Merging and combining dynamic/expando objects in C#

I ran into a very interesting situation today where I needed to merge two dynamically created objects in a very similar way to the way that the jQuery Extend method works.

The scenario was that I was creating my own custom override for the MVC DropDownListFor helper and needed to be able to both accept html attributes and had a number of attributes that I wanted to preset.

So the basic method looked like this.

public static MvcHtmlString DropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, Expression<System.Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, string ajaxDataSourceUrl, object htmlAttributes)
    dynamic attributes = Merge(new
        @class = "AjaxDropDown",
        data_AjaxDataSourceUrl = ajaxDataSourceUrl,
    }, htmlAttributes);

    MvcHtmlString dropDownList = System.Web.Mvc.Html.SelectExtensions.DropDownListFor(htmlHelper, expression, new List<SelectListItem>(), attributes);
    return dropDownList;

The actual Merge method looks like this.

private static dynamic Merge(object item1, object item2)
    IDictionary<string, object> result = new ExpandoObject();

    foreach (var property in item1.GetType().GetProperties())
        if (property.CanRead)
            result[property.Name] = property.GetValue(item1);

    foreach (var property in item2.GetType().GetProperties())
        if (property.CanRead)
            result[property.Name] = property.GetValue(item2);

    return result;

Note however that the above implementation does not take into account the possibility that both dynamics may contain the same property and in the current implementation will override each other.


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