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7.4 Function members

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Function members are members that contain executable statements. Function members are always members of types and cannot be members of namespaces. C# defines the following categories of function members:

  • Methods
  • Properties
  • Events
  • Indexers
  • User-defined operators
  • Instance constructors
  • Static constructors
  • Destructors

Except for destructors and static constructors (which cannot be invoked explicitly), the statements contained in function members are executed through function member invocations. The actual syntax for writing a function member invocation depends on the particular function member category.

The argument list (Section 7.4.1) of a function member invocation provides actual values or variable references for the parameters of the function member.

Invocations of methods, indexers, operators and instance constructors employ overload resolution to determine which of a candidate set of function members to invoke. This process is described in Section 7.4.2.

Once a particular function member has been identified at compile-time, possibly through overload resolution, the actual run-time process of invoking the function member is described in Section 7.4.3.

The following table summarizes the processing that takes place in constructs involving the six categories of function members that can be explicitly invoked. In the table, e, x, y, and value indicate expressions classified as variables or values, T indicates an expression classified as a type, F is the simple name of a method, and P is the simple name of a property.

Construct Example Description
Method invocation
F(x, y)
Overload resolution is applied to select the best method F in the containing class or struct. The method is invoked with the argument list (x, y). If the method is not static, the instance expression is this.
Method invocation
T.F(x, y)
Overload resolution is applied to select the best method F in the class or struct T. A compile-time error occurs if the method is not static. The method is invoked with the argument list (x, y).
Method invocation
e.F(x, y)
Overload resolution is applied to select the best method F in the class, struct, or interface given by the type of e. A compile-time error occurs if the method is static. The method is invoked with the instance expression e and the argument list (x, y).
Property access
P
The get accessor of the property P in the containing class or struct is invoked. A compile-time error occurs if P is write-only. If P is not static, the instance expression is this.
Property access
P = value
The set accessor of the property P in the containing class or struct is invoked with the argument list (value). A compile-time error occurs if P is read-only. If P is not static, the instance expression is this.
Property access
T.P
The get accessor of the property P in the class or struct T is invoked. A compile-time error occurs if P is not static or if P is write-only.
Property access
T.P = value
The set accessor of the property P in the class or struct T is invoked with the argument list (value). A compile-time error occurs if P is not static or if P is read-only.
Property access
e.P
The get accessor of the property P in the class, struct, or interface given by the type of e is invoked with the instance expression e. A compile-time error occurs if P is static or if P is write-only.
Property access
e.P = value
The set accessor of the property P in the class, struct, or interface given by the type of e is invoked with the instance expression e and the argument list (value). A compile-time error occurs if P is static or if P is read-only.
Event access
E += value
The add accessor of the event E in the containing class or struct is invoked. If E is not static, the instance expression is this.
Event access
E -= value
The remove accessor of the event E in the containing class or struct is invoked. If E is not static, the instance expression is this.
Event access
T.E += value
The add accessor of the event E in the class or struct T is invoked. A compile-time error occurs if E is not static.
Event access
T.E -= value
The remove accessor of the event E in the class or struct T is invoked. A compile-time error occurs if E is not static.
Event access
e.E += value
The add accessor of the event E in the class, struct, or interface given by the type of e is invoked with the instance expression e. A compile-time error occurs if E is static.
Event access
e.E -= value
The remove accessor of the event E in the class, struct, or interface given by the type of e is invoked with the instance expression e. A compile-time error occurs if E is static.
Indexer access
e[x, y]
Overload resolution is applied to select the best indexer in the class, struct, or interface given by the type of e. The get accessor of the indexer is invoked with the instance expression e and the argument list (x, y). A compile-time error occurs if the indexer is write-only.
Indexer access
e[x, y] = value
Overload resolution is applied to select the best indexer in the class, struct, or interface given by the type of e. The set accessor of the indexer is invoked with the instance expression e and the argument list (x, y, value). A compile-time error occurs if the indexer is read-only.
Operator invocation
-x
Overload resolution is applied to select the best unary operator in the class or struct given by the type of x. The selected operator is invoked with the argument list (x).
Operator invocation
x + y
Overload resolution is applied to select the best binary operator in the classes or structs given by the types of x and y. The selected operator is invoked with the argument list (x, y).
Instance constructor
new T(x, y)
Overload resolution is applied to select the best instance constructor in the class or struct T. The instance constructor is invoked with the argument list (x, y).
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