Dependency injection through constructors or property setters


I'm refactoring a class and adding a new dependency to it. The class is currently taking its existing dependencies in the constructor. So for consistency, I add the parameter to the constructor.
Of course, there are a few subclasses plus even more for unit tests, so now I am playing the game of going around altering all the constructors to match, and it's taking ages.
It makes me think that using properties with setters is a better way of getting dependencies. I don't think injected dependencies should be part of the interface to constructing an instance of a class. You add a dependency and now all your users (subclasses and anyone instantiating you directly) suddenly know about it. That feels like a break of encapsulation.

This doesn't seem to be the pattern with the existing code here, so I am looking to find out what the general consensus is, pros and cons of constructors versus properties. Is using property setters better?

Best Solution

Well, it depends :-).

If the class cannot do its job without the dependency, then add it to the constructor. The class needs the new dependency, so you want your change to break things. Also, creating a class that is not fully initialized ("two-step construction") is an anti-pattern (IMHO).

If the class can work without the dependency, a setter is fine.