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C# 5.0 Pocket Reference by Ben Albahari, Joseph Albahari

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Type Basics

A type defines the blueprint for a value. In our example, we used two literals of type int with values 12 and 30. We also declared a variable of type int whose name was x.

A variable denotes a storage location that can contain different values over time. In contrast, a constant always represents the same value (more on this later).

All values in C# are an instance of a specific type. The meaning of a value, and the set of possible values a variable can have, is determined by its type.

Predefined Type Examples

Predefined types (also called built-in types) are types that are specially supported by the compiler. The int type is a predefined type for representing the set of integers that fit into 32 bits of memory, from –231 to 231–1. We can perform functions such as arithmetic with instances of the int type as follows:

int x = 12 * 30;

Another predefined C# type is string. The string type represents a sequence of characters, such as “.NET” or “http://oreilly.com”. We can work with strings by calling functions on them as follows:

string message = "Hello world";
string upperMessage = message.ToUpper();
Console.WriteLine (upperMessage);      // HELLO WORLD

int x = 2012;
message = message + x.ToString();
Console.WriteLine (message);         // Hello world2012

The predefined bool type has exactly two possible values: true and false. The bool type is commonly used to conditionally branch execution flow with an if statement. For example:

bool simpleVar = false; if (simpleVar) Console.WriteLine ("This ...

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