C# Tip: LINQ's Enumerable.Range to generate a sequence of consecutive numbers
When you need to generate a sequence of numbers in ascending order, you can just use a
while loop with an enumerator, or you can use
This method, which you can find in the
System.Linq namespace, allows you to generate a sequence of numbers by passing two parameters: the start number and the total numbers to add.
Enumerable.Range(start:10, count:4) // [10, 11, 12, 13]
⚠ Notice that the second parameter is not the last number of the sequence. Rather, it's the length of the returned collection.
Clearly, it also works if the
start parameter is negative:
Enumerable.Range(start:-6, count:3) // [-6, -5, -4]
But it will not work if the
count parameter is negative: in fact, it will throw an
Enumerable.Range(start:1, count:-23) // Throws ArgumentOutOfRangeException // with message "Specified argument was out of the range of valid values"(Parameter 'count')
⚠ Beware of overflows: it's not a circular array, so if you pass the
int.MaxValue value while building the collection you will get another
Enumerable.Range(start:Int32.MaxValue, count:2) // Throws ArgumentOutOfRangeException
💡 Smart tip: you can use
Enumerable.Range to generate collections of other types! Just use LINQ's
Select method in conjunction with
Enumerable.Range(start:0, count:5) .Select(_ => "hey!"); // ["hey!", "hey!", "hey!", "hey!", "hey!"]
Notice that this pattern is not very efficient: you first have to build a collection with N integers to then generate a collection of N strings. If you care about performance, go with a simple
while loop - if you need a quick and dirty solution, this other approach works just fine.
There are lots of ways to achieve a similar result: another interesting one is by using the
yield return statement:
🔗 C# Tip: use yield return to return one item at a time | Code4IT
This article first appeared on Code4IT 🐧
In this C# tip, we learned how to generate collections of numbers using LINQ.
This is an incredibly useful LINQ method, but you have to remember that the second parameter does not indicate the last value of the collection, rather it's the length of the collection itself.
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