#594 – Routed Events Under the Covers

Traditional CLR events are basically a wrapper around a private instance of a multicast delegate type.  When you add an event handler using the += operator, your handler gets added to the delegate’s invocation list.

// CLR event under the covers
private EventHandler barked;
public event EventHandler Barked
{
    add { barked += value; }
    remove { barked -= value; }
}

Routed events in WPF look like standard CLR events because they are exposed via a CLR event.  But they are implemented differently.

When you use += for a routed event, the UIElement.AddHandler method is called.

    // From ButtonBase.cs
    public static readonly RoutedEvent ClickEvent;
    public event RoutedEventHandler Click { add { AddHandler(ClickEvent, value); } remove { RemoveHandler(ClickEvent, value); } }

The AddHandler method adds information about both the event and the handler to list of event handlers that is stored within the UIElement, used when the event is raised.

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About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

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