Cloning a Collection

Posted on 2006-11-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Is there a command to shallow clone a collection (e.g. Collection<int>)?

I know you can manually copy the objects the one collection into the other, but is there a quicker way (i.e. a command)

Question by:fred2k3
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 17956345
Collections will have a propected method MemberwiseClone() which is inherited from object.
If you create a class derived from a collection you could implement a Clone() method by exposing this.
Alternatviely use the CopyTo method of the ICollection interface or the ToArray() method.
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

ozymandias earned 250 total points
ID: 17956484
Quick example :

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace ConsoleApplication1 {

      class ClonableList<T> : List<T>{

            public object Clone(){
                  return this.MemberwiseClone();

      class Program {
            static void Main(string[] args) {

                  ClonableList<int> list1 = new ClonableList<int>();
                  ClonableList<int> list2 = (ClonableList<int>)list1.Clone();
                  foreach (int i in list2) {

LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 17956494
the collections also provide a copy constructor ...

Collection<int> test = new Collection<int>(SomeOtherCollection);

btw: int is probably a bad example since as it is a value type one could technically call this a deep copy ;-)
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Author Comment

ID: 17957774

To ozymandias thanks for the solution.

To Gregory You solution doesn't work since after performing the initialisation of test ,if you add an object to SomeOtherCollection the object is also added to the test Collecetion.

LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 17957846
whoops for collection<T> when passed an IList creates a wrapper .. list<T> does a shallow copy.



Author Comment

ID: 17957903

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