Clamping Values

In last week’s post on building the iOS 7 parallax background in Windows Phone I commented on the fact I was surprised there wasn’t a Clamp function on the Math class.

For those who aren’t sure of the term it originates (I believe) out of computer graphics and ensures a value lies between a range of values. In essence it combines the Min and Max functions so that a simple implementation of Clamp could look like.

public static double Clamp(double value, double minimum, double maximum)
    return Math.Max(minimum, Math.Min(maximum, value));

Rather than write this method for each different type we can make use of the built in interface IComparable and create a generic clamp method that looks like:

public static T Clamp<T>(this T value, T minimum, T maximum)
    where T : IComparable<T>
    if (value.CompareTo(minimum) < 0)
        return minimum;
    if (value.CompareTo(maximum) > 0)
        return maximum;
    return value;

The great thing about it being generic off the IComparable interface is it works on any class implementing the interface including types like TimeSpan.

public void ClampTimeSpanWithValueBelowRangeReturnsMinimum()
    var value = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(10);
    var clamped = value.Clamp(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(20), TimeSpan.FromSeconds(30));
    Assert.AreEqual(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(20), clamped);