without - c# memberwiseclone




Deep cloning objects (20)

I want to do something like:

MyObject myObj = GetMyObj(); // Create and fill a new object
MyObject newObj = myObj.Clone();

And then make changes to the new object that are not reflected in the original object.

I don't often need this functionality, so when it's been necessary, I've resorted to creating a new object and then copying each property individually, but it always leaves me with the feeling that there is a better or more elegant way of handling the situation.

How can I clone or deep copy an object so that the cloned object can be modified without any changes being reflected in the original object?


Code Generator

We have seen a lot of ideas from serialization over manual implementation to reflection and I want to propose a totally different approach using the CGbR Code Generator. The generate clone method is memory and CPU efficient and therefor 300x faster as the standard DataContractSerializer.

All you need is a partial class definition with ICloneable and the generator does the rest:

public partial class Root : ICloneable
{
    public Root(int number)
    {
        _number = number;
    }
    private int _number;

    public Partial[] Partials { get; set; }

    public IList<ulong> Numbers { get; set; }

    public object Clone()
    {
        return Clone(true);
    }

    private Root()
    {
    }
} 

public partial class Root
{
    public Root Clone(bool deep)
    {
        var copy = new Root();
        // All value types can be simply copied
        copy._number = _number; 
        if (deep)
        {
            // In a deep clone the references are cloned 
            var tempPartials = new Partial[Partials.Length];
            for (var i = 0; i < Partials.Length; i++)
            {
                var value = Partials[i];
                value = value.Clone(true);
                tempPartials[i] = value;
            }
            copy.Partials = tempPartials;
            var tempNumbers = new List<ulong>(Numbers.Count);
            for (var i = 0; i < Numbers.Count; i++)
            {
                var value = Numbers[i];
                tempNumbers.Add(value);
            }
            copy.Numbers = tempNumbers;
        }
        else
        {
            // In a shallow clone only references are copied
            copy.Partials = Partials; 
            copy.Numbers = Numbers; 
        }
        return copy;
    }
}

Note: Latest version has a more null checks, but I left them out for better understanding.


Q. Why would I choose this answer?

  • Choose this answer if you want the fastest speed .NET is capable of.
  • Ignore this answer if you want a really, really easy method of cloning.

In other words, go with another answer unless you have a performance bottleneck that needs fixing, and you can prove it with a profiler.

10x faster than other methods

The following method of performing a deep clone is:

  • 10x faster than anything that involves serialization/deserialization;
  • Pretty darn close to the theoretical maximum speed .NET is capable of.

And the method ...

For ultimate speed, you can use Nested MemberwiseClone to do a deep copy. Its almost the same speed as copying a value struct, and is much faster than (a) reflection or (b) serialization (as described in other answers on this page).

Note that if you use Nested MemberwiseClone for a deep copy, you have to manually implement a ShallowCopy for each nested level in the class, and a DeepCopy which calls all said ShallowCopy methods to create a complete clone. This is simple: only a few lines in total, see the demo code below.

Here is the output of the code showing the relative performance difference for 100,000 clones:

  • 1.08 seconds for Nested MemberwiseClone on nested structs
  • 4.77 seconds for Nested MemberwiseClone on nested classes
  • 39.93 seconds for Serialization/Deserialization

Using Nested MemberwiseClone on a class almost as fast as copying a struct, and copying a struct is pretty darn close to the theoretical maximum speed .NET is capable of.

Demo 1 of shallow and deep copy, using classes and MemberwiseClone:
  Create Bob
    Bob.Age=30, Bob.Purchase.Description=Lamborghini
  Clone Bob >> BobsSon
  Adjust BobsSon details
    BobsSon.Age=2, BobsSon.Purchase.Description=Toy car
  Proof of deep copy: If BobsSon is a true clone, then adjusting BobsSon details will not affect Bob:
    Bob.Age=30, Bob.Purchase.Description=Lamborghini
  Elapsed time: 00:00:04.7795670,30000000

Demo 2 of shallow and deep copy, using structs and value copying:
  Create Bob
    Bob.Age=30, Bob.Purchase.Description=Lamborghini
  Clone Bob >> BobsSon
  Adjust BobsSon details:
    BobsSon.Age=2, BobsSon.Purchase.Description=Toy car
  Proof of deep copy: If BobsSon is a true clone, then adjusting BobsSon details will not affect Bob:
    Bob.Age=30, Bob.Purchase.Description=Lamborghini
  Elapsed time: 00:00:01.0875454,30000000

Demo 3 of deep copy, using class and serialize/deserialize:
  Elapsed time: 00:00:39.9339425,30000000

To understand how to do a deep copy using MemberwiseCopy, here is the demo project that was used to generate the times above:

// Nested MemberwiseClone example. 
// Added to demo how to deep copy a reference class.
[Serializable] // Not required if using MemberwiseClone, only used for speed comparison using serialization.
public class Person
{
    public Person(int age, string description)
    {
        this.Age = age;
        this.Purchase.Description = description;
    }
    [Serializable] // Not required if using MemberwiseClone
    public class PurchaseType
    {
        public string Description;
        public PurchaseType ShallowCopy()
        {
            return (PurchaseType)this.MemberwiseClone();
        }
    }
    public PurchaseType Purchase = new PurchaseType();
    public int Age;
    // Add this if using nested MemberwiseClone.
    // This is a class, which is a reference type, so cloning is more difficult.
    public Person ShallowCopy()
    {
        return (Person)this.MemberwiseClone();
    }
    // Add this if using nested MemberwiseClone.
    // This is a class, which is a reference type, so cloning is more difficult.
    public Person DeepCopy()
    {
            // Clone the root ...
        Person other = (Person) this.MemberwiseClone();
            // ... then clone the nested class.
        other.Purchase = this.Purchase.ShallowCopy();
        return other;
    }
}
// Added to demo how to copy a value struct (this is easy - a deep copy happens by default)
public struct PersonStruct
{
    public PersonStruct(int age, string description)
    {
        this.Age = age;
        this.Purchase.Description = description;
    }
    public struct PurchaseType
    {
        public string Description;
    }
    public PurchaseType Purchase;
    public int Age;
    // This is a struct, which is a value type, so everything is a clone by default.
    public PersonStruct ShallowCopy()
    {
        return (PersonStruct)this;
    }
    // This is a struct, which is a value type, so everything is a clone by default.
    public PersonStruct DeepCopy()
    {
        return (PersonStruct)this;
    }
}
// Added only for a speed comparison.
public class MyDeepCopy
{
    public static T DeepCopy<T>(T obj)
    {
        object result = null;
        using (var ms = new MemoryStream())
        {
            var formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
            formatter.Serialize(ms, obj);
            ms.Position = 0;
            result = (T)formatter.Deserialize(ms);
            ms.Close();
        }
        return (T)result;
    }
}

Then, call the demo from main:

void MyMain(string[] args)
{
    {
        Console.Write("Demo 1 of shallow and deep copy, using classes and MemberwiseCopy:\n");
        var Bob = new Person(30, "Lamborghini");
        Console.Write("  Create Bob\n");
        Console.Write("    Bob.Age={0}, Bob.Purchase.Description={1}\n", Bob.Age, Bob.Purchase.Description);
        Console.Write("  Clone Bob >> BobsSon\n");
        var BobsSon = Bob.DeepCopy();
        Console.Write("  Adjust BobsSon details\n");
        BobsSon.Age = 2;
        BobsSon.Purchase.Description = "Toy car";
        Console.Write("    BobsSon.Age={0}, BobsSon.Purchase.Description={1}\n", BobsSon.Age, BobsSon.Purchase.Description);
        Console.Write("  Proof of deep copy: If BobsSon is a true clone, then adjusting BobsSon details will not affect Bob:\n");
        Console.Write("    Bob.Age={0}, Bob.Purchase.Description={1}\n", Bob.Age, Bob.Purchase.Description);
        Debug.Assert(Bob.Age == 30);
        Debug.Assert(Bob.Purchase.Description == "Lamborghini");
        var sw = new Stopwatch();
        sw.Start();
        int total = 0;
        for (int i = 0; i < 100000; i++)
        {
            var n = Bob.DeepCopy();
            total += n.Age;
        }
        Console.Write("  Elapsed time: {0},{1}\n\n", sw.Elapsed, total);
    }
    {               
        Console.Write("Demo 2 of shallow and deep copy, using structs:\n");
        var Bob = new PersonStruct(30, "Lamborghini");
        Console.Write("  Create Bob\n");
        Console.Write("    Bob.Age={0}, Bob.Purchase.Description={1}\n", Bob.Age, Bob.Purchase.Description);
        Console.Write("  Clone Bob >> BobsSon\n");
        var BobsSon = Bob.DeepCopy();
        Console.Write("  Adjust BobsSon details:\n");
        BobsSon.Age = 2;
        BobsSon.Purchase.Description = "Toy car";
        Console.Write("    BobsSon.Age={0}, BobsSon.Purchase.Description={1}\n", BobsSon.Age, BobsSon.Purchase.Description);
        Console.Write("  Proof of deep copy: If BobsSon is a true clone, then adjusting BobsSon details will not affect Bob:\n");
        Console.Write("    Bob.Age={0}, Bob.Purchase.Description={1}\n", Bob.Age, Bob.Purchase.Description);                
        Debug.Assert(Bob.Age == 30);
        Debug.Assert(Bob.Purchase.Description == "Lamborghini");
        var sw = new Stopwatch();
        sw.Start();
        int total = 0;
        for (int i = 0; i < 100000; i++)
        {
            var n = Bob.DeepCopy();
            total += n.Age;
        }
        Console.Write("  Elapsed time: {0},{1}\n\n", sw.Elapsed, total);
    }
    {
        Console.Write("Demo 3 of deep copy, using class and serialize/deserialize:\n");
        int total = 0;
        var sw = new Stopwatch();
        sw.Start();
        var Bob = new Person(30, "Lamborghini");
        for (int i = 0; i < 100000; i++)
        {
            var BobsSon = MyDeepCopy.DeepCopy<Person>(Bob);
            total += BobsSon.Age;
        }
        Console.Write("  Elapsed time: {0},{1}\n", sw.Elapsed, total);
    }
    Console.ReadKey();
}

Again, note that if you use Nested MemberwiseClone for a deep copy, you have to manually implement a ShallowCopy for each nested level in the class, and a DeepCopy which calls all said ShallowCopy methods to create a complete clone. This is simple: only a few lines in total, see the demo code above.

Value types vs. References Types

Note that when it comes to cloning an object, there is is a big difference between a "struct" and a "class":

  • If you have a "struct", it's a value type so you can just copy it, and the contents will be cloned (but it will only make a shallow clone unless you use the techniques in this post).
  • If you have a "class", it's a reference type, so if you copy it, all you are doing is copying the pointer to it. To create a true clone, you have to be more creative, and use differences between value types and references types which creates another copy of the original object in memory.

See differences between value types and references types.

Checksums to aid in debugging

  • Cloning objects incorrectly can lead to very difficult-to-pin-down bugs. In production code, I tend to implement a checksum to double check that the object has been cloned properly, and hasn't been corrupted by another reference to it. This checksum can be switched off in Release mode.
  • I find this method quite useful: often, you only want to clone parts of the object, not the entire thing.

Really useful for decoupling many threads from many other threads

One excellent use case for this code is feeding clones of a nested class or struct into a queue, to implement the producer / consumer pattern.

  • We can have one (or more) threads modifying a class that they own, then pushing a complete copy of this class into a ConcurrentQueue.
  • We then have one (or more) threads pulling copies of these classes out and dealing with them.

This works extremely well in practice, and allows us to decouple many threads (the producers) from one or more threads (the consumers).

And this method is blindingly fast too: if we use nested structs, it's 35x faster than serializing/deserializing nested classes, and allows us to take advantage of all of the threads available on the machine.

Update

Apparently, ExpressMapper is as fast, if not faster, than hand coding such as above. I might have to see how they compare with a profiler.


After much much reading about many of the options linked here, and possible solutions for this issue, I believe all the options are summarized pretty well at Ian P's link (all other options are variations of those) and the best solution is provided by Pedro77's link on the question comments.

So I'll just copy relevant parts of those 2 references here. That way we can have:

The best thing to do for cloning objects in c sharp!

First and foremost, those are all our options:

The article Fast Deep Copy by Expression Trees has also performance comparison of cloning by Serialization, Reflection and Expression Trees.

Why I choose ICloneable (i.e. manually)

Mr Venkat Subramaniam (redundant link here) explains in much detail why.

All his article circles around an example that tries to be applicable for most cases, using 3 objects: Person, Brain and City. We want to clone a person, which will have its own brain but the same city. You can either picture all problems any of the other methods above can bring or read the article.

This is my slightly modified version of his conclusion:

Copying an object by specifying New followed by the class name often leads to code that is not extensible. Using clone, the application of prototype pattern, is a better way to achieve this. However, using clone as it is provided in C# (and Java) can be quite problematic as well. It is better to provide a protected (non-public) copy constructor and invoke that from the clone method. This gives us the ability to delegate the task of creating an object to an instance of a class itself, thus providing extensibility and also, safely creating the objects using the protected copy constructor.

Hopefully this implementation can make things clear:

public class Person : ICloneable
{
    private final Brain brain; // brain is final since I do not want 
                // any transplant on it once created!
    private int age;
    public Person(Brain aBrain, int theAge)
    {
        brain = aBrain; 
        age = theAge;
    }
    protected Person(Person another)
    {
        Brain refBrain = null;
        try
        {
            refBrain = (Brain) another.brain.clone();
            // You can set the brain in the constructor
        }
        catch(CloneNotSupportedException e) {}
        brain = refBrain;
        age = another.age;
    }
    public String toString()
    {
        return "This is person with " + brain;
        // Not meant to sound rude as it reads!
    }
    public Object clone()
    {
        return new Person(this);
    }
    …
}

Now consider having a class derive from Person.

public class SkilledPerson extends Person
{
    private String theSkills;
    public SkilledPerson(Brain aBrain, int theAge, String skills)
    {
        super(aBrain, theAge);
        theSkills = skills;
    }
    protected SkilledPerson(SkilledPerson another)
    {
        super(another);
        theSkills = another.theSkills;
    }

    public Object clone()
    {
        return new SkilledPerson(this);
    }
    public String toString()
    {
        return "SkilledPerson: " + super.toString();
    }
}

You may try running the following code:

public class User
{
    public static void play(Person p)
    {
        Person another = (Person) p.clone();
        System.out.println(p);
        System.out.println(another);
    }
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        Person sam = new Person(new Brain(), 1);
        play(sam);
        SkilledPerson bob = new SkilledPerson(new SmarterBrain(), 1, "Writer");
        play(bob);
    }
}

The output produced will be:

This is person with [email protected]
This is person with [email protected]
SkilledPerson: This is person with [email protected]
SkilledPerson: This is person with [email protected]

Observe that, if we keep a count of the number of objects, the clone as implemented here will keep a correct count of the number of objects.


As I couldn't find a cloner that meets all my requirements in different projects, I created a deep cloner that can be configured and adapted to different code structures instead of adapting my code to meet the cloners requirements. Its achieved by adding annotations to the code that shall be cloned or you just leave the code as it is to have the default behaviour. It uses reflection, type caches and is based on fasterflect. The cloning process is very fast for a huge amount of data and a high object hierarchy (compared to other reflection/serialization based algorithms).

https://github.com/kalisohn/CloneBehave

Also available as a nuget package: https://www.nuget.org/packages/Clone.Behave/1.0.0

For example: The following code will deepClone Address, but only perform a shallow copy of the _currentJob field.

public class Person 
{
  [DeepClone(DeepCloneBehavior.Shallow)]
  private Job _currentJob;      

  public string Name { get; set; }

  public Job CurrentJob 
  { 
    get{ return _currentJob; }
    set{ _currentJob = value; }
  }

  public Person Manager { get; set; }
}

public class Address 
{      
  public Person PersonLivingHere { get; set; }
}

Address adr = new Address();
adr.PersonLivingHere = new Person("John");
adr.PersonLivingHere.BestFriend = new Person("James");
adr.PersonLivingHere.CurrentJob = new Job("Programmer");

Address adrClone = adr.Clone();

//RESULT
adr.PersonLivingHere == adrClone.PersonLivingHere //false
adr.PersonLivingHere.Manager == adrClone.PersonLivingHere.Manager //false
adr.PersonLivingHere.CurrentJob == adrClone.PersonLivingHere.CurrentJob //true
adr.PersonLivingHere.CurrentJob.AnyProperty == adrClone.PersonLivingHere.CurrentJob.AnyProperty //true

Here a solution fast and easy that worked for me without relaying on Serialization/Deserialization.

public class MyClass
{
    public virtual MyClass DeepClone()
    {
        var returnObj = (MyClass)MemberwiseClone();
        var type = returnObj.GetType();
        var fieldInfoArray = type.GetRuntimeFields().ToArray();

        foreach (var fieldInfo in fieldInfoArray)
        {
            object sourceFieldValue = fieldInfo.GetValue(this);
            if (!(sourceFieldValue is MyClass))
            {
                continue;
            }

            var sourceObj = (MyClass)sourceFieldValue;
            var clonedObj = sourceObj.DeepClone();
            fieldInfo.SetValue(returnObj, clonedObj);
        }
        return returnObj;
    }
}

EDIT: requires

    using System.Linq;
    using System.Reflection;

That's How I used it

public MyClass Clone(MyClass theObjectIneededToClone)
{
    MyClass clonedObj = theObjectIneededToClone.DeepClone();
}

Here is a deep copy implementation:

public static object CloneObject(object opSource)
{
    //grab the type and create a new instance of that type
    Type opSourceType = opSource.GetType();
    object opTarget = CreateInstanceOfType(opSourceType);

    //grab the properties
    PropertyInfo[] opPropertyInfo = opSourceType.GetProperties(BindingFlags.Public | BindingFlags.NonPublic | BindingFlags.Instance);

    //iterate over the properties and if it has a 'set' method assign it from the source TO the target
    foreach (PropertyInfo item in opPropertyInfo)
    {
        if (item.CanWrite)
        {
            //value types can simply be 'set'
            if (item.PropertyType.IsValueType || item.PropertyType.IsEnum || item.PropertyType.Equals(typeof(System.String)))
            {
                item.SetValue(opTarget, item.GetValue(opSource, null), null);
            }
            //object/complex types need to recursively call this method until the end of the tree is reached
            else
            {
                object opPropertyValue = item.GetValue(opSource, null);
                if (opPropertyValue == null)
                {
                    item.SetValue(opTarget, null, null);
                }
                else
                {
                    item.SetValue(opTarget, CloneObject(opPropertyValue), null);
                }
            }
        }
    }
    //return the new item
    return opTarget;
}

I have created a version of the accepted answer that works with both '[Serializable]' and '[DataContract]'. It has been a while since I wrote it, but if I remember correctly [DataContract] needed a different serializer.

Requires System, System.IO, System.Runtime.Serialization, System.Runtime.Serialization.Formatters.Binary, System.Xml;

public static class ObjectCopier
{

    /// <summary>
    /// Perform a deep Copy of an object that is marked with '[Serializable]' or '[DataContract]'
    /// </summary>
    /// <typeparam name="T">The type of object being copied.</typeparam>
    /// <param name="source">The object instance to copy.</param>
    /// <returns>The copied object.</returns>
    public static T Clone<T>(T source)
    {
        if (typeof(T).IsSerializable == true)
        {
            return CloneUsingSerializable<T>(source);
        }

        if (IsDataContract(typeof(T)) == true)
        {
            return CloneUsingDataContracts<T>(source);
        }

        throw new ArgumentException("The type must be Serializable or use DataContracts.", "source");
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Perform a deep Copy of an object that is marked with '[Serializable]'
    /// </summary>
    /// <remarks>
    /// Found on http://.com/questions/78536/cloning-objects-in-c-sharp
    /// Uses code found on CodeProject, which allows free use in third party apps
    /// - http://www.codeproject.com/KB/tips/SerializedObjectCloner.aspx
    /// </remarks>
    /// <typeparam name="T">The type of object being copied.</typeparam>
    /// <param name="source">The object instance to copy.</param>
    /// <returns>The copied object.</returns>
    public static T CloneUsingSerializable<T>(T source)
    {
        if (!typeof(T).IsSerializable)
        {
            throw new ArgumentException("The type must be serializable.", "source");
        }

        // Don't serialize a null object, simply return the default for that object
        if (Object.ReferenceEquals(source, null))
        {
            return default(T);
        }

        IFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
        Stream stream = new MemoryStream();
        using (stream)
        {
            formatter.Serialize(stream, source);
            stream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);
            return (T)formatter.Deserialize(stream);
        }
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Perform a deep Copy of an object that is marked with '[DataContract]'
    /// </summary>
    /// <typeparam name="T">The type of object being copied.</typeparam>
    /// <param name="source">The object instance to copy.</param>
    /// <returns>The copied object.</returns>
    public static T CloneUsingDataContracts<T>(T source)
    {
        if (IsDataContract(typeof(T)) == false)
        {
            throw new ArgumentException("The type must be a data contract.", "source");
        }

        // ** Don't serialize a null object, simply return the default for that object
        if (Object.ReferenceEquals(source, null))
        {
            return default(T);
        }

        DataContractSerializer dcs = new DataContractSerializer(typeof(T));
        using(Stream stream = new MemoryStream())
        {
            using (XmlDictionaryWriter writer = XmlDictionaryWriter.CreateBinaryWriter(stream))
            {
                dcs.WriteObject(writer, source);
                writer.Flush();
                stream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);
                using (XmlDictionaryReader reader = XmlDictionaryReader.CreateBinaryReader(stream, XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas.Max))
                {
                    return (T)dcs.ReadObject(reader);
                }
            }
        }
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Helper function to check if a class is a [DataContract]
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="type">The type of the object to check.</param>
    /// <returns>Boolean flag indicating if the class is a DataContract (true) or not (false) </returns>
    public static bool IsDataContract(Type type)
    {
        object[] attributes = type.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(DataContractAttribute), false);
        return attributes.Length == 1;
    }

} 

I like Copyconstructors like that:

    public AnyObject(AnyObject anyObject)
    {
        foreach (var property in typeof(AnyObject).GetProperties())
        {
            property.SetValue(this, property.GetValue(anyObject));
        }
        foreach (var field in typeof(AnyObject).GetFields())
        {
            field.SetValue(this, field.GetValue(anyObject));
        }
    }

If you have more things to copy add them


I think you can try this.

MyObject myObj = GetMyObj(); // Create and fill a new object
MyObject newObj = new MyObject(myObj); //DeepClone it

I wanted a cloner for very simple objects of mostly primitives and lists. If your object is out of the box JSON serializable then this method will do the trick. This requires no modification or implementation of interfaces on the cloned class, just a JSON serializer like JSON.NET.

public static T Clone<T>(T source)
{
    var serialized = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(source);
    return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<T>(serialized);
}

Also, you can use this extension method

public static class SystemExtension
{
    public static T Clone<T>(this T source)
    {
        var serialized = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(source);
        return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<T>(serialized);
    }
}

I've seen it implemented through reflection as well. Basically there was a method that would iterate through the members of an object and appropriately copy them to the new object. When it reached reference types or collections I think it did a recursive call on itself. Reflection is expensive, but it worked pretty well.


If you want true cloning to unknown types you can take a look at fastclone.

That's expression based cloning working about 10 times faster than binary serialization and maintaining complete object graph integrity.

That means: if you refer multiple times to the same object in your hierachy, the clone will also have a single instance beeing referenced.

There is no need for interfaces, attributes or any other modification to the objects being cloned.


If your Object Tree is Serializeable you could also use something like this

static public MyClass Clone(MyClass myClass)
{
    MyClass clone;
    XmlSerializer ser = new XmlSerializer(typeof(MyClass), _xmlAttributeOverrides);
    using (var ms = new MemoryStream())
    {
        ser.Serialize(ms, myClass);
        ms.Position = 0;
        clone = (MyClass)ser.Deserialize(ms);
    }
    return clone;
}

be informed that this Solution is pretty easy but it's not as performant as other solutions may be.

And be sure that if the Class grows, there will still be only those fields cloned, which also get serialized.


In general, you implement the ICloneable interface and implement Clone yourself. C# objects have a built-in MemberwiseClone method that performs a shallow copy that can help you out for all the primitives.

For a deep copy, there is no way it can know how to automatically do it.


Ok, there are some obvious example with reflection in this post, BUT reflection is usually slow, until you start to cache it properly.

if you'll cache it properly, than it'll deep clone 1000000 object by 4,6s (measured by Watcher).

static readonly Dictionary<Type, PropertyInfo[]> ProperyList = new Dictionary<Type, PropertyInfo[]>();

than you take cached properties or add new to dictionary and use them simply

foreach (var prop in propList)
{
        var value = prop.GetValue(source, null);   
        prop.SetValue(copyInstance, value, null);
}

full code check in my post in another answer

https://.com/a/34365709/4711853


Simple extension method to copy all the public properties. Works for any objects and does not require class to be [Serializable]. Can be extended for other access level.

public static void CopyTo( this object S, object T )
{
    foreach( var pS in S.GetType().GetProperties() )
    {
        foreach( var pT in T.GetType().GetProperties() )
        {
            if( pT.Name != pS.Name ) continue;
            ( pT.GetSetMethod() ).Invoke( T, new object[] 
            { pS.GetGetMethod().Invoke( S, null ) } );
        }
    };
}

The reason not to use ICloneable is not because it doesn't have a generic interface. The reason not to use it is because it's vague. It doesn't make clear whether you're getting a shallow or a deep copy; that's up to the implementer.

Yes, MemberwiseClone makes a shallow copy, but the opposite of MemberwiseClone isn't Clone; it would be, perhaps, DeepClone, which doesn't exist. When you use an object through its ICloneable interface, you can't know which kind of cloning the underlying object performs. (And XML comments won't make it clear, because you'll get the interface comments rather than the ones on the object's Clone method.)

What I usually do is simply make a Copy method that does exactly what I want.


The short answer is you inherit from the ICloneable interface and then implement the .clone function. Clone should do a memberwise copy and perform a deep copy on any member that requires it, then return the resulting object. This is a recursive operation ( it requires that all members of the class you want to clone are either value types or implement ICloneable and that their members are either value types or implement ICloneable, and so on).

For a more detailed explanation on Cloning using ICloneable, check out this article.

The long answer is "it depends". As mentioned by others, ICloneable is not supported by generics, requires special considerations for circular class references, and is actually viewed by some as a "mistake" in the .NET Framework. The serialization method depends on your objects being serializable, which they may not be and you may have no control over. There is still much debate in the community over which is the "best" practice. In reality, none of the solutions are the one-size fits all best practice for all situations like ICloneable was originally interpreted to be.

See the this Developer's Corner article for a few more options (credit to Ian).


To clone your class object you can use the Object.MemberwiseClone method,

just add this function to your class :

public class yourClass
{
    // ...
    // ...

    public yourClass DeepCopy()
    {
        yourClass othercopy = (yourClass)this.MemberwiseClone();
        return othercopy;
    }
}

then to perform a deep independant copy, just call the DeepCopy method :

yourClass newLine = oldLine.DeepCopy();

hope this helps.


Well I was having problems using ICloneable in Silverlight, but I liked the idea of seralization, I can seralize XML, so I did this:

static public class SerializeHelper
{
    //Michael White, Holly Springs Consulting, 2009
    //[email protected]
    public static T DeserializeXML<T>(string xmlData) where T:new()
    {
        if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(xmlData))
            return default(T);

        TextReader tr = new StringReader(xmlData);
        T DocItms = new T();
        XmlSerializer xms = new XmlSerializer(DocItms.GetType());
        DocItms = (T)xms.Deserialize(tr);

        return DocItms == null ? default(T) : DocItms;
    }

    public static string SeralizeObjectToXML<T>(T xmlObject)
    {
        StringBuilder sbTR = new StringBuilder();
        XmlSerializer xmsTR = new XmlSerializer(xmlObject.GetType());
        XmlWriterSettings xwsTR = new XmlWriterSettings();

        XmlWriter xmwTR = XmlWriter.Create(sbTR, xwsTR);
        xmsTR.Serialize(xmwTR,xmlObject);

        return sbTR.ToString();
    }

    public static T CloneObject<T>(T objClone) where T:new()
    {
        string GetString = SerializeHelper.SeralizeObjectToXML<T>(objClone);
        return SerializeHelper.DeserializeXML<T>(GetString);
    }
}




clone