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<Java and C#: Language Nuances Make You Think Differently ⁄ >




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When you move from one programming language to another, do you eventually find yourself thinking differently?

After eight years of slinging Java code, I converted over to C#. The C# language borrows (steals?) heavily from Java, but it also has added some features. Some of C#'s most valuable introductions to the language have now been adopted by Java. Things like attributes, generics, and auto-boxing - which first appeared in C# - have now been added to the JDK as of 1.5. It's only a matter of time until Java adopts using-blocks and the yield keyword, too.

Despite this back-and-forth trading of features and enhancements, each language still maintains its distinct flavor. Some facets of each language - many of which are quite subtle - will probably never be adopted by the other simply because their introduction would create such a fundamental shift in language concepts it would invalidate a lot of prior work.

So, I was careful about my approach to C#. My Java work had been preceded by seven years of C++, and I remember what that transition was like. Although Java is strikingly similar to C++, the similarities are deceiving. Seemingly minor differences between the two languages created a sea change in how I thought, how I designed code, and how I tested applications.



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