C# versus Perl: A side by side comparison between C# and Perl.
Version: This content is based on Microsoft C# 2008 and were tested in Microsoft Visual Studio.Net 2008.
This content focuses on topics in common among the languages documented here so some of this syntax will look similar to C++ and Java but there are significant differences.
Note: To be clear, the subject of this information is the version of C# used by Visual Studio.Net. It does not address in any significant way C#Builder by CodeGear. Although much of the information also applies to C#Builder, all of it applies to the latest version of Visual C#.
Version: This content is based on Perl 5 and tested using our web hosting server farm. The focus of this content is on server-side scripting.
This content focuses on topics in common among the languages documented here so nearly all this syntax applies to most Perl development environments as well as earlier versions of Perl.
Some of Perl's syntax will look similar to PHP but with significant differences.
Developer environment basics such as common file extensions, common keyboard shortcuts, etc.
Built-In: Some development tools have a reporting tool built-in and some do not. For example, typically desktop databases such as Paradox and Access have a built-in reporting tool and typically that reporting tool is used with nearly every application built with it. A built-in reporting tool makes development of reports across many clients and applications consistent and therefore easy.
Add-On: Development tools that do not have a built-in reporting tool need to use either a currently bundled report writer, or one of the popular reporting tools that integrates well with the development tool. For example, popular reporting tools include Crystal Reports, ReportBuilder, and MS SQL Reporting Services (tied to MS SQL).
Language basics is kind of a catch all for absolute beginner stuff. The items (common names) I chose for language basics is a bit random and include items like case sensitivity, commenting, declaring variables, etc.
Case sensitiviy in this case is referring to commands and variable names. For example, are "printf" and "PrintF" equivalent? Are fullname and FullName equivalent? When you create commands, operations, methods, or variables should you worry about case?
Commenting code generally has three purposes: to document your code, for psuedo coding prior to coding, and to embed compiler directives. Most languages support both a single line comment and a multiple line comment. Some languages also use comments to give instructions to the compiler or interpreter.
In coding languages, common End of statement specifiers include a semicolon and return (others exist too). Also of concern when studying a language is can you put two statements on a single code line and can you break a single statement into two or more code lines.
A value directly written into the source code of a computer program (as opposed to an identifier like a variable or constant). Literals cannot be changed. Common types of literals include string literals, floating point literals, integer literals, and hexidemal literals. Literal strings are usually either quoted (") or use an apostrophe (') which is often referred to as a single quote. Sometimes quotes are inaccurately referred to as double quotes.
In addition to understanding whether to use a quote or apostrophe for string literals, you also want to know how to specify and work with other types of literals including floating point literals. Some compilers allow leading and trailing decimals (.1 + .1), while some require a leading or trailing 0 as in (0.1 + 0.1). Also, because floating point literals are difficult for compilers to represent accurately, you need to understand how the compiler handles them and how to use rounding and trimming commands correctly for the nature of the project your are coding.
A variable holds a value that you can use and change throughout your code so long as the variable is within scope. With variable declaration, you not only want to know the syntax of how you declare a variable but you also want to know where. Are you allowed to declare a variable inline? What are the available scopes: local vs. global. Can you assign a value at the same time you declare a variable?
Language Details is kind of a catch all for stuff that didn't make it into language basics nor any other category.
Also known as embedded code where you embed another syntax language within the native code of the development environment you are using. The inline code can be compiled by the current development's compiler or by an external compiler.
Do not confuse with inlining which is a coding technique where custom routines are moved inline where the code is executed either by you, by a compiler directive, or automatically by the compiler.
Instead of calling a routine, you move the code from the routine itself and expand it in place of the call. In addition to manual inlining, some languages support automatic inlining where the compiler or some other pre-compiler decides when to inline a code routine. Also, some languages allow for developer defined inlining where the developer can suggest and/or force the inlining of a code routine. Inlining can optimize your code for speed by saving a call and return, and parameter management.
Does it support inlining? If so, does it support developer defined inlining? Does it support automatic inlining? Both?
Types of overloading include method overloading and operator overloading.
Method Overloading is where different functions with the same name are invoked based on the data types of the parameters passed or the number of parameters. Method overloading is a type of polymorphism and is also known as Parametric Polymorphism.
Operater Overloading allows an operator to behave differently based on the types of values used. For example, in some languages the + operator is used both to add numbers and to concatenate strings. Custom operator overloading is sometimes referred to as ad-hoc polymorphism.
A pointer is a variable type that allows you to refer indirectly to another object. Instead of holding data, a pointer holds the address to data -- the address of another variable or object. You can change the address value a pointer points to thus changing the variable or object the pointer is pointing to.
A reference is a type of pointer that cannot change and it must always point to a valid storage (no nulls).
Common statements such as if statements, loops, etc.
A common usage of exception handling is to obtain and use resources in a "try-it" block, deal with any exceptions in an "exceptions" block, and release the resources in some kind of "final" block which executes whether or not any exceptions are trapped.
Common assignment operators for languages include =, ==, and :=. An assignment operator allows you to assign a value to a variable. The value can be a literal value like "Mike" or 42 or the value stored in another variable or returned by a function.
When comparing floating point numbers, make sure you round to an acceptable level of rounding for the type of application you are using.
A comparison operator compares two values either literals as in "Hello" and 3 or variables as in X and Counter. Most languages use the same operators for comparing both numbers and strings. Perl, for example, uses separate sets of comparison operators for numbers and strings.
An empty string is a zero length string, a string that is equal to null (""), or not assigned. In some languages, you can check if a string is empty by comparing it to an empty string (""). Some languages distinguish between nil and null ("") so checking if the length is 0 is easier.
Logical operators perform conditional and, or, and not operations. Some languages support both binary logical operators that link two and unary logical operators negate (make opposite) the truth value of its argument. Finally, some languages short circuit logic. For example, with this or that, if this is an expression returning true, then that is never executed.
An operation with only one operand (a single input). Common unary operators include + plus, - minus, and bitwise not. Some operators can function as both unary and binary operators. For example, + and - operators can serve as either.
What unary operators are supported in additoin to the standard plus, minus, and bitwise not.
Common commands (procedures and functions). A function returns a value. Optionally, it may also perform an action prior to returning a value. A procedure does not return a value or it returns void or null.
Some languages support object-based concepts such as Paradox, Access, and VB Classic. Other languages have OO extensions and fully support object orientation in a hybrid fashion (such as C++ and Dephi for Win32). Finally, some lanages such as C#, VB.Net, Prism, and Java are entirely written in OO. Meaning, every line of code written must occur within a class).
In short, a class is a data type, and an object is an instance of a class type. A class has methods (routines), properties (member variables), and a constructor. The current values of the properties is the current state of the object. The UML is one of the diagraming disciplines that allows you to document the various changing states of a series of objects.
The concept of a class makes it possible to define subclasses that share some or all of the main class characteristics. This is called inheritance. Inheritance also allows you to reuse code more efficiently. In a class tree, inheritance is used to design classes vertically. (You can use Interfaces to design classes horizontally within a class tree.) With inheritance, you are defining an "is-a" relationship (i.e. a chow is-a dog). Analysts using UML call this generalization where you generalize specific classes into general parent classes.
A class variable defined with a specific class visibility, usually private visibility. A member property is different than a member field. A member property uses a member field to store values through accessor methods (getters and setters). For example, it is common to use a private member field to store the current value of a property. The current values of all the class member fields is the current state of the object.
What modifiers apply to member fields, if any? Typical member field modifiers include scope modifiers (private, protected, etc.) and read-only. Can you initialize the value of a member field when declared ensuring a default value?
A code routine that belongs to the class or an object instance (an instance of the class). Methods that belong to the class are called class methods or static methods. Methods that belong to an object instance are called instance methods, or simply methods.
When a method returns a value, it is a function method. When no value is returned (or void), it is a procedure method.
Methods frequently use method parameters to transfer data. When one object instance calls another object instance using a method with parameters, you call that messaging.
Traditional private, protected, public, etc. member modifiers are documented under the member visibility topic of the Cross Reference Encyclopedia. With member modifiers here, we address additional member modifiers such as method and field modifiers.
In OOP languages, members of a class have a specific scope that indicates visibility. Standard visibility includes private, protected, and public. Private members are usable by the defining class only (fully encapsulated). They are invisible outside of the class except by friendly classes.
Protected members are usable by the defining class and descendant classes only (plus friendly classes). Public members are usable wherever its class can be referenced.
Traditional member visibility specifiers for fully OOP languages are private, protected, and public. Many modern OOP languages implement additional member visibilities.
An abstract class member is a member that is specified in a class but not implemented. Classes that inherit from the class will have to implement the abstract member. Abstract members are a technique for ensuring a common interface with descendant classes. An abstract class is a class you cannot instantiate. A pure abstract class is a class with only abstract members.
Abstraction is supported at various levels with each language. A language could enforce abstraction at the class level (either enforcing a no-instantiation rule or a only abstract members rule), and with class members (member methods and/or properties).
A. In Dephi, class helpers allow you to extend a class without using inheritance. With a class helper, you do not have to create and use a new class descending from a class but instead you enhance the class directly and continue using it as you always have (even just with the DCU).
B. In general terms, developers sometimes use the term to refer to any class that helps out another class.
A contract with a method that must be true upon calling (pre) or exiting (post). A pre-condition contract must be true when the method is called. A post-condition contract must be true when exiting. If either are not true, an error is raised. For example, you can use code contracts to check for the validity of input parameters, and results
An invariant is also a code contract which validates the state of the object required by the method.
Constructors are called when you instantiate an object from a class. This is where you can initialize variables and put code you wish executed each time the class is created. When you initially set the member fields and properties of an object, you are initializing the state of the object. The state of an object is the values of all it's member fields and properties at a given time.
What is the syntax? Can you overload constructors? Is a special method name reserved for constructors?
A special class method called when an object instance of a class is destroyed. With some languages they are called when the object instance goes out of scope, with some languages you specifically have to call the destructor in code to destroy the object, and others use a garbage collector to dispose of object instances at specific times.
Desctructors are commonly used to free the object instance but with languages that have a garbage collector object instances are disposed of when appropriate. Either way, destructors or their equivalent are commonly used to free up resources allocated in the class constructor.
Are object instances freed with a garbage collector? Or, do you have to destroy object instances.
An element of coding where you define a common set of properties and methods for use with the design of two or more classes.
Both interfaces and abstract classes are types of abstraction. With interfaces, like abstract classes, you cannot provide any implementation. However, unlike abstract classes, interfaces are not based on inheritance. You can apply an Interface to any class in your class tree. In a real sense, interfaces are a technique for designing horizontally in a class hierarchy (as opposed to inheritance where you design vertically). Using interfaces in your class design allows your system to evolve without breaking existing code.
Where you define or implement a virtual method in a parent class and then replace it in a descendant class.
When you decide to declare a method as virtual, you are giving permission to derived classes to extend and override the method with their own implementation. You can have the extended method call the parent method's code too.
In most OO languages you can also choose to hide a parent method. When you introduce a new implementation of the same named method with the same signature without overriding, you are hiding the parent method.
A partial class, or partial type, is a class that can be split into two or more source code files and/or two or more locations within the same source file. Each partial class is known as a class part or just a part. Logically, partial classes do not make any difference to the compiler. The compiler puts the class together at compile time and treats the final class or type as a single entity exactly the same as if all the source code was in a single location.
For languages that have implemented partial classes, you need to know usage details and restrictions. Can you split a class into two or more files? Can you split a class within a source code file into two or more locations? What are the details of inheritance? Does it apply to interfaces as well?
A coding technique where the same named function, operator, or object behaves differently depending on outside input or influences. Usually implemented as parameter overloading where the same named function is overloaded with other versions that are called either with a different type or number of parameters. Polymorphism is a general coding technique and other specific implementations are common such as inheritance, operator overloading, and interfaces.
Many languages support built-in polymorphism such as a "+" operator that can add both integers and decimals. The following documents the ability to implement developer defined polymorphism.
A static member is a member you can have access to without instantiating the class into an object. For example, you can read and write static properties and call static methods without ever creating the class. Static members are also called class members (class methods, class properties, etc.) since they belong to the class and not to a specific object. A static class is a class that contains only static members. In the UML, these classes are described as utility classes.
Languages that support static members usually at least support static member fields (the data). Some languages also support static methods, properties, etc. in which case the class member is held in memory at one location and shared with all objects. Finally, some languages support static classes which usually means the compiler will make sure a static class contains only static members.