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Paradigm for multiple IDisposables

P: n/a
I'm sure this comes up often, but I have a situation where I have at
least 4 objects that all implement IDisposable. It gets very tedious
having to write finally blocks that Dispose all of them in a row, but
the using statement is very limited in that it doesn't (seem to) allow
me to have a list of objects specified. Well, I guess that's not
entirely true, if they are all the same type it does, but in my case
they aren't all the same type. I've figured out a couple ways of
handling, but I wonder if there is something more elegant than what I'm
doing. Here's what I've thought of so far:

-------------------------------------
Solution 1: Initialize everything outside of the using block, then use
a list of IDisposables inside the using statement, and the compiler
will implicitly convert each one to an IDisposable, and since they will
all be the same type after implicit conversion, the syntax is allowed.

Example 1:

Disposable1 First = new Disposable1();
Disposable2 Second = new Disposable2();
using (IDisposable dummy1 = First, dummy2 = Second)
{

}
-------------------------------------
Solution 2: Write a new class (MultiDispose), which itself implements
IDisposable and contains a list of classes which implement IDisposable,
and receives a list of items in its constructor. In
MultiDispose.Dispose, run through the list and Dispose() each item in
the list.

Example 2:
class MultiDispose : IDisposable
{
private List<IDisposable_DisposeList;
public MultiDispose(params IDisposable[] DisposeList)
{
_DisposeList = new List<IDisposable>(DisposeList);
}

public void Dispose()
{
foreach (IDispose DisposeItem in _DisposeList)
DisposeItem.Dispose();
}
}

//Some other function
using (MultiDispose DisposeScope = new MultiDispose(First, Second,
Third, Fourth))
{

}
-------------------------------------
Solution 3: Do nothing special, just use tons of nested using
statements. To improve readability, wrap only the innermost using
block with parentheses, and don't indent consecutive using blocks so as
to keep the indentation level small.

Example 3:

using (Disposable1 First = new Disposable1())
using (Disposable2 Second = new Disposable2())
using (Disposable3 Third = new Disposable3())
using (Disposable4 Fourth = new Disposable4())
{
//Code here
}
-------------------------------------
So far I prefer Solution #2 above, because it has the nice benefit of
allowing me to add a method to MultiDispose called Add(), so I can add
a new item to the list in the middle of the block. This provides an
elegant way to Dispose of items which aren't valid unless certain
operations (which could throw) have already been performed on one of
the items declared in the using block. An example with Database code:

SqlConnection Connection = new SqlConnection(ConnectionString);
SqlCommand Command = new SqlCommand(CommandText, Connection);
using (MultiDispose DisposeScope = new MultiDispose(Connection,
Command))
{
Connection.Open();
SqlDataReader Reader =
Command.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.CloseConnect ion);

DisposeScope.Add(Reader);
if (!Reader.HasRows)
return false;
//Process the data in the rows.
}

The alternative in this situation would have been to make ANOTHER using
block just for the Reader, which would start to hinder readability, and
possibly performance.

I admit I don't know too much about CLR internals or some of the
intricacies of C# language syntax, so I'm having a hard time analyzing
all the pros and cons of each method. For example, Solution 3 creates
a nesting of try/finally blocks N levels deep, where N is the number of
items you're "using". Perhaps this could have some performance
implications. Solution 2 (my preferred solution so far) could have
some pitfalls in that you're circumventing some of the typical checks
the compiler performs for you, which may make it easier to introduce
subtle programming errors.
Anyone have any thoughts on this problem, or is there a standard
"accepted" way of handling this?

Thanks

Sep 22 '06 #1
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3 Replies


P: n/a


"Zach" <di***********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@k70g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
I'm sure this comes up often, but I have a situation where I have at
least 4 objects that all implement IDisposable. It gets very tedious
having to write finally blocks that Dispose all of them in a row, but
the using statement is very limited in that it doesn't (seem to) allow
me to have a list of objects specified. Well, I guess that's not
entirely true, if they are all the same type it does, but in my case
they aren't all the same type. I've figured out a couple ways of
handling, but I wonder if there is something more elegant than what I'm
doing. Here's what I've thought of so far:
.. . .
-------------------------------------
Solution 3: Do nothing special, just use tons of nested using
statements. To improve readability, wrap only the innermost using
block with parentheses, and don't indent consecutive using blocks so as
to keep the indentation level small.

Example 3:

using (Disposable1 First = new Disposable1())
using (Disposable2 Second = new Disposable2())
using (Disposable3 Third = new Disposable3())
using (Disposable4 Fourth = new Disposable4())
{
//Code here
}
-------------------------------------

.. . .
>
Anyone have any thoughts on this problem, or is there a standard
"accepted" way of handling this?
I greatly prefer "Solution 3". It's simple, completely general, readable
and works well.

The performance should be fine, especially since use of Disposable objects
usually coincides with network access, and so performance considerations on
the order of magnitude at which these solutions differ should be irrelevant.

David

Sep 22 '06 #2

P: n/a
Zach,

Right now, what you have, only solution three is guaranteed to protect
you and call IDisposable in the face of exceptions.

The problem with #1 is that if an exception is thrown on the call to the
constructor for Disposable2, then the stack is excited, and the instance of
Disposable1 isn't disposed of properly.

#2 won't work for the same reason. If you do this:

Disposable1 d1 = new Disposable1();
Disposable2 d2 = new Disposable2();

using (MultiDispose md = new MultiDispose(d1, d2))
{
}

You run into the same problem above. Even if you do this:

using (MultiDispose md = new MultiDispose(new Disposable1(), new
Disposable2))

You still have the problem, since the call to the constructor of
Disposable2 can throw.

You can adapt solution 2 so that the constructor takes nothing. Then,
you can call Add ^inside^ the using block, like so:

Disposable d1 = null;
Disposable d2 = null;

using (MultiDispose md = new MultiDispose())
{
md.Add(d1 = new Disposable1());
md.Add(d2 = new Disposable2());
}

That will work, because if one of the calls to the constructors throws,
then you know that things will be disposed of properly.

One other thing to make sure this works. In your implementation of
IDisposable on MultiDispose, you have to wrap the call to Dispose on each
item in a try/catch and re-throw the exception if one is thrown during a
call to Dispose. Then, for good measure, you should probably re-throw
whatever exceptions you catch (or just the first one, if you catch more than
one).

All that being said, I think you can see why #3 is the best solution.

Hope this helps.
--
- Nicholas Paldino [.NET/C# MVP]
- mv*@spam.guard.caspershouse.com

"Zach" <di***********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@k70g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
I'm sure this comes up often, but I have a situation where I have at
least 4 objects that all implement IDisposable. It gets very tedious
having to write finally blocks that Dispose all of them in a row, but
the using statement is very limited in that it doesn't (seem to) allow
me to have a list of objects specified. Well, I guess that's not
entirely true, if they are all the same type it does, but in my case
they aren't all the same type. I've figured out a couple ways of
handling, but I wonder if there is something more elegant than what I'm
doing. Here's what I've thought of so far:

-------------------------------------
Solution 1: Initialize everything outside of the using block, then use
a list of IDisposables inside the using statement, and the compiler
will implicitly convert each one to an IDisposable, and since they will
all be the same type after implicit conversion, the syntax is allowed.

Example 1:

Disposable1 First = new Disposable1();
Disposable2 Second = new Disposable2();
using (IDisposable dummy1 = First, dummy2 = Second)
{

}
-------------------------------------
Solution 2: Write a new class (MultiDispose), which itself implements
IDisposable and contains a list of classes which implement IDisposable,
and receives a list of items in its constructor. In
MultiDispose.Dispose, run through the list and Dispose() each item in
the list.

Example 2:
class MultiDispose : IDisposable
{
private List<IDisposable_DisposeList;
public MultiDispose(params IDisposable[] DisposeList)
{
_DisposeList = new List<IDisposable>(DisposeList);
}

public void Dispose()
{
foreach (IDispose DisposeItem in _DisposeList)
DisposeItem.Dispose();
}
}

//Some other function
using (MultiDispose DisposeScope = new MultiDispose(First, Second,
Third, Fourth))
{

}
-------------------------------------
Solution 3: Do nothing special, just use tons of nested using
statements. To improve readability, wrap only the innermost using
block with parentheses, and don't indent consecutive using blocks so as
to keep the indentation level small.

Example 3:

using (Disposable1 First = new Disposable1())
using (Disposable2 Second = new Disposable2())
using (Disposable3 Third = new Disposable3())
using (Disposable4 Fourth = new Disposable4())
{
//Code here
}
-------------------------------------
So far I prefer Solution #2 above, because it has the nice benefit of
allowing me to add a method to MultiDispose called Add(), so I can add
a new item to the list in the middle of the block. This provides an
elegant way to Dispose of items which aren't valid unless certain
operations (which could throw) have already been performed on one of
the items declared in the using block. An example with Database code:

SqlConnection Connection = new SqlConnection(ConnectionString);
SqlCommand Command = new SqlCommand(CommandText, Connection);
using (MultiDispose DisposeScope = new MultiDispose(Connection,
Command))
{
Connection.Open();
SqlDataReader Reader =
Command.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.CloseConnect ion);

DisposeScope.Add(Reader);
if (!Reader.HasRows)
return false;
//Process the data in the rows.
}

The alternative in this situation would have been to make ANOTHER using
block just for the Reader, which would start to hinder readability, and
possibly performance.

I admit I don't know too much about CLR internals or some of the
intricacies of C# language syntax, so I'm having a hard time analyzing
all the pros and cons of each method. For example, Solution 3 creates
a nesting of try/finally blocks N levels deep, where N is the number of
items you're "using". Perhaps this could have some performance
implications. Solution 2 (my preferred solution so far) could have
some pitfalls in that you're circumventing some of the typical checks
the compiler performs for you, which may make it easier to introduce
subtle programming errors.
Anyone have any thoughts on this problem, or is there a standard
"accepted" way of handling this?

Thanks

Sep 22 '06 #3

P: n/a
This may also be of help...

http://www.geocities.com/jeff_louie/oop29.htm

Regards,
Jeff

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Sep 22 '06 #4

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