Chapter 3. C# Language Fundamentals

Chapter 2 demonstrated a very simple C# program. Nonetheless, that little program was complex enough that I had to skip some of the pertinent details. This chapter illuminates these details by delving more deeply into the syntax and structure of the C# language itself.

This chapter discusses the type system in C#, drawing a distinction between built-in types (int, bool, etc.) versus user-defined types (types you create as classes and interfaces). The chapter also covers programming fundamentals such as how to create and use variables and constants. It then goes on to introduce enumerations, strings, identifiers, expressions, and statements.

The second part of the chapter explains and demonstrates the use of flow control statements, using the if, switch, while, do...while, for, and foreach statements. Also discussed are operators, including the assignment, logical, relational, and mathematical operators. This is followed by an introduction to namespaces and a short tutorial on the C# precompiler.

Although C# is principally concerned with the creation and manipulation of objects, it is best to start with the fundamental building blocks: the elements from which objects are created. These include the built-in types that are an intrinsic part of the C# language as well as the syntactic elements of C#.

Types

C# is a strongly typed language. In a strongly typed language you must declare the type of each object you create (e.g., integers, floats, strings, ...

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