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Is it possible to cast to generic 'object' type?

Posted on 2008-09-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-17
Sorry for the C# beginner question but here goes...

say I have a declared type such as:
        [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, Pack = 1)]
        public struct SAMPLE_STRUCT
        {
            public UInt32 size;
            public Boolean boolVar;
            public Int32 intVar;
        };

and have instances of it as in

            SAMPLE_STRUCT ss1 = new SAMPLE_STRUCT();
            SAMPLE_STRUCT ss2 = new SAMPLE_STRUCT();

and I want to send it to a class that have generic methods such as

            byte[] ss1Array = sCopy.StructureToByteArray(ss1);
            sCopy.ByteArrayToStructure(ss1Array, ref ss2);

where the interface is defined as

                public byte[] StructureToByteArray(object obj)
                { ... }

                public void ByteArrayToStructure(byte[] byteArray, ref object obj)
                { ... }

How do I get around the following errors:

The best overloaded method match for 'BD.EpiCenter.Utility.clsStructCopy.ByteArrayToStructure(byte[], ref object)' has some invalid arguments      
Argument '2': cannot convert from 'ref TestStructCopy.Program.SAMPLE_STRUCT' to 'ref object'

Is there a way to cast a typed variable to an obect/ref object such as
           sCopy.ByteArrayToStructure(ss1Array, ref (object) ss2);

which obviously does not work or must I introduce a temporary object to pass into the method and copy out of after it completes as below which does work?

           object ss2Obj = ss2;
            sCopy.ByteArrayToStructure(ss1Array, ref ss2);
            ss2 = (SAMPLE_STRUCT) ss2Obj;
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Question by:mfenske17363
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johnaryan earned 375 total points
ID: 22606688
What you're referring to is known as "boxing" in c#

Here's a reference to an example
http://www.java2s.com/Tutorial/CSharp/0120__struct/Boxandunboxastruct.htm
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by:mfenske17363
ID: 22607281
So there is no way to cast down a type to a base 'object' and that I would need to create a new generic object instance and manipulate/pass it where a parameter of type 'object' is needed?

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Expert Comment

by:johnaryan
ID: 22609134
Not if it's a value type (like a struct), you could have created it as a class instead and then you could have cast it to an object type.
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