# Friday, June 15, 2007

I think I've come across a better solution (or at least one that I'm happier with) to this problem.  Turns out that the KnownType attribute can take a method name instead of a type.  The type it's applied to then has to implement a static method with that name that returns an array of Type.  That method can then decide which types to return.  So I could do something like this



public class UserBase



    public string FirstName;


    public string LastName;


    public static Type[] CheckForConfiguredOverrides()


        List<Type> result = new List<Type>();


        string thisTypeName = typeof(UserBase).FullName;

        string overrideType = System.Configuration.ConfigurationManager.AppSettings.Get(thisTypeName);

        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(overrideType))


            Type type = Type.GetType(overrideType);

            if (type != null) result.Add(type);



        return result.ToArray();



Then in the config file (this ultimately will use our distributed configuration service) I add


  <add key="UserBaseType.UserBase" value="UserBaseType.BankUser"/>


To return the right type.  Everybody is happy!  As a side benefit, this allows me to limit "overridability" to only those types I apply the attribute to.  That lets me (as the designer) decide which types are OK to subclass and which aren't (obviously I could use sealed here as well, but that's a separate issue) using this KnownType attribute.  I think this will work out much better than marking up base classes with specific types.

Indigo | Work
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