EventFilter Helper Class
EventFilter is a generic helper class for dealing with events that may be raised multiple times in rapid succession, when only the last event of a “burst” is of interest.
Imagine a Windows Forms program mimicking the GUI of the Windows Explorer, where selecting a folder in the tree view on the left side will update the list of files on the right. A "quick'n dirty" implementation would handle the
SelectedNodeChanged event of the
TreeView control to update the file list, but a robust implementation that works nicely with slow media like CD/DVD or network drives should use a different approach.
When playing around with an actual instance of Windows Explorer and watching it more closely, you'll quickly notice that the file list is not updated immediately, but after a slight delay. You can use the keyboard in the tree view to move quickly from folder to folder, skipping folders you are not interested in. Only after you stay on a folder for a little while, the file list gets updated.
This approach of "wait until things have settled down a bit and then handle the last occurrence of an event" is pretty common in GUI development. The typical implementation uses a timer that is reset each time a new event is raised within a certain time interval, until the timer is finally allowed to elapse. Only at that time the event will actually be handled.
During development of a small hobby project called RemoteCanvas I got tired of taking care of timers, helper variables and event handlers over and over again, so I finally wrote a helper class acting as a "filter" for events.
- Declare a member variable to hold an instance of the
EventFilter class, with an event argument type matching that of the event to be filtered:
private EventFilter<EventArgs> _filter
= new EventFilter<EventArgs>();.
- Hook up the
HandleOriginalEvent method to the original event of the control. There's no great design time support for this, so you have to do that manually, e.g.
myControl.SelectedIndexChanged += _filter.HandleOriginalEvent;
- Connect the
FilteredEventRaised event to your event handler:
_filter.FilteredEventRaised += MyHandler;
- That's it!
The source code for the helper class (plus a small demo project for Visual Studio 2005) can be downloaded here.