Here is a code snippet which accomplishes these following goals:

  • It marries a C# Regular Expression MatchCollection to a property list using Linq.
  • It uses a Regex Pattern which creates named capture groups which Linq can easily exploit in the join of two data lists.

Let me show you the code. Don’t get hung up on the pattern or what it is doing. What needs to be known is that the pattern places the data matched into Named Capture Groups of Key and Value. The actual Key value corresponds to a property on a real class. Using reflection we will find that property on the class and link its property name to the value stored. That will allow us to change that properties value on the class from the Value we get from the regex match.

The goal of the Linq code is to join into another list, which is the list of properties from the class and the commonality is the PropertyInfo.Name found in that list. Once that data is joined a new object will be created which will have the actual property object and the value of Value. That new list will allow the following operations to set target properties value to Value of the match in Match collection.

public static T ASCIISerializeOut<T>( string targetSerialized )
     where T : new()

     T targetInstance = new T();

     string pattern = string.Format( @"(?<Key>[^{0}]*)(?:{0})(?<Value>[^{1}]*)(?:{1}?)",
           Seperators.cnKVPSeperator,   // "±"
           Seperators.cnSeperator );    // "¶"

     MatchCollection mcKVPs = Regex.Matches( targetSerialized,
                                             RegexOptions.Compiled );

     var kvps = from Match m in mcKVPs
                where mcKVPs != null
                where mcKVPs.Count > 0
                join prp in GetPublicProperties<T>() on m.Groups["Key"].Value equals prp.Name
                select new
                    prop  = prp,
                    Value = m.Groups["Value"].Value ?? string.Empty

     foreach (var item in kvps)
         item.prop.SetValue( targetInstance, item.Value, null );

     return targetInstance;


 /// <summary>
 /// Return all public properties which are of string type from T class.
 /// </summary>
 public static IEnumerable<PropertyInfo> GetPublicProperties<T>()
     return from p in typeof( T ).GetProperties()
            where p.PropertyType == typeof( string )
            select p;
  • Line 01: The function takes in text such as "AProp±AValue¶BProp±BValue" which needs to be serialized into a newly created class of type T. The first item in the pattern is the property name AProp followed by a seperator ± then the value of the property AValue and finally a key value seperator: ¶. our regex will create individual matches for each of the key value pairs.
  • Line 07: This pattern when used will get key and value pair combinations and place them in named groups of Key and Value of the match.
  • Line 11: Get all the key/value pair combinations into the match collection.
  • Line 15: Linq starts here: We define a Var object kvps (key value pairs) which will use /loop each match from the match collection.
  • Line 16: Make sure the collection is not null.
  • Line 17: Make sure there are one or more matches.
  • Line 18: Get all the public properties of class T and make a join to our collection data. Key should match the property Name.
  • Line 19: Each match found within the property where the names are the same will create this new object below with two properties.
  • Line 21: Save the actual property object, we need that later to load data.
  • Line 22: Get the value out of the Value group and save that as well. Note, if it is null, just use string.Empty. Thanks Null Coalescing operation (??).
  • Line 25: Now for each var object created enumerate through it and load the target values into our newly minted class object of T.
  • Line 26: Set the target item’s property to the value found from the regex matches.
  • Line 28: Return the new object with the original text data serialized in.
  • Line 35: Return an enumeration of all generic string properties of the type T.

For completeness see my post entitled A C# ASCII Serializer Generic Method for Class Objects which has the actual downloaded project and working test example. (Post coming soon!)