WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?
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Since the release of .NET 2.0, .NET has supported generics. Generics are not just a part of the C# programming language; they are deeply integrated with the IL (Intermediate Language) code in the assemblies. With generics, you can create classes and methods that are independent of contained types. Instead of writing a number of methods or classes with the same functionality for different types, you can create just one method or class.
Another option to reduce the amount of code is using the
Object class. However, passing using types derived from the
Object class is not type safe. Generic classes make use of generic types that are replaced with specific types as needed. This allows for type safety: the compiler complains if a specific type is not supported with the generic class.
Generics are not limited to classes; in this chapter, you also see generics with interfaces and methods. Generics with delegates can be found in Chapter 8, “Delegates, Lambdas, and Events.”