C#: Difference between ' += anEvent' and ' += new EventHandler(anEvent)'


Answers

[object].[event] += anEvent;

is just syntactic sugar for -

[object].[event] += new EventHandler(anEvent);
Question

Take the below code:

private void anEvent(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    //some code
}

What is the difference between the following ?

[object].[event] += anEvent;

//and

[object].[event] += new EventHandler(anEvent);

[UPDATE]

Apparently, there is no difference between the two...the former is just syntactic sugar of the latter.




In C# 4 this will produce identical code, so yes they are functionally the same. In the first (shorter) form the compiler infers the delegate type from the method signature, which saves you the work having to do it explicitly.




the second form is syntactic sugar introduced in later versions of c#. the first line will work in every version though




+= new EventHandler(Method) vs += Method

Since there seemed to be some dispute over my original answer, I decided to do a few tests, including looking at the generated code and monitoring the performance.

First of all, here's our test bed, a class with a delegate and another class to consume it:

class EventProducer
{
    public void Raise()
    {
        var handler = EventRaised;
        if (handler != null)
            handler(this, EventArgs.Empty);
    }

    public event EventHandler EventRaised;
}

class Counter
{
    long count = 0;
    EventProducer producer = new EventProducer();

    public void Count()
    {
        producer.EventRaised += CountEvent;
        producer.Raise();
        producer.EventRaised -= CountEvent;
    }

    public void CountWithNew()
    {
        producer.EventRaised += new EventHandler(CountEvent);
        producer.Raise();
        producer.EventRaised -= new EventHandler(CountEvent);
    }

    private void CountEvent(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        count++;
    }
}

First thing to do is look at the generated IL:

.method public hidebysig instance void Count() cil managed
{
    .maxstack 8
    L_0000: ldarg.0 
    L_0001: ldfld class DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer DelegateTest.Program/Counter::producer
    L_0006: ldarg.0 
    L_0007: ldftn instance void DelegateTest.Program/Counter::CountEvent(object, class [mscorlib]System.EventArgs)
    L_000d: newobj instance void [mscorlib]System.EventHandler::.ctor(object, native int)
    L_0012: callvirt instance void DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer::add_EventRaised(class [mscorlib]System.EventHandler)
    L_0017: ldarg.0 
    L_0018: ldfld class DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer DelegateTest.Program/Counter::producer
    L_001d: callvirt instance void DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer::Raise()
    L_0022: ldarg.0 
    L_0023: ldfld class DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer DelegateTest.Program/Counter::producer
    L_0028: ldarg.0 
    L_0029: ldftn instance void DelegateTest.Program/Counter::CountEvent(object, class [mscorlib]System.EventArgs)
    L_002f: newobj instance void [mscorlib]System.EventHandler::.ctor(object, native int)
    L_0034: callvirt instance void DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer::remove_EventRaised(class [mscorlib]System.EventHandler)
    L_0039: ret 
}

.method public hidebysig instance void CountWithNew() cil managed
{
    .maxstack 8
    L_0000: ldarg.0 
    L_0001: ldfld class DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer DelegateTest.Program/Counter::producer
    L_0006: ldarg.0 
    L_0007: ldftn instance void DelegateTest.Program/Counter::CountEvent(object, class [mscorlib]System.EventArgs)
    L_000d: newobj instance void [mscorlib]System.EventHandler::.ctor(object, native int)
    L_0012: callvirt instance void DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer::add_EventRaised(class [mscorlib]System.EventHandler)
    L_0017: ldarg.0 
    L_0018: ldfld class DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer DelegateTest.Program/Counter::producer
    L_001d: callvirt instance void DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer::Raise()
    L_0022: ldarg.0 
    L_0023: ldfld class DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer DelegateTest.Program/Counter::producer
    L_0028: ldarg.0 
    L_0029: ldftn instance void DelegateTest.Program/Counter::CountEvent(object, class [mscorlib]System.EventArgs)
    L_002f: newobj instance void [mscorlib]System.EventHandler::.ctor(object, native int)
    L_0034: callvirt instance void DelegateTest.Program/EventProducer::remove_EventRaised(class [mscorlib]System.EventHandler)
    L_0039: ret 
}

So it turns out that, yes, these do generate identical IL. I was wrong originally. But that's not the whole story. It may be that I'm going off-topic here but I think that it's important to include this when talking about events and delegates:

Creating and comparing different delegates is not cheap.

When I wrote this, I was thinking that the first syntax was able to cast the method group as a delegate, but it turns out that it's just a conversion. But it's completely different when you actually save the delegate. If we add this to the consumer:

class Counter
{
    EventHandler savedEvent;

    public Counter()
    {
        savedEvent = CountEvent;
    }

    public void CountSaved()
    {
        producer.EventRaised += savedEvent;
        producer.Raise();
        producer.EventRaised -= savedEvent;
    }
}

You can see that this has very different characteristics, performance-wise, from the other two:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
    const int TestIterations = 10000000;

    TimeSpan countTime = TestCounter(c => c.Count());
    Console.WriteLine("Count: {0}", countTime);

    TimeSpan countWithNewTime = TestCounter(c => c.CountWithNew());
    Console.WriteLine("CountWithNew: {0}", countWithNewTime);

    TimeSpan countSavedTime = TestCounter(c => c.CountSaved());
    Console.WriteLine("CountSaved: {0}", countSavedTime);

    Console.ReadLine();
}

static TimeSpan TestCounter(Action<Counter> action, int iterations)
{
    var counter = new Counter();
    Stopwatch sw = new Stopwatch();
    sw.Start();
    for (int i = 0; i < TestIterations; i++)
        action(counter);
    sw.Stop();
    return sw.Elapsed;
}

The results consistently come back as something similar to:

Count: 00:00:02.4742007
CountWithNew: 00:00:02.4272702
CountSaved: 00:00:01.9810367

That's nearly a 20% difference when using a saved delegate vs. creating a new one.

Now obviously not every program is going to be adding and removing this many delegates in such a small amount of time, but if you're writing library classes - classes that might be used in ways you cannot predict - then you really want to keep this difference in mind if you ever need to add and remove events (and I've written a lot of code that does this, personally).

So the conclusion of this is, writing SomeEvent += new EventHandler(NamedMethod) compiles to the same thing as just SomeEvent += NamedMethod. But if you plan to remove that event handler later, you really should save the delegate. Even though the Delegate class has some special-case code that allows you to remove a referentially-different delegate from the one you added, it has to do a non-trivial amount of work to pull this off.

If you're not going to save the delegate, then it makes no difference - the compiler ends up creating a new delegate anyway.




yes they do the same. Resharper recomemnds latter.







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