#1,192 – Following the TryParse Pattern

The int.TryParse method does the same thing as the int.Parse method, but without throwing an exception.  Instead, it returns a boolean value indicating whether the method succeeded or not and writes the result to an out parameter.

You might follow the same pattern when writing your own code, providing a method that throws an exception on failure and a TryXxx version of the method that returns a boolean indicating whether the method succeeded.  Below is an example.

    public class Dog
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public int Age { get; set; }

        public Dog(string name, int age)
            Name = name;
            Age = age;

        public bool TryBark(out string barkSound)
            bool success = false;
            barkSound = "";

            if (Age <= 10)
                success = true;
                barkSound = "Woof";

            return success;

        public string Bark()
            string barkSound;

            if (!TryBark(out barkSound))
                throw new Exception("This dog can't bark");
            return barkSound;

About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

3 Responses to #1,192 – Following the TryParse Pattern

  1. Pingback: Dew Drop – September 29, 2014 (#1865) | Morning Dew

  2. Please don’t encourage people to do this. This is a solved problem, other languages have solved it with the maybe monad. You can even achieve it in c# using nullable types (though I would recommend creating your own maybe class.

    Using out parameters not only requires awkward syntax where you initialize a variable but don’t assign to it, but is also not chain-able. With maybe monads you can do something like `dog.Bark().IfSuccess(sound => Console.WriteLine(sound))`. Heck, I commonly use this with an IfNotNull extension method `getSomeValue().IfNotNull(val => val.Foo)`

  3. Steven says:

    George – I think Sean just wanted to point out the concept of try and not try. Try is implicit conversion. Not try is explicit. Ex: int.TryParse vs. int.Parse. TryParse returns true/false whereas Parse throws an exception if parse is not successful.

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