Introducing .NET Generics

What Are Generics?

When we look at the term "generic", unrelated to the programming world, it simply means something that is not tied to any sort of brand name. For example, if we purchase some generic dish soap, soap that has no brand name on it, we know that we are buying dish soap and expect it to help us clean our dishes, but we really don't know what exact brand (if any) will be inside the bottle itself. We can treat it as dish soap even though we don't really have any idea of its exact contents.

Think of Generics in this manner. We can refer to a class, where we don't force it to be related to any specific Type, but we can still perform work with it in a Type-Safe manner. A perfect example of where we would need Generics is in dealing with collections of items (integers, strings, Orders etc.). We can create a generic collection than can handle any Type in a generic and Type-Safe manner. For example, we can have a single array class that we can use to store a list of Users or even a list of Products, and when we actually use it, we will be able to access the items in the collection directly as a list of Users or Products, and not as objects (with boxing/unboxing, casting).

"Generic" Collections as we see them today

Read Users' Comments (0)

0 Response to "Introducing .NET Generics"

Post a Comment