Saturday, February 26, 2011

CTS Spec

Types expose functionality to your applications and other types. Types are the mechanism by which code written in one programming language can talk to code written in a different programming language.

Because types are at the root of the CLR, Microsoft created a formal specification—the Common Type System (CTS)—that describes how types are defined and how they behave.

The CTS specification states that a type can contain zero or more members.
  • Field A data variable that is part of the object’s state. Fields are identified by their name and type.
  • Method A function that performs an operation on the object, often changing the object’s state. Methods have a name, a signature, and modifiers. The signature specifies the number of parameters (and their sequence), the types of the parameters, whether a value is returned by the method, and if so, the type of the value returned by the method.
  • Property To the caller, this member looks like a field. But to the type implementer, it looks like a method (or two). Properties allow an implementer to validate input parameters and object state before accessing the value and/or calculating a value only when necessary. They also allow a user of the type to have simplified syntax. Finally, properties allow you to create read-only or write-only “fields."
  • Event An event allows a notification mechanism between an object and other interested objects. For example, a button could offer an event that notifies other objects when the button is clicked.

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