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Programming in C# Events. CSE 494R (proposed course for 459 Programming in C#) Prof. Roger Crawfis. The event field. An event field is just a special delegate instance. Usually exposed as a public field (acts more like a property).

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programming in c events

Programming in C#Events

CSE 494R

(proposed course for 459 Programming in C#)

Prof. Roger Crawfis

the event field
The event field
  • An event field is just a special delegate instance.
  • Usually exposed as a public field (acts more like a property).
  • Restricts the delegate operations (to the public) to += and -=.
    • Only the class (or its decendents) can fire the event.
    • Only the class (or its descendents) can clear or reset the values (using =).
published properties
Published Properties



publicdelegatevoidNewValue(float value);

publiceventNewValue ValueChanging;

publiceventNewValue ValueChanged;

privatevoid Dummy(float value) {}

public SharedFloat()


// This avoids the check for null.

        ValueChanging += Dummy;

        ValueChanged += Dummy;



privatefloat myFloat;

publicfloat Value


get { return myFloat; }




            myFloat = value;





class Model {

public eventNotifier notifyViews;

public void Change() { ... notifyViews("Model"); }


class View {

public View(Model m) { m.notifyViews += new Notifier(Update); }

void Update(string sender) { Console.WriteLine(sender + " was changed"); }


class Test {

static void Main() {

Model model = new Model();

new View(model); new View(model); ...




event accessors
Event Accessors
  • Event subscription can be controlled/monitored within a class.
  • Similar to properties – add accessor is called during +=, remove accessor is called during -=
  • Both accessors need to be declared.

public delegate void MyDelegate ();

class A {

private MyDelegate m_DelegateBehind;

public event MyDelegate Event {

add { m_DelegateBehind += value; }

remove { m_DelegateBehind -= value; }



classes with events
Classes with events
  • A class instance may publish several events.
  • Each event member holds a collection of subscribers.
  • As with delegates, the publishing object calls each registered listener in turn.


naming conventions in net
Naming Conventions in .NET
  • The name of an event ends with ing if the notification occurs before the state change or actual event.
  • The name of an event ends with ed if the notification occurs after the state change or actual event.
  • Some typical event names
    • form.Closing// has not closed yet, this can abort the close
    • form.Closed// by this time the form is closed.
    • msg.Sending// suggests you can intercept and modify// the message just before sending
    • msg.Sent// telling you that it has already gone.
what does this buy us
What does this buy us?
  • Flexible, loose coupling
  • Very clean separation of concerns
  • Easily extensible: we can add new observers without having to modify the publisher.
  • Modules can be “wired” to listen to one another as part of the startup logic,
  • The only type coupling between the modules is determined by the type of the event delegate.
examples in net framework
Examples in .NET Framework
  • A Timer has a Tick event that you subscribe to. You can set the Interval between ticks.
  • The EventLog component allows you to listen to EventWritten, which will alert you every time anything is written to your machine’s event log.
  • The FileSystemWatcher component watches a directory structure. It uses a filter (e.g., “*.xml”) and exposes several events:
    • Changed
    • Created
    • Renamed
    • Deleted
the event pattern in net
The Event Pattern in .NET
  • Delegates for event handling in .NET have the following signature:

delegate void SomeEvent (object sender, MyEventArgs e);

    • The return type is void.
    • The first parameter is a reference to the class that contains the event (the publisher).
    • The second parameter is used to pass (push) data to the subscribers. It’s type is derived from System.EventArgs.
  • Using this pattern, I can use a method like the following for all .NET events (using contra-variance):

private void MyEventHandler( object sender, EventArgs e) {

// log the event


This method takes any object as the first parameter and any object derived from EventsArgs as the second.


public delegate void KeyEventHandler (object sender, KeyEventArgs e);

public class KeyEventArgs : EventArgs


public virtual bool Alt { get {...} } // true if Alt key was pressed

public virtual bool Shift { get {...} } // true if Shift key was pressed

public bool Control { get {...} } // true if Ctrl key was pressed

public bool Handled { get{...} set {...} } // indicates if event was already handled

publicint KeyValue { get {...} } // the typed keyboard code





public MyKeyListener(...) { keySource.KeyDown += new KeyEventHandler(HandleKey);}

void HandleKey (object sender, KeyEventArgs e) {...}


programming in c events1

Programming in C#Events

CSE 494R

(proposed course for 459 Programming in C#)

Prof. Roger Crawfis