Interface defining a constructor signature?


Question

It's weird that this is the first time I've bumped into this problem, but:

How do you define a constructor in a C# interface?

Edit
Some people wanted an example (it's a free time project, so yes, it's a game)

IDrawable
+Update
+Draw

To be able to Update (check for edge of screen etc) and draw itself it will always need a GraphicsDeviceManager. So I want to make sure the object has a reference to it. This would belong in the constructor.

Now that I wrote this down I think what I'm implementing here is IObservable and the GraphicsDeviceManager should take the IDrawable... It seems either I don't get the XNA framework, or the framework is not thought out very well.

Edit
There seems to be some confusion about my definition of constructor in the context of an interface. An interface can indeed not be instantiated so doesn't need a constructor. What I wanted to define was a signature to a constructor. Exactly like an interface can define a signature of a certain method, the interface could define the signature of a constructor.

1
512
7/14/2012 7:52:03 PM

Accepted Answer

As already well noted, you can't have constructors on an Interface. But since this is such a highly ranked result in Google some 7 years later, I thought I would chip in here - specifically to show how you could use an abstract base class in tandem with your existing Interface and maybe cut down on the amount of refactoring needed in the future for similar situations. This concept has already been hinted at in some of the comments but I thought it would be worth showing how to actually do it.

So you have your main interface that looks like this so far:

public interface IDrawable
{
    void Update();
    void Draw();
}

Now create an abstract class with the constructor you want to enforce. Actually, since it's now available since the time you wrote your original question, we can get a little fancy here and use generics in this situation so that we can adapt this to other interfaces that might need the same functionality but have different constructor requirements:

public abstract class MustInitialize<T>
{
    public MustInitialize(T parameters)
    {

    }
}

Now you'll need to create a new class that inherits from both the IDrawable interface and the MustInitialize abstract class:

public class Drawable : MustInitialize<GraphicsDeviceManager>, IDrawable
{
    GraphicsDeviceManager _graphicsDeviceManager;

    public Drawable(GraphicsDeviceManager graphicsDeviceManager)
        : base (graphicsDeviceManager)
    {
        _graphicsDeviceManager = graphicsDeviceManager;
    }

    public void Update()
    {
        //use _graphicsDeviceManager here to do whatever
    }

    public void Draw()
    {
        //use _graphicsDeviceManager here to do whatever
    }
}

Then just create an instance of Drawable and you're good to go:

IDrawable drawableService = new Drawable(myGraphicsDeviceManager);

The cool thing here is that the new Drawable class we created still behaves just like what we would expect from an IDrawable.

If you need to pass more than one parameter to the MustInitialize constructor, you can create a class that defines properties for all of the fields you'll need to pass in.

122
1/16/2017 9:57:06 PM

You can't. It's occasionally a pain, but you wouldn't be able to call it using normal techniques anyway.

In a blog post I've suggested static interfaces which would only be usable in generic type constraints - but could be really handy, IMO.

One point about if you could define a constructor within an interface, you'd have trouble deriving classes:

public class Foo : IParameterlessConstructor
{
    public Foo() // As per the interface
    {
    }
}

public class Bar : Foo
{
    // Yikes! We now don't have a parameterless constructor...
    public Bar(int x)
    {
    }
}

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