Say hypothetically you had a reader which did something like this...

//testing reader, automatically parses strings and converts to the custom type via attributes!
using ( FlatFileReader<MyCustomClass> reader = new FlatFileReader<MyCustomClass>(config) ) {
    MyCustomClass custom;
    while ( (custom = reader.ReadLine()) != null ) {
        Console.WriteLine(custom.ToString());
    }
}

Would this actually be useful in not just flat files, but CSV, etc, etc? I am just having some second thoughts about this program, as to whether it would actually be useful to people. There's not really any technical problems with this, I just want some opinions.

Certainly being able to parse file input into something meaningful is always useful. To make it even more generic, why not use a Stream input instead? That way you can handle any input type (including files, via FileStream) so long as the format is what you expect.

Comments
Good thoughts!

Right, good point. The only reason I am using a config object here is that it is a fixed width file parser. I am probably not using the correct vocabulary in some of the program, but I am essentially passing in a config object which contains a file path, as-well as an array of classes which represent the characteristics of each field, widths, alignment, and field name in case somebody actually wants to print a column header in the file (usually you don't but I have seen some CSV's with this user friendly feature). The idea is I can serialize the configuration object, and reload, etc. The objective in my mind for this program was to make it so that it is useful to different companies/people who may not all have the same fixed width formats.

I could probably think of making a few overloads so I could pass streams to this object, but I would have to think about this to make sure the config object is still useful. Perhaps I should just remove the config object's path/name variable?

Edited 1 Year Ago by overwraith

This tip I got from deceptikon here.

Comments
Yes, TextReaders are cool, I was just wondering if typed readers would be useful, returns a custom object.
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