parameter - use of this keyword in constructor in c#




Use of “this” keyword in formal parameters for static methods in C# (4)

I've come across several instances of C# code like the following:

public static int Foo(this MyClass arg)

I haven't been able to find an explanation of what the this keyword means in this case. Any insights?


"this" extends the next class in the parameter list

So in the method signature below "this" extends "String". Line is passed to the function as a normal argument to the method. public static string[] SplitCsvLine(this String line)

In the above example "this" class is extending the built in "String" class.


Scott Gu's quoted blog post explains it nicely.

For me, the answer to the question is in the following statement in that post:

Note how the static method above has a "this" keyword before the first parameter argument of type string. This tells the compiler that this particular Extension Method should be added to objects of type "string". Within the IsValidEmailAddress() method implementation I can then access all of the public properties/methods/events of the actual string instance that the method is being called on, and return true/false depending on whether it is a valid email or not.


I just learnt this myself the other day: the this keyword defines that method has being an extension of the class that proceeds it. So for your example, MyClass will have a new extension method called Foo (which doesn't accept any parameter and returns an int; it can be used as with any other public method).






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