masoud ramezani masoud ramezani - 2 months ago 14
C++ Question

Is there pointer in C# like C++? Is it safe?

I'm writing an application that work with a tree data structure. I've written it with C++, now i want to write it by C#. I use pointers for implementing the tree data structure. Is there a pointer in C# too? Is it safe to use it?

Answer

If you're implementing a tree structure in C# (or Java, or many other languages) you'd use references instead of pointers. NB. references in C++ are not the same as these references.

The usage is similar to pointers for the most part, but there are advantages like garbage collection.

class TreeNode
{
    private TreeNode parent, firstChild, nextSibling;

    public InsertChild(TreeNode newChild)
    {
        newChild.parent = this;
        newChild.nextSibling = firstChild;
        firstChild = newChild;
    }
}

var root = new TreeNode();
var child1 = new TreeNode();
root.InsertChild(child1);

Points of interest:

  • No need to modify the type with * when declaring the members
  • No need to set them to null in a constructor (they're already null)
  • No special -> operator for member access
  • No need to write a destructor (although look up IDisposable)
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