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Scott Dorman Microsoft MVP, Software Architect, Developer, Author

I just came across a very interesting post from James Kovacs that describes how C# and .NET evolved. I had blogged about this almost a year ago, but James' post adds some additional background.

Around 1997, Microsoft started a project that was internally known as Project Lightning (and also known as Project 42). The name "Project 42" was most likely because DevDiv (the Microsoft Developer Division) is in Building 42, which (as James points out) is probably an homage to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

There were several names being considered, one of which was the COM Object Runtime (COR), which is where the name for the mscorlib.dll assembly came from. This is the assembly which contains all of the CLR's main types and is really the only one that must be loaded by every .NET app domain.

Speaking of assembly loading, the code name for the CLR Loader is Fusion, which provides the name for the Assembly Log Binding Log Viewer utility - fuslogvw.exe: Fusion Assembly Log Viewer.

The codename of C# was Project Cool and was supposedly a "clean-room" implementation of Java. It was later changed to C# based on a musical scale. Just as C++ added the "++" to "C" since it was considered to be "adding to" or "one greater than" C, the sharp (#) on a musical scale means one semi-tone above the note. So, in both cases the name implies one above or higher than the original.

This musical theme continues today, as there are two MS Research languages that follow this same scheme: F# and Polyphonic C# (which is now part of ).

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 12:13 PM .NET (General) | Back to top


Comments on this post: The history of C#

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
plz discribe me the history of c#
tanks alot
Left by maryam on Oct 31, 2007 2:04 PM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
Can you please explain to in leyman terms the history of C# and also what is C# please.
Left by Steven Stuart on Dec 07, 2007 5:30 PM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
what the language made the ( c# )
Left by peter on Apr 15, 2008 10:36 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
I am just wondering, above is the history of C#. or story of calling a language C#......
Left by ahsan on Mar 08, 2009 12:59 PM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
I just came across a very interesting post from James Kovacs that describes how C# and .NET evolved. I had blogged about this almost a year ago, but James' post adds some additional background.

Around 1997, Microsoft started a project that was internally known as Project Lightning (and also known as Project 42). The name "Project 42" was most likely because DevDiv (the Microsoft Developer Division) is in Building 42, which (as James points out) is probably an homage to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

There were several names being considered, one of which was the COM Object Runtime (COR), which is where the name for the mscorlib.dll assembly came from. This is the assembly which contains all of the CLR's main types and is really the only one that must be loaded by every .NET app domain.

Speaking of assembly loading, the code name for the CLR Loader is Fusion, which provides the name for the Assembly Log Binding Log Viewer utility - fuslogvw.exe: Fusion Assembly Log Viewer.

The codename of C# was Project Cool and was supposedly a "clean-room" implementation of Java. It was later changed to C# based on a musical scale. Just as C++ added the "++" to "C" since it was considered to be "adding to" or "one greater than" C, the sharp (#) on a musical scale means one semi-tone above the note. So, in both cases the name implies one above or higher than the original.

This musical theme continues today, as there are two MS Research languages that follow this same scheme: F# and Polyphonic C# (which is now part of Cω).

Left by Vikram on Apr 24, 2009 3:39 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
I am very happy to read the story of C#. I wanted some more.
Left by Vikram Singh Rawat on Jul 25, 2009 3:46 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
i dnt think that u have explained the history in a good manner.there is no detail to which i can understand.if u wish to do something then explain it briefly.and also describe the launching date.thanks.
Left by Aayan on Oct 09, 2009 2:30 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
can add some important details?...plz......
Left by lani marie candari on Nov 05, 2009 12:39 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
lani marie candari,
You may want to google it. There are many article on the web that contain great information on how C# started.
Left by Jackie Frotop on Jan 20, 2010 10:35 AM

# Search the Web on Snap.com
Requesting Gravatar...
how it called C#?
thanks
Left by aldrin remando on Feb 09, 2010 7:26 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
hey thanks no, u r so sharp u gave so nice history of see sharp. K THX BYE!
Left by michael jackson on Feb 10, 2010 2:35 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
plese send me the codes for history of c#. Pldz send the codes.
Left by Gaurav Prakash on Feb 10, 2010 1:28 PM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
My very own therory regarding the name of C# goes like this: Once upon a time there was C. Then came the "one better" C++ (++ is a programming notation for "increment by one"). Then came another C-ish language considered (by it's makers at least) to be yet one better. While C++ ++ wouldn't make sense in program code it still would (kind of) convey another "increment by one" over C++ but C++++ would be a really clumsy name. But... if we rearrange the plus signs a bit, putting them om two lines, we'd get
++
++

Two pairs of ++ looks a lot like the # symbol. Maybe just coincidence, but if I know anything about geeks and nerds (except beeing both myself) I'd say there is a connection.

Just my one point forty-seven eurocents.
Left by Daniel W on Feb 18, 2010 3:27 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
I like Daniel's story more than authors one ;)
Left by Ivo on Mar 05, 2010 11:26 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
Me agree with IVO.....
Could ve done a better job....
But claps for ur efforts Author.....
Left by Kumar on Jul 08, 2010 12:28 PM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
Hi all!!

I think the name C# has more to do with the SHARPness of the grammatical rules (the syntax) of C# when compared to C or C++.
I'm not very sure but if you observe carefully, especially for people who have evolved from C++ to C# will realize that the C# syntax is much more precise and strict when compared to C++.
This may probably be the fundamental reason for naming the language as C# ( i.e. C with sharp syntax) so that programmers don't freak around with different tools available to perform the same operation and stick to one particular rule.
I will get back to this post with more details and examples soon.
Left by Raunak Poddar on Sep 12, 2010 11:25 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
thanx for c# history.
Left by nilesh more on Feb 15, 2012 11:13 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
the history of c#
Left by ghaghraj on Sep 20, 2012 6:57 AM

# re: The history of C#
Requesting Gravatar...
Mga gago
Left by sdastsfad on Sep 22, 2012 10:24 PM

# the c#
Requesting Gravatar...
I just came across a very interesting post from James Kovacs that describes how C# and .NET evolved. I had blogged about this almost a year ago, but James' post adds some...
Around 1997, Microsoft started a project that was internally known as Project Lightning (and also known as Project 42). The name "Project 42" was most likely because DevDiv (the Microsoft Developer Division) is in Building 42, which (as James points out) is probably an homage to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

There were several names being considered, one of which was the COM Object Runtime (COR), which is where the name for the mscorlib.dll assembly came from. This is the assembly which contains all of the CLR's main types and is really the only one that must be loaded by every .NET app domain.

Speaking of assembly loading, the code name for the CLR Loader is Fusion, which provides the name for the Assembly Log Binding Log Viewer utility - fuslogvw.exe: Fusion Assembly Log Viewer.

The codename of C# was Project Cool and was supposedly a "clean-room" implementation of Java. It was later changed to C# based on a musical scale. Just as C++ added the "++" to "C" since it was considered to be "adding to" or "one greater than" C, the sharp (#) on a musical scale means one semi-tone above the note. So, in both cases the name implies one above or higher than the original.

This musical theme continues today, as there are two MS Research languages that follow this same scheme: F# and Polyphonic C# (which is now part of Cω).

Left by vivek on Mar 15, 2013 8:48 AM

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