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LINQ Overview, part one (Extension Methods)

LINQ Overview, part two (Lambda Expressions)


I realize that these next few posts may be late to the game.  The LINQ CTPs for .NET 3.0 have been out for quite a while and everyone already knows about the massive amount of improvements Microsoft made in the Beta1 & Beta2 releases of .NET 3.5.  Further, we are supposedly less than a month away from seeing the official Visual Studio 2008 release.  All that being said I am going to spend a little time introducing the foundational pieces of LINQ so that I can lay the ground work for a more ambitious series.

First, it is important to understand that LINQ is not magic.  It is purely syntactic sugar and is built from the ground up using some new primitives introduced in .NET 3.0/3.5.  The three most important are:

  1. Extension Methods
  2. Lambda Expressions
  3. Anonymous Types

To tie it all together the LINQ team added several new keywords to the .NET language pool, but don't be mistaken, these are just conveniences like property getters and setters or the event keyword.  Everything done using the keywords can be done using raw code.

My plan is to go from the ground up and demonstrate each new language feature briefly.  Doing so will allow us to examine compile time LINQ usage with all the cards on the table and nothing hidden behind syntax.

While I take a day to put together part one, you might find the following links interesting.  Some of them are a bit heavy, but they are all valuable.  You'll also want to have access to some variant of Visual Studio 2008.  The Express versions are available free from Microsoft.

Visual Studio 2008 Beta2 - The Express editions are always going to be free and the downloads are a lot smaller, I tend to stick with the Professional versions as I get them via MSDN.

Official LINQ Project website - Contains basic documentation and downloadable samples.

Matt Warren's Blog - High upper on the LINQ Project team, invaluable.

Posted on Friday, November 9, 2007 9:31 AM LINQ | Back to top

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