Question

How can I convert TO a Nullable from a String using reflection?

I have the following code to convert TO almost any value type given almost any value. There is quite a bit of code above this to use the IsAssignableFrom, etc. so this is the last resort.

MethodInfo parse = t.GetMethod("Parse", new Type[] { typeof(string) });

if (parse != null)
{
    object parsed = parse.Invoke(null, new object[] { value.ToString() });
    return (T)parsed;
}
else
{
    throw new InvalidOperationException("The value you specified is not a valid " + typeof(T).ToString());
}

The problem comes when I want to to convert to a nullable type like long?.

Obviously, the long? class does not have a parse method.

How do I extract the parse method from the nullable's template type?

EDIT:

Here is a short battery of tests I'm trying to pass:

[Test]
public void ConverterTNullable()
{
    Assert.That((int?)1, Is.EqualTo(Converter<int?>.Convert(1)));
    Assert.That((int?)2, Is.EqualTo(Converter<int?>.Convert(2.0d)));
    Assert.That(3, Is.EqualTo(Converter<long>.Convert(3)));

    Assert.That((object)null, Is.EqualTo(Converter<long?>.Convert("")));
    Assert.That((object)null, Is.EqualTo(Converter<long?>.Convert(null)));
    Assert.That((object)null, Is.EqualTo(Converter<long?>.Convert(DBNull.Value)));

    Assert.That((long)1, Is.EqualTo(Converter<long?>.Convert("1")));
    Assert.That((long)2, Is.EqualTo(Converter<long?>.Convert(2.0)));
    Assert.That((long?)3, Is.EqualTo(Converter<long>.Convert(3)));
}

And the whole function:

/// <summary>
/// Converts any compatible object to an instance of T.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="value">The value to convert.</param>
/// <returns>The converted value.</returns>
public static T Convert(object value)
{
    if (value is T)
    {
        return (T)value;
    }

    Type t = typeof(T);

    if (t == typeof(string))
    {
        if (value is DBNull || value == null)
        {
            return (T)(object)null;
        }
        else
        {
            return (T)(object)(value.ToString());
        }
    }
    else
    {
        if (value is DBNull || value == null)
        {
            return default(T);
        }

        if (value is string && string.IsNullOrEmpty((string)value))
        {
            return default(T);
        }

        try
        {
            return (T)value;
        }
        catch (InvalidCastException)
        {
        }

        if (Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(t) != null)
        {
            t = Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(t);
        }

        MethodInfo parse = t.GetMethod("Parse", new Type[] { typeof(string) });

        if (parse != null)
        {
            object parsed = parse.Invoke(null, new object[] { value.ToString() });
            return (T)parsed;
        }
        else
        {
            throw new InvalidOperationException("The value you specified is not a valid " + typeof(T).ToString());
        }
    }
}
Was it helpful?

Solution 3

I added this little bit:

if (Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(t) != null)
{
    t = Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(t);
}

MethodInfo parse = t.GetMethod("Parse", new Type[] { typeof(string) });

Thanks everyone!

OTHER TIPS

I would probably use the TypeConverter in this case, and Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(); example on the way...

    static void Main()
    {
        long? val1 = Parse<long?>("123");
        long? val2 = Parse<long?>(null);
    }

    static T Parse<T>(string value)
    {
        return (T) TypeDescriptor.GetConverter(typeof(T))
            .ConvertFrom(value);
    }

This should to the job. (Code is embedded in an extension method for simplicity, though it may not be what you want.)

public static T? ParseToNullable<T>(this string value) where T : struct
{
    var parseMethod = typeof(T).GetMethod("Parse", new Type[] { typeof(string) });
    if (parseMethod == null)
        return new Nullable<T>();

    try
    {
        var value = parseMethod.Invoke(null, new object[] { value.ToString() });
        return new Nullable<T>((T)value);
    }
    catch
    {
        return new Nullable<T>();
    }
}

Now, if you want the generic type paramter itself to be the nullable type rather than the underlying one (I don't really see an advantage in this), you can make use of:

Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(typeof(T))

as Marc Gravell suggested, and it would only require a few minor modifications to the code.

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