C# – Distinct list of objects based on an arbitrary key in LINQ

.netc++linq

I have some objects:

class Foo {
    public Guid id;
    public string description;
}

var list = new List<Foo>();
list.Add(new Foo() { id = Guid.Empty, description = "empty" });
list.Add(new Foo() { id = Guid.Empty, description = "empty" });
list.Add(new Foo() { id = Guid.NewGuid(), description = "notempty" });
list.Add(new Foo() { id = Guid.NewGuid(), description = "notempty2" });

I would like to process this list in such a way that the id field is unique, and throw away the non-unique objects (based on id).

The best I could come up with is:

list = list.GroupBy(i => i.id).Select(g=>g.First()).ToList();

Is there a nicer/better/quicker way to achieve the same result.

Best Solution

A very elegant and intention revealing option is to define a new extension method on IEnumerable

So you have:

list = list.Distinct(foo => foo.id).ToList();

And ...

    public static IEnumerable<T> Distinct<T,TKey>(this IEnumerable<T> list, Func<T,TKey> lookup) where TKey : struct {
        return list.Distinct(new StructEqualityComparer<T, TKey>(lookup));
    }


    class StructEqualityComparer<T,TKey> : IEqualityComparer<T> where TKey : struct {

        Func<T, TKey> lookup;

        public StructEqualityComparer(Func<T, TKey> lookup) {
            this.lookup = lookup;
        }

        public bool Equals(T x, T y) {
            return lookup(x).Equals(lookup(y));
        }

        public int GetHashCode(T obj) {
            return lookup(obj).GetHashCode();
        }
    }

A similar helper class can be built to compare objects. (It will need to do better null handling)