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March, 2004

  • The C# Team

    Ask a FAQ Question

    • 203 Comments
    Do you have a FAQ about: The C# Language or compiler The C# IDE The Visual Studio debugger Reply to this post, and your question will be added to our list to be answered. Of course, depending on the nature of your comment, and the volume...
  • The C# Team

    What are the advantages of C# over VB.NET and vice versa?

    • 42 Comments
    The choice between C# and VB.NET is largely one of subjective preference. Some people like C#'s terse syntax, others like VB.NET's natural language, case-insensitive approach. Both have access to the same framework libraries. Both will perform...
  • The C# Team

    Why doesn't C# have VB.NET's 'with' operator?

    • 39 Comments
    Many people, including the C# language designers, believe that 'with' often harms readability, and is more of a curse than a blessing. It is clearer to declare a local variable with a meaningful name, and use that variable to perform multiple operations...
  • The C# Team

    Does C# have default parameters?

    • 39 Comments
    Update: Named and optional (default) parameters are available starting from C# 4.0. For more information, see Named and Optional Arguments (C# Programming Guide) . In languages such as C++, a default value can be included as part of the method...
  • The C# Team

    Why doesn't C# support #define macros?

    • 37 Comments
    In C++, I can define a macro such as: #define PRODUCT(x, y, z) x * y * z and then use it in code: int a = PRODUCT(3, 2, 1); C# doesn't allow you to do this. Why? There are a few reasons why. The first is one of readability. One of our...
  • The C# Team

    How can I update my user interface from a thread that did not create it?

    • 34 Comments
    When performing any action on a control which requires the updating of a user interface element (e.g. setting the Text property on almost any class derived from Control, updating the data source behind a DataGrid), these operations MUST take place on...
  • The C# Team

    How do C# generics compare to C++ templates?

    • 28 Comments
    Q: How do C# generics compare to C++ templates? A: This is really a fairly complex topic. Anders has touched on it in an interview . I should state at the outset that the goals of generics are not the same as the goals of templates. There are...
  • The C# Team

    Why doesn't C# support multiple inheritance?

    • 27 Comments
    This answer is from Chris Brumme via the following post . I've copied the text in here in case the post disappears. *** There are a number of reasons we don't implement Multiple Implementation Inheritance directly. (As you know, we support Multiple...
  • The C# Team

    Why doesn't C# have a power operator?

    • 27 Comments
    Some languages provide a power operator, so one can write something like: float result = value^2; rather than having to resort to calling. We don't have one in C#. It would be possible to add a power operator to the language, but performing this...
  • The C# Team

    When should I use == and when should I use Equals?

    • 26 Comments
    The Equals method is just a virtual one defined in System.Object , and overridden by whichever classes choose to do so. The == operator is an operator which can be overloaded by classes, but which usually has identity behaviour. For reference...
  • The C# Team

    What character escape sequences are available?

    • 20 Comments
    C# defines the following character escape sequences: \' - single quote, needed for character literals \" - double quote, needed for string literals \\ - backslash \0 - Unicode character 0 \a - Alert (character 7) \b - Backspace...
  • The C# Team

    What's the difference between override and new?

    • 19 Comments
    This is all to do with polymorphism. When a virtual method is called on a reference, the actual type of the object that the reference refers to is used to decide which method implementation to use. When a method of a base class is overridden in a...
  • The C# Team

    Should I assign null to my local variables?

    • 14 Comments
    Q: Should I assign null to my local variables after I use them? For example: string s = ...; Console.WriteLine(s); s = null; A: There is rarely a need to do this for local variables in C# The lifetime of variables is tracked by the JIT - it analyzes...
  • The C# Team

    Why can't I have static and instance methods with the same name?

    • 12 Comments
    Q: Why can't I have static and instance methods with the same name? class Test { static void Process(); void Process(); void AmbiguousCaller() { Process(); } } there's no ambiguity, since the first can only be called through the type...
  • The C# Team

    Why do I need a null test before I invoke a delegate?

    • 12 Comments
    Q: Why do I need a null test before I invoke a delegate? A: If you have an event in a class, you need to add a null test before you call the delegate. Typically, you would write: if (Click != null ) Click(arg1, arg2); There is actually a possible...
  • The C# Team

    What's the difference between string and System.String?

    • 12 Comments
    C# defines a number of aliases for CLR types. They may be used interchangably, and even mixed together, e.g. string x = new System.String(' ', 5); . These are the aliases defined: Alias CLR type string System.String ...
  • The C# Team

    Why doesn't C# have checked exceptions?

    • 11 Comments
    Checked exceptions are a very hotly debated topic in some circles, particularly for experienced Java developers moving to, or additionally learning, C#. Here are some resources that discuss the issue in depth: The Trouble With Checked Exceptions...
  • The C# Team

    Where can I find sample C# code for simple threading?

    • 11 Comments
    Refer to the System.Threading namespace on MSDN for full details. Meanwhile here is a quick taste. using System; using System.Threading; class ThreadTest { public void Runme() { Console.WriteLine( "Runme Called" ); Thread.Sleep(10000...
  • The C# Team

    How do I get the rightmost part of a string, as with the VB Right function?

    • 10 Comments
    Use String.Substring . Assuming that x is a string of length at least n , to get the last n characters, you would use x.Substring(x.Length-n) . Note that the above assumes that the string is at least n characters long. For a more robust version...
  • The C# Team

    Is there an equivalent of MyClass?

    • 8 Comments
    No, C# doesn't have an equivalent of VB.NET's MyClass keyword. If you want to guarantee not to call an overridden version of a method, you need to make it non-virtual in the first place. [Author: Jon Skeet]
  • The C# Team

    Why can't I use static and const together?

    • 8 Comments
    All constants declarations are implicitly static, and the C# specification states that the (redundant) inclusion of the static modifier is prohibited. I believe this is to avoid the confusion which could occur if a reader were to see two constants...
  • The C# Team

    Why doesn't C# warn about unused methods?

    • 7 Comments
    Q: Why doesn't C# warn on unused methods? A: This is something that the C# compiler could do, subject to a few caveats: Virtual functions would have to be excluded Interface implementations wouldn have to be excluded You would get false...
  • The C# Team

    Where can I get a full comparison between C# and VB.NET?

    • 6 Comments
    Microsoft provides a very full language equivalents page which compares not only C# and VB.NET, but also other languages targeted at the .NET framework. It looks at the equivalent concepts, keywords, types, operators etc. A very valuable resource...
  • The C# Team

    How do I use an alias for a namespace or class?

    • 6 Comments
    Use the using directive to create an alias for a long namespace or class name. You can then use it anywhere you normally would have used that class or namespace. The using alias has a scope within the namespace you declare it in. Sample code: ...
  • The C# Team

    What does an @ before the start of a string literal mean?

    • 6 Comments
    A string literal such as @"c:\Foo" is called a verbatim string literal . It basically means, "don't apply any interpretations to characters until the next quote character is reached". So, a verbatim string literal can contain backslashes (without...
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