Archive for November, 2009

IntereString: String Vs string, == or .Equals, @, Stringbuilder

November 19, 2009

A lot of my C# development time involves working with and manipulating strings (a task common to most programmers). Here are some short answers to a few issues/questions I came accross:

String vs string
Lower case string is simply an alias for System.String in the .NET Framework.

== or .Equals
A rule of thumb is that for almost all reference types e.g. objects, use Equals when you want to test equality. == compares whether two references (i.e. object instances) refer to the same object.
Primitive types can be compared for equality using ==, but in the case of strings, the variables on each side of the operators must be of type string.
Have a look at the following code and output, taken from Jon Skeet’s blog.

using System;

public class Test
	static void Main()
        // Create two equal but distinct strings
        string a = new string(new char[] {'h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'});
        string b = new string(new char[] {'h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'});
        Console.WriteLine (a==b);
        Console.WriteLine (a.Equals(b));
        // Now let's see what happens with the same tests but
        // with variables of type object
        object c = a;
        object d = b;
        Console.WriteLine (c==d);
        Console.WriteLine (c.Equals(d));
The results are: 


@ before a string
Using @ before a string means the escape sequences are not processed. This making it easier to write fully qualified path names for example.
@”c:\Docs\Source\a.txt” // rather than “c:\\Docs\\Source\\a.txt”

String objects are immutable, and so editing them, using Replace for example, results in a entirely new string being created, with new memory allocation. The original string is left intact in memory.
The StringBuilder class is designed for situations when one needs to work with a single string and make an arbitrary number of iterative changes to it. New memory allocation is not needed.

Hope this helps, cos it helped me!

C# to Excel

November 17, 2009

There are a number of ways to move data between C# and Excel. I recently came
accross the following tutorials.

The first using an ODBC connection to populate a DataSet.

The second using an OleDb connection without having to use the Excel COM Object.

A more complete list of ‘Excel to C#’ methods is available from the microsoft support site:

  • Transfer data cell by cell.
  • Transfer data in an array to a range of cells.
  • Transfer data in an ADO recordset to a range of cells by using the CopyFromRecordset method.
  • Create a QueryTable object on an Excel worksheet that contains the result of a query on an ODBC or OLEDB data source.
  • Transfer data to the clipboard, and then paste the clipboard contents into an Excel worksheet
  • Unit Testing in C# –

    November 11, 2009

    I was using NUnit, but it had to be run from the command line or
    as an external .exe.

    Just installed and its much handier. Your tests
    can be run by simply right clicking the project and going to Run Tests.

    Code Snippets in Visual Studio

    November 11, 2009

    Handy for getting at reusable code. Shortcut key in VS2008, Ctrl + k then Ctrl + x.

    Heres a good editor for creating your own snippets: