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Atomicity of variable references

Reads and writes of the following data types are atomic: bool, char, byte, sbyte, short, ushort, uint, int, float, and reference types. In addition, reads and writes of enum types with an underlying type in the previous list are also atomic. Reads and writes of other types, including long, ulong, double, and decimal, as well as user-defined types, are not guaranteed to be atomic. Aside from the library functions designed for that purpose, there is no guarantee of atomic read-modify-write, such as in the case of increment or decrement.

  1. Conversions

A conversion enables an expression to be treated as being of a particluar type. A conversion may cause an expression of a given type to be treated as having a different type, or it may cause an expression without a type to get a type. Conversions can be implicit or explicit, and this determines whether an explicit cast is required. For instance, the conversion from type int to type long is implicit, so expressions of type int can implicitly be treated as type long. The opposite conversion, from type long to type int, is explicit and so an explicit cast is required.

int a = 123;
long b = a; // implicit conversion from int to long
int c = (int) b; // explicit conversion from long to int

Some conversions are defined by the language. Programs may also define their own conversions .


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