Using LINQ ForEach To Populate Generic List in C# AND Enum to List

A C# trick I first had trouble wrapping my head around is using the LINQ ForEach operator to populate a list.  I was originally inspired by some source I found in the EXT.NET Icon building sample.   In addition to the ForEach lamda trick they included a very nice pattern for converting a c# Enum to a List.  So, let’s get right to the code.


enum Days { Sat = 1, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri };
static void Main(string[] args)
    List<string> daysOfWeekList = Enum.GetNames(typeof(Days)).ToList();
    daysOfWeekList.ForEach(a => Console.WriteLine(a));


That’s it!   Just another two patterns of using c# which helps me live cleaner in c#!


About Peter Kellner

Peter is a software professional specializing in mobile and web technologies. He has also been a Microsoft MVP for the past 7 years. To read more about Peter Kellner and his experience click here. For information about how Peter Kellner might be able to help you with your project click here.

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  1. Nice!

    There could be even more cleaner with:

  2. James Curran says:

    How to you get 17 fewer keystrokes? It seems like a wash to me..

    foreach(var a in Enum.GetNames(typeof(Days))) {Console.WriteLine(a);}


  3. List.ForEach() is definitely simpler. One line of code vs. two. 17 fewer characters / keystrokes.

    I’ve been wanting this in C# for a long time. It’s very much like the Ruby .each method, which I loved while working on rails and miss in C#.

  4. Hi James,
    You make an excellent point. I guess this falls in the category of just because you can, does not mean you should.
    Thanks for pointing it out.

  5. James Curran says:

    You seem to be going to quite an effort just to use List.ForEach().

    foreach(var a in Enum.GetNames(typeof(Days)))

    seems simpler. I know everyone loves lambdas, but using a lambda for its own sake is not good programming. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a use of List.ForEach which improved on using a simple foreach() statement. Particularly in cases like this, which require taking a perfectly good IEnumerable and needlessly build a List out of it.


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