I need a pattern for extending a class by an unknown other
I'm currently splitting up some MindTouch Dream functionality into client and server assemblies and running into a consistent pattern where certain classes have augmented behavior when running in the server context instead of the client context. Since the client assembly is used by the server assembly, and these classes are part of the client assembly, they do not even know about the concept of the server context. Which leads me to the dilemma, how do I inject different behavior into these classes when they run under the server context?
Ok, the short answer to this is probably "you're doing it wrong", but let's just go with it and accept that this is what's happening. Let's also assume that the server context can be discovered by static means (i.e. a static singleton accessor) which also lives in the server assembly.
Here's what I've come up with: Extract the desired functionality into an interface and chain implementations together. Each class that needs this facility would have to create it's own interface and default implementation and looks something like this:
TryFoo gives the handler implementation a chance to look at the inputs and decide whether to handle it, or whether to pass on it. The usage of collection of handlers takes the following form:
This assumes that
_handlers is sorted by priority. It return the result of the first handler report true on invocation. Building up the
_handlers happens in the static constructor:
Instantiate are extension methods i'll leave as an exercise to the reader.
Now the server assembly simply creates its implementation of
IFooHandler, gives it a higher priority and on invocation checks its static accessor to see if it's running in the server context and if not, lets the chain fall through to the next (likely the default) implementation.
This works just fine. I don't really like the static discovery of handlers, and if it weren't for backwards compatibility, I'd move the injection of handlers into a factory class and leave all that wire-up to IoC. Since that's not an option, I think this is the most elegant and performant solution.
It still feels clunky, tho. Anyone have a better solutions for changing the behavior of a method in an existing class that doesn't required the change to be in a subclass (since the instance will be of the base type)? Is there a pattern i'm overlooking?