by Dinesh Thakur Category: Introduction to C#

Microsoft Corporation developed a new computer programming language C# pronounced as 'C- Sharp'. C# is a simple, modem, object oriented, and type safe programming language derived from C and C++. C# is a purely object-oriented language like as Java. It has been designed to support the key features of .NET framework. Like Java, C# is a descendant language of C++ which is descendant of C language.

C# modernizes C++ by enhancing some of its features and adding a few new features. C# borrows Java's features such as grouping of classes, interface and implementation together in one file so the programmers can easily edit the codes. C# also handles objects using reference, the same way as Java.

C# uses VB's approach to form designing, namely, dragging controls from a tool box, dropping them onto forms, and writing events handlers for them.

Comparing C# to C++ and Java

C# versus Java

C# and Java are both new-generation languages descended from a line including C and C++. Each includes advanced features, like garbage collection, which remove some of the low level maintenance tasks from the programmer. In a lot of areas they are syntactically similar.

Both C# and Java compile initially to an intermediate language: C# to Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), and Java to Java bytecode. In each case the intermediate language can be run - by interpretation or just-in-time compilation on an appropriate 'virtual machine'. In C#, however, more support is given for the further compilation of the intermediate language code into native code.

C# contains more primitive data types than Java, and also allows more extension to the value types. For example, C# supports 'enumerations', type-safe value types which are limited to a defined set of constant variables, and 'structs', which are user-defined value types.

Unlike Java, C# has the useful feature that we can overload various operators.

Like Java, C# gives up on multiple class inheritance in favour of a single inheritance model extended by the multiple inheritances of interfaces. However, polymorphism is handled in a more complicated fashion; with derived class methods either 'overriding' or 'hiding' super class methods

C# also uses 'delegates'-type-safe method pointers. These are used to implement event handling.

In Java, multi-dimensional arrays are implemented solely with single-dimensional arrays (Where arrays can be members of other arrays). In addition to jagged arrays, however, C# also implements genuine rectangular arrays.

C# versus C++

Although it has some elements derived from Visual Basic and Java, C++ is C#'s closest relative.

In an important change from C++, C# code does not require header files. All code is written inline.

As touched on above, the .NET runtime in which C# runs performs memory management, taking care of tasks like garbage collection. Because of this, the use of pointers in C# is much less important than in C++. Pointers can be used in C#, where the code is marked as 'unsafe', but they are only really useful in situations where performance gains are at an absolute premium.

Speaking generally, the 'plumbing' of C# types is different from that of C++ types, with all C# types being ultimately derived from the 'object' type. There are also specific differences in the way that certain common types can be used. For instance, C# arrays are bounds checked unlike in C++, and it is therefore not possible to write past the end of a C# array.

C# statements are quite similar to C++ statements. To note just one example of a difference: the 'switch' statement has been changed so that 'fall-through' behavior is disallowed.

As mentioned above, C# gives up on the idea of multiple class inheritance. Other differences relating to the use of classes are: there is support for class 'properties' of the kind found in Visual Basic, and class methods are called using the Operator rather than the :: operator.

About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.SC (Computer Science), MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.