What is the difference between Lambdas and Delegates?

Lambdas and delegates are both constructs in C# that allow you to work with functions or methods, but they have some differences in terms of syntax and usage:

  1. Syntax:
    • Lambdas: A lambda expression is an anonymous function that can be used to create delegates or expression trees. It is defined using the => (arrow) operator and can have parameters and a body.
(parameter) => expression
  • Delegates: A delegate is a type that represents a reference to a method with a specific signature. It can be declared using the delegate keyword and specifies the method signature it can reference.
delegate returnType DelegateName(parameters);
  1. Anonymous vs. Named:
    • Lambdas: Lambdas are anonymous functions that don’t have a name. They are defined inline where they are used and are commonly used for short and simple operations.
    • Delegates: Delegates are named types that represent a reference to a method. They are explicitly declared with a name and can be used to refer to any method with a compatible signature.
  2. Usage:
    • Lambdas: Lambdas are often used as a concise way to define functions or behavior inline, typically for functional programming-style operations like filtering, mapping, or reducing collections. They are commonly used with LINQ and other functional programming constructs.
    • Delegates: Delegates are used to create references to methods and provide a way to invoke those methods indirectly. They can be passed as parameters, stored in variables, or used as event handlers.
  3. Type Inference:
    • Lambdas: Lambdas can take advantage of type inference, allowing the compiler to determine the parameter and return types based on the context in which the lambda is used.
    • Delegates: Delegates explicitly specify the parameter and return types when declared.
  4. Method Group Conversion:
    • Lambdas: Lambdas can be used to convert a method group (a group of overloaded methods with the same name) to a delegate type implicitly. The compiler determines the appropriate method from the method group based on the delegate’s signature.
    • Delegates: Delegates can be created explicitly by providing the name of the method to be referenced or by using a lambda expression.

In summary, lambdas are anonymous functions defined inline using the => operator, often used for concise and functional-style operations. Delegates, on the other hand, are named types that represent references to methods, providing a way to invoke methods indirectly. Lambdas can be used to create delegates and are often used in scenarios where concise and inline function definition is required, while delegates are used for method references and provide more explicit control over the method invocation.

error: Content is protected !!