October 27, 2010 tools

LINQ Has Changed Me

In the old days, the post-colonial, pre-LINQ days of yore, I’d have written a one-way MD5 encryption like so:

static string GetMD5String(string s) {
  MD5 md5 = new MD5CryptoServiceProvider();
  byte[] hash = md5.ComputeHash(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(s));
  StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
  foreach( byte b in hash ) sb.AppendFormat("{0:x2}", b);
  return sb.ToString();

This implementation is fine and has served me well for 10 years (I pulled it out of the first .NET project I ever really did). However, after using LINQ for so long, it’s hard not to see every problem as an operation over sets:

static string GetMD5String(string s) { 
  return (new MD5CryptoServiceProvider()). 
    Aggregate(new StringBuilder(), (working, b) => working.AppendFormat("{0:x2}", b)). 

I can’t say that the LINQ version is any better, but it felt better. However, you’ll notice that I’m not using any of the LINQ keywords, e.g. select”, where”, etc. I find that I don’t really use them that much. It’s too jarring to mix them, e.g. (from f in foos select f).Take(3)”, since not everything has a LINQ keyword equivalent. I tend to do LINQ-less LINQ more often then not.

P.S. I assume someone will be able to tell me how I can do it better. : )

P.P.S. I’m using the Insert Code for Windows Live Writer add-in. I love WLW!