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Better property names using the DataMember attribute

Written by Michael Earls
 development  json  C#  .NET  serialization

In my previous post, I demonstrated creating a class to serialize the data returned from the JSON feed. I wasn't happy with the final result as it used JavaScript formatting for the property names (camel cased).

I prefer Pascal casing on my object properties in C#, so I wanted to quickly show how to change the name of the property on the class.

Here is the new LoremIpsum class definition:

public class LoremIpsum
    public Feed Feed { get; set; }

public class Feed
    [DataMember(Name ="lipsum")]
    public string Lipsum { get; set; }

    [DataMember(Name = "generated")]
    public string Generated { get; set; }

    [DataMember(Name = "donatelink")]
    public string DonateLink { get; set; }

    [DataMember(Name = "creditlink")]
    public string CreditLink { get; set; }

    [DataMember(Name = "creditname")]
    public string CreditName { get; set; }

You'll first need to add a reference to System.Runtime.Serialization to your project. Then, include the System.Runtime.Serialization namespace in your using declarations.

The main() method now looks like this:

static void Main(string[] args)
    for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
        // toggle between words and paragraphs
        bool isEven = (i % 2).Equals(0); // used this because markdown had trouble with double equal signs
        bool isThird = (i % 3).Equals(0);
        LipsumType lipsumType = isEven ? LipsumType.Paragraphs : LipsumType.Words;

        // only start with Lorem Ipsum every third call
        Debug.WriteLine(LoremIpsumUtil.GetNewLipsum(lipsumType, 7, isThird).Feed.Lipsum + Environment.NewLine);

        // sleep for 1 second to give the server a rest

The main difference is that now, we use LoremIpsumUtil.GetNewLipsum(lipsumType, 7, isThird).Feed.Lipsum.

As you can see, our properties are now Pascal cased, so they look more in line with what you'll see throughout the other .NET libraries.