Microsoft unveils C# 11 list patterns, raw string literals

Next version of Microsoft’s flagship programming language for .NET development will also simplify the syntax for parameter null checking.

Microsoft unveils C# 11 list patterns, raw string literals

C# 11, the planned next generation of Microsoft’s object-oriented language for .NET software development, is beginning to take shape, with new capabilities including list patterns and raw string literals.

Preview features for C# 11 can be found in Visual Studio 2022 17.1 and .NET SDK 6.0.200, and raw string literals in a preview of Visual Studio 2022 17.2. C# 11’s list patterns let developers match against lists and arrays. Developers can match elements and include a slice pattern that matches zero or more elements. With slice patterns, developers can discard or capture zero or more elements.

Raw string literals let developers convert a normal or verbatim string literal to a raw string literal. This new form of string literal starts with a minimum of three """ characters (but no maximum), followed optionally by a new_line and the content of the string, and then ends with the same number of quotes that started the literal.

If C# 11 follows the pattern of its predecessor C# 10, which was released in November as part of .NET 6, then C# 11 would arrive this November as part of .NET 7. Also in C# 11, parameter null checking would provide a simplified syntax for validating that method arguments are not null and throwing ArgumentNullException appropriately. Another change eyed for C# 11 would be allowing newlines in the “holes” of interpolated strings. This programming improvement would make legal a situation that currently would result in a compiler error in C# 10.

Microsoft is listing proposals for future C# features in the CSharpLang repo. The company also provides a language feature status page in GitHub. Developers are encouraged to check out the C# 11 preview features either through Visual Studio or in the latest .NET SDK and setting the LangVersion to Preview.

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