Conditional attribute classes

An attribute class (§17.1) decorated with one or more Conditional attributes is a conditional attribute class. A conditional attribute class is thus associated with the conditional compilation symbols declared in its Conditional attributes. This example:

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
public class TestAttribute : Attribute {}

declares TestAttribute as a conditional attribute class associated with the conditional compilations symbols ALPHA and BETA.

Attribute specifications (§17.2) of a conditional attribute are included if one or more of its associated conditional compilation symbols is defined at the point of specification, otherwise the attribute specification is omitted.

It is important to note that the inclusion or exclusion of an attribute specification of a conditional attribute class is controlled by the conditional compilation symbols at the point of the specification. In the example

File test.cs:

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;


public class TestAttribute : Attribute {}

File class1.cs:

#define DEBUG

[Test] // TestAttribute is specified

class Class1 {}

File class2.cs:

#undef DEBUG

[Test] // TestAttribute is not specified

class Class2 {}

the classes Class1 and Class2 are each decorated with attribute Test, which is conditional based on whether or not DEBUG is defined. Since this symbol is defined in the context of Class1 but not Class2, the specification of the Test attribute on Class1 is included, while the specification of the Test attribute on Class2 is omitted.


The Obsolete attribute

The attribute Obsolete is used to mark types and members of types that should no longer be used.

namespace System
AttributeTargets.Class |
AttributeTargets.Struct |
AttributeTargets.Enum |
AttributeTargets.Interface |
AttributeTargets.Delegate |
AttributeTargets.Method |
AttributeTargets.Constructor |
AttributeTargets.Property |
AttributeTargets.Field |
Inherited = false)
public class ObsoleteAttribute: Attribute
public ObsoleteAttribute() {...}

public ObsoleteAttribute(string message) {...}

public ObsoleteAttribute(string message, bool error) {...}

public string Message { get {...} }

public bool IsError { get {...} }

If a program uses a type or member that is decorated with the Obsolete attribute, the compiler issues a warning or an error. Specifically, the compiler issues a warning if no error parameter is provided, or if the error parameter is provided and has the value false. The compiler issues an error if the error parameter is specified and has the value true.

In the example

[Obsolete("This class is obsolete; use class B instead")]
class A
public void F() {}

class B
public void F() {}

class Test
static void Main() {
A a = new A(); // Warning

the class A is decorated with the Obsolete attribute. Each use of A in Main results in a warning that includes the specified message, “This class is obsolete; use class B instead.”

Caller info attributes

For purposes such as logging and reporting, it is sometimes useful for a function member to obtain certain compile-time information about the calling code. The caller info attributes provide a way to pass such information transparently.

When an optional parameter is annotated with one of the caller info attributes, omitting the corresponding argument in a call does not necessarily cause the default parameter value to be substituted. Instead, if the specified information about the calling context is available, that information will be passed as the argument value.

For example:

using System.Runtime.CompilerServices

public void Log(
[CallerLineNumber] int line = -1,
[CallerFilePath] string path = null,
[CallerMemberName] string name = null
Console.WriteLine((line < 0) ? "No line" : "Line "+ line);
Console.WriteLine((path == null) ? "No file path" : path);
Console.WriteLine((name == null) ? "No member name" : name);

A call to Log() with no arguments would print the line number and file path of the call, as well as the name of the member within which the call occurred.

Caller info attributes can occur on optional parameters anywhere, including in delegate declarations. However, the specific caller info attributes have restrictions on the types of the parameters they can attribute, so that there will always be an implicit conversion from a substituted value to the parameter type.

It is an error to have the same caller info attribute on a parameter of both the defining and implementing part of a partial method declaration. Only caller info attributes in the defining part are applied, whereas caller info attributes occurring only in the implementing part are ignored.

Caller information does not affect overload resolution. As the attributed optional parameters are still omitted from the source code of the caller, overload resolution ignores those parameters in the same way it ignores other omitted optional parameters (§7.5.3).

Caller information is only substituted when a function is explicitly invoked in source code. Implicit invocations such as implicit parent constructor calls do not have a source location and will not substitute caller information. Also, calls that are dynamically bound will not substitute caller information. When a caller info attributed parameter is omitted in such cases, the specified default value of the parameter is used instead.

One exception is query-expressions. These are considered syntactic expansions, and if the calls they expand to omit optional parameters with caller info attributes, caller information will be substituted. The location used is the location of the query clause which the call was generated from.

If more than one caller info attribute is specified on a given parameter, they are preferred in the following order: CallerLineNumber, CallerFilePath, CallerMemberName.

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