Achieve closure by using Visitor

Using Visitor to decouple ordering stuff

When I and teammate design class, we always apply OCP and fight not to make the design smells.
We prefer use interface to obtain it but in current project, we faced with a new problem, it made our design violates the OCP.
The book Principles, Pattern and Practices [Martin] provides an approach that uses a Data-Driven way to achieve closure. It works well but seem not to be nice. The author of the book also recommends an alternate solution that uses Visitor pattern. So, in this blog, I’ll show you the way it is.
Suppose that we have an interface IItemDetailInformation

interface IItemDetailInformation


string SequenceOrder {get; set;}

// other properties


and now have 3 implementation classes: AllItemDetailInformation, CategoryDetailInformation, ProductDetailInformation.
Now, Our requirement is defined. If we have a List<IItemDetailInformation>, it must be sorted in following order:

AllItemDetailInformation is in the top of list.
– Order by SequenceOrder (a decimal that be formated in 10 characters) in ascendant sequence.
– If SequenceOrder are equal, CategoryDetailInformation is before UserDetailInformation.

Create an Visitor interface

interface IOrderVisitor


ActorDetailComparerInfo Visit(IActorDetailInformation actorDetailInfo);


So we have: AllItemOrderVisitor, CategoryOrderVisitor, ProductOrderVisitor.
Now, we define class ActorDetailComparerInfo, used to store order information.

class ItemDetailComparerInfo : IComparable


int TypeOrder;

string SequenceOrder;

public int CompareTo(ItemDetailComparerInfo obj)


return ComparatorUtility.Compare(this, obj,

new string{“SequenceOrder“, “TypeOrder”});



Now, we create class ItemDetailInformationComparer to decouple the ordering stuff and IItemDetailInformation.
class ItemDetailInformationComparer : IComparer


int CompareTo(object x, object y)


IOrderVisitor xOV = (x as IItemDetailInformation).OrderVisitor;

IOrderVisitor yOV = (y as IItemDetailInformation).OrderVisitor;

return xOV.Visit(x).CompareTo(yOV.Visit(y));



Final work is very simple:

List itemList = GetItemList();

itemList.Sort(new ItemDetailInformationComparer());

Your feedbacks are very important!
Nguyen Minh Dung


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