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LINQ to Tree - A Generic Technique for Querying Tree-like Structures

, 4 Mar 2010 CPOL
This article presents a generic approach to applying LINQ queries to tree like structures. Using T4 templates for code generation, LINQ to VisualTree (WPF), LINQ to WinForms, and LINQ to FileSystem APIs are constructed.
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Data;
using System.Windows.Documents;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Imaging;
using System.Windows.Navigation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;

using LinqToVisualTree;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Xml.Linq;

namespace LinqToTreeWPF
    /// <summary>
    /// Interaction logic for Window1.xaml
    /// </summary>
    public partial class Window1 : Window
        public Window1()

        private void Window_ContentRendered(object sender, EventArgs e)

            // get all the TextBox's which have a Grid as direct parent
            var itemsFluent = this.Descendants<TextBox>()
                                  .Where(i => i.Ancestors().FirstOrDefault() is Grid);

            var itemsQuery = from v in this.Descendants<TextBox>()
                             where v.Ancestors().FirstOrDefault() is Grid
                             select v;

            // get all the StackPanels that are within another StackPanel visual tree
            var items2Fluent = this.Descendants<StackPanel>()

            var items2Query = from i in
                                 (from v in this.Descendants<StackPanel>()                                   
                                  select v).Descendants<StackPanel>()
                              select i;

            // output a tree!
            string tree = this.DescendantsAndSelf().Aggregate("",
                (bc, n) => bc + n.Ancestors().Aggregate("", (ac, m) => (m.ElementsAfterSelf().Any() ? "| " : "  ") + ac,
                ac => ac + (n.ElementsAfterSelf().Any() ? "+-" : "\\-")) + n.GetType().Name + "\n");


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About the Author

Colin Eberhardt
Architect Scott Logic
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I am CTO at ShinobiControls, a team of iOS developers who are carefully crafting iOS charts, grids and controls for making your applications awesome.

I am a Technical Architect for Visiblox which have developed the world's fastest WPF / Silverlight and WP7 charts.

I am also a Technical Evangelist at Scott Logic, a provider of bespoke financial software and consultancy for the retail and investment banking, stockbroking, asset management and hedge fund communities.

Visit my blog - Colin Eberhardt's Adventures in .NET.

Follow me on Twitter - @ColinEberhardt


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