design pattern because the sender argument can be strongly typed and no longer has to be cast to and from Object.

delegate void StackEventHandler<T, U>(T sender, U eventArgs);

class Stack<T>
    public class StackEventArgs : System.EventArgs { }
    public event StackEventHandler<Stack<T>, StackEventArgs> stackEvent;

    protected virtual void OnStackChanged(StackEventArgs a)
        stackEvent(this, a);

class SampleClass
    public void HandleStackChange<T>(Stack<T> stack, Stack<T>.StackEventArgs args) { }

public static void Test()
    Stack<double> s = new Stack<double>();
    SampleClass o = new SampleClass();
    s.stackEvent += o.HandleStackChange;

See Also


Introduction to Generics (C# Programming Guide)

Generic Methods (C# Programming Guide)

Generic Classes (C# Programming Guide)

Generic Interfaces (C# Programming Guide)

Delegates (C# Programming Guide)



C# Programming Guide

Other Resources

Generics in the .NET Framework