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BOOK: Professional C# 4.0 and .NET 4
This is the forum to discuss the Wrox book Professional C# 4.0 and .NET 4 by Christian Nagel, Bill Evjen, Jay Glynn, Karli Watson, Morgan Skinner; ISBN: 9780470502259
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Old September 24th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Unhappy Why use base class as identifier?

On page 98 of the book in the example about multiple constructors in inheritance there is the following piece of code:

GenericCustomer customer = new Nevermore60Customer("Arabel Jones")

Why would you do this as opposed to:

Nevermore60Customer customer = new Nevermore60Customer("Arabel Jones")

I was much confused by this.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:57 PM
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First of all, the base class is *NOT* being used as an "identifier".

The only identifier in there (either version) is "customer".

As to why declare the variable as the base class: Since I don't have the book, I can't tell for sure, but *probably* because the author(s) are going to demonstrate polymorphism. That is, they are going to have some other code that takes an instance of the base class--not the derived class--so why declare the variable as an instance of the derived class??

Oh, more than likely the code will work either way. That is, if there is a function that takes GenericCustomer as an argument, it would of course take a variable declared as Nevermore60Customer as the argument. But unless you *need* some characteristic of Nevermore60Customer, it really makes no difference.

In "real life" code, you would probably be more likely to see code that looks like this:
GenericCustomer customer = functionThatMightReturnAnyClassDerivedFromGenericCustomer("Arabel");
So I think the author(s) are just illustrating the point that you can always assign an instance of a derived class to a variable declared to be of the type of the base class.

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