Anders Hejlsberg on

Jan 06, 2005 • 2 minutes to read

For those of you who haven’t seen this, TheServerSide.NET interviewed Anders Hejlsberg, chief designer of the C# language. If you’re interested in the design of the C# language, untyped versus typed languages and C# futures, you’ll definitely want to listen or read the transcript for this interview

Some choice quotes below:

On C# futures beyond C# 2.0: “One of the things that made .NET incredibly successful was the fact that we took all of that housekeeping and put it in the platform, garbage collection, type safety, exception handling, whatever, all these things that programmers just get wrong, if they have to do it manually. Put them in the platform, just allow you to think about the algorithms. I am like trying to shift my focus to that space and try to do some of those same things. Truly integrate the database with the programing language. Of course, that is a very broad vision and many people lie on the rocks of unsuccessful database integration, and I am hoping not to be one of them, but I think we have some interesting thoughts about it."

Here’s another gem A commonly asked question is whether “yield”, the identifier for C# 2.0 iterators, is a keyword. Anders goes on to explain why it’s not (versioning) and how they work around not making it an identifier

Why is introducing a new keyword such a pain? I just never understood that.

Because if you have an identifier by the same name as that keyword, that identifier is now an error. So let’s say that we had made the yield keyword. Well it is not actually a keyword. If you look at the way we design so yield is used by iterators in C# and there are two new statements, yield return and yield break. But the yield word in yield return is actually not a keyword, it is the identifier yield coming immediately before the keyword return that constitutes yield return, because that was never a valid thing to say before. But you can still have, in your financial application, a parameter called double yield, that is the yield of your investments or whatever and you will not break that code. It is very subtle, but you know, it is the real world right. If we tell people, hey your C# 2.0 upgrade today, and bam, the first thing that happens is all their code breaks and it is just not a happy experience. You really have to make sure that the barrier to entry is nonexistent.




Framework vs Tool