I'm working on a Xamarin application and I'm presenting a list of objects in a TableView that are grouped by a specific property of the object.

The property is a date. For each distinct date, I am creating a table section with a header containing said date. Below is the working code to accomplish this, but It's not very elegant.

    var trades = new List<ViewCell>();
    Dictionary<string, List<ViewCell>> dict = new Dictionary<string, List<ViewCell>>();

    // organizing each object into a dictionary with a key that
    // represents the table header and value for the sections objects
    foreach (var item in completed)
        var date = item.DateClosed.ToString("MMMM dd yyyy");

        if (dict.ContainsKey(date))
            dict[date].Add(new TradeCell(item));
        else {
            dict[date] = new List<ViewCell> { new TradeCell(item) };

    // looping through the resulting dict to assemble the table             
    foreach (KeyValuePair<string, List<ViewCell>> entry in dict) 
        _table.Root.Add(new TableSection(entry.Key) { entry.Value });

My Question

This gets the job done but I was hoping for a more elegant approach, perhaps using linq?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Don't make an assumption about the performance - I don't see anything outrageous there. Come back to it if you can prove it's a pain point. \$\endgroup\$
    – RobH
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 9:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RobH thanks, I guess more than performance I felt like there might be a cleaner way to do this. If I revise my question, do you think a more elegant solution is possible, perhaps using linq? If not, I'll go ahead and vote to close this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a different question entirely ;) you can use GroupBy to do what you want. \$\endgroup\$
    – RobH
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RobH I'm not super familiar with all of the possibilities of linq, I've updated my question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


You asked for a more elegant approach... This is certainly more concise:

var dict = completed
        item => item.DateClosed.ToString("MMMM dd yyyy"), // Key selector
        item => new TradeCell(item)) // Value selector
    .ToDictionary(g => g.Key, g => g.ToList());

However, you don't actually need the dictionary (that's just to keep the same behaviour as the foreach). This should do the job:

foreach (var groupOfCells in completed.GroupBy(item => item.DateClosed.ToString("MMMM dd yyyy"), item => new TradeCell(item)))
    _table.Root.Add(new TableSection(groupOfCells.Key) { groupOfCells .ToList() });

Remember not to abbreviate names. dict doesn't mean anything to anyone.

I'd also suggest grouping by DateClosed.Date and converting to a string in your UI layer. I don't know if you need it, but it's much harder to localise if you include hard coded format strings all over the place.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You're the best, this is exactly what I was looking for \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 15:27

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