Jon Jagger
jon@jaggersoft.com
Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Notes DownloadECMA-334 C# Language Specificationpreviousnextprevious at this levelnext at this level 8 Language Overviewprevious at this levelnext at this level 8.7 Classesprevious at this levelnext at this level 8.7.5 EventsAn event is a member that enables an object or class to provide notifications. A class defines an event by providing an event declaration (which resembles a field declaration, though with an added event keyword) and an optional set of event accessors. The type of this declaration must be a delegate type. An instance of a delegate type encapsulates one or more callable entities. For instance methods, a callable entity consists of an instance and a method on that instance. For static methods, a callable entity consists of just a method. Given a delegate instance and an appropriate set of arguments, one can invoke all of that delegate instance's methods with that set of arguments. In the example
public delegate void EventHandler(object sender, System.EventArgs e);  
public class Button   
{  
   public event EventHandler Click;  
   public void Reset() {  
      Click = null;  
   }  
}  
the Button class defines a Click event of type EventHandler. Inside the Button class, the Click member is exactly like a private field of type EventHandler. However, outside the Button class, the Click member can only be used on the left-hand side of the += and -= operators. The += operator adds a handler for the event, and the -= operator removes a handler for the event. The example
using System;  
public class Form1   
{  
   public Form1() {  
      // Add Button1_Click as an event handler for Button1's Click event  
      Button1.Click += new EventHandler(Button1_Click);  
   }  
   Button Button1 = new Button();  
   void Button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e) {  
      Console.WriteLine("Button1 was clicked!");  
   }  
   public void Disconnect() {  
      Button1.Click -= new EventHandler(Button1_Click);  
   }  
}  
shows a Form1 class that adds Button1_Click as an event handler for Button1's Click event. In the Disconnect method, that event handler is removed.
For a simple event declaration such as
public event EventHandler Click;  
the compiler automatically provides the implementation underlying the += and -= operators.
An implementer who wants more control can get it by explicitly providing add and remove accessors. For example, the Button class could be rewritten as follows:
public class Button   
{  
   private EventHandler handler;  
   public event EventHandler Click {  
      add { handler += value; }  
      
      remove { handler -= value; }  
   }  
}  
This change has no effect on client code, but allows the Button class more implementation flexibility. For example, the event handler for Click need not be represented by a field.
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