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C# Programming Language, The, 2nd Edition

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C# Programming Language, The, 2nd Edition


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  • Copyright 2006
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-33443-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-33443-5

A new edition of this title is now available, ISBN-10: 0321562992 ISBN-13:  9780321562999

C# is a simple, modern, object-oriented, and type-safe programming language that combines the high productivity of rapid application development languages with the raw power of C and C++. Written by the language's architect, Anders Hejlsberg, and design team members, and now updated for C# 2.0, The C# Programming Language, Second Edition, is the definitive technical reference for C#. The book provides the complete specification of the language, along with descriptions, reference materials, and code samples from the C# design team.

The first part of the book opens with an introduction to the language to bring readers quickly up-to-speed on the concepts of C#. Next follows a detailed and complete technical specification of the C# 1.0 language, as delivered in Visual Studio .NET 2002 and 2003. Topics covered include Lexical Structure, Types, Variables, Conversions, Expressions, Statements, Namespaces, Exceptions, Attributes, and Unsafe Code.

The second part of the book describes the many new features of C# 2.0, including Generics, Anonymous Methods, Iterators, Partial Types, and Nullable Types. This second edition describes C# 2.0 as actually released in Visual Studio .NET 2005, with many additions and improvements over the design presented in the first edition. Reference tabs and an exhaustive index allow readers to easily navigate the text and quickly find the topics that interest them most.

The C# Programming Language, Second Edition, is the definitive reference for programmers who want to acquire an in-depth knowledge of C#.

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Basic Concepts of the C# Programming Language

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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

PART I: C# 1.0 1

Chapter 1: Introduction 3

1.1 Hello World 4

1.2 Program Structure 5

1.3 Types and Variables 7

1.4 Expressions 11

1.5 Statements 14

1.6 Classes and Objects 18

1.7 Structs 34

1.8 Arrays 35

1.9 Interfaces 37

1.10 Enums 39

1.11 Delegates 40

1.12 Attributes 42

Chapter 2: Lexical Structure 45

2.1 Programs 45

2.2 Grammars 45

2.3 Lexical Analysis 47

2.4 Tokens 51

2.5 Preprocessing Directives 61

Chapter 3: Basic Concepts 73

3.1 Application Startup 73

3.2 Application Termination 74

3.3 Declarations 75

3.4 Members 77

3.5 Member Access 79

3.6 Signatures and Overloading 86

3.7 Scopes 87

3.8 Namespace and Type Names 93

3.9 Automatic Memory Management 95

3.10 Execution Order 99

Chapter 4: Types 101

4.1 Value Types 101

4.2 Reference Types 110

4.3 Boxing and Unboxing 112

Chapter 5: Variables 115

5.1 Variable Categories 115

5.2 Default Values 119

5.3 Definite Assignment 119

5.4 Variable References 133

5.5 Atomicity of Variable References 133

Chapter 6: Conversions 135

6.1 Implicit Conversions 135

6.2 Explicit Conversions 138

6.3 Standard Conversions 142

6.4 User-Defined Conversions 143

Chapter 7: Expressions 147

7.1 Expression Classifications 147

7.2 Operators 149

7.3 Member Lookup 156

7.4 Function Members 157

7.5 Primary Expressions 170

7.6 Unary Operators 193

7.7 Arithmetic Operators 198

7.8 Shift Operators 207

7.9 Relational and Type-Testing Operators 209

7.10 Logical Operators 216

7.11 Conditional Logical Operators 218

7.12 Conditional Operator 220

7.13 Assignment Operators 221

7.14 Expression 226

7.15 Constant Expressions 226

7.16 Boolean Expressions 228

Chapter 8: Statements 229

8.1 End Points and Reachability 230

8.2 Blocks 232

8.3 The Empty Statement 233

8.4 Labeled Statements 233

8.5 Declaration Statements 234

8.6 Expression Statements 236

8.7 Selection Statements 237

8.8 Iteration Statements 243

8.9 Jump Statements 248

8.10 The try Statement 255

8.11 The checked and unchecked Statements 258

8.12 The lock Statement 259

8.13 The using Statement 260

Chapter 9: Namespaces 263

9.1 Compilation Units 263

9.2 Namespace Declarations 264

9.3 Using Directives 265

9.4 Namespace Members 271

9.5 Type Declarations 271

Chapter 10: Classes 273

10.1 Class Declarations 273

10.2 Class Members 277

10.3 Constants 287

10.4 Fields 290

10.5 Methods 299

10.6 Properties 317

10.7 Events 327

10.8 Indexers 333

10.9 Operators 338

10.10 Instance Constructors 343

10.11 Static Constructors 349

10.12 Destructors 352

Chapter 11: Structs 355

11.1 Struct Declarations 355

11.2 Struct Members 356

11.3 Class and Struct Differences 357

11.4 Struct Examples 363

Chapter 12: Arrays 367

12.1 Array Types 367

12.2 Array Creation 369

12.3 Array Element Access 369

12.4 Array Members 369

12.5 Array Covariance 369

12.6 Array Initializers 370

Chapter 13: Interfaces 373

13.1 Interface Declarations 373

13.2 Interface Members 375

13.3 Fully Qualified Interface Member Names 380

13.4 Interface Implementations 380

Chapter 14: Enums 393

14.1 Enum Declarations 393

14.2 Enum Modifiers 394

14.3 Enum Members 394

14.4 The System.Enum Type 397

14.5 Enum Values and Operations 397

Chapter 15: Delegates 399

15.1 Delegate Declarations 399

15.2 Delegate Instantiation 402

15.3 Delegate Invocation 403

Chapter 16: Exceptions 407

16.1 Causes of Exceptions 407

16.2 The System.Exception Class 408

16.3 How Exceptions Are Handled 408

16.4 Common Exception Classes 409

Chapter 17: Attributes 411

17.1 Attribute Classes 411

17.2 Attribute Specification 414

17.3 Attribute Instances 420

17.4 Reserved Attributes 422

17.5 Attributes for Interoperation 428

Chapter 18: Unsafe Code 429

18.1 Unsafe Contexts 429

18.2 Pointer Types 433

18.3 Fixed and Moveable Variables 436

18.4 Pointer Conversions 437

18.5 Pointers in Expressions 438

18.6 The fixed Statement 446

18.7 Stack Allocation 450

18.8 Dynamic Memory Allocation 451

PART II: C# 2.0 455Chapter 19: Introduction to C# 2.0 457

19.1 Generics 458

19.2 Anonymous Methods 463

19.3 Iterators 467

19.4 Partial Types 471

19.5 Nullable Types 472

Chapter 20: Generics 477

20.1 Generic Class Declarations 477

20.2 Generic Struct Declarations 488

20.3 Generic Interface Declarations 488

20.4 Generic Delegate Declarations 490

20.5 Constructed Types 491

20.6 Generic Methods 498

20.7 Constraints 506

20.8 Expressions and Statements 517

20.9 Revised Lookup Rules 521

20.10 Right-Shift Grammar Changes 533

Chapter 21: Anonymous Methods 535

21.1 Anonymous Method Expressions 535

21.2 Anonymous Method Signatures 535

21.3 Anonymous Method Conversions 536

21.4 Anonymous Method Blocks 537

21.5 Outer Variables 538

21.6 Anonymous Method Evaluation 541

21.7 Delegate Instance Equality 542

21.8 Definite Assignment 543

21.9 Method Group Conversions 544

21.10 Delegate Creation Expressions 546

21.11 Implementation Example 546

Chapter 22: Iterators 551

22.1 Iterator Blocks 551

22.2 Enumerator Objects 552

22.3 Enumerable Objects 555

22.4 The yield Statement 556

22.5 Implementation Example 558

Chapter 23: Partial Types 567

23.1 Partial Declarations 567

23.2 Name Binding 571

Chapter 24: Nullable Types 573

24.1 Nullable Types 573

24.2 Conversions 574

24.3 Expressions 580

Chapter 25: Other Features 587

25.1 Property Accessor Accessibility 587

25.2 Static Classes 590

25.3 Namespace Alias Qualifiers 592

25.4 Extern Aliases 596

25.5 Pragma Directives 600

25.6 Default Value Expression 601

25.7 Conditional Attribute Classes 602

25.8 Fixed Size Buffers 603

PART III: Appendixes 609Appendix A Documentation Comments 611

A.1 Introduction 611

A.2 Recommended Tags 613

A.3 Processing the Documentation File 623

A.4 An Example 629

Appendix B Grammar 635

B.1 Lexical Grammar 635

B.2 Syntactic Grammar 644

B.3 Grammar Extensions for Unsafe Code 671

Index 675


The C# project started more than seven years ago, in December 1998, with the goal to create a simple, modern, object-oriented, and type-safe programming language for the new and yet to be named .NET platform. Since then, C# has come a long way. The language is now in use by hundreds of thousands of programmers, it has been standardized by both ECMA and ISO/IEC, and the development of a second version of the language with several major new features has been completed.

This book is a complete technical specification of the C# programming language. The book is divided into three parts. Part I, "C# 1.0," includes Chapters 1-18 and describes the C# 1.0 language, as delivered in Visual Studio .NET 2002 and 2003. Part II, "C# 2.0," includes Chapters 19-25 and describes the new features of C# 2.0, as delivered in Visual Studio 2005, including generics, anonymous methods, iterators, partial types, and nullable types. Part III, "Appendixes," describes documentation comments and summarizes the lexical and syntactic grammars of C# 2.0.

Many people have been involved in the creation of the C# language. The language design team for C# 1.0 consisted of Anders Hejlsberg, Scott Wiltamuth, Peter Golde, Peter Sollich, and Eric Gunnerson. For C# 2.0, the language design team consisted of Anders Hejlsberg, Peter Golde, Peter Hallam, Shon Katzenberger, Todd Proebsting, and Anson Horton. Furthermore, the design and implementation of generics in C# and the .NET Common Language Runtime is based on the "Gyro" prototype built by Don Syme and Andrew Kennedy of Microsoft Research. Finally, this second edition was edited by Mads Torgersen.

It is impossible to acknowledge all the people who have influenced the design of C#, but we are nonetheless grateful to all of them. Nothing good gets designed in a vacuum, and the constant feedback we receive from our large and enthusiastic community of developers is invaluable.

C# has been and continues to be one of the most challenging and exciting projects on which we've worked. We hope you enjoy using C# as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Anders Hejlsberg
Scott Wiltamuth
Seattle, WA
March 2006


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