Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Proper Use of Properties

Today we are talking about properties.  How to use them and more importantly how not to use them.

When dealing with properties like they wore written before 3.5 you should have some thing that looks like this.

private string _test;
public string Test
    get { return this._test; }
    set { this._test = value; }

I love properties like this it’s only slightly less cool then using the 3.5 version of a property. The thing I don’t like about a property like this is when a programmer decides he doesn’t need to user the property and accesses the _test variable directly inside of the class to make a change.  So like this

this._test = "some string";

I consider this bad programming.  It makes maintaining code much more difficult and adds an unnecessary level of complexity. You have to look at two things now to see how a value gets set or modified.  To do all the access through the property takes about the same amount of work and ends up in a much cleaner code file.

this.Test = "Some string";

Is actually one less key stroke and is so much easier to work with.

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