Daniel Peñalba Daniel Peñalba - 3 months ago 17
C# Question

Two questions about Dispose() and destructors in C#

I have a question about how to use

Dispose()
and destructors. Reading some articles and the MSDN documentation, this seems to be the recommended way of implementing
Dispose()
and destructors.

But I have two questions about this implementation, that you can read below:

class Testing : IDisposable
{
bool _disposed = false;

protected virtual void Dispose(bool disposing)
{
if (!_disposed) // only dispose once!
{
if (disposing)
{
// Not in destructor, OK to reference other objects
}
// perform cleanup for this object
}
_disposed = true;
}

public void Dispose()
{
Dispose(true);

// tell the GC not to finalize
GC.SuppressFinalize(this);
}

~Testing()
{
Dispose(false);
}
}


GC.SupressFinalize(this) on Dispose()



When the programmer uses
using
or calls Dispose() explicity, our class is calling to
GC.SupressFinalize(this)
. My question here is:


  • What this exactly means? Will the object be collected but without calling the destructor?. I guess that the anwswer is yes since destructors are converted by the framework to a Finalize() call, but I'm not sure.



Finalizing without a Dispose() call



Suppose that the GC is going to clean our object but the programmer did not call
Dispose()



  • Why don't we dispose resource at this point? In other words, why can't we free resources on destructor?

  • What code must be executed in the if inside, and what outside?

    if (!_disposed) // only dispose once!
    {
    if (disposing)
    {
    //What should I do here and why?
    }
    // And what here and why?
    }



Thanks in advance

Answer

1. What does SuppressFinalize do?

It unregisters the object from the finalizer list, ie when the GC later collects the object it will ignore the presence of the destructor. This is a big gain in performance since the destructor would otherwise require the object's collection, and that of everything it references, to be delayed.

2. Why don't we dispose [managed] resource at this point? In other words, why can't we free [managed] resources on destructor?

You could, but it is certain to be pointless: the object you're in has become unreachable so all those owned managed resources are unreachable too. They will be Finalized and collected by the GC in the same run and calling Dispose() on them is unnecessary but not totally without risk or cost.

2a What code must be executed in the if inside, and what outside?

Inside the if(disposing), call _myField.Dispose()

In other words, Dispose of managed resources (objects with a Dispose)

Outside, call code to cleanup (close) unmanaged resources, like Win32API.Close(_myHandle).

Note that when you don't have unmanaged resources, as will usually be the case (look up SafeHandle), you don't need a destructor and therefore no SuppressFinalize.

And that makes that the complete (official) implementation of this pattern is only needed because of the possibility that Test is inherited from.
Note that the Dispose(bool) is protected. When you declare your class Testing to be sealed, it is totally safe and conforming to omit the ~Testing().