Casting an object to a generic interface


I have the following interface:

internal interface IRelativeTo<T> where T : IObject
    T getRelativeTo();
    void setRelativeTo(T relativeTo);

and a bunch of classes that (should) implement it, such as:

public class AdminRateShift : IObject, IRelativeTo<AdminRateShift>
    AdminRateShift getRelativeTo();
    void setRelativeTo(AdminRateShift shift);

I realise that these three are not the same:


but nonetheless, I need a way to work with all the different classes like AdminRateShift (and FXRateShift, DetRateShift) that should all implement IRelativeTo. Let's say I have an function which returns AdminRateShift as an Object:

IRelativeTo<IObject> = getObjectThatImplementsRelativeTo(); // returns Object

By programming against the interface, I can do what I need to, but I can't actually cast the Object to IRelativeTo so I can use it.

It's a trivial example, but I hope it will clarify what I am trying to do.


If all you care about is that IRelativeTo deals with IObjects then you don't need to make it generic:

interface IRelativeTo
   IObject getRelativeTo();
   void setRelativeTo(IObject relativeTo)

The implementing classes may still be generic, however:

abstract class RelativeTo<T>  : IRelativeTo where T : IObject
   public virtual T getRelativeTo() {return default(T);}

   public virtual void setRelativeTo(T relativeTo) {}

   IObject IRelativeTo.getRelativeTo() {return this.getRelativeTo(); }

   void IRelativeTo.setRelativeTo(IObject relativeTo) 
    { this.setRelativeTo((T) relativeTo);

class AdminRateShift :  RelativeTo<AdminRateShift>, IObject {}

Then you can do this:

  IRelativeTo irt = new AdminRateShift();
  IObject o = irt.getRelativeTo();

If I understand the question, then the most common approach would be to declare a non-generic base-interface, i.e.

internal interface IRelativeTo
    object getRelativeTo(); // or maybe something else non-generic
    void setRelativeTo(object relativeTo);
internal interface IRelativeTo<T> : IRelativeTo
    where T : IObject
    new T getRelativeTo();
    new void setRelativeTo(T relativeTo);

Another option is for you to code largely in generics... i.e. you have methods like

void DoSomething<T>() where T : IObject
    IRelativeTo<IObject> foo = // etc

If the IRelativeTo<T> is an argument to DoSomething(), then usually you don't need to specify the generic type argument yourself - the compiler will infer it - i.e.


rather than


There are benefits to both approaches.

unfortunately inheritance doesn't work with generics. If your function expects IRelativeTo, you can make the function generic as well:

void MyFunction<T>(IRelativeTo<T> sth) where T : IObject

If I remember correctly, when you use the function above you don't even need to specify the type, the compiler should figure it out based on the argument you supply.

If you want to keep a reference to one of these IRelativeTo objects inside a class or method (and you don't care what T is that), you need to make this class/method generic again.

I agree, it is a bit of pain.

By : Grzenio

This video can help you solving your question :)
By: admin