Before we dive into the technical details, let’s start with a quick history lesson, courtesy of Don Syme who worked on adding generics to .NET and then went on to design and implement F#, which is a pretty impressive set of achievements!!
It all started with a tweet, which seemed to resonate with people:
I’ve now been blogging consistently for over 2 years (~2 times per/month) and I decided it was time for my first ‘retrospective’ post.
A little over 3 years ago Microsoft announced that they were open sourcing large parts of the .NET framework and as Scott Hanselman said in his Connect 2016 keynote, the community has been contributing in a significant way:
The .NET runtime (CLR) has predominantly used a just-in-time (JIT) compiler to convert your executable into machine code (leaving aside ahead-of-time (AOT) scenarios for the time being), as the official Microsoft docs say:
If you grew up in the UK and went to school during the 1980’s or 1990’s there’s a good chance that this picture brings back fond memories:
Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to the CORESTART 2.0 conference to give a talk on Microsoft & Open Source a ‘Brave New World’. It was a great conference, well organised by Tomáš Herceg and the teams from .NET College and Riganti and I had a great time.
Generics in C# are certainly very useful and I find it amazing that we almost didn’t get them: