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Java vs. C# – Array Declarations

I’ve been practicing the Bowling Game Kata in Eclipse the past few days, and this evening I did the kata in Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2.  I’ve done a bit of C#/.NET 2.0 development in the past, 2006-2008, but I haven’t worked with it daily in over a year.  In that time I’ve been working on projects that involve Java.  (I think most people go the other direction, from Java to C#.  But anyway.)  I had got to the point with Eclipse where I could quickly create and refactor Java code, so switching to C#/Visual Studio was a challenge.  For one thing, the syntax of the languages are similar but not exact.  I can’t go into all of the differences, and others have already done that better than I could, but I’ll try to highlight some differences that I find interesting or that trip me up, mainly for my own benefit.

One difference that I found interesting (in a “why the hell is this different?” sort of way) is array declarations.

In Java, I was declaring an array like this:

private int rolls[] = new int[21];

The same array in C# has to be declared like this:

private int[] rolls = new int[21];

Huge difference, huh?  I have no idea why the C# language designers made this different from Java; maybe if I did some more research I’d find the history behind that design decision.  I found that Java allows arrays to be declared with either format, so maybe I should simply use the latter format all the time.

I know this is far from the biggest difference between the two languages, but this seems like a subtle difference that didn’t need to be a difference.  And again, I haven’t done a lot of research into the issue.

Posted in Programming.


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