Most Useful Attributes


I know that attributes are extremely useful. There are some predefined ones such as [Browsable(false)] which allows you to hide properties in the properties tab. Here is a good question explaining attributes: What are attributes in .NET?

What are the predefined attributes (and their namespace) you actually use in your projects?

5/23/2017 12:10:48 PM

Exper Answer

Only a few attributes get compiler support, but one very interesting use of attributes is in AOP: PostSharp uses your bespoke attributes to inject IL into methods, allowing all manner of abilities... log/trace being trivial examples - but some other good examples are things like automatic INotifyPropertyChanged implementation (here).

Some that occur and impact the compiler or runtime directly:

  • [Conditional("FOO")] - calls to this method (including argument evaluation) only occur if the "FOO" symbol is defined during build
  • [MethodImpl(...)] - used to indicate a few thing like synchronization, inlining
  • [PrincipalPermission(...)] - used to inject security checks into the code automatically
  • [TypeForwardedTo(...)] - used to move types between assemblies without rebuilding the callers

For things that are checked manually via reflection - I'm a big fan of the System.ComponentModel attributes; things like [TypeDescriptionProvider(...)], [TypeConverter(...)], and [Editor(...)] which can completely change the behavior of types in data-binding scenarios (i.e. dynamic properties etc).

4/29/2009 1:09:39 PM

[DebuggerDisplay] can be really helpful to quickly see customized output of a Type when you mouse over the instance of the Type during debugging. example:

[DebuggerDisplay("FirstName={FirstName}, LastName={LastName}")]
class Customer
    public string FirstName;
    public string LastName;

This is how it should look in the debugger:

alt text

Also, it is worth mentioning that [WebMethod] attribute with CacheDuration property set can avoid unnecessary execution of the web service method.

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