.NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference: Volume 1: Base Class Library and Extended Numerics Library

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Overview

Edited by a Lead Program Manager on Microsoft's .NET Framework team, .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, Volume 1, is the definitive reference for the .NET Framework base class library. This book/CD set utilizes extensive annotations and code samples from the creators of the technology to move beyond the online documentation and provide .NET developers with a dictionary-style reference to the most-used parts of the Framework. This volume covers a subset of the ISO CLI Standards, including the Base Class Library and the Extended Numerics Library.

In the printed book you will find informative overviews of each namespace covered and an easy-to-follow alphabetic reference of types in the standard, including type-level descriptions, sample code with output, and annotations from the design team and standardization committee.

With the ECMA and ISO standards as its core, this book includes:

  • Annotations from key members of the Microsoft design team and the Standardization committee. Comments cover everything from design rationale and history to common problems and shortcomings.
  • An overview of each namespace, describing its functionality and the inheritance hierarchy of types it defines.
  • Type descriptions. Each type is covered in its own chapter, with a detailed description of how the type is to be used and a quick reference of the C# declaration syntax for all members defined on the type. Also noted: which members are only available in the Microsoft implementation of the .NET Framework, which are not available in the .NET Compact Framework, and which are only available in V1.1 of the .NET Framework.
  • Code samples. Types are illustrated by fully compilable code samples with output included.
  • Reference tabs and an exhaustive index, which allow readers to quickly and easily navigate the text.
  • Reusable source code for more than one thousand samples. All code has been tested with versions 1.0, 1.1, and the 2.0 technical preview of the .NET Framework, and, where appropriate, with the .NET Compact Framework.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321154897
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 3/12/2004
  • Series: Microsoft .NET Development Series
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 7.67 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Abrams was a founding member of both the Common Language Runtime and .NET Framework teams at Microsoft, where he is currently a Lead Program Manager. Brad has been involved with WinFX and Windows Vista efforts from the beginning. His primary role is to ensure consistency and developer productivity of the .NET Framework through Vista and beyond. His popular blog can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/BradA/.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xiii
Preface xvii

Part I Namespace Overviews 1

System 3
System.Collections 11
System.Diagnostics 14
System.Globalization 15
System.IO 17
System.Security 21
System.Text 25
System.Threading 27

Part II Class Libraries 31

System.ApplicationException 33
System.ArgumentException 35
System.ArgumentNullException 37
System.ArgumentOutOfRangeException 40
System.ArithmeticException 42
System.Array 44
System.Collections.ArrayList 52
System.ArrayTypeMismatchException 57
System.Text.ASCIIEncoding 59
System.AsyncCallback Delegate 61
System.Attribute 63
System.AttributeTargets Enum 68
System.AttributeUsageAttribute 71
System.Boolean Structure 75
System.Byte Structure 77
System.Char Structure 81
System.CharEnumerator 85
System.CLSCompliantAttribute 88
System.Security.CodeAccessPermission 90
System.Security.Permissions.CodeAccessSecurityAttribute 94
System.Collections.Comparer 96
System.Diagnostics.ConditionalAttribute 97
System.Console 100
System.Convert 104
System.DateTime Structure 115
System.Globalization.DateTimeFormatInfo 121
System.Globalization.DateTimeStyles Enum 131
System.Decimal Structure 133
System.Text.Decoder 140
System.Delegate 142
System.Collections.DictionaryEntry Structure 146
System.IO.Directory 148
System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException 151
System.DivideByZeroException 153
System.Double Structure 155
System.DuplicateWaitObjectException 160
System.Text.Encoder 163
System.Text.Encoding 164
System.IO.EndOfStreamException 170
System.Enum 172
System.Environment 177
System.Security.Permissions.EnvironmentPermission 180
System.Security.Permissions.EnvironmentPermissionAccess Enum 183
System.Security.Permissions.EnvironmentPermissionAttribute 185
System.EventArgs 187
System.EventHandler Delegate 190
System.Exception 192
System.ExecutionEngineException 198
System.IO.File 201
System.IO.FileAccess Enum 204
System.Security.Permissions.FileIOPermission 206
System.Security.Permissions.FileIOPermissionAccess Enum 211
System.Security.Permissions.FileIOPermissionAttribute 213
System.IO.FileLoadException 215
System.IO.FileMode Enum 218
System.IO.FileNotFoundException 220
System.IO.FileShare Enum 223
System.IO.FileStream 225
System.FlagsAttribute 231
System.FormatException 233
System.GC 235
System.Collections.Hashtable 239
System.IAsyncResult Interface 245
System.ICloneable Interface 248
System.Collections.ICollection Interface 251
System.IComparable Interface 254
System.Collections.IComparer Interface 258
System.Collections.IDictionary Interface 260
System.Collections.IDictionaryEnumerator Interface 262
System.IDisposable Interface 264
System.Collections.IEnumerable Interface 267
System.Collections.IEnumerator Interface 269
System.IFormatProvider Interface 271
System.IFormattable Interface 273
System.Collections.IHashCodeProvider Interface 283
System.Collections.IList Interface 286
System.IndexOutOfRangeException 292
System.Int16 Structure 294
System.Int32 Structure 297
System.Int64 Structure 301
System.Threading.Interlocked 304
System.InvalidCastException 307
System.InvalidOperationException 309
System.InvalidProgramException 311
System.IO.IOException 312
System.Security.IPermission Interface 314
System.MarshalByRefObject 317
System.Math 319
System.IO.MemoryStream 321
System.Threading.Monitor 325
System.NotFiniteNumberException 331
System.NotImplementedException 333
System.NotSupportedException 335
System.NullReferenceException 337
System.Globalization.NumberFormatInfo 339
System.Globalization.NumberStyles Enum 343
System.Object 347
System.ObjectDisposedException 350
System.ObsoleteAttribute 352
System.OutOfMemoryException 354
System.OverflowException 356
System.IO.Path 359
System.IO.PathTooLongException 365
System.Security.PermissionSet 367
System.Security.Permissions.PermissionState Enum 373
System.Random 375
System.RankException 378
System.SByte Structure 381
System.Security.Permissions.SecurityAction Enum 384
System.Security.Permissions.SecurityAttribute 386
System.Security.SecurityElement 388
System.Security.SecurityException 390
System.Security.Permissions.SecurityPermission 392
System.Security.Permissions.SecurityPermissionAttribute 395
System.Security.Permissions.SecurityPermissionFlag Enum 398
System.IO.SeekOrigin Enum 400
System.Single Structure 402
System.StackOverflowException 406
System.IO.Stream 408
System.IO.StreamReader 414
System.IO.StreamWriter 417
System.String 420
System.Text.StringBuilder 429
System.IO.StringReader 434
System.IO.StringWriter 436
System.Threading.SynchronizationLockException 438
System.SystemException 440
System.IO.TextReader 443
System.IO.TextWriter 445
System.Threading.Thread 448
System.Threading.ThreadAbortException 452
System.Threading.ThreadPriority Enum 454
System.Threading.ThreadStart Delegate 456
System.Threading.ThreadState Enum 458
System.Threading.ThreadStateException 461
System.Threading.Timeout 463
System.Threading.Timer 465
System.Threading.TimerCallback Delegate 468
System.TimeSpan Structure 470
System.Type 474
System.TypeInitializationException 484
System.UInt16 Structure 487
System.UInt32 Structure 490
System.UInt64 Structure 493
System.UnauthorizedAccessException 496
System.Globalization.UnicodeCategory Enum 498
System.Text.UnicodeEncoding 500
System.Text.UTF8Encoding 503
System.ValueType 507
System.Security.VerificationException 510
System.Version 512
System.Threading.WaitHandle 515

Annotations Index 519
Index 521

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Preface

This book is intended for anyone building applications using the .NET Framework. It is meant to be a dictionary-style reference to the core types in the Framework.

The .NET Framework is huge. The amount of time that would be required (and the physical constraints of binding a book) limits our ability to cover the entire .NET Framework in the depth it deserves. As a result, we have focused the scope of this book on the most important, widely used types in the Framework. Luckily, such a subset was already created in the standardization process of the Common Language Runtime and the C# Programming Language. This book covers the first half of that subset (Volume 2 will pick up the second half). In the printed portion of this volume you will find all the type-level information for these types. Both the type-level information and member-level information are available in electronic form on the CD.

To make the standard more accessible, this book includes the following features:

  • Annotations from key folks involved in the design of the .NET Framework
  • Namespace overviews
  • Type descriptions
  • Sample code to illustrate type uses
  • A fully searchable CD that includes all source code, descriptions, annotations, and examples
  • A fold-out poster containing a detailed inheritance diagram for all types covered in this volume.

These features not only bring the standard to life, but more importantly, they serve as a convenient, informative reference to the most used types in the .NET Framework.

The Standard

At the Professional Developer's Conference in October 2001, Microsoft, in partnership with HP andIntel, began the ECMA standardization process of three core parts of its new developer platform: the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), the C# programming language, and a subset of the .NET Framework that is included in the CLI and referenced in the C# specification.

The CLI and the C# programming language are covered in other books in this series. Jim Miller's The Common Language Infrastructure Annotated Standard covers the CLI, which includes the metadata file format, IL Instruction set, and the type system. The C# Programming Language by Anders Hejlsberg, Scott Wiltamuth, and Peter Golde covers the C# programming language specification.

This book covers the first half of the .NET Framework as standardized in ECMA 335 and ISO 23271. The standards break the .NET Framework into seven different libraries to allow conformant implementations in resource-constrained environments. Those libraries are as follows:
  • Base Class Library—A simple runtime library for modern programming languages. It serves as the standard for the runtime library for the language C#, as well as one of the CLI standard libraries. It provides types to represent the built-in data types of the CLI, simple file access, custom attributes, security attributes, string manipulation, formatting, streams, collections, and so forth.
  • Extended Numerics Library—Provides the support for floating-point (

    System.Single,

    System.Double) and extended-precision (

    System.Decimal) data types. Like the Base Class Library, this library is directly referenced by the C# standard.

  • Network Library—Provides simple networking services, including direct access to network ports and HTTP support.
  • Reflection Library—Provides the ability to examine the structure of types, create instances of types, and invoke methods on types, all based on a description of the type.
  • XML Library—Provides a simple "pull-style" parser for XML. It is designed for resource-constrained devices, yet provides a simple user model.
  • Runtime Infrastructure Library—Provides the services needed by a compiler to target the CLI and the facilities needed to dynamically load types from a stream in the file format specified. For example, it provides

    System.BadImageFormatException, which is thrown when a stream that does not have the correct format is loaded.

  • Extended Array Library—Provides support for non-vector arrays, that is, arrays that have more than one dimension and arrays that have non-zero lower bounds. This volume completely covers the Base Class Library and the Extended Numerics Library, as well as Microsoft-specific members on those types. It is our intention to cover the remaining libraries in future volumes.
Namespace Overviews

To facilitate reader understanding, we provide an overview of each namespace we cover that describes the functionality and the inheritance hierarchy of types defined in that namespace. At the end of the namespace overview section we include a complete inheritance hierarchy for all the types covered in this volume. In the diagrams we differentiate the various kinds of types that make up the framework as follows:

  • For classes, we use a rectangle: Example of a class
  • For interfaces, we use a rounded rectangle: Example of an interface Abstract types are indicated with an "A": Example of an abstract type
  • Enums are indicated with an "E": Example of an enum All other value types are indicated with a "V": Example of a value type
  • Types in the Extended Numerics Library and those that are not standardized are specifically called out. If not otherwise noted, a type belongs to the Base Class Library. Example of a type in the Extended Numerics Library Object IComparable ValueType AttributeTargets Boolean Decimal ExtendedNumerics
Type Chapters

Types are described in their own chapters, which are organized alphabetically by type name.

Header

The header contains the namespace name, the type name, and the library name from the ECMA\ISO Standard.

Type Hierarchy

Under the header we include a diagram representing the full inheritance hierarchy for this type, subclasses of this type found in this volume, and any interfaces they implement. The type being described is shown with a gray background.

Type Summary

This section contains the C# declaration syntax for all members defined on this type. It is meant to provide a quick reference in a very familiar format to what is in the type. In this summary we highlight certain attributes of these members.

CF Indicates the member is not available in the .NET Compact Framework. If not included the member is available.

MS Indicates that the member is not included in the ECMA\ISO standard.

1.1 Indicates that the member is new in V1.1 of the .NET Framework.

Type Description

This section contains a detailed description of how this type is to be used. For the most part this text is taken directly from the standard.

Annotations

Throughout this section we provide annotations from key members of the design team at Microsoft and members of the ECMA standardization committee. The comments in this section vary widely, and include notes on everything from common issues to the history of the class design or standardization process to areas where, in retrospect, the designers feel they could have done better.

In this volume you will find annotations from:
  • BA—Brad Abrams
  • KC—Krzysztof Cwalina
  • KG—Kit George
  • BG—Brian Grunkemeyer
  • AH—Anders Hejlsberg
  • YL—Yung-Shin Lin
  • JM—Joel Marcey
  • JR—Jeffrey Richter
Type Examples

In this section we provide sample code illustrating use of the type. Some samples are from the standard, but we added many more to facilitate a deeper and quicker understanding of the use of the type. All the samples we provide are fully compilable programs and include selected output.

All of these samples have been tested with V1.0 and V1.1 of the .NET Framework and the appropriate ones have been tested on the .NET Compact Framework. Complete source code for the samples is available at www.awprofessional.com/titles/0321154894 and on the CD that is included in the back of the book.

Type Members

The detailed descriptions of the members are included in the electronic version of the book on the CD. To facilitate easy look-ups, the member descriptions appear in the same order as the type summary sections. Each member contains some or all of the following fields:

Syntax—C# declaration syntax is provided for familiar reference. ILASM syntax is provided for completeness.

Summary—Short description of the member's purpose.

Parameters—Table of parameters accepted by this member and their meaning.

Description—A complete description of this member.

Return Value—The value and range returned by this method.

Property Value—The value of this property.

Exceptions—Table of the common exceptions thrown by this member.

Permissions—Table of the code access permissions demanded by this method.

Example—An example using this member following the same pattern as the type samples.Conventions Used in This Book

Courier is used for all source code blocks, including syntax declarations, class names, and member names.

Additional Features

In addition to including the content from the ISO CLI standard, this book includes a number of other features:

  • For every type covered in the book we include all the members as defined in V1.1 of the .NET Framework. Many members were left out of the ECMA standard to streamline platform work because types in the signature were not in the standard or because of scheduling reasons. As this book is primarily targeted at developers using the .NET Framework, we elected to include all the members of the types we cover, not just those that are standardized.
  • Nearly every type contains annotations from key members of the design team at Microsoft and members of the ECMA standards group. These annotations bring rationale, history, and other interesting notes about the types covered.
  • We added more than 1,000 samples to the book. Nearly every member has a working sample with output included. All of the samples can be found on the CD.

Brad AbramsLead Program Manager, .NET Framework Team
Microsoft Corporation
February 2004

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Introduction

Edited by a Lead Program Manager on Microsoft's .NET Framework team, .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, Volume 1 is the definitive reference for the .NET Framework base class library. This book/CD set utilizes extensive annotations and code samples from the creators of the technology to move beyond the online documentation and provide .NET developers with a dictionary-style reference to the most-used parts of the Framework. This volume covers a subset of the ISO CLI Standards, including the Base Class Library and the Extended Numerics Library. In the printed book you will find informative overviews of each namespace covered and an easy-to-follow alphabetic reference of types in the standard, including type-level descriptions, sample code with output, and annotations from the design team and standardization committee. The CD contains nearly 4,000 searchable pages-everything in the book plus member-level descriptions, sample code, and all source code in a buildable format. With the ECMA and ISO standards as its core, the book and CD include: § Annotations from key members of the Microsoft design team and the Standardization committee. Comments cover everything from design rationale and history to common problems and shortcomings. § An overview of each namespace, describes its functionality and the inheritance hierarchy of types it defines. § Type descriptions. Each type is covered in its own chapter, with a detailed description of how the type is to be used and a quick reference of the C# declaration syntax for all members defined on the type. Also noted: which members are only available in the Microsoft implementation of the .NET Compact Framework, and which are only available in V1.1 of the .NET Framework. § Code samples. Types are illustrated by fully compilable code samples with output included. § Reference tabs and anexhaustive index, which allow readers to quickly and easily navigate the text. § Reusable source code for more than one thousand samples. All code has been tested with versions 1.0, 1.1, and the 2.0 technical, preview of the .NET Framework, and, where appropriate, with the .NET Compact Framework.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2004

    Easily Accessible Information

    Reference books often are densely packed with information. And this book is no exception. But the utility of any reference book is often a function of how easily you can find a desired subject, and, once there, how understandable is it explained. On both counts, you should find that this book stands well. The sheer volume of information has been carefully laid out. The various .NET types (classes) are easy to find. For a type, example code is often included, along with the mandatory 'official' description of the type. Some of you will appreciate the examples, as these are written to be easy to follow. If you have programmed in Java, you should be familiar with Sun's 'Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, API Specification', which is an online documentation for Java. This book has much the same flavour. In fact, it has a CD with the entire book's contents. So you can access the CD much like a Java programmer would the above. One interesting difference, though, is an extra feature present in this book. For many types, there is added commentary by various of the 7 authors. These narratives are more informally phrased than the descriptions or examples. They offer extra insight, increasing the book's utility.

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