Anders Hejlsberg - What's so great about generics?

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Anders Hejlsberg talks about one of the biggest new feature in the next version of C#: generics.

Charles Torre interviews him in the middle of Microsoft's museum.

What are you going to use generics for?

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      tLat
      Bing! {light goes on}

      This is the first time that I have found the concept of generics has been communicated clearly. Thanks.
    • User profile image
      PeterJ
      Great explanation.
    • User profile image
      mscott

      A simple, clear, understandable explanation. I wish he would have taught CS at my college.

      One thing that bothered me: The interviewer kept saying 'yea', 'yep', ect while Anders spoke.
      My advice: just let the Anders answer the question uninterrupted, otherwise it is distracting. I noticed the same thing during the previous museum video

    • User profile image
      AQ
      anders explains generics in front of a backdrop which reads "Your Potent *"! the significance is obvi Wink
    • User profile image
      Frankie Fresh
      Ahhh.  Now the purpose of generics is clear.  For some reason, I prefer sound byte explanations to complex questions.  Must be an election year Wink
    • User profile image
      Charles
      mscott wrote:

      A simple, clear, understandable explanation. I wish he would have taught CS at my college.

      One thing that bothered me: The interviewer kept saying 'yea', 'yep', ect while Anders spoke.
      My advice: just let the Anders answer the question uninterrupted, otherwise it is distracting. I noticed the same thing during the previous museum video



      Sorry 'bout that. I'm working on pretending like I'm an android and not interacting at all with the people whom I ask questions. I'll get better at it.

      Charles
    • User profile image
      scobleizer

      Charles: yup!

      Dang it's hard to keep quiet during interviews, isn't it? Plus, when Anders is talking it sure is natural to agree with him.

    • User profile image
      charliechau
      when can I have the next version of c# to try it?

      CC
    • User profile image
      DJSPIN80
      Very nice.  Boxing and Run-time type casting is a huge pain, I particularly dislike it when I'm running through an ArrayList of objects and as soon as I test out the code, I get an exception.  Thank you, oh, thank you for Generics.
    • User profile image
      aallen
      Yes, Generics are indeed kOOL. But just like anything else you have to understand the pain for the gain Smiley.

      Collection classes without generics is sort of efficient, (until you pull a dog out of the hat rather than a rabbit Smiley). Generics let you focus on your job. Yes. But at a cost which you have to understand.
      You see, instantiation of these automagically created beasties might not be painful, unless you are a third party tools/library developer. Consider - your latest and greatest library is shipping to millions. It uses the latest whizzy templates (generics). Oops. It has to instantiate every possibility - go look at the nastiness in GCC or other compilers before you commit to using Generics - or better still, go look at Python and give up on strong typing. I say this as someone like Anders from the M2 school of thinking. Along the way I've ditched strong typing in favour of strong design philosophy. Automatic compilation has made us all lax. We shouldn't forget that at the end of the day a tool is only as useful as the girl wielding it...
      I'm pleased to see templates. I want them (but like all things in moderation).
    • User profile image
      prec
      Can you put in a better mirror, it buffers each 2 seconds, can't make out any of it...
    • User profile image
      AndyC
      aallen wrote:

      You see, instantiation of these automagically created beasties might not be painful, unless you are a third party tools/library developer.

      ...

      Oops. It has to instantiate every possibility


      The really cool thing about .NET generics is that it doesn't replicate the code for every type like most other compilers have to. It's all done with fancy run-time type checking that actually makes them a really efficient tool, rather than the number one cause of code bloat.
    • User profile image
      venky

      Very Simple and cool explaination.

    • User profile image
      mahaibrahim

      the download video keeps asking me about a user name and password

      how can i get them??

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