Jon Skeet Jon Skeet - 3 months ago 21
C# Question

What are the correct version numbers for C#?

What are the correct version numbers for C#? What came out when? Why can't I find any answers about C# 3.5?

This question is primarily to aid those who are searching for an answer using an incorrect version number, e.g. "C# 3.5". The hope is that anyone failing to find an answer with the wrong version number will find this question and then search again with the right version number.

Answer

These are the versions of C# known about at the time of this writing:

  • C# 1.0 released with .NET 1.0 and VS2002 (January 2002)
  • C# 1.2 (bizarrely enough); released with .NET 1.1 and VS2003 (April 2003). First version to call Dispose on IEnumerators which implemented IDisposable. A few other small features.
  • C# 2.0 released with .NET 2.0 and VS2005 (November 2005). Major new features: generics, anonymous methods, nullable types, iterator blocks
  • C# 3.0 released with .NET 3.5 and VS2008 (November 2007). Major new features: lambda expressions, extension methods, expression trees, anonymous types, implicit typing (var), query expressions
  • C# 4.0 released with .NET 4 and VS2010 (April 2010). Major new features: late binding (dynamic), delegate and interface generic variance, more COM support, named arguments, tuple data type and optional parameters
  • C# 5.0 released with .NET 4.5 and VS2012 (August 2012). Major features: async programming, caller info attributes. Breaking change: loop variable closure.
  • C# 6.0 released with .NET 4.6 and VS2015 (July 2015). Implemented by Roslyn. Features: initializers for automatically implemented properties, using directives to import static members, exception filters, indexed members and element initializers, await in catch and finally, extension Add methods in collection initializers.

There is no such thing as C# 3.5 - the cause of confusion here is that the C# 3.0 is present in .NET 3.5. The language and framework are versioned independently, however - as is the CLR, which is at version 2.0 for .NET 2.0 through 3.5, .NET 4 introducing CLR 4.0, service packs notwithstanding. The CLR in .NET 4.5 has various improvements, but the versioning is unclear: in some places it may be referred to as CLR 4.5 (this MSDN page used to refer to it that way, for example), but the Environment.Version property still reports 4.0.xxx.

More detailed information about the relationship between the language, runtime and framework versions is available on the C# in Depth site. This includes information about which features of C# 3.0 you can use when targeting .NET 2.0. (If anyone wants to bring all of the content into this wiki answer, they're welcome to.)

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