Simplifying LazyLinq

This is the fourth in a series of posts on LazyLinq, a wrapper to support lazy initialization and deferred disposal of a LINQ query context:

  1. Introducing LazyLinq: Overview
  2. Introducing LazyLinq: Internals
  3. Introducing LazyLinq: Queryability
  4. Simplifying LazyLinq
  5. Introducing LazyLinq: Lazy DataContext

As I was iterating on the proof of concept for LazyLinq, I always wanted to get rid of the TQuery type parameter. I thought I needed it to distinguish between ordered and unordered wrapped queries, but it just felt messy. The underlying provider mechanism didn’t need it, so why should I?

Well after taking a closer look at the SQL query provider, I figured out how to eliminate it. The object of inspiration is System.Data.Linq.DataQuery<T>, defined as follows:

internal sealed class DataQuery<T> :
    IOrderedQueryable<T>, IQueryable<T>,
    IOrderedQueryable, IQueryable,
    IEnumerable<T>, IEnumerable,

The key was realizing that IOrderedQueryable<> and ILazyOrderedQueryable<> don’t actually do anything. Implementation-wise, they’re just IQueryable<> or ILazyQueryable<> with an extra interface on top. It’s only on the design side that it actually matters, essentially providing a hook for additional ordering with ThenBy. In LINQ to SQL’s case, that means supporting orderability is as simple as specifying that the query object is both IQueryable<> and IOrderedQueryable<>.

So how does this revelation simplify Lazy LINQ? First, it allows us to remove TQuery from the interfaces:

    public interface ILazyContext<TContext> : IDisposable
        TContext Context { get; }
        ILazyQueryable<TContext, TResult>
            CreateQuery<TResult>(Func<TContext, IQueryable<TResult>> queryBuilder);
        TResult Execute<TResult>(Func<TContext, TResult> action);

    public interface ILazyQueryable<TContext, TSource> : IQueryable<TSource>

        ILazyContext<TContext> Context { get; }
        Func<TContext, IQueryable<TSource>> QueryBuilder { get; }

    public interface ILazyOrderedQueryable<TContext, TSource>
        : ILazyQueryable<TContext, TSource>, IOrderedQueryable<TSource>

    { }

Note that we can also eliminate ILazyContext.CreateOrderedQuery(), instead assuming that CreateQuery() will return something that can be treated as ILazyOrderedQueryable<> as necessary.

For the concrete implementations, we take the cue from DataQuery<T>, letting LazyQueryableImpl implement ILazyOrderedQueryable<> so we can eliminate LazyOrderedQueryableImpl:

    class LazyQueryableImpl<TContext, TSource>
        : ILazyQueryable<TContext, TSource>, ILazyOrderedQueryable<TContext, TSource>
        // Implementation doesn't change

Finally, our sorting query operations will look more like their counterparts in System.Linq.Queryable, casting the result of CreateQuery() to ILazyOrderedQueryable<>. To keep things readable, we’ll split our CreateOrderedQuery<> helper into separate versions for OrderBy and ThenBy. Note how the types of queryOperation map to the usage of OrderBy (unordered to ordered) and ThenBy (ordered to ordered):

        private static ILazyOrderedQueryable<TContext, TResult>
            CreateOrderByQuery<TSource, TContext, TResult>(
                this ILazyQueryable<TContext, TSource> source,
                Func<IQueryable<TSource>, IOrderedQueryable<TResult>> queryOperation
            return (ILazyOrderedQueryable<TContext, TResult>) source.Context.CreateQuery<TResult>(
               context => queryOperation(source.QueryBuilder(context)));

        private static ILazyOrderedQueryable<TContext, TResult>

            CreateThenByQuery<TSource, TContext, TResult>(
                this ILazyQueryable<TContext, TSource> source,
                Func<IOrderedQueryable<TSource>, IOrderedQueryable<TResult>> queryOperation
            return (ILazyOrderedQueryable<TContext, TResult>) source.Context.CreateQuery<TResult>(
               context => queryOperation((IOrderedQueryable<TSource>) source.QueryBuilder(context)));

Removing TQuery from the query operators is left as an exercise for the reader. Or you can just get the source on CodePlex.

A Note on IOrderedEnumerable<>

Having taken advantage of how LINQ to IQueryable handles orderability, it’s worth pointing out that LINQ to Objects uses a different approach, specifying new behavior in IOrderedEnumerable<> that is used to support multiple sort criteria:

public interface IOrderedEnumerable<TElement> : IEnumerable<TElement>, IEnumerable

            Func<TElement, TKey> keySelector,
            IComparer<TKey> comparer, bool descending);

About Keith Dahlby

I'm a .NET developer, Git enthusiast and language geek from Cedar Rapids, IA. I work as a software guru at J&P Cycles and studied Human-Computer Interaction at Iowa State University.
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