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Events

Basics

Events enable a class or object to notify other classes or objects.

The class that sends (or raises) the event is called the publisher and the classes that receive (or handle) the event are called subscribers.


private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
    // Add your event handling code here.
}

// In the InitializeComponent method in the Form1.Designer.cs file in your project:
this.button1.Click += new System.EventHandler(this.button1_Click);

// Forms.Control.Click is a type of EventHandler:
public delegate void EventHandler(object sender, EventArgs e);

// Un-subscribe
this.button1.Click -= button1_Click;

When all subscribers have unsubscribed from an event, the event instance in the publisher class is set to null.

Publishers and Subscribers

In publishers, we declare events (using eventHandler/delegate), and we can obtain the corresponding eventHandlers for events.

In subscribers, we define specific eventHandlers.



namespace DotNetEvents
{
    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;

    // Define a class to hold custom event info
    public class CustomEventArgs : EventArgs
    {
        public CustomEventArgs(string s)
        {
            message = s;
        }
        private string message;

        public string Message
        {
            get { return message; }
            set { message = value; }
        }
    }

    // Class that publishes an event
    class Publisher
    {
        // Declare the event using EventHandler<T>
        // wcfNote: important declaration!
        public event EventHandler<CustomEventArgs> RaiseCustomEvent;

        public void DoSomething()
        {
            // Write some code that does something useful here
            // then raise the event. You can also raise an event
            // before you execute a block of code.
            OnRaiseCustomEvent(new CustomEventArgs("Did something"));
        }

        // Wrap event invocations inside a protected virtual method
        // to allow derived classes to override the event invocation behavior
        protected virtual void OnRaiseCustomEvent(CustomEventArgs e)
        {
            // Make a temporary copy of the event to avoid possibility of
            // a race condition if the last subscriber unsubscribes
            // immediately after the null check and before the event is raised.

            // wcfNote: get the corresponding handler for the event:
            EventHandler<CustomEventArgs> handler = RaiseCustomEvent;

            // Event will be null if there are no subscribers
            if (handler != null)
            {
                // Format the string to send inside the CustomEventArgs parameter
                e.Message += String.Format(" at {0}", DateTime.Now.ToString());

                // Use the () operator to raise the event.
                handler(this, e);
            }
        }
    }

    //Class that subscribes to an event
    class Subscriber
    {
        private string id;
        public Subscriber(string ID, Publisher pub)
        {
            id = ID;
            // Subscribe to the event using C# 2.0 syntax
            pub.RaiseCustomEvent += HandleCustomEvent;
        }

        // Define what actions to take when the event is raised.
        void HandleCustomEvent(object sender, CustomEventArgs e)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(id + " received this message: {0}", e.Message);
        }
    }

    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            Publisher pub = new Publisher();
            Subscriber sub1 = new Subscriber("sub1", pub);
            Subscriber sub2 = new Subscriber("sub2", pub);

            // Call the method that raises the event.
            pub.DoSomething();

            // Keep the console window open
            Console.WriteLine("Press Enter to close this window.");
            Console.ReadLine();
        }
    }
}

Raise Base Class Events in Derived Classes

Events are a special type of delegate that can only be invoked from within the class that declared them. Derived classes cannot directly invoke events that are declared within the base class.

To do this, you can create a protected invoking method in the base class that wraps the event. By calling or overriding this invoking method, derived classes can invoke the event indirectly.

An example. The derived classes override event-invoking methods, and invoke base's method therein.



namespace BaseClassEvents
{
    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;

    // Special EventArgs class to hold info about Shapes.
    public class ShapeEventArgs : EventArgs
    {
        private double newArea;

        public ShapeEventArgs(double d)
        {
            newArea = d;
        }
        public double NewArea
        {
            get { return newArea; }
        }
    }

    // Base class event publisher
    public abstract class Shape
    {
        protected double area;

        public double Area
        {
            get { return area; }
            set { area = value; }
        }
        // The event. Note that by using the generic EventHandler<T> event type
        // we do not need to declare a separate delegate type.
        public event EventHandler<ShapeEventArgs> ShapeChanged;

        public abstract void Draw();

        //The event-invoking method that derived classes can override.
        protected virtual void OnShapeChanged(ShapeEventArgs e)
        {
            // Make a temporary copy of the event to avoid possibility of
            // a race condition if the last subscriber unsubscribes
            // immediately after the null check and before the event is raised.
            EventHandler<ShapeEventArgs> handler = ShapeChanged;
            if (handler != null)
            {
                handler(this, e);
            }
        }
    }

    public class Circle : Shape
    {
        private double radius;
        public Circle(double d)
        {
            radius = d;
            area = 3.14 * radius * radius;
        }
        public void Update(double d)
        {
            radius = d;
            area = 3.14 * radius * radius;
            OnShapeChanged(new ShapeEventArgs(area));
        }
        protected override void OnShapeChanged(ShapeEventArgs e)
        {
            // Do any circle-specific processing here.

            // Call the base class event invocation method.
            base.OnShapeChanged(e);
        }
        public override void Draw()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Drawing a circle");
        }
    }

    public class Rectangle : Shape
    {
        private double length;
        private double width;
        public Rectangle(double length, double width)
        {
            this.length = length;
            this.width = width;
            area = length * width;
        }
        public void Update(double length, double width)
        {
            this.length = length;
            this.width = width;
            area = length * width;
            OnShapeChanged(new ShapeEventArgs(area));
        }
        protected override void OnShapeChanged(ShapeEventArgs e)
        {
            // Do any rectangle-specific processing here.

            // Call the base class event invocation method.
            base.OnShapeChanged(e);
        }
        public override void Draw()
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Drawing a rectangle");
        }

    }

    // Represents the surface on which the shapes are drawn
    // Subscribes to shape events so that it knows
    // when to redraw a shape.
    public class ShapeContainer
    {
        List<Shape> _list;

        public ShapeContainer()
        {
            _list = new List<Shape>();
        }

        public void AddShape(Shape s)
        {
            _list.Add(s);
            // Subscribe to the base class event.
            s.ShapeChanged += HandleShapeChanged;
        }

        // ...Other methods to draw, resize, etc.

        private void HandleShapeChanged(object sender, ShapeEventArgs e)
        {
            Shape s = (Shape)sender;

            // Diagnostic message for demonstration purposes.
            Console.WriteLine("Received event. Shape area is now {0}", e.NewArea);

            // Redraw the shape here.
            s.Draw();
        }
    }

    class Test
    {

        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            //Create the event publishers and subscriber
            Circle c1 = new Circle(54);
            Rectangle r1 = new Rectangle(12, 9);
            ShapeContainer sc = new ShapeContainer();

            // Add the shapes to the container.
            sc.AddShape(c1);
            sc.AddShape(r1);

            // Cause some events to be raised.
            c1.Update(57);
            r1.Update(7, 7);

            // Keep the console window open in debug mode.
            System.Console.WriteLine("Press any key to exit.");
            System.Console.ReadKey();
        }
    }
}
/* Output:
        Received event. Shape area is now 10201.86
        Drawing a circle
        Received event. Shape area is now 49
        Drawing a rectangle
 */