[c#] Choosing the default value of an Enum type without having to change values



5 Answers

The default value of any enum is zero. So if you want to set one enumerator to be the default value, then set that one to zero and all other enumerators to non-zero (the first enumerator to have the value zero will be the default value for that enum if there are several enumerators with the value zero).

enum Orientation
{
    None = 0, //default value since it has the value '0'
    North = 1,
    East = 2,
    South = 3,
    West = 4
}

Orientation o; // initialized to 'None'

If your enumerators don't need explicit values, then just make sure the first enumerator is the one you want to be the default enumerator since "By default, the first enumerator has the value 0, and the value of each successive enumerator is increased by 1." (C# reference)

enum Orientation
{
    None, //default value since it is the first enumerator
    North,
    East,
    South,
    West
}

Orientation o; // initialized to 'None'
Question

In C#, is it possible to decorate an Enum type with an attribute or do something else to specify what the default value should be, without having the change the values? The numbers required might be set in stone for whatever reason, and it'd be handy to still have control over the default.

enum Orientation
{
    None = -1,
    North = 0,
    East = 1,
    South = 2,
    West = 3
}

Orientation o; // Is 'North' by default.



An enum's default is whatever enumeration equates to zero. I don't believe this is changeable by attribute or other means.

(MSDN says: "The default value of an enum E is the value produced by the expression (E)0.")




One more way that might be helpful - to use some kind of "alias". For example:

public enum Status
{
    New = 10,
    Old = 20,
    Actual = 30,

    // Use Status.Default to specify default status in your code. 
    Default = New 
}



The default value of enum is the enummember equal to 0 or the first element(if value is not specified) ... But i have faced critical problems using enum in my projects and overcome by doing something below ... How ever my need was related to class level ...

    class CDDtype
    {
        public int Id { get; set; }
        public DDType DDType { get; set; }

        public CDDtype()
        {
            DDType = DDType.None;
        }
    }    


    [DefaultValue(None)]
    public enum DDType
    {       
        None = -1,       
        ON = 0,       
        FC = 1,       
        NC = 2,       
        CC = 3
    }

and get expected result

    CDDtype d1= new CDDtype();
    CDDtype d2 = new CDDtype { Id = 50 };

    Console.Write(d1.DDType);//None
    Console.Write(d2.DDType);//None

Now what if value is coming from DB .... Ok in this scenario... pass value in below function and it will convertthe value to enum ...below function handled various scenario and it's generic... and believe me it is very fast ..... :)

    public static T ToEnum<T>(this object value)
    {
        //Checking value is null or DBNull
        if (!value.IsNull())
        {
            return (T)Enum.Parse(typeof(T), value.ToStringX());
        }

        //Returanable object
        object ValueToReturn = null;

        //First checking whether any 'DefaultValueAttribute' is present or not
        var DefaultAtt = (from a in typeof(T).CustomAttributes
                          where a.AttributeType == typeof(DefaultValueAttribute)
                          select a).FirstOrNull();

        //If DefaultAttributeValue is present
        if ((!DefaultAtt.IsNull()) && (DefaultAtt.ConstructorArguments.Count == 1))
        {
            ValueToReturn = DefaultAtt.ConstructorArguments[0].Value;
        }

        //If still no value found
        if (ValueToReturn.IsNull())
        {
            //Trying to get the very first property of that enum
            Array Values = Enum.GetValues(typeof(T));

            //getting very first member of this enum
            if (Values.Length > 0)
            {
                ValueToReturn = Values.GetValue(0);
            }
        }

        //If any result found
        if (!ValueToReturn.IsNull())
        {
            return (T)Enum.Parse(typeof(T), ValueToReturn.ToStringX());
        }

        return default(T);
    }



The default value for an enumeration type is 0:

  • "By default, the first enumerator has the value 0, and the value of each successive enumerator is increased by 1."

  • "The value type enum has the value produced by the expression (E)0, where E is the enum identifier."

You can check the documentation for C# enum here, and the documentation for C# default values table here.




[DefaultValue(None)]
public enum Orientation
{
    None = -1,
    North = 0,
    East = 1,
    South = 2,
    West = 3
}

Then in the code you can use

public Orientation GetDefaultOrientation()
{
   return default(Orientation);
} 





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