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BOOK: Beginning Visual C# 2010
This is the forum to discuss the Wrox book Beginning Visual C# 2010 by Karli Watson, Christian Nagel, Jacob Hammer Pedersen, Jon D. Reid, Morgan Skinner, ; ISBN: 9780470502266
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 06:40 PM
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Default Trying to make a generic get() method (or "Can you typecast a control?")

I have an object of type Form, called Form1. Then I have another object of type MyClass (a class I created) called Object1. I'm trying to write a get() method within Form1 that will allows me to get the value of most any control within it.

I'm guessing there's a more elegant way to do this, but here's what I've got so far:

        public string get(string control_name) {
            foreach (Control ctrl in this.Controls) {

                // If this is the right control
                if (ctrl.Name == control_name) {
                    return returnValue(ctrl);

                // Look inside container elements
                } else if (ctrl.Controls.Count > 0) {
                    string tmp = getDeeper(ctrl, control_name);

                    // If tmp isn't "" then we found control_name and it wasn't "".  
                    // Note that if we did find control_name but it's value was "" 
                    // then we'd keep looking for it as if we haven't found it yet.
                    // This would cause the function to take longer but the final
                    //  result is the same.
                    if (tmp != "") return tmp;
            return "";

        private string getDeeper(Control this_control, string control_name) {
            foreach (Control ctrl in this_control.Controls) {

                // If this is the right control
                if (ctrl.Name == control_name) {
                    return returnValue(ctrl);

                // Look inside container elements
                } else if (ctrl.Controls.Count > 0) {
                    string tmp = getDeeper(ctrl, control_name);

                    //  See the comment above in the get() method
                    if (tmp != "") return tmp;
            return "";

        private string returnValue(Control this_control) {

            // If it's a textbox then just return the .Text() 
            if (this_control.ToString().StartsWith("System.Windows.Forms.TextBox")) {
                return this_control.Text;

	    // Combo box
            } else if (this_control.ToString().StartsWith("System.Windows.Forms.ComboBox")) {
                return this_control.Text;

	    // Radio button
            } else if (this_control.ToString().StartsWith("System.Windows.Forms.RadioButton")) {
                return this_control.Checked.ToString();
            } else {
                return "";
So the error (shown in red above) is due to the fact that this_control is being treated as a generic control, however the if statement that leads me to that offending line guarantees that the control is indeed a radio button (and therefore should have a Checked() method).

Is there a way for me to "typecast" this_control as a RadioButton so that the compiler is happy?

OR am I being obtuse and there's some magical way of making a generic get() method using native C# tools?

Last edited by KaneT; July 23rd, 2012 at 06:45 PM.

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