Graeme Hill's Dev Blog

Visual Basic 10 properties still lag behind C#

Star date: 2010.092

Up until Visual Studio 2010, simple property definitions were always ridiculously verbose. For example:

Private _title As String
Public Property Title() As String
    Get
        Return _title
    End Get
    Set(ByVal value As String)
        _title = value
    End Set
End Property

That's 9 lines of code just to make a simple string property. Luckily, in VB 10 we will be able to write these simple properties in one line:

Public Property Title As String

This is great, but what if things get a little more complicated? Obviously this syntax just uses the default getter and setter, both of which have the same scope. When I write my properties I like avoid using ReadOnly and instead make the setter private so that I can still encapsulate the setting code within the class. With VB 10 you still have to define the property the old way in order to do this:

Private _title As String
Public Property Title() As String
    Get
        Return _title
    End Get
    Private Set(ByVal value As String)
        _title = value
    End Set
End Property

But now it's back to 9 lines just because I wanted the setter to be private. In C#, programmers have the luxury of writing properties like this:

public string Title { get; private set; }

Furthermore, neither language allows you to use a default getter and custom setter (or vice versa) probably because it would make it difficult for them both to use the same backing store, but that's a whole other tangent. Overall, the new abbreviated syntax for properties in VB 10 is great for the simple cases, but you have to revert to the old, verbose method if you want to deviate from the default in even the slightest way.

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