What are Generics in C#?

Category: C SharpWhat are Generics in C#?
Editor">Editor Staff asked 2 years ago

What are Generics in C#?

1 Answers
Editor">Editor Staff answered 2 years ago

Generics allow you to delay the specification of the data type of programming elements in a class or a method until it is actually used in the program. In other words, generics allow you to write a class or method that can work with any data type.

You write the specifications for the class or the method, with substitute parameters for data types. When the compiler encounters a constructor for the class or a function call for the method, it generates code to handle the specific data type.

Generic classes and methods combine reusability, type safety and efficiency in a way that their non-generic counterparts cannot. Generics are most frequently used with collections and the methods that operate on them. Version 2.0 of the .NET Framework class library provides a new namespace, System.Collections.Generic, that contains several new generic-based collection classes. It is recommended that all applications that target the .NET Framework 2.0 and later use the new generic collection classes instead of the older non-generic counterparts such as ArrayList.
Features of Generics
Generics are a technique that enriches your programs in the following ways:

  • It helps you to maximize code reuse, type safety, and performance.
  • You can create generic collection classes. The .NET Framework class library contains several new generic collection classes in the System.Collections.Generic namespace. You may use these generic collection classes instead of the collection classes in the System.Collections namespace.
  • You can create your own generic interfaces, classes, methods, events, and delegates.
  • You may create generic classes constrained to enable access to methods on specific data types.
  • You may get information on the types used in a generic data type at run-time using reflection.